How to Quickly Repair A Broken Zipper

How to Quickly Repair a Broken Zipper

I put on these jeans and the zipper broke. In the above picture, the zipper slider came off the zipper track.  So, I had to do a quick fix to get the slider back on track.  It seems that it should just slide back on to the tape part, but trust me, it’s an impossible task.  Plus, I know that to replace the zipper entirely would take awhile. Replacing an entire zipper means that you have to rip the zipper out of the garment.  Then, its a detailed process to put in a new one.

So, here’s a quick tutorial on fixing this broken zipper and getting it back on track.

How to Quickly Repair a Broken ZipperHow to Quickly Repair a Broken Zipper

First, you have to get the zipper slider back on track.  To do this, cut a slit between the teeth of the zipper tape.  It should be a deep open slit so that you’ll be able to insert it into the zipper slider.

How to Quickly Repair a Broken ZipperHow to Quickly Repair a Broken Zipper

Slide the zipper slider all the way down.  Insert the slit part into the zipper slider.  Zip up.

How to Quickly Repair a Broken Zipper

You’ll notice that there is an opening when zipped.  Now, you have to repair this opening so that you’ll be able to slide the zipper up and down without slipping off the track.

How to Quickly Repair a Broken ZipperHow to Quickly Repair a Broken Zipper

Using a needle and thread, you will make a temporary stop for the zipper slider.  (Use a matching thread color if possible. I’m using a loud color so that you’ll be able to see this tutorial better.) Start by inserting the needle under the teeth and coming up through on the other side.  It’s like a wrap-around sewing technique.  Keeping wrapping under and around until you have a thick stop.

How to Quickly Repair a Broken Zipper


Now, you have a temporary fix until you can have your zipper replaced. The best part is that you can zip the zipper up and down.  Plus, you now have it back on track!

Have you had to do a quick fix for a garment mishap? Share your story….


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  1. Elizabeth C. says:

    Absolutely genius—THANK YOU!

  2. Mine did that and a few tooth came out too! (Cant find the missing pieces)
    The problem is on my flat long pillow, the zip is long and I dont want to replace it.
    What do I do?
    Please help!

  3. You are a genius! Thanks so much for the clear instructions!

  4. Thanks so much for this! I’ll be able to wear a favourite pair of jeans again 🙂

  5. Thank you! This saved me a brand new jeans.

  6. This was just what I needed. A little confidence and I was off!

  7. Thank you 🙂

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  10. Thank you so much!!!! I bought a pair of pants from Torrid and the zipper popped off the first time I wore them, sink returned them and the same happened with the second pair. I think it was a defect in the pants, because pants of the same size, same store have not had any zipper issues. Thank you so much, I paid like 45 bucks for a pair of pants I thought I’d only be able to wear once… LIFESAVER!

  11. THANK YOU FOR THIS! I bought a pair of really nice silk pants and the zipper went off track. I wanted to wear them today and this saved me!

  12. Great solution. It saved an expensive fleece. Thanks.

    As a suggestion, once you’ve stitched a new zipper stop, saturate it with a few drops of super glue to protect the threads.

  13. Wow! This really worked. It was so easy to do too. Like another commenter wrote, I cut below the zipper on the bottom. I can wear my favorite jeans again! The local cleaners wanted $25.00 to replace the zipper. Thanks!

  14. So I used this, with a little modification that might help, I snipped it at the very bottom, as my jeans had a little space below the teeth that’s where I snipped it and slid it back in, no sewing needed, worked like a charm thanks

  15. thank you for helping me save my favorite pair of jeans! this is a genius zipper fix hack; you are brilliant <3

  16. Very very good! Saved me and my backpack! Bless your soul you angel!

  17. My jeans were missing a tooth on the zipper and so I couldn’t zip them up! It honestly never occurred to me to try this method! You are amazing and thanks for helping me fix my favorite jeans! You are my new superhero!

  18. Genius! You saved the day! Thank you!

  19. Erika Kuhn says:

    Amazing! And so easy.

