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I tried my hand at zipper repair.

An embarrassingly long time ago, a pair of Sonia’s jeans developed a zipper problem.

how to fix a broken zipper

Or maybe they were Zoe’s?   I don’t really know.

The thing is, they sat in my mending pile so long, everyone here has grown out of them.

I couldn’t really hand down or donate the jeans in their broken condition, though, so I kind of wanted to fix ’em.

Plus, I thought it would be good to learn how to fix a broken zipper, so I gave it a shot.

(Learning new skills on an item you don’t care about is perfect. No stress.)

I knew Pinterest had a few tutorials on this, so I poked through those to figure out what to do.

The basic idea is that you snip between the teeth near the bottom of the zipper, to free one side of the pull.

how to fix a broken zipper | cut bottom

Then you can rethread the zipper on properly, sort of like you would on a jacket, where one side of the zipper is free.


You can’t stop there, though, or every time you zip down the zipper, it’ll come apart.

So, you take a needle and thread and whip stitch right across where you cut the zipper, in effect making a new zipper stop.


The newly repaired zipper will only be able to open as far as your new stop, which is is why when you cut the zipper, you want to get as close to the bottom of the original zipper as possible.

My zipper was now lined up, but the teeth were still having trouble engaging.


I did a little more reading and discovered that the pull was probably bent out of shape.


Apparently when this happens, it’s really best to replace the pull, but since these were outgrown jeans that I didn’t want to pour money into, I decided to try using a pliers to squeeze it into shape..


And once I did that, I was able to get the jeans zipped up properly!

I’m not sure how long the pull will stay in shape, but at least I figured out that that’s where the problem lay.

So, there you have it.   You really can repair a zipper quickly and easily and you don’t have to replace it with a brand new one.

(Related: If the metal button on your jeans pops off, that’s also a quick and easy repair.)

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Have you ever mended a broken zipper this way?   Or do you have another favorite method?

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Saturday 28th of March 2020

I repaired my granddaughters jeans and used your technique and it worked great. Thanks.


Saturday 28th of March 2020

Yay! I am so glad!


Wednesday 27th of May 2015

I did it! I fixed the zipper on my favorite pair of yard sale jeans! The zipper busted two years ago and I had set them aside sadly, but hadn't gotten around to actually tossing/re-purposing them yet. I'm an avid reader of yours via feedly and saw when you posted this, but last night I actually found the pair of jeans and decided to give it a try. All of seven minutes later, they were repaired!

However, it seems that my hips spread a bit more during my last pregnancy...


Saturday 14th of February 2015

My husband's zipper on his winter coat came apart. It looks like some teeth are broken. I can't get the zipper unzipped or the teeth back together. Can I fix this zipper?


Sunday 15th of February 2015

Hmm, a coat I'm not sure about. That would require a different method than the one I used in this post, which works for zippers that don't separate at the ends.

I'd be inclined to check your local dry cleaning shop to see if they could replace this for you, especially if the coat is otherwise in good condition.


Saturday 14th of February 2015

Good information. I have been doing Zipper repairs for myself and my family for many years. No one told me how to do this - I just figured it out for myself. Yes, clothing can be rescued for future wearing and money saved by using this method.


Saturday 14th of February 2015

I've noticed that the dry cleaner places in my area offer shoe repair as well for those with boots that won't zip.


Saturday 14th of February 2015

This is a great idea. I'm lucky enough to have a dedicated shoe repair shop near me, but not everyone does. (I'm praying my shoe repair guy never goes out of business!)

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