Let’s talk Zippers!

Do you ever get overwhelmed by zippers and what type goes with which project? I know when I first started sewing I didn’t realize that there are different zippers that should be used for different projects. There are way more types than I have time to talk about, so I will just stick to what I know…bags!!!

Metal teeth, nylon, separating, #3, #5, pulls, tape…what does it all mean? It all gets really confusing but I am here to share the info that I have gathered over the years!!!

Metal zippers are my least favorite to use because you can’t just sew over the teeth and you can’t just cut it to length. Way too much work in my opinion! LOL If you do use one, go slowly right up to the zipper teeth then hand crank a couple stitches over, being very careful to not hit the teeth. You can also pull a couple teeth off to get it to the length you need.

Before I found Facebook sewing groups, I thought the only zippers were the premade ones that you buy at your local craft store. These are fine in a pinch but they are a little pricey. There are several reputable online stores that you can purchase in bulk for a way more reasonable price. This is the way to go if you need inexpensive. You can buy these in different size teeth but standard is #3 and they come in several length options. They come with the top and bottom stops but since they are nylon, you can cut to length and sew over them!

I started seeing all of the beautiful zippers with fancy pulls but I was terrified to try zipper tape. I didn’t know which zipper to use where and it was all just really overwhelming. I decided to dive in and now I will not ever go back to the premade zippers! They come in two different sizes, #3 and #5 (this refers to the teeth size). Size #3 is perfect for small bags like zipper pouches, wristlets, cosmetic bags, etc and also for pockets on the inside of bigger bags. Size #5 are the more substantial zippers that you see as the main zippers on bags and purses. The tape is amazing because you can buy it in yardage and cut it to the length you need. Both sizes have pulls that fit only that size.

But how do you get the pull onto the tape? It looks scary and difficult, but trust me when I tell you that it is so easy to do!!!

Cut your zipper to just a little longer than the length you need. Open one end a little bit and trim one side of the tape down. Place one side of your pull onto the taller side of your tape. Tip: You can quickly run a lighter over the edge of the tape to keep it from fraying while you are putting the pull on. Slide your pull down to meet the shorter side and insert that side of the tape into the pull. Slide it down and your zipper is assembled!!! See…easy, peasy!

Here are some more beautiful zippers I have installed!

Thank you for being here and I hope this has been helpful information! If you ever have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask here or email me! Happy sewing!

4 thoughts on “Let’s talk Zippers!

  1. This was so helpful! I had JUST asked a friend about exactly what you covered here just an hour or two before I received your blog post! So helpful so thank you! I’d love to know where you order your zippers from though. Do you have recommendations on where to buy them?

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    1. Hi Jeannie! I am so glad it was helpful! I have a couple places I purchase zippers from but the majority are from Wizardry Stitchery and Crafts! There is a link from my homepage under the hardware and notions tab!

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  2. This was so helpful! Thank you! I was just asking a friend about the exact things you covered in this post about an hour or two before I received this, so your timing was perfect! Can you share where you purchase your zippers from?

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