  20. You saved me!

  21. Thank you! Your instructions were wonderful … worked like a charm!

  22. So helpful!!! My favorite shorts are now repaired!

  23. Thank you! You just saved my life – and my jeans!! 🙂

  24. Hi i am in high school, and i put my pants on and there goes the zipper. Ive always had problems with the zipper but they were ny favorite jeans. Im not sure how long this will last, but im VERY grateful for this

  25. What a genius idea! I normally toss the jeans when a zipper breaks. It’s nice to know I have options now.
    Shelly recently posted…Upcycled Denim Potholders TutorialMy Profile

  26. Another thing you can do is push the zipper down as far as it will go after it comes off. Then pull just enough sections maybe 4 to 6 depending on the size of zipper then get it back on track and pull it up a little. Being careful and hold it where you pulled out the sections and then sew it to where the zipper will not go down over that place. And your finished with no cutting. I use my pliers that I have in with my jewelry making kit. Or you can use your husbands.

  27. Thanks you very much for this post. You saved my day in office. Corporate setting and damn zipper gives. Your hack did it.

  28. Preston Garvey says:

    Another settlement needed my help, so I fixed my jeans… 5hanks

  29. Thanks so much for fixing my make-up pouch.! It took me five minutes and I always have a sewing kit from numerous hotels I’ve stayed in over the years laying around in random drawers. THIS WAS AWESOME!

  30. Thank you so much for this! Lots of unecessarily difficult broken zip tutorials out there whereas this one is super simple and actually works. I have a very happy son now his Iron Man onesie (bought yesterday!!) is fixed x

  31. Yeah cuz I just casually carry around a sewing kit with me

  32. Oh my gosh!! You just saved me a super embarrassing day at school and work!! My zipper broke while at school, I had to fix it fast! Thank you so much!!

  33. This is really cool. I just fixed my black jeans in less than a minute. You can also use a knife if you don’t have scissors. If you don’t want to replace the zipper afterwards, try to cut as low as possible so that the gap under the zipper is smallest.

  34. What a fantastic fix!
    This morning our three year old broke a zipper in his dinosaur onesie. I quickly whipped out the sewing kit and had this repair completed. I also sewed a button just above the repair as a buffer so that he won’t run on and break the thread. Thanks for your help.

  35. It worked perfectly!!!

    I thought for sure I’d have to throw my pants out because I knew I couldn’t sew a new zipper in them.



  37. Rewa Dowse says:

    My boyfriend has an interview in a few hours in a town a few hours away, no time to get the pants fixed and he did not bring an extra pair. This worked perfectly. Who knew! We both thank you. 🙂

  38. phoebe says:

    There was a £65 dress in topshop that i adored, but there was no way id pay for that! it was quite tight, and someone else had broken the zipper just like this up the back, it meant it was put on a deal for £5! i bought it hoping there was some way to fix it, and now i can try this 😀 thank you

  39. Works amazing! Thank you!

  40. Paid £10 to fix failed zip in the past. Failed again, found this site and now I fixed it myself free of cost. great.

  41. Rusty James says:

    Broken zipper today. Tried staples, clips, tape and shirt untucked. Then I did a search and found this site. great information and no more open barn door!

  42. This is a life saver! Thank you so much for sharing this trick! 🙂

  43. Always use the same color thread if possible it doesn’t show as much.

  44. Another thing to try, instead of sewing I took a jump ring and used that as a stop.You may need to push a starter hole with a fork tine or awl of some kind but it worked for me as I detest sewing. Just a thought…

  45. OMG, Life saver! Zipper just came off a dress I’m wearing to a wedding this weekend. Fixedit!

  46. Thanks! Your advice is a life saver!

  47. I had this problem on covers for a blanket. I just bought it so I was really bummed about getting the zipper stuck and then off track. After spending a long time getting one side on, I went with the cut method and it was an easy fix. Thanks so much.

  48. What do you do when the it gets caught in the teeth n won’t zip and makes the teeth start getting lose?

  49. Lea Burnside says:

    What do you do when the zipper zips up fine for a couple of inches and then it starts not pulling the teeth together and the zipper pulls on up, but the teeth stand apart/open?

