/ / How to Fix a Zipper: Replace Zipper Pull and Replace Zipper Stops

How to Fix a Zipper: Replace Zipper Pull and Replace Zipper Stops

Learn how to fix a zipper. Learn to replace the zipper pull on a jacket or jeans, and then replace the zipper stops to keep the pull on.

Zippers are a such great fastener. The work for so many things like backpacks, dresses, jackets, jeans, etc. They can be long or short, any color, and some are even decorative.

Zippers are usually pretty sturdy and can hold up to a lot of use and pressure, but every once in awhile they break or the zipper pull comes off. Here are a couple of different ways to fix different kinds of zippers.

how to fix a zipper: replace the pull and stop

What is a Zipper?

A zipper is two strips of fabric tape with interlocking metal or plastic teeth that are closed or open with a metal or plastic pull or slide. It’s used to fasten clothing and bags.

In this tutorial I use the words “teeth” meaning the interlocking projecting metal or plastic teeth, “zipper tape” meaning the two strips of fabric along each side, and “pull” meaning the slide that connects or disconnects the teeth.

One of the best helps for reparing a zipper is by having the right tools. You need small needle nosed pliers and small nippers. Then you need a zipper repair kit with is full of different sized zipper pulls and zipper stops for the top and the bottom.

tools to fix a zipper

Do you love to sew? Try one of these sewing projects:

how to fix a zipper supplies

How to Fix a Zipper

Supplies

  • Small needle nosed pliers
  • Small nippers tool
  • Zipper repair kit – my favorite is from Wawak
  • Marking tool
  • Small scissors

Can I Fix an Invisible Zipper?

These techniques I’m going to teach you in this post won’t work the same for invisible zippers since they use different zipper stops. You can put an invisible zipper pull back on, but you have to sew new zipper stops on to keep it from falling off.

How to Replace a Zipper Pull

This is my son’s favorite jacket, and this summer the zipper pull with the Darth Vader head tassel came off. He was so sad because he wants to keep wearing it and be able to zip it up.

This fix will only work if there is nothing wrong with the zipper teeth or the separating zipper parts.

jacket with broken zipper pull

Use the nippers to cut the top zipper top off of the right side (the side of a separating zipper that always has the zipper pull).

cut off the top right zipper stop

Pick a new zipper pull that is the same size, width, and shape as the old zipper pull.

Slide the zipper pull back onto the zipper. If it’s hard to put the zipper pull on then use the scissors to make a tiny cut in the zipper tape right above the top zipper teeth.

Grab a top zipper stop, the ones shapes like a “U”, and place it just above the zipper teeth. Pinch it closed around the zipper tape with the pliers.

put on new pull and add new zipper stop

Switch the tassel to the new zipper pull. Use the new zipper pull and you finished!

jacket with new zipper pull

How to Fix a Metal Zipper

To fix a metal zipper you need a metal zipper repair kit.

how to fix a metal zipper

If the zipper pull is broken but still on the zipper, then cut off the bottom zipper stop with either scissors or the nippers. Pull the zipper pull off.

Put the new zipper pull on. Get a bottom zipper stop, the one with the flat piece and four prongs. Push it through the zipper tape at the bottom of the zipper teeth.

remove bottom stop and put on new pull

The prongs will come through the fabric to the back of the zipper. Fold all the prongs down to secure the zipper stop to the bottom of the zipper.

bend prongs around zipper

To shorten the zipper, cut the zipper teeth with the nippers from the top of the zipper.

remove zipper teeth from top

Put a “U” shaped stop right above the zipper teeth.

remove zipper teeth from top

Pinch the zipper stop closed with the pliers.

crimp new zipper stop

How to Fix a Plastic Zipper

To fix a plastic zipper you need a plastic zipper repair kit.

how to fix a plastic zipper

If the zipper pull is broken but still on the zipper, then cut off the bottom zipper stop with either scissors or the nippers. Pull the zipper pull off.

The zipper stops are either “U” shaped or a rectangle with four prongs.

zipper stops

Put the new zipper pull on. Get a bottom zipper stop, the one with the flat piece and four prongs. Push it through the zipper tape at the bottom of the zipper teeth.

bottom zipper stop front

Push the four prongs down with pliers to secure the zipper.

bottom zipper stop back

To shorten the zipper, cut the zipper teeth with the nippers from the top of the zipper. Put a “U” shaped stop right above the zipper teeth and crimp it closed with the pliers.

top zipper stop front

If you make something using this pattern, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

how to fix a zipper: replace the pull and stop

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