Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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What’s a Scissor Pull?


Amazon Books

One of the projects in my e-book Lavender Honey & Other Little Things is an embroidered scissor pull.

The term “scissor pull” garnered a lot of questions. What’s a scissor pull? How do I use it? Why do I need one?

It occurred to me that maybe you know it by a different name, like retractable scissor leash.

I call it a scissor pull because it’s something you hang your scissors on and… pull.

Scissor Pull

What’s a scissor pull and how to you use it? Essentially, it is a retractable reel (the same kind used for work badges and the like) only instead of dangling a name or security badge at the end of it, you clip your embroidery scissors to the end through one of the finger holes. Then you clip the reel part of it to your clothes – to a pocket, a button placket, or just to the neckline of a T-shirt. And there your scissors hang, ready in an instant any time you need to take a little snip.

Scissor pulls are a very convenient way to keep your embroidery scissors attached to you during a work session. I use one every day, and I love it!

The only inconvenient thing about them is that I forget to take mine off, so I end up eating lunch with my scissors dangling over my plate. Not a big problem with sandwiches, but a little inconvenient with soup!

Scissor Pull

You can use a plain retractable reel for a scissor pull. There are plenty of different types available on the market, and you’ll often find them sold in sewing, quilting, or needlework shops in the notions section. You’ll also find them available in bulk in different online shops that sell lanyards, key chains, and the like.

Scissor Pull

Some of them even lock, and only retract when the little button in the middle is pushed.

Some needlework shops sell decorative scissor pulls, too. I think it’s more fun to make my own – and quite a bit less expensive! Many of the fancy scissor pulls I’ve seen in embroidery shops run upwards to $15. I estimate I can make more than 6 embroidered scissor pulls for about the same price!

So that’s a scissor pull! You can find information on how to embroider some cute ones in Lavender Honey & Other Little Things, or you can drum up your own, for a unique little tool you’ll never want to be without.

A fun weekend project – try it!



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(12) Comments

  1. I have one of these. A friend bought it for me some years ago and it if the best thing ever. I was always loosing my scissors under things, down the sides of the chair, on the floor, especially when I am doing embroidery. Now they stay put secured to my person – well top, usually. I have never actually seen them in a store, though.

  2. Dear Mary

    Yes I did wonder what a scissor pull was, what a good idea, I do lose my scissors under my threads and embroidery accessories when I’m working on a project. I wonder if you can make needle pulls as I’m always losing them and my feet tend to find them in unusual places Ouch!. Thanks for the clarification.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  3. Mary, thank you for the comprehensive article about this. I wrote one of the questions about scissor pulls, and you were kind enough to explain, but I still didn’t quite have a handle on the lanyard bit. Thanks to the photos, I finally “get it.” I’m feeling a bit intimidated because I love gadgets, and don’t know how this one evaded me for so long!

    Northern California
    (still anxiously awaiting your class . . . when when?)

  4. Oh yikes, another aha moment! I just realized your little “pull” project COVERS the reel of the gadget from the store. Is that what’s happening? All this time I hadn’t figured that out! If so, it’s still not *quite* clear in your article (says the English teacher to the other English teacher) for scissor pull neophytes like me. It’s OK if you don’t post this comment, I just wanted to let you know what my confusion was in case other readers might be in the same boat.

  5. Aha! I have several ribbons tied onto one handle of my pairs of scissors – makes them easier to spot when I’m distractedly picking them up (they really should just appear magically in my hand when I want them). I’d use a scissor pull for the same reason- scissor spotting.

  6. OMGOODNES… TYTYTYTYTYTYTYTYTYTYTYTY! I have one of those, it belonged to my great great aunt and I hadn’t a clue what it WAS!! Now I know 😀

  7. I have been looking for a new retractable clip with a stop for a long long time and couldn’t find one. After seeing the picture you have here, I was able to Google it and find one. I ordered 3 this time! Mine is so old and used that the wire is all out of shape. Thanks for helping me find a new one!

    1. Hi, Kristin – I can’t remember where I purchased those off the top of my head. I’d have to go back to invoices from that year. They are sold as lanyard pulls or something similar, or retractable lanyards for name tags, etc. You can probably find them on Amazon!

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