When I have a zipper repair project I usually mention it to my mom who will just do it for me. (I love my mom. 🙂 ) However, having my mom replace zippers isn’t helping me learn how to do it myself.
Last year my boys got new backpacks. Within a few months both zippers wouldn’t zip anymore. So, my boys used older backpacks for school until I could replace the zippers.
I am sad to say that it took me a good 9 months to get the job done. Yet, I am happy to report that I replaced those zippers all by myself and my boys are enjoying their “new” backpacks this school year.
While I didn’t take a lot of pictures of the process I thought I would give you a little info on how I replaced the zippers in these backpacks in case you ever have to do the same.
- Seam Ripper
- Separating Zipper
- Sewing Machine
- Heavy Duty Sewing Machine Needle
1. Measure the length of the zipper on the backpack and choose a zipper that is just slightly longer than that measurement.
I chose a 24 inch zipper and I measured the zippers on the backpacks at 22 inches. However, the 24 inch zipper worked out perfectly.
2. Use the seam ripper to remove all of the stitches that are keeping the zipper in place and discard the broken zipper.
3. Pin one section of the zipper to each side of the backpack. (Make sure the teeth meet in the middle.) Place the edge of the backpack near the teeth of the zipper but not touching the teeth.
At the bottom of the backpack opening, make sure the zipper sections will go together and zip all the way before you start sewing.
4. Sew the zipper to the backpack by using a zipper foot. Your sewing machine manual should have some info about the settings you need to use for sewing with a zipper foot.
I found that sewing on the inside worked well for sewing on the zipper. I kept the zipper foot right next to the teeth of the zipper as I was sewing.
You will have to move the zipper pull out of your way when you are sewing. To do this you will need to lower your needle in the fabric, lift up the presser foot, move the zipper pull out of the way, and then continue sewing.
While my zipper sewing wasn’t as professional as the way the backpack looked when we purchased it, I am happy to report that the zippers are working great so far. And, if they quit working again, I will be able to replace them. (Although, I’m really hoping I won’t have to. 🙂 )
This is how the inside of the backpack looked after I got the new zipper sewn in.
This is how the outside looked when I finished sewing in the zipper to one of the backpacks.
I can’t say that this was an easy project to undertake because it wasn’t. Even though it was challenging I was glad I gave it a try.
Now that I have conquered this task, I have several coats and jackets that have broken zippers. I guess I better get to work.
Have you ever replaced a zipper in a bag or backpack? Do you have any helpful hints to share?