Adhesive Tape Aglet

The simplest way to create an aglet is to wrap adhesive tape two or three times around the end of the shoelace. Combine with glue for added security.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

Adhesive Tape Aglet picture 1

It's pretty difficult to wrap adhesive tape around a flexible shoelace in mid-air! Instead, lay the tape sticky-side up on a flat surface, then lay the end of the shoelace partway across the tape.

Step 2

Adhesive Tape Aglet picture 2

Start by folding a small overlap of tape across the lace end and sticking it back onto itself. This will compress the lace end, making it easier to then wrap it with tape.

Step 3

Adhesive Tape Aglet picture 3

Roll two or three layers of tape very tightly around the end. For extra durability, a couple of dots of Super Glue under the edge of the tape will prevent it from peeling.

Step 4

Adhesive Tape Aglet picture 4

Trim off the protruding shoelace and excess tape for a smooth finish.

Step 5 (optional)

Adhesive Tape Aglet picture 5

For maximum strength and security, squeeze some glue into the end of the tape "tube", then trim off any excess when the glue is dry.

Technical Information

Shortening Shoelaces

If you are shortening a shoelace to length, you may find that an adhesive tape aglet is a close enough match to the original aglet that you can get away with cutting only one end of the shoelace. In this case, shift the lacing along so that one end is the desired length and all the excess is on the other end, then shorten that end to the desired length.

Glue Options

If you do choose to finish off with glue, there are various types that are suitable:

  • An "instant" cyanoacrylate glue, such as "Super Glue" or "Krazy Glue";
  • An all-purpose glue like "Elmer's Clear Household Cement" or "Tarzan's Grip";
  • A PVA glue like "Elmer's Glue All" or "Aquadhere";
  • A two-part epoxy glue like "Araldite", or even an epoxy resin;
  • A water-activated polyurethane glue like "Gorilla Glue", which will foam up and expand to fit the tube.
If you do use "Super Glue", note that the fibers of the shoelace provide a huge surface area, which can cause this type of glue to cure too quickly. Although rapid drying is normally an advantage, the disadvantage is that it can result in a finish that is whitish rather than clear. It can also give off some nasty fumes, so beware!

Adhesive tape aglets, when reinforced with glue, are pretty tough and durable and should never trouble you again.

Tape Options

Besides regular clear adhesive tape, other stronger types of adhesive tape are available. Some examples:

  • Electrical tape is somewhat stretchy and comes a range of bright colors (red, yellow, green, blue) plus black;
  • Duct tape was traditionally silvery-grey but is now available in a range of colors and even prints;
  • Gaffers Tape is super-sticky cloth tape.
While most of these tapes seem superior, they tend to produce aglets that are fatter yet more flexible, although they can be an option if you are after a splash of color.

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