How to Shorten a Metal Zipper

April 7, 2016

Pulling Teeth.

Hello Sewists!  Today I’m going to show you how to shorten a metal zipper.  You will need a pair of strong pliers for this trick.  I wasn’t able to pull the metal teeth using my “hobby” pliers.  I had to use a pair of heavy-duty pliers from my husband’s toolbox.

You need a strong pair of pliers.

Needle-nose pliers.  Other types of pliers will also work.

First thing:  Measure your zipper.

Measure your zipper.

Measure your zipper.

Decide how much you need to shorten the zipper.  Mark the new length with chalk on the zipper tape.  You need to remove about 2.5cm (1″) of teeth. (Or remove teeth until you reach the metal zip-stop at the end, whichever comes first.) Start with the first tooth below your chalk line.  Remove the same number of teeth from the other side.  (Be sure the teeth on each side are from the same location.)

Measure new zip length.

Pulling Teeth.Pull the zipper teeth.  It might take a good yank!

When you have finished pulling the teeth, carefully remove the 2 metal zip-stops by bending the zip-stops open with your pliers.  Don’t open them all the way, as you may weaken the metal.  Open them just enough to slide off the zipper tape. Save the 2 zip-stops for the next step.

Take off the metal zipper stop.Remove the metal zip-stops and save for the next step.

Replace the metal zip-stops next to the shortened lines of teeth.  Clamp the zip-stops down hard with the pliers.  Trim the end of the zipper tape to 2.5cm (1″).  Your zipper is now shortened and ready to be inserted into your project!

Replace metal zip-stop next to teeth

Replace the zip-stops next to the shortened lines of zipper teeth.

Ready to make an exposed zipper pocket with your new shortened zipper?  Check out this tutorial on the Zoona Nova blog.

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