Making a chunky knotted leather zip puller

the finished zip

The little metal zip pulls that come on home-sewing zips are  fine for dresses & skirts but not particularly attractive, or practical, for accessories.  But you can easily jazz up your purses & bags by adding your own. Once you know how to remove the metal puller and attach a ring there’s no end to what you can add….beads, tassels, curtain rings? Here I’ll show you how to knot a simple chunky leather puller.


You’ll need some wire cutters or  pair of pliers with a cutting edge. Use these to cut straight across the metal puller. Then use the ends of the pliers to pull out the remaining bits of metal, so only the “cursor” that runs up and down the teeth remains.

attach ringNext you need to attach a ring into the cursor. You can use either a “jump ring” which has a gap in the metal that you prise open with pliers then close up again once attached, or a “split ring”  (as photo) which has 2 rows of metal wire so that you can open it up slightly & slide around the cursor until it is attached. Both types of ring are available from jewellery & beading suppliers. Whatever you choose ensure that the metal wire is thin enough to fit into the hole in the cursor with enough room to move around freely.

Either use a length of  ready cut leather thonging (available from beading & craft shops, or even sold as shoelaces) or cut a 2 -4mm wide piece from a skin of leather with scissors. The length you need depends on how long you want the finished puller to be. It’s best to start with about 30cm to be safe.

knot 1

knot 2

Insert an end of the leather into the ring and pull so that the ends are even & the exterior of the leather is on the outside. Start making knots, tightening as each knot  is made. Follow the diagrams below to tie the knots. Continue until you have the length you need & trim the ends with scissors, leaving a little length at the ends so that the knots don’t unravel.

knotting diagram


One thought on “Making a chunky knotted leather zip puller

  1. Thanks for posting this tip – I’ve been knitting small bags and could not find a source for zips with rings. Your patterns are terrif – Bravo. I’ll be back!

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