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Removing Sharp Edges from Plastic Boning

I’ve been a huge fan of jumbo plastic cable ties as corset boning for a long time. The only real downside to them is that they can get sharp corners when you cut them, and those corners will eat through fabric over time. I used to file them down with a nail-file, but that takes time. There’s a faster, easier way….

The cut edge of plastic boning has sharp corners
The problem: the cut edge of my cable tie has pretty sharp corners, but I'm too lazy to file them down.
passing the edge of the boning through a candle flame
The solution: pass the edge of the boning through a candle flame.
the slightly melted boning edge
The result: no more sharp corners. Sure, it's a little ugly, but it's hidden between layers of fabric...

Three things worth noting:

  • if you’re doing a fully boned corset, this will shave an hour or so off your build time compared with filing all the darned corners.
  • A rather intriguing odor is produced during the melting process, and probably equates to either the death of brain cells, or cancer in californian lab rats.
  • The melted edge will remain very very hot for some time, so you don’t want to touch it. Trust me. I have learned this so that you don’t have to. ;)


  1. Rebecca
    Rebecca August 16, 2011

    Hey Missa – I’ve missed you. Thanks for yet another timely tip!

  2. missa
    missa August 17, 2011

    Miss you too! Spring/summer got so crazy, and I have so missed blogging – crazy, right? :)

  3. Denise
    Denise August 18, 2011

    A simple but brilliant idea. Strangely coincidental that this was posted at the exact time I was snipping and filing ends of zip ties for my first ever attempt at a corset. :) But I’m already floating around ideas for another and this will be a real time saver. Thanks for posting it! Love your site!

  4. Miri
    Miri November 15, 2011

    I’m just about to start my first “proper” pair of bodies. Thanks for posting this before I started filing! :D

  5. Lauren
    Lauren November 21, 2011

    Great tip! Do you have a suggestion for how to actually cut these darned things? I’ve used scissors and it killed my hands.. is there a cheat? I was thinking wire cutters..

    • missa
      missa November 21, 2011

      I use tin snips or cutting pliers… :) Hope that helps!

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