Vintage Notions Made Modern: Zipper Jewelry

Hi, my name is Amy Barickman and I am thrilled to be a contributor to Sewing Secrets. I have a unique connection to this blog, as my muse, Mary Brooks Picken, was the original author of the popular Coats & Clark booklet Sewing Secrets and many other vintage Coats publications. In addition to my passion for Mary’s work, I love vintage notions (which happens to be the title of a book I wrote sharing the wisdom of Mary Brooks Picken and the Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences). Today I would like to talk about zippers and how to use them to create jewelry and accessories.

Few notions are as nifty as the zipper, a fashion accent that has gained major traction since its invention the late 1800s. Back then, this classic closure was better known as a slide fastener.

“Slide fasteners have done more than any other dress item to make clothes smart, easier to get into and out of, and easier to make”, wrote Mary Brooks Picken in her 1916 book Modern Dressmaking Made Easy. “Since slide fasteners have become the accepted fastener, they are used for every type of apparel for formal and informal, for daytime, for business, and for sports.”

Some of our patterns at Indygo Junction, my pattern company, highlight both vintage-inspired and fashion-forward uses of zippers. One trend that has been popping up in boutiques and on craft sites like Etsy is creating flowers and jewelry out of zipper trim.

Zipper jewelry can be as simple as this bracelet from Etsy seller JustKJewellery, which features the slide fastener…..

Or it can be as intricate as these necklaces from hipperzippers

You can even combine zippers with beads and embroidery as Fantasiria did with these earrings.

We have many fun zipper accessory patterns at Indygo Junction, for everything from everyday jewelry like Mixed Metal Zips,

to holiday accessories like My Christmas Zips

and even some fun, graphic seasonal pieces as shown in our Springtime Zips pattern (I love the bird!)

To see how simple it is to create unique jewelry with zippers, watch my tutorial below on creating a zipper rosette.

Now, you are ready to create on your own! Find a fun fashion zipper, like these styles available from Coats & Clark, and create this loopy zipper flower and start making your own one-of-a-kind zipper accessories today. To download a free pattern for a zipper brooch. Enjoy!