  50. Works great!! was panicking what to do with my suit trousers and this fix took me less then 2 minutes

  51. This isn’t new to me.I have been doing this every since i was in my teens and now i am 50 🙂

  52. Wow! Thank you for your well-written instructions & photos! I was hoping to take a lap top bag with me this week. It was my daughter’s & I didn’t realize that the slide was off the zipper on one side. I found other pages on the Internet, but couldn’t understand them. Your’s was the best! The hardest part was making the cut because I have arthritis in my thumb. Kudos!!!

    • You’re welcome Den! I have found that this little sewing skills comes in so handy. You never know when you’re going to need a quick fix…..

  53. Laura Amman says:

    Is there a quick fix for when a zipper opens up after zipping? I have a couch cushion zipper that splits open in the middle.

    • When zippers behave as You’ve described, it’s often because the part of the puller where the teeth are running through has opened up a little. Take a pair of pliers and squeeze the gap tighter again. Don’t squeeze to much as the teeth needs a little space to run through the puller, but in most cases this should do the trick! Works on any type of metal zipper, sadly not on plastic… 🙂

      • Hi Kim! Thanks for the info on the zippers. Normally, I just fix them this way, but I will definitely have to try the pliers next time I need a zipper repair to see how it works….

      • Kim is right! I have fixed many zippers that open after pulling up this way. Over time the front and back plates of the zipper can open up. It doesn’t take much: just a gentle squeeze with the pliers.

  54. Do you have a tip to keep a zipper in the “up” (closed) position? It’s a great pair of cargo shorts, but the zipper won’t stay up… I can do without the added ventilation.

  55. Wow love it. So simple.

  56. Thank you

  57. Cassandra says:

    THANK YOU!!! I’ve kept this pair of pants around forever now and occasionally try to get the other side attached again. Now that I seen this blog, I will fix them for good tomorrow 😀 How very clever.

  58. Up until now I had been ripping out the entire zipper and replacing it. Thanks for putting up such easy instructions on how to fix this annoying issue!

    • You’re welcome Sandra! It definitely comes in handy when you’re in a pinch. Plus, I hate when I have to rip out an entire zipper.

  59. This article just saved myself from a very awkward day at work. My zipper on my dress pants just broke, but using your instructions, a closed office door, and scissors at my desk, I can now walk around the office! Thank you so much!

  60. Brittany says:

    wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH! I bought a very expensive and fancy dress for an interview and ended up breaking the zipper an hour before I had to leave. This was simple and fixed it in 5 minutes!

  61. Wow, Thank you so much!!!

  62. I could kiss you. Seriously. My 15 year old’s baseball pants had this problem and I was at my wit’s end. THANK YOU!!!
    Elisabeth recently posted…2014 52-Week Savings Challenge Update Week 12My Profile

  63. I try to use what I have at home if possible. This trick works with the metal zippers quite well, but super easy with the nylon ones. I have been doing this for years!! Thank you for sharing it.

  64. This Isn’t new to me, I have been using this method since the 70’s. If it’s done correctly they will last FOREVER!!

    • Thanks so much… I’ll be sharing this with a friend who said I had to replace the zipper to a pair of … not expensive shorts… but those comfy ones you just don’t want to give up… I said ‘For sure someone has an answer on google, it never lets me down … I see a post from someone who said ‘I’ve been using this method since the seventies’ But the difference is you took the time to share the answer. <3

      • You’re welcome Mia! You are so right that Google never lets you down. And yes, I am so happy to share this little tidbit. I believe that you should definitely pass on any information or skill that will help another person. You never know whose looking for a quick answer or how-to for solving a problem. Thanks for stopping by…

  65. Thankyou so much! Would never have thought of skirts zipper looks better than ever now lol thankyou!!your a Lifesaver. 🙂

  66. Is this type of zipper repair meant for trousers only. I have a bag that of which the zipper is no longer on the track so it has just remained open. I’d hate to possibly damage the bag’s zipper entirely, which is my hesitation for trying this trick to fix it

  67. Mark Burgess says:

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, I am forever having this problem and have developed a pet hate for zippers, I spend a long time trying to force zippers back on even with long nose pliers :), This is so simple I wonder why I didn’t think of this already :).

