Introduction: Back Pack Zipper Repair

About: Projects that prevent boredom.

Have a backpack with a broken zipper track or no zipper at all? Yes?

Are you good at sewing? No?

That's OK neither am I so here is how I replace the zipper on my nine year old book bag.

You'll need:

  1. Zipper longer than the length of the opening that's being fixed.
  2. Sewing needle
  3. Thread
  4. Lighter
  5. Flathead screw driver
  6. Pliers
  7. Strong string (optional)
  8. Scissors
  9. A good long audio book to play in the background.

Step 1: Remove the Zipper Thingy

The track was damaged and the zipper came out on one side. Since the zipper was half hanging on, it had to go.

Grab the zipper with the pliers wedge the screw driver into it's side.

Give the screw driver a sharp twist to open the side wide enough for it to slip off the track.

Remove and discard the zipper thingy

Step 2: Sew the Track Back On

Yep that's right. Sew it back on.

"What? Why replace it if you're just going to sew it back on?"

First, I am not replacing the current zipper. I'm sewing the new zipper right over the old one. No need to break the current stitching. Why cause more work for yourself?

Second, the old zipper is made of plastic. When the stitching came undone the track was stretched out that even though it was sewn back on it did not zip correctly. Let's continue, shall we?

Sew the track on as best as you can.

Step 3: Attach the New Ziper

Pick a side to start.

Find the center of the new zipper and match it with the top center of the opening.

Flip the new zipper over so the top against the top of the old zipper.

Line up the edge and stitch it on. (I don't know any stitching terms. I just looped the thread in under one side of the old zipper and up over the edge).

Start from the center top of the opening and work your way down one side.

I like to use the teeth of the old track as a guide for even stitches.

Once done, start again from the center top and work done the other side. This will prevent uneven sew line and gaps forming.

Step 4: Flip the Bag Inside Out

When one side of the two zippers are sewn together flip the bag inside out and repeat the previous step to the other side. Starting from the center top to the sides.

NOTE: Do not unzip the new zipper until it is sewn on. This will prevent the zipper looking uneven when finished and close shut.

Step 5: Finishing Up

Press the ends of the zipper together and stitch them closed. I tied string over the stitching for reinforcement.

Cut the excess track off and use a lighter to burn the edges. This will prevent fraying.

Flip the bag right side out and admire your handy work.

The current stitching should be strong enough for every day use, but since I 'm rough with my stuff I have re-enforce the stitching with more stitches.


I hope this methods works for you. This is good if you have an expensive book bag that the repair is just cheaper than replacing it.

If, like me, your bag has sentimental value you can't really replace it. Fixing it is the only option. Now the bag has new life and is ready for another nine years of adventures.

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