“Go Gold” Zipper Pulls

If you read my post from yesterday, you already know why I made gold zipper pulls for the hooligans.  If you didn’t read it, you should!  The pulls are to show support for Childhood Cancer Awareness in September, and yesterday’s post included a personal account (written by a family friend) of the effects, as well as the statistics, of childhood cancer. But I promised to show you how to make these zipper pulls today, so here we go!


Supplies you’ll need:

  • 550 or 325 Paratrooper Cord (I used 325)…4-1/2 feet per pull
  • Zipper pull or tiny, cute carabiner (the boys got zipper pulls, Princess Thundercloud the carabiner)
  • A charm or inkjet ShrinkyDink paper
  • Scissors
  • A lighter

First for the charms:

I adore using Shrinky Dinks, even though I feel guilty if I don’t let the kids help. I still make them while they’re gone, though, so I don’t feel THAT guilty.  And my favorite Shrinky Dinks are the ones for an inkjet printer. Super easy to use, you just design something on your computer and print it (at 50 percent opacity, which is important to remember!). Then three to five minutes at 300 degrees and you’ve got a cool charm or whatever!

And what’s supercool? They can be double-sided!  First, I designed the front of my charms.  They’re 2-1/2” circles, so I could punch them out with my Stampin’ Up! punch easily.  I printed those, saved them, then designed the backs right over the same circles, so I knew they’d print correctly. I printed out the back design, punched out the circles, and punched a 1/2” hole for the cord to go through. After shrinking them, it was the perfect size.



And check it out…you can download them by clicking here for the front, and here for the back. See how easy I make this?

Now your charms are made, so let’s get to the zipper pulls. These are so addictive, and they took about five minutes each to make. I kid you not.

1. Cut a piece of cord 4-1/2 feet long. Thread the charm onto it and center it. Thread the ends through your zipper pull or carabiner, leaving about 4” between the charm and the zipper pull. This will be the length of your finished pull, so make it whatever length suits you.


Begin tying your knots. I clip my zipper pull to a clipboard, just to help hold it.  I think it’s easier that way.

1. Pass the right cord over the middle two cords and under the left cord.


2. Pass the left cord under the middle two cords and over the right one.


3. Pull the knot tight.


4. Reverse steps 1 through 3, passing the right cord under the middle two cords, then over the left cord. Pass the left cord over the middle two cords and under the right cord. Pull tight.  Zipper5-ChaosServedDaily

Continue to tie knots until you reach the charm.  Tuck the ends under in the back, cut short, then use a lighter to melt the ends to prevent fraying.


Attach to your backpack or jacket and wear it with pride, showing your support for Childhood Cancer Awareness!


10 thoughts on ““Go Gold” Zipper Pulls

  1. I’m a little confused on exactly how you were able to doubleside the shrinky dink tags. Can you better explain? I feel like I’m missing something. I’ve wanted to do this before but couldn’t figure out how. Thanks so much,

    • Sorry it was confusing, Teresa. I first designed the “Crush It” circle in Photoshop Elements, making 6 circles 2-1/2″ in diameter. I centered those on the page. I merged the layers and saved it as the front of the charms. After printing it, I “unmerged” the layers and filled the circles completely with the purple, by selecting all the white space inside the border. Then I added the Team Tommy text, fed my shrinky dink paper through with the side I wanted printed face down, and printed. The most important part is to leave the front page circles right where they are, so they will line up when you print the backside. Oh, and I merged the Team Tommy circles and saved that as the back.

  2. Love these! Appreciate your tutorial! Will be using my Michael’s coupon today whilst finalizing back to school shopping. Thanks!

  3. Please help – what are shrinkydinks & where do I find them? I want to make a bunch for my friends kids & grandkids! Thanks, Kate

  4. Kate, it’s technically called shrink plastic and I found it at Michael’s. the brand name for the inkjet kind is Shrink Dinks. I can’t remember which dept. It was in, but I’m sure an employer there could help.

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