How to Repair Zipper Pulls

Zipper image by Gudellaphoto from

Things You'll Need

  • Zipper
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Super glue
  • Safety pin
  • Select one of the following for pull replacement:
  • Yarn, string, brooch, whistle, or key chain

Throughout the 1800s, many different forms of the zipper were invented, but Whitcomb Judson, who patented it in 1891, is typically credited with this invention.The zipper has changed very little from then until now, consisting of a slider, top stopper and interlocking teeth. Zippers are found on clothing items, camping equipment, such as tents, sleeping bags and backpacks, and a number of other items. After a lot of use, the zipper pull can break. Instead of tossing the item, you can easily repair the zipper pull. Repairing it instead of replacing it can save a lot of money.

Repairing the Pull Tab

Pull up one end of the arch holding the pull tab. The arch is on the main zipper slider piece, with the pull attached to it. Often times these are fragile, so don’t pull too far or the metal will snap in half. Use needle-nose pliers to assist in lifting the arch.

Slide the pull tab out from under the arch.

Use super glue to glue the broken pieces of the pull tab back together. Allow to dry thoroughly.

Slide the pull tab under the arch and bend the arch back down with the pliers.

Replacing the Pull Tab

Slide the old or broken pull tab off the slider as mentioned above.

Find another item to use as a pull tab. You can go with simply functional, such as a safety pin or yarn or string. If you want something more decorative, use a pretty brooch, whistle, or fancy key chain.

Slip your item under the metal arch and bend the arch back down with the pliers.