Sunday, 19 February 2012

Zip it, flower! A recycling tutorial

My mother could mend anything and if she could not mend it, then it was saved just in case, which would explain why, when she was knocked off her bike in her 70s and had stitches, she was able to find a sterile stitch cutter in her sideboard so I could take her stitches out.  


Now you will remember that the quality and capacity of her button jars were legend along with her useful bits of twine collection, however I am wishing that I had kept a hold of her zapped out zip collection because that is just what you are going to need to today to create these edgy, flower corsages or hair barrettes.
You will need:
A zip, of between 18 - 24" long depending on how big you want the flower to be
Needle and Thread
Scissors... not your good dressmaking scissors
Glue gun
Brooch backing
Felt 
Buttons (optional)
Matches or a lighter
Shot glass
Cardboard
Take your zip and cut the bottom of it off, this may be quite difficult if you use a heavy duty zip but I really like to use these as the flower looks really edgy.  Then using your matches, flame the end of your zips to ensure that they will not unravel, a gentle burning will seal them shut.
Take one side of your zip and fold it to make petals as is shown in the picture.  
Now there are two ways to sew this together with a double thread, you can make all five petals together and hold it in place with a couple of pins... but remember you will be sewing through 10 layers, which is possible although you should know that I managed to stab myself with the needle, so be careful. (I wonder if this counts as an industrial injury?)  
However with the next layer, as the petals will be shorter and therefore there will be more layers so catch each pattern individually.  There are a number of ways that you can finish your flower...


With my larger heavy duty zip, I left a couple of inches over at the end and rolled it up like a rose, and oversewed the edges and then sewed it through to the base.
For the lighter zip, I went through my buttons and beads and sewed them into the centre of the flower.


Cut out two circle of felt using the top of the glass and then one circle from the cardboard using the base of the glass which will be smaller.  Sew the larger flower into the centre of one of the felt circles.


Heat up your glue gun and dob your glue on the centre of your big set of petals, then place the smaller set of petals into the middle... then hold it in place of if you are doing several use a clothes peg to hold it together.
Glue one of the felt circles to the base of the flower, then smear a little glue onto the  cardboard and place it on the middle of the felt disc which has the flower attached to it.
Sew the brooch pin onto the remaining felt circle.  Place this disc on top of the other disc attached to the flower, now you could just glue it but we are going to do a superb finish by using a small blanket stitch to sew around the edge... just like the one we learnt back in January.
Now find a garment that is lovely enough to attach your fabulous flower corsage  and then whilst you are thinking about that, off you go an look at the crafting loveliness that is Handmade Monday.


And while I think about it, let's all send get well soon wishes to Little Harriet who usually contributes to Handmade Monday and is in hospital utilising some heavy duty antibiotics to tame her CF... mind you, I think she may have taken her fabulous crochet in with her, so I am expecting great things from her in the weeks to come. :)

27 comments:

Caroline Nash said...

Very Effective now have visions of all those broken zips being put to good use. Thank you for the tutorial

CHRISTMAS PIE CRAFTS said...

I so look forward to your posts, Ros, because your tutorials are so good and always about such lovely things. Another brilliant one - thank you for sharing it. Hope you have a good week.

Cheryl said...

What an excellent way to use old zips. I'm very tempted to give this a go!

Planet Penny said...

What a fab tutorial, especially as I 'accidently' bought 100 zips on Ebay a while ago (instead of 10!)

Emma Tustian said...

They look great. And a good way to finish off brooch backs neatly (mine never have been so far!).

Caroline Lovis (Redneedle) said...

I'd love to look inside your head one day, the variety of your craft making skills is limitless. Looking forward to the first edition of Ros' totally terrific tutorials.

Wendy said...

Brilliant use of old zips and fab flowers. Love them. My mum also kept almost everything just in case.

CHRISTMAS PIE CRAFTS said...

You are a star, Ros, thank you. I have someone guest blogging this coming Friday, but would love your piece for Friday, 2 March if that isn't too short notice? Suggested topics:


What inspires you to create?


Do you still make (and sell) the item that set you on the road to being a professional crafts person?


What does handmade mean to you? (this one is covered in so much detail on the web, but everything has a different view, so well worth a post I think).

Handbags by Helen said...

Very cool!

Annette said...

I like this so much I'll have to go and buy some zips!

Sarah - Dragonfly-Jersey said...

They're lovely Ros....xx

butterflyblossom said...

These are awesome!! I never would have thought to use a zip to make something that pretty. Another fab tutorial Ros thank you! x

Lyn said...

I felt a mixture of amusement and horror when I read about you removing the stitches!

Anyway, a brill tutorial. The zips make very pretty flowers.

But I feel like such a wastrel now when I think of all the things I've chucked out - your mum would have been ashamed of me.

Picto said...

I saw a handbag recently that had a similar embellishment, I admired it and now I know how to make one so Thank you Ros.

I'm now going to pop over to Little Harriet to say hi.

Jan x

Mrs Pink said...

So clever, thank you.

Adaliza said...

Great idea - like the 2-tone one especially. Just right for upcycle trend.

Helen said...

what a fab idea!

mcrafts said...

Really unusually and very very nice - thanks Ros x

Kat Shenton said...

Zipper flowers, those are so cool! I can multi purpose being stamped on this one :)

Jam Dalory said...

Another fab tutorial, where do you get your ideas from? This is unusual but looks brill. x

Polly Polkadot said...

Great idea, my mum has everything in her fabric store, but I don't seem to have anywhere near enough in my stash yet!

itsamistry said...

Another wonderful tutorial. Like Christmas Pie Crafts I look forward to your posts as they are always interesting.

Michelle said...

Those zip flowers are really cute! They remind me a lot of shoe-string bows. My mom used to make them for my hair when I was little!

Susie said...

So cool, I think the teens would love them, they have a sort of industrial look that's very popular here. I also love that you call zippers "zips". Economical. hehehe :) Thanks for the tutorial as always. Saving it.

Prettier In Ink said...

What a fabulous way to make use of broken zips! Definitly going to have to give this go!

Martha said...

Brilliant idea Ros, thanks for sharing it with us :)

Rosebark said...

Going to have to see if I have any old zips now, but of course red would look better than black, navy blue or beige, which is what I probably have. You could just use ribbon I suppose, but it wouldn't have that ripply petal edge effect. Hmm... Goes off to think.
:-)