AMAZING No-Sew Finger Cymbal Elastic


A Belly Dance Journal

Get a snug, comfy fit with this hassle-free zill hack


The Dream: Finger cymbals that stay on your fingers without pinching or turning your fingertips blue, staying snug and comfy even when your weight fluctuates.

The Solution: Soft but firm hair elastics (ponytail holders, as we call them in my neck of the woods). The grip is solid but soft. The elasticity is amazing and outlasts sewn elastic. I can even switch my thumb and finger zills around and they still fit perfectly!


What you need

  • Your zills
  • A butter knife, flathead screwdriver or other flat implement
  • zills11″ ponytail holders (the kind made from rolled fabric). Scunci used to sell these as “Soft and Light No Damage Elastics” with the product number 16748-A, but they’ve disappeared from stores and now from Amazon. I’ve even written the company but got no response. If you find another brand to recommend, PLEASE e-mail me!
  • Check that the ones you’re buying are the smaller size (1″) and made from rolled fabric that you can unroll with your fingers (see closeup at right).

What to do

1) Hold one of the elastics against the underside of one of your zills.



2) Use the butterknife or screwdriver to push the elastic through from the underside and pull it through from the top with your fingertips (this part takes patience. If the fabric bunches up and won’t go through, start over)

zills3 zill4

3) Push a second area of the elastic through the other zill slot. Push from underneath with the knife or screwdriver, as before, and pull through from the top.


4) Pull all the slack through to the top of the zill, and even up the two loops. TaDaa! When you’ve done this with all four zills you are done. Your zills should now fit snugly and comfortably, and your work will last you through many, many hours of zilling!



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Copyright 2015 by Lauren Zehara Haas for Belly Dance U. If you want to share this article, please do so by providing a link to this page. You’re more than welcome to print yourself a copy, but copying and distributing this article is prohibited.


Published by Lauren


  1. Posted by Bruce Rogers on November 8th, 2015, 12:18 [Reply]

    Lauren, my name is Bruce Rogers. I invented and patented the hair accessory formerly sold by Scunci as Soft and Light. You are right. As of September 2014, they were no longer sold by Scunci. Over the years, I’ve produced them in small batches. However, mine tend to be larger in circumference and softer to the touch than those that Scunci manufactured. If you’d like, send me your phone number, and I’ll call you to talk about getting you a sample of mine to see if they work for your purposes.

    • Posted by Lauren on November 8th, 2015, 12:25 [Reply]

      Wow, Bruce, thank you. I’m currently in Thailand and don’t expect to be back in the US until spring, but I may be able to arrange for another dancer to receive and test them. Although if they’re larger and softer, they probably will not work for us. The Scunci ones were perfect, anything looser would not be secure.

      Did you have any idea you had patented finger cymbal accessories for bellydancers? LOL! Perhaps you should talk to the major manufacturers (Saroyan and Turquoise) about packaging their zills with your elastics instead of the strips of elastic they currently include. Might be worth manufacturing the smaller ones for this market!

  2. Posted by Patt on November 8th, 2015, 14:56 [Reply]

    This hack is great since I’ve had to teach basic sewing skills tone dancers. Bruce, thank you for creating this style of hair tie. I like them SO much more than any other style. If you pursue marketing them to bellydancers, I would happily volunteer.


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