Introduction: Shortening Zippers

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You can usually find great deals on zippers if you know where to look. You'll find great prices and great colors, but usually not the lengths you want. eBay is a great place to get inexpensive zippers in bulk, but how to you plan for future zipper needs without knowing what sizes and colors you'll want? Knowing how to shorten a zipper will help you save money. This Instructable gives you a quick and easy method for shortening plastic zippers.

Step 1: BoM

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Sewing machine

Longer than necessary zippers

Scissors

Ruler/measuring tape

Step 2: Measure

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Using a ruler and chalk, measure and mark off (on both sides) where you want your new zipper to end. I know I have an upcoming small pouch project and only need a 3" zipper, so I marked off at 3" on a zipper that was originally 9". You could also put a piece of tape here to ensure a straight line.

Don't cut anything yet.

Step 3: Machine Stitch

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The little metal bar at the bottom of the zipper is the end point. Zippers don't zip past this bar. We're going to recreate this bar by putting in a couple of stitches to hold the zipper sides together. I used a simple straight stitch and went back and forth over the zipper a couple of times. You can use whatever stitch you prefer. The bars also don't need to be as long as I made them. Also, unless your zipper is going to be visible, thread color doesn't matter.

Step 4: Hand Stitch

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You may prefer to hand stitch your bar, which works perfectly well and might even be less hassle than using a machine. Simply thread a needle and being stitching around the zipper bars several times. When you're satisfied, cut and secure the thread.

Step 5: Trim

Now that you have your "bar" in place, it's safe to trim the zipper to the length you want. Trim about 1/2" down from the new zipper bar. If you want to be really fancy you can use a pair of small, sharp scissors to cut the little triangular fringe onto the end of your new zipper. Either way it's a good idea to add a little Fray-Check to the ends.

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Bio: I am a teacher outside of Boston and I love making cool stuff! Any prizes I'm lucky enough to win will go directly to ... More »
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