Instructables

Reseat a detached zipper

Picture of Reseat a detached zipper
Ever have a zipper come full off the end of the track on a bag and think the bag is no longer useful?  Here's how you can re-seat the zipper back on the track and continue to make use of the bag!
 
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Step 1: Materials list

You'll need the following:
Zipper pull (hopefully the original that came off the zipper in the first place)
Hot glue gun

Step 2: Thread the zipper

Take the zipper pull and feed the ends of the zipper tracks back in.

One of the tracks should be slightly longer than the other, as they are staggered.  Start with that track and feed into one of the 2 branches of the "Y", with the zipper pull facing out.  Once you have the first track started, feed the other track into the other branch of the "Y".

Take your time with this step, you want the teeth to be able to mesh properly.

Step 3: Test and confirm the zipper can close again

Now that you have fed the zipper back in, make sure the zipper pulls naturally and the teeth re-seat correctly.  If not, you will need to undo and re-feed the zipper pull again.

Step 4: Gluing

Tuck the exposed zipper end back into the bag.  

Use the hot glue gun to seal the hole/tear where the zipper first came undone and reattach the end of the zipper to the inside lining of the bag.

Once the zipper is reattached to the inside lining of the bag, leave a large dot of glue at the very end of the zipper track.  This both reinforces the end of the zipper, and gives a solid "stopper" for the zipper so it doesn't come off the track again.

Step 5: Completed!

Let the glue cool and solidify, and your zipper should be good as new.

For this bag, I actually reversed the direction of the zipper, but the teeth met up just fine and the glue is holding strong!
AtomRat1 year ago
Could we also hand sew the end thoroughly rather than the glue blob, like a french knot or similar? I fear that the glue would simply come off in the washing machine if it were on clothing. Useful tip though! Do you have any idea's for fixing and straightening bent \ broken teeth along the zipper? I'm sure that's the next most common thing to go wrong
ahab_jr (author)  AtomRat1 year ago
Reinforcing the zipper by stitching is a fine idea, particularly if the zipper is going to be bearing any particular load.

If the item is going in the wash, then you're right, hot glue may not bee the best option. This bag was not machine-washable, so it was not a concern. It also allowed me to make a solid stop on the zipper so it wouldn't come off again.

A clothing item suggests that the direction of the zipper is vital, and reversing the direction of the zipper may not be suitable. YMMV.

Bent teeth could potentially be straightened with fine pliers, but broken teeth may call for a full zipper replacement - use seam cutters to pull out the zipper altogether and stitch in a replacement zipper. Your friendly neighborhood craft/fabric store most likely has "zipper tape" (essentially very long zippers that you can cut to length) that may help.