Vintage Zipper Flower Tutorial & Upcycled Shirt Cuff Bracelets!

23 October
The other day when I shared 5 Things to Make With ONE Flannel Shirt for our Thrifty Chicks monthly challenge I promised to share the tutorial for making the upcycled shirt cuff bracelets and zipper flowers.

These are so fun to make, there are endless possibilities and you can mix and match trims and do-dads to your heart's content!

Learn how to make beautiful flowers from vintage zippers!

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Supplies Needed


Let's make zipper flowers!!

Part I - Flower Center

You need a zipper that is about 24" long or a couple of matching smaller ones.

Cut off the end with the zipper stop and then unzip it completely so you have two separate pieces.

Cut a piece about 12" long to make the center of your flower. 

Fold down one end.

Begin rolling it up like a jelly roll to form the flower center.

Once you get it rolled up about halfway stitch through the bottom a couple of times with a needle and thread. You can use thicker quilting or carpet thread or just double up your thread like I did. At this point there is no need to tie off the thread, just leave your needle hanging.

Continue rolling and when you get it all rolled up then take a few more stitches through it and knot your thread.

You should now have a piece that looks like this!

Part II - Flower Petals

Now you'll make the petals. You'll need 8 pieces that measure about 3" each.

Fold them over like so, making sure that the zipper teeth are facing up all the way around the petals.

Put a dab of hot glue to hold each one.

You'll now have 8 flower petals.

Arrange two across from each other and glue one overlapping the other a little bit.

Do the same thing with two more petals to make a plus sign.

The add the remaining 4 to fill in the openings between each of these petals.

Now glue the center of your flower on top.

And you now have a pretty little zipper flower!

That's it! These always looked so complicated to me but they are so easy!

If you want to use these to make cuffs like I did, here is how to make those!

I have a big jar of foofy lacy trims so I got that out along with some vintage zippers and of course the two shirt cuffs!

And do you see that scalloped edge mat it's all sitting on? If you don't have one of these yet you should definitely get yourself one!!

It's called a Teflon Craft Mat and they are seriously awesome! It protects your work surface and NOTHING sticks to it... nutheeeennnngggg, drops of hot glue pop right off, paint wipes off, you can use them for heat pressing, baking, etc. And they can be used over and over! I love mine!

I digress... back to the cuffs!😁

I picked out some trims and fabric scraps to use for my cuffs. I had some old velvet in brown that I thought went well with the flannel.

Cut a piece of whatever embellishment you choose to use the same length as your cuff.

If you don't have a lot of trims and scraps to choose from you can buy grab bags of sewing trims on Etsy for very inexpensive!

I didn't like the buttons on my shirt cuffs so I took them off.

And found some prettier ones in my stash. Here is one cuff that I used a piece of old lace and a pretty gold button on.

You may need to move the button in depending on the size of your wrist but you shouldn't have to cut the cuff.

You will attach the lace by sewing down on the ends or you can use fabric glue to adhere it.

For this one, I used the brown velvet and hemmed the raw edges and then attached it the same way I did the lace on the cuff above.

The velvet fabric was shorter than the cuff to allow room for the button so I disguised it with a little piece of lace.

I found a crochet snowflake that I thought was pretty.

And I had some brown velvet millinery leaves that I wanted to use.

They were wired though so I just pulled them off the wired stem!

Here is my cuff with the lace and leaf.

And here is the cuff with the brown velvet fabric and crochet snowflake.

So, what do you think? I can think of so many cute uses for zipper flowers! You could make them into napkin rings, lapel pins, candle embellishments, Christmas tree ornaments, put them on headbands, etc.!


Posted by: at 23 October Tag:

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  1. These flowers are so dang cute! The cuffs turned out so cute and I remember they were from your flannel-shirt-find. Your tutorial makes it clear and it looks easy. I'm there!!

  2. Donna WilkesOctober 23, 2017

    So creative! Pinning and sharing.

  3. Hi Vikki! They are very easy, if you decide to make one I think you'll make several!


  4. this is amazing, love it!!

  5. These are so pretty Tania! What a brilliant idea using a zipper. I could see these used as napkin holders for Thanksgiving too! Pinned.

  6. Thank you Marie, they would be cute as napkin holders!


  7. I really love this! I'm going to have to steal it! You made it sound so easy.

  8. Tania when I first saw this I thought it was made of pastry cream. But then I realized it was an actually zipper and I was even more impressed with your creativity.

  9. Lol, our eyes can play tricks on us!! Thank you!


  10. I love these zipper flowers. I have a box of old metal zippers. I know what I am making with them.

  11. Winifred WaiteNovember 02, 2017

    That is so clever.

  12. Love this! So creative!! I'm a new follower and have been looking at alot of your previous posts. Wish that I had found you before now!!

  13. Hi Debra! I'm so glad you found me, better late than never right?! Were you able to subscribe to the newsletter too?


  14. Hi Beverly! I would love to see your zipper flowers when you get done!


  15. It is very easy, steal away and be sure to share your finished flowers!


  16. Yes I definitely signed up for the newsletter. Thanks.


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