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How to put a slider on a zipper

TerryC | Posted in General Sewing Info on


Does anyone have any advice on how to put a slider on a zipper?  This is my first attempt at separating a zipper in order to install it, and I now have to put the slider back on in order to zip the item up.  I’m having a great deal of trouble and think there must be an easier way.  Thanks.



  1. stitchmd | | #1

    Make sure the bottom is trimmed neatly, no dangling bit of coil or frayed tape. Try sealing the bottom edge with a bit of fray check or clear nail polish.

    Feed one side of the zipper coil through the slide and wiggle it a bit so some coil is through the bottom of the slide. Then do the same with the other side. If you want the top to meet do some wiggling to whichever side you need to in order to get the tapes flat and the tops even.

    Now gently and carefully pull the slide just enough more to give you the tape length you need at the bottom to either put the bottom stop back or sew over the coils a few times to stabilize it. Slide the pull up to the top to make sure it's all lined up and the coil closes without any gaps. Pull it up and down a few times just to be extra sure.

    Sew the bottom a few more stitches, or sew below the metal stop, for extra stability and security.

    1. TerryC | | #2

      Thank you!  I was approaching it from the top, not the bottom.  I'll try it the way you've suggested.


      1. SewTruTerry | | #3

        I also found that if you have a surface that you can securely pin into it will help.  You place the straight pins in the end of the zipper and off to the side slightly and then if need be use a needle nose pliers to grip the zipper pull and give a tug to get it started. It also sometimes helps if you really have a stubborn one is to add some sewers aid which is a liquid silicone that is found on the notions wall to help the needle slide easier on those pesky fabrics.  Good luck and just remember if you start getting frustrated just take a 5 minute break and come back to it, sewing is suppose to lower not raise our blood pressure.

        1. BJBunny | | #4

          Just read the post and I am interesting in find a replacement slide for a seperating zipper.  I have not had any luck locally and I have even checked the internet with no luck.  Any one have any ideals where I might find one.  I purched an expensive robe, last year, wore it about 6 times and the bottom metal part of the zipper, the part that goes into the pull broke and I haven't been able to fix it.  I hate to keep looking at this robe and not be able to wear it.

          1. SewTruTerry | | #6

            You may find that it will be easier for you to replace the zipper.  If I am reading your post correctly the pull itself is what came off and the only way that you are going to get it back on is by doing the impossible and sliding it on backwards.  If all you really need is the slide you can get those in kits for reparing zippers at any JoAnn's or other fairly large fabric store.  But if what you are really missing is the tab at the bottom then save your self some frustration and just replace the whole zipper.  You may have to special order it if it is an unusual length but consider the alternate.  Good luck.

          2. BJBunny | | #7

            It is not the pull itself that came off, it is the little metal bar that is about 1/4 inch long that you slide into the pull, to pull the zipper up.  I only have a Hancocks in my city and they don't carry the type and or size I need.  The zipper is approx. 48 inches long and believe me if I could just find the little metal bar and be able to attach it, it would be much easier than replacing that zipper. lol

          3. kayl | | #8

            I'm still not quite clear what part of the zipper you need. The thingie
            that goes up and down, and causes the teeth to mesh together is the "slider". The bit of the slider that you hang onto is the "pull". See: http://www.zippersource.com/terminology/names.aspI think you're asking about a zipper pull. Often, there's a hole through the slider that the pull fits into by means of two little arm-like projections. If that's so, you can thread a paperclip, a safety pin, keychain or a thread loop through there and use it as a pull if you don't want to salvage a pull off an old zipper. Or there are zipper repair kits: http://www.zipperrescue.com/kits.aspAs far as buying new sliders, yes, they are available, usually at a place that sells zipper by the yard: e.g.: http://www.atlantathread.com/ and then search for "zipper slider".Kay

          4. BJBunny | | #9

            looked at your first site you posted the one on the right,  I need the pin.

          5. kayl | | #10

            Then you want to replace the zipper. Zippersource.com is one possibility: zipperstop.com is another -- a 48" two way jacket zipper
            there is $5.If you're no more enamoured of replacing zippers than I am, you might
            consider cutting the teeth off the current zipper, sewing the new tape to the remains of the old tape, and dressing it up with some trim like grosgrain ribbon. Wondertape (the double-stick washable-outable tape from Collins that's about $3-4/roll) is very useful for basting long zippers prior to sewing.Kay

          6. BJBunny | | #11

            I cannot cut if off,  if I don't have a pull it doesn't matter, and I looked into replacement type zippers and it seemed like I couldn't find one and they where not the right type. lol  If I could just find a little probably 3 cent pull, and fix the thing.

            Thanks Kay for all your help.  You have gone way beyond trying to help me here. lol

            You know second thought,  I could cut it off and just sew it up part of the way,  I had an old robe like that, the zipper didn't go all the way to the bottom,  I could do that then take the rest of the zipper out and just sew that seem up from the bottom about a foot or so.  I will take a look at it again and see if I can do that. lol  Light bulb just clicked on. lol  Only thing is I need to get it zipped up in order to cut it off, will have to try.



          7. BJBunny | | #12

            I looked and I think you are right, I am just going to have to replace the zipper,  I measured it and it is 30 1/2 inches long from top to bottom,  white nylon.  Any ideals where to get one close to that size.  I will start searching the internet.


          8. kayl | | #13

            Looks like you can get one at http://www.zipperstop for $2.50, or
            $3.50 if you really need that last half inch... zippersource.com will also custom make you one if the standard ykk jacket zipper isn't what you need.Atlanta Thread (http://www.atlantathread.com) has 30" nylon jacket zippers for $1.90. Locally, I'd probably pick one up from Fabric Depot (http://www.fabricdepot.com or Rose City Textiles (http://www.fabricline.com), but I don't know about minimums and mailing charges at either place.Kay

          9. BJBunny | | #14

            Thanks I emailed Fabric Depot,  I will wait and see if they can help.  If not I will try and order one from the zipperstop.com, that you mentioned.

            I just have to put in a new one and quit waiting,  robe has been broker for 1 1/2 years and it was expensive and never got to wear it.

          10. BJBunny | | #15

            Kay, just wanted to let you know that I placed my order for a replacement zipper with zipperstop.com and it is being mailed out today.   Boy will be glad to get this fixed, since I have looked at it needing repairs for 1 1/2. lol

            Thank you for all your help.

          11. kayl | | #16

            You're quite welcome... I tend to procrastinate on zipper replacement myself. <g>Kay

          12. SewTruTerry | | #17

            Sounds like you will have to replace the zipper.  I have never heard of being able to replace that part of the zipper.  Check with Hancocks they may be able to special order the size that you need or go online there are places that do sell them.  I think Clotilde sells them that size or perhaps Nancy's Notions.  Good luck.

        2. TerryC | | #5

          Thanks for the helpful advice.  I think I'll learn how to do this yet!


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