How to Create a Braided Zipper Bracelet
Make a fun and colorful bracelet of braided zippers, complete with a zipper charm!
Using colorful zippers and a few jewelry findings, you can have a funky new addition to your jewelry collection in a little bit of time!
Here's What You'll Need
Jewelry pliers (2 pairs)
Silicone-padded jewelry pliers (optional)
One pair 3/4-inch metal ribbon clasps
Two 5-mm open/close jump rings
One 8-mm open/close jump rings
To separate the zippers and remove the zipper tab, cut off the bottom end of the zipper. Use strong but you-don't-care-about-them-too-much scissors.
Remove the tab, and separate the zipper sides. You'll only need three sides (one of each color). Stack the zippers on top of each other, with one zipper's teeth facing one way and the other two facing the other way.
If the metal tone of your ribbon clasps don't match the hardware on your zippers, you can paint them with a metallic paint pen and allow to dry. Then, take one ribbon clasp and insert your stack of zippers.
Squeeze the ribbon clasp shut over the zippers using silicone-padded pliers (to prevent scratching/warping the ribbon clamp). If you don't have those pliers, just put a piece of fabric or tissue inside your regular flat-nosed pliers.
Time to start braiding! Use some tape or a clipboard to secure it to your work surface and braid your zippers evenly. If I can do it (having had short hair since 1983 - this also explains why my girls' long hair is always so messy), then you can do it!
When you've reached the end, stack the zippers on top of each other again. Before you finish, though, do a quick check to make sure it fits around your wrist. You'll have your clasp too so that will add some extra length. If necessary, trim the zipper ends. Then, add the second ribbon clasp in the same manner as before. All done with the main part of the bracelet!
You can use the existing lobster clasp on your ribbon clasps if one came with them, or you can use something different. I like to use a toggle clasp for bracelets because I can use one hand to put it on. You'll also need two jump rings to attach each end of the clasp.
Here's a quick tutorial on how to properly open a jump ring. First, grasp a jump ring in between one pair of pliers, with the pliers pointing up, and the opening of the jump ring up as well (first pic below). Then, grasp the other side of the jump ring with another pair of pliers in your other hand. Finally, rotate one plier forward, so the jump ring slides open (rather than pulling the jump ring open sideways).
Add on one end of the clasp to the jump ring, then connect the jump ring to one ribbon clamp. Close the jump ring in the same manner that you opened it, sliding it closed so that your pliers return to the starting position (both pointing up).
Repeat with the other end of the clasp on the other ribbon clamp. Then, take a larger jump ring and slide on one of the zipper tabs to make your bracelet charm. Loop it onto the other jump ring, and close it up. All done!
Yay I have a new bracelet! I'll be making one more for a friend. I guess this is a grown-up version of a friendship bracelet!