Saturday, March 12, 2011

Zip on by for a zipper flower tutorial!

Hi Want2Scrap fans!  I'm so glad you zipped by today because today's post is all about how to make a zipper flower!  I have been noticing these fab flowers all over the place and I had to make one myself.  First off, there are several different shapes you can make using a zipper...we are going to explore one simple way using a gather stitch.
First, you need a zipper.  This one happens to be a 24 inch zipper in length, but you can use shorter zippers.  The zipper also doesn't need to be new.  If you have a clothing item that has served it's purpose and is not a candidate for donation, or even if it's a piece of clothing with a broken zipper, get your seam ripper out and salvage that zipper for this fun project.  My personal preference are zippers with silver teeth so there is a nice contrast between the metal and the fabric...I think it gives it an edgy look.   For less steampunk and more softness, look for zippers with teeth that match the fabric.
First item of business is to remove the zipper stop at the end of the zipper.  Use pliers (or wire cutters if you can't find pliers like I couldn't) to gently work the zipper stop out of the fabric.

Here is it with zipper stop removed.
Here are my two separate sides of the zipper, the zipper pull which I'll save for another project and the zipper stops that can be tossed.
Ignoring my ink stained fingers, start on one end of the zipper on the fabric edge and weave a gather stitch with thread from one end to the other.
When you pull the gather stitch tight, you get a cool coil!  Not the flower we are looking for but fun nonetheless.
Use the curves we made in the gathered coil to arrange concentric circles to start shaping your flower.  Some will stitch layers as they go, some are hot glue fans but I like Fabri-Tac.  It allows me to get my hands in there without worrying about a hot glue burn and affords me more control than stitching the layers with a bond like a hot glue gun.
I ended up using only half of the 24 inch length of zipper because I knew where I wanted it to go on my project.  When you are ready to finish off your zipper flower, trim the zipper length if needed (using multi purpose scissors so as not to ruin the blade on the zipper teeth) and lay a line of liquid Fabri-Tac along the edge of the zipper.  Keep twisting the zipper length and tuck the end to the back of the flower.  Now let's use your zippy little creation!

I used mine on a fashion oriented card because I do so love the trend of vintage seamstress items and the dress form trend that has been all over lately.  I was able to tuck in bits of vintage goodies in the pocket inspired by the challenge over at City Crafter Challenge blog.   Check out the bits of Want2Scrap bling adorning my zipper flower and also, my handmade original button card.  The button card was designed in Word, printed, and then I added the glamour girl stamp in the center from Clearly Vintage. 
Isn't she fabulous dah-ling?!
The Want2Scrap bling looks amazing paired with the pearlized buttons don't you think?

So that's it for me today.  I hope you'll try a zipper flower and adorn it with Want2Scrap goodies too!  Thanks for coming by!

Digi Button Card:  Designed by Dana Gustafson,
Stamps: Clearly Vintage Glamour Girls
Paper: October Afternoon
Die cut dress form:  Girls Paperie
Craft Supplies: sewing machine, buttons, silver thread, pinking sheers, zipper, seamstress pins, vintage measuring tape and bias tape wrapper, glitter glue


  1. Oooooooowwwwwww! I love this project/technique for SO many fabulous reasons! HELLO: "green" paper craft - it has SUCH a ring to it! THE recycle opportunities are CHOCK-FULL o fun! THANKS for solving the mysteries of this fabby look - I can't wait to give it a try!

    YOUR card, meanwhile... WHAT a stunning platform for that exquisite flower! OH, my DEAR! The stacks and layers of vintage and crafty fabulousness are intoxicating! Topped by the MOST precise and gorgeous application of BLING! Oh, BABY! What a fantastic share! THANKS!

  2. i have been wanting to try this and didn't know how. thanks for the quick tutorial.

  3. Oh wow! This is a fab tutorial, Dana, and the outcome is amazing! Love your vintage fashion-themed card, too! Beautiful!

  4. very pretty :)

  5. Ohhh, LOVE your zipper flower! I was just @ Tuesday Morning this AM & thought of these, but they didn't have any zippers, so must find one SOON and get busy -- you've truly inspired me with your adorable card. LOVE your digi button card too!!! ;-)

  6. Awesome tutorial Dana! Now, I have to run out to my local sewing store and purchase some multicolored zippers! :) Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. OMG that zipper flower is so I need to go buy one so I can try this!

  8. Love your finished card. I've tried these and they are so fun to make. Thanks for your tutorial

  9. Someone gave me over 200 zippers and I was clueless in what I was going to do with them. This is perfect! Thanks you so much!

  10. What a great tutorial! I'm going to have to try it! Thanks for sharing.

  11. I am so glad I happened on your blog! This is a wonderful inspiring tutorial...ACK..I can't wait to try it!

  12. I'm off to the thrift store to buy some zippers...thank you!! These are cute!

  13. Fabulous! Brilliant, need I say more!

  14. OMW you are so fabulous.. we <3 it and all your stunning layouts tfs xx <3



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