DIY Zip Tie Hacks You’ve Never Thought Of Before

Last updated: Jun 14, 2022

The humble zip tie – also known as a cable tie – was first invented in 1958 for use on airplanes. As the years went by, the material switched from metal to nylon or plastic, and their uses expanded far beyond airplanes as plumbers, electricians, and construction workers quickly saw their benefits.

The (mostly) single-use zip ties are great for tying things together (as you might have guessed from the name). Just what they can tie together is pretty remarkable and goes far beyond the common set of messy cords (although it does that as well). Let’s take a look at some hacks that zip ties are perfect for.

Repair Your Suitcase

Although traveling is fun in general, it doesn’t mean that every single thing about travel is fun. Take broken suitcases for example. When you’re dashing off to catch a flight only to find your suitcase ripped open, what do you do?



Leaving it alone risks having all your precious goods strewn over the plane’s cargo. Luckily, if you have a zip tie, then the problem is solved. Simply create a little hole and zip tie it together. If your handle is broken, then you can create a temporary one as well. 

Contain Your Cords

People love their TVs, gaming systems, and internet connections. What they don’t love, however, are all the wires required to keep things connected. Usually, the wires dangle about in a half-hazard manner that leads someone to accidentally trip over them and turn off the TV. 



To avoid that, consider using zip ties. Simply, grab a bunch of wires with one hand, wrap the zip tie around with the other, and close shut. Voila! Instantly, the disorganized mess is contained in a nice little bow.

Keep Outfits Together

Although moving to a new apartment or home can be exciting, it’s also a lot of work. One of the more difficult challenges is to find a way to safely bring a few suits without having to crumple them up in a small bag. Zip ties can help.



Take the hooks of the hangers, and wrap them all together with a zip tie or two. Now, instead of having multiple suits and outfits shuffling around in the car, you can rest assured they will stay in one spot.

Secure Your Travel Bags 

As we saw above, zip ties can be a lifesaver when traveling by airplane. Although most bags safely make it from point A to point B without any trouble, people are still wary of leaving their bags unlocked. 



An unscrupulous baggage attendant or fellow passenger might be tempted to take a peek. So, most people choose to shell out $10 to $20 for a few suitcase locks. However, a cheaper option is to use a zip tie. They cost almost nothing and do the same job. 

Create a Plant Wall 

Wall decorations – posters, pictures, and of course, plants – really add an extra special something to an indoor room or outdoor space. However, it can be hard to figure out how to stick everything in place – especially when it comes to plants. 

Shutterstock/ The Old House

Well, fret no more because zip ties can simplify the process immensely. Start with a wall full of hooks, then pull one end of the zip tie through a plastic planter and wrap the other around the hook. Soon enough, you’ll have your very own living wall.


Hanging Garden Lights

This next DIY hack goes well with the wall of plants. After creating a nice potted plant ambiance for the outdoor patio, consider hanging up some lights. This can mean some simple tea lights or a series of elaborate light bulbs inside mason jars. 

If you choose the latter, hang them up by pulling a zip tie through the handle and affixing it to an overhead cable. Or, if you prefer, stick them along a tree branch or wooden post.


Organize Your Supplies

Keeping office and craft supplies in order can be a pain. Often, it’s easier to let pencils, glue, and tape stay wherever they were last used. However, that only leads to problems the next time you want to use them. 


The simple solution is to have one designated spot for everything. Rather than taking up a horizontal surface, why not hand them vertically from a wall? Zip ties make it easy to secure hooks for hanging scissors, glue, ribbon, tape, and more. 


Wrap Christmas Lights Up

Looking at colorful Christmas lights laid across the gutter and roof is great. What’s not great, however, is the process of putting those Christmas lights up in the first place. The process of pulling them down for storage is far from fun as well. 

Alina Bradford/CNET

One way to make it a heck of a lot easier is to carefully wrap up the Christmas lights with a bunch of zip ties. The extra bit of time it takes will save you a lot of stress when next year rolls around.


Fix Broken Shoelaces 

Let’s face it, shoelaces are not for everyone. Sometimes they’re just too much of a pain to properly lace up before going out. Or, more likely, they rip, break, or untie when you’re halfway through a long hike.


What are you supposed to do then? Well, if you have some zip ties with you, then you can use those as laces. Simply thread them through the hole and fasten them into place. Keep them on for the future, or switch them out with laces later on.


Temporary Hubcap Attachments

Hubcaps help prevent your tires from getting caked in dirt or mud as you drive through dusty or rainy streets. However, they only work if they’re tightly secured in place. If they fall off, they’re protecting no one. 


If you find your hubcaps fall off and don’t have the time or money to see a mechanic right away, then consider using zip ties. It might not be pretty, but it will keep them attached long enough to find a more permanent solution.