    • Hi Mark! You’re welcome. I’ve also tried getting a zipper back on with pliers, too. This is definitely much easier and less stressful.

  68. If a zipper opens up on your jacket you can purchase new pulls. Just remove the stopper on one side of the zipper – slide the new pull on. Sew a stopper onto the top of the zipper to replace the stopper you removed and presto. These can be purchased at fabric stores in Canada and I am sure probably in the U.S. It really is that quick especially if the pull is plastic and you can’t tighten it.

  69. gregory thomas says:

    what about zip’s on coats!! plz help!

    • Hi Gregory! I haven’t had any problems with zippers on coats. This might require replacing the zipper, unless, you’re just trying to do a temporary fix….

    • hi, for repar a zip on coat , you need to enlarge the side in
      metal. put the zipper tape in . and then, you need to crush the zipper. it will be fixed when you zip the zipper up and down 🙂

  70. I wish I could fix the zipper problems winter coats seem to always have….

  71. . . . and just pray that the zipper was long enough so that after the repair, the jeans will still slip over your hips!!!

  72. Gloria Damron says:

    This is how I use a zipper that is too long for a project. I cut it to the length I need and sew the bottom shut just like this project. I have to go 30 miles to find a fabric store to buy a zipper. I try to use what I have at home if possible. This trick works with the metal zippers quite well, but super easy with the nylon ones. I have been doing this for years!! Thank you for sharing it.

    • Hi Gloria! You’re welcome. This little repair has come in handy for me quite a bit. And, yes, I always try to use what I have handy at home, too.

  73. Visiting from your Feature on Dream a Little Bigger. (Congrats.) I am so happy your post was featured because I missed it, and this tutorial is fabulous! Where has this info. been all my life? It sure would have helped 2 weeks ago when I was safety-pinning the zipper of my daughter’s new dress minutes before Homecoming. Thank you for sharing!

  74. You make all the tasks that scare me seem sooooooo easy.
    Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry recently posted…Pumpkin PancakesMy Profile

  75. what a great tip! thanks for sharing! 🙂

  76. Wow! What a great idea! I’m so glad that you shared this because I have pants that I can’t wear right now due to this very fact! Pinning this for sure.

    Thanks for linking up to Twirl & Take a Bow! Hope to see you again this week.

    ~ Brooke ~
    DesignedByBH recently posted…What Is Craftsy? (You’ll Want To Know!)My Profile

  77. This is much better than my stock fix – to untuck my shirt! Checking this out from the blog blitz today. Look forward to reading you again!
    Eli@coachdaddy recently posted…5 for Friday: Go Ask Daddy About Moves East, Oceanic Beasts and Punting FeatsMy Profile

  78. This is so amazingly wodnerful. I’ve tossed jeans that had the PERFECT fit all because the zipper went wonky. To be honest, I only ever thought to replace it, not how to fix it! Featuring this as a favorite at Link It or Lump It tomorrow!
    Allison @ Dream a Little Bigger recently posted…Sweet and Savory Pumpkin Seed RecipeMy Profile

    • Thanks Allison! It’s always the FAVORITE jeans that this happens, too. So, I’ve become an expert at this because I refuse to toss out my favorites. When I have plenty of time on my hands (which is not often), I go back and replace the zipper, but this definitely comes in handy…..

  79. This is brilliant. This will save a lot of clothes for us!

  80. No way! That is genius!!! I have to fix a zipper on my son’s coat, this is super helpful–I must pin to the MM board!
    Thanks for linking to the Mommy Monday blog hop.
    Mrs. AOK, a Work In Progress

  81. AWESOME!
    Lisa Nelson recently posted…Why I Chose to Keep My Daughter at Home for PreschoolMy Profile

  82. That is the best thing I’ve read all day! (And I’ve been reading a lot today.) Thanks so much for writing about this!
    Bonnie a.k.a. LadyBlogger recently posted…Versatile Blogger Award!My Profile

    • Thanks Bonnie! I always try to post at least one sewing-type post a month in hopes that it will be helpful to someone. I know what you mean by reading all day. Normally, I spend a lot of time reading posts at night, especially on the weekend.

