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Those little plastic or metal tubes on the end of shoelaces are called aglets.

One of mine fell off the end of my lace. Neither the aglet nor the lace are damaged, but it's likely impossible to just push the aglet back on, and I spent a while trying, because the lace's weave loosened a bit.

My aglet is a solid plastic tube, so I can't pry it open then reclose it. How can I get this thing back on the lace?

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In short, you can't.
You'll never get that one back on the lace without damaging it. They are made from a roll of tape, wrapped & shrunk onto the lace.

Alternatives you can try.

  • Cut it lengthways so you can re-wrap it; glue it on. Use a piece of sticky tape to hold it in place until dry.

  • Melt the end of the lace with a flame, roll it in your fingers [carefully]. You will either get it small enough to then fit inside the existing aglet so you can again glue it on - or you'll be left with a substitute aglet that will still function. This is my usual trick for 'nylon' laces.

  • Make a new aglet by dipping the end in wax, resin, hot-melt glue, cold glue, nail varnish etc etc & rolling into shape before it's fully set.

  • Find a metal aglet DIY kit at a local hobby shop.

  • Cobblers used to fit metal aglets back in the day when everybody had them - maybe see if one still does.

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Rather than trying to get the same aglet back on your shoelace, wrap a small bit of adhesive tape tightly around the end of the shoelace. You could use Scotch tape, duct tape, clear packing tape, or something else you have handy. Make the tape as wide as the original aglet was, and don't wrap around more than 1-1/2 times, so the tape just attaches to itself but doesn't become too thick.

You'll most likely need to handle it with more care than you usually would, but it will do the trick - and it's cheap!

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Find some heat shrink tubing (auto parts stores sell it, as do many other stores in the auto parts section). You want a piece that barely slips onto the lace. Slip it on, shrink it (match or lighter flame is just right), and you're done. Often, you'll get a choice of five colors, or black in a separate package.

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