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Fabric Gift Box Pg 78 (Dec/Jan ’03)

kswolff | Posted in General Discussion on

Quick to Make? Help! My girlfriend and I have both been attempting the pyramid shaped fabric gift boxes in the current Threads issue (pg 78-79) and have independently run into the same problem. Getting the zipper pull back onto the zipper once it has been stitched to the box. We have each spent over an hour fighting with the pull to get it back on and have had no luck. I even tried pliers. The rest of the construction is simple and quick but without the zipper it can’t be finished. If anyone has a suggestion, I would love some advice. Thank you.


  1. rjf | | #1

    Did you take the metal stops off before sewing?  Of course you did....you wouldn't have been able to get the pull off otherwise.  The only other suggestion is that maybe you sewed the zipper too close to the teeth?  Maybe you could practise replacing the pull using the other side of the zipper that didn't get sewn to the box.  I think another technique is to get it on one side of the zipper, slide it to the top of the box and then try to engage the teeth on the other side of the zipper.  I've been able to make that work when some teeth on a zipper got mangled. 

    Let's hope Judy will have some suggestions.             rjf

  2. carolfresia | | #2

    Dear Mrs. Wolff,

    I'm forwarding your plea for help to Judy Neukam, the whiz who invented the tetrahedron gift wrap. I think she has figured out a way to get those zipper pulls back on without too much trouble--well, she must have, because we have a lot of nice pyramids in the office to prove that it is, indeed, possible to do it!


  3. carolfresia | | #3

    Here's Judy's reply:

    Get the tails started by pulling one, then the other through the pull just up to the "teeth", and then pull the two tails together out through the bottom of the zipper-pull rather than zipping it up. Be sure your zipper is right side up. This shouldn't be a struggle.

    Good luck!


  4. dorothy_c59 | | #4

    Also make sure you are using a zipper that can be rejoined once you separate the two halves. Metal zippers have teeth with an up and a down direction, where the teeth won't mesh back together when the zipper is folded.

  5. rjf | | #5

    And please don't forget to let us know us know whether you got it to work. rjf

    1. kswolff | | #6

      Success!!!!!! Thank you to all of you who responded to my question. I was encouraged and went back to the zipper to fiddle some more and discovered a few things that may help some others. 1) press the teeth flat from both sides before you stitch it onto the box. ; 2) stitch the zipper as close to centered end to end as you can; 3) the first one or two teeth get sort of mashed from the original stop getting crimped on so I took my tiny scissors and cut the heads off those teeth.

      I now have 3 gorgeous boxes and have several more prepared :)

      This is the first time I have posted a question so if I am not responding correctly to everyone, please forgive my mistake and I am open to any etiquette suggestions.

      Thank you to everyone.

      1. carolfresia | | #7

        How great to hear you had success getting the zippers to cooperate and now have mastered the tetrahedron. Probably every zipper has its little idiosyncracies, and the more you do the better you get at troubleshooting.


        1. ChrisHaynes | | #9

          Question about those zippers:

          Do you buy "Zipper by the Foot" and pulls ... or are there lots of half zippers lying around when a few of these tetrahedron boxes are finished?

          I'm intrigued... but since I loaded myself up when a local fabric store closed (sniff, sniff, wah!) I'm not sure I want orphaned half zippers.

          1. carolfresia | | #10

            Well, at this end of things we have a number of orphaned zipper halves. I suppose you could purchase extra zipper pulls and put those leftover zipper pieces to use, if you can locate pulls to fit.

            As for ZIpper by the foot, I don't know how it works for sure. If it's basically the same as any nylon zipper, I don't see why you couldn't use it. The main drawback, I would think, is that in order to thread the pull on, it helps to have a bit of empty zipper tape hanging off the ends. Would you have to remove teeth from a by-the-foot zipper? I don't know...

            When Judy returns to the office I'll ask her!


          2. ChrisHaynes | | #11

            I actually asked this question at the fabric store.  I had them pull the magazine off the rack to show them what I was talking about (I was picking up heavy duty interfacing).

            One clerk did tell me that "yes" the zipper by the foot would work.  They even sell little packets with several pulls in them.  She also told me that you can reverse the pulls on most of the nylon and coil zippers, but NOT on metal zippers.  The metal zippers teeth are different from top to bottom (and usually have an arrow showing you which way is up).  She also said that the plastic zippers used for clothing (like with two way zippers) also work.

            I've had to pull the teeth off a couple of zippers, it is not terribly hard to do.  Though I found putting the pulls on some zippers more of a challenge on the coiled zipper than the plastic two-way zippers.

      2. rjf | | #8

        Terrific!  It's such a good use for those small pieces of gorgeous fabric you can't bear to part with.            Have fun.    rjf

      3. Trish | | #12

        I am new to this website but am appealing for help with making the boxes as I have not been able to rethread the zippers.  One person directed me to the place where you thanked everyone for their suggestions but I am unable to find the original site where you got those suggestions and what they were.  Can you direct me to that as I have been unable to get the zipper pull back on.

        Thank you.

        1. ElonaM | | #13
        2. rjf | | #14

          If you go to the bottom of the discussion, you will see "to navigate this discussion"  and then the message numbers grouped on the right.  If you click on the group with "1" in it, you'll go back to the very beginning of the discussion and can read all the tips.  But of course, the website will help also.      rjf

          1. Trish | | #15

            Thank you!!!!!!

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