  83. I can’t tell you how many times I could’ve used this information especially a couple of times at work. I mean dang! That’s like soooo embarrassing. I always carry a little sewing package in my purse with a few safety pins, but still when you have no clue how to fix a zipper it’s like safety pin time, but then you sit down & they pop… all I can say girlfriend is thank you very much for this tip. This is wonderful. Have a great weekend.
    XmasDolly recently posted…Riddle me this into Flashback Friendly FridayMy Profile

    • You’re welcome! I’ve tried the safety pin fix before and it definitely didn’t work for me either. It’s hard to figure out where to put the pin to fix the problem. And then you realize the pin thing just won’t work. Hopefully, this comes in handy for you….

  84. Hi Sharon. Popping over from Let’s Get Real. I am not very good at mending or sewing, but you’ve made this seem quite simple. My kids are hard on clothes and we often have zipper trouble. This is a great solution to simply throwing it out which is what I normally do. : (
    Christina @ Juggling Real Food and Real Life recently posted…Let’s Get Real Friday Party # 10 – Juggling Real Food and Real LifeMy Profile

    • Hi Christina! This is a pretty simple one to do. I would probably throw out stuff too but I’m so frugal and think that I can fix anything. Trust me, I’ve even tried fixing the refrigerator when it went out. Couldn’t solve that one though. Had to buy another fridge.

  85. thanks for sharing nice ideas i will sure to try this ….
    himachal recently posted…Free and New Printable MAT Sample Questions with answers (Other English Exam)My Profile

  86. Hi Sharon! I always struggle with what to do with broken zippers. Thanks for sharing. I pinned this to my Pinterest board. I’ve visited your site before. Visiting today from Wine’d Down Wednesday!
    Kimberly H. Smith recently posted…Ghosts of Halloweens PastMy Profile

  87. Hi Sharen, thanks for the quick repair tip.
    I have a tip to share about zippers. Ever have a zipper that opens up after you have zipped up your jacket or pants. Sometimes the problem is that the zipper slider is too loose. If you have a metal zipper there is a quick fix for it. Just get a pair of pliers and squeeze the slider opening that glides down the zippers teeth. This may even prevent your zipper from sliding off the track.
    Have a great weekend.
    Darlene recently posted…Happiness is . . . Fresh RaspberriesMy Profile

  88. Wow! This is fantastic! I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me….could you use this same method on a jacket? For me, this always happens on a coat or jacket. Thanks for sharing this wonderful tip at Four Seasons Blog Hop:) Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines
    Lynn H @ Turnips 2 Tangerines recently posted…Guest Posting on Memories by the MileMy Profile

  89. Hi Sharon. Thanks for linking up this helpful post about broken zippers to the Sweet Wednesday Link Party! Great job!

    Have a Sweet Day.
    Heather recently posted…Sweet Wednesday Link Party #8My Profile

  90. Wow! This really is a great tip. This has happened in our family a few times and I have always had to wait to repair the whole thing. I have never tried to quick fix anything as I was always afraid that what I do might backfire on me. You have given me some confidence now.
    Thank you so much for sharing this great tip!
    Have a wonderful day 🙂
    Bismah recently posted…Chocolate TrufflesMy Profile

    • Hi Bismah! Hopefully, you’ll be able to put this tip to use one day. It’s such a timesaver if you’re in a hurry or out-and-about and a zipper breaks.

  91. Great tip! I would have just thrown the jeans out. 🙂
    Carla recently posted…Blogger to Self-Hosted WordPress In One WeekendMy Profile

  92. Ha – great tip! Glad I found you over at the DIY Sunday Showcase party. Thanks!

  93. I have definitely needed this fix in the past, and it will be a handy trick to know!
    Ginny Marie recently posted…Things I think you’d enjoyMy Profile

  94. Thanks a lot for sharing this information Sharon. I usually rush and find something else to wear. Someone suggested using tape when one does not have the time to hem a dress!:)
    Judy Haughton-James recently posted…Creamed Potatoes With Mixed Vegetables – Creative Monday Blog HopMy Profile

  95. That is impressive 🙂
    Akaleistar recently posted…Halloween In Your Closet: 1920′s It GirlMy Profile


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