How to re-attach zipper pulls

Houston, we have a problem. Maybe we can turn it into an opportunity though?

We’re in dire straits and the zipper pull has come off of the zipper we are about to install in a new bag. Maybe you cut the zipper down to size and forgot to move the pull into the correct area before giving it the chop. It happens! More than once sometimes….

how to reattach zipper pull

That’s OK – we can fix it! Here’s how to put a pull back on a nylon zipper in 4 easy steps.

1. Snip the teeth.

Your first step is to snip 3-4 teeth off the bottom right side of the zipper. Once you’re done, it will look like this:

snip 3-4 teeth from bottom right side of zipper

Related Video (Below)
 How to re-attach your zipper pulls



2. Slide the zipper tape into the pull.

Next, take the left side of the zipper tape and slide it into the pull, giving yourself a tiny bit of wiggle room at the bottom. 


take left side of zipper tape and slide it into the pull


3. Put the cut side of the tape into the other open side.

Next, put the cut side of the tape into the other open side of the pull. You should pull the side down until you feel a little click. 

cut the side of the tape into the other open side of the pull


4. Hold both ends and pull up on the zipper.

Next, you want to hold both bottom ends firmly between two fingers, and with the other hand, pull up on the zipper pull.

re-attach zipper pull
re-attach zipper pull

That’s it!! You did it!

5. Bonus zipper tip!

 Now for the opportunity I was talking about….this is a next level trick that is honestly my favourite little thing to do. Switch the pulls to different colours!

finished bags with zipper pulls

It adds such a cute detail on bags and pouches.

The only catch is that your pulls need to be the same size and brand. I try to only buy #3 ykk compatible zippers, so everything will work seamlessly.

You can either take apart 2 zippers to swap pulls, or you can buy pulls separately to have a nice variety. 

finished bags with zipper pulls

You know what though, if the pull doesn’t match, you can just slide the original back on, because you know how to do that now! Take a chance, it’s totally worth it. 

Happy stitching! 🙂



Michelle Brassens

Hi, I’m Michelle! I’ve never met a craft I didn’t like. Sewing however was where I really found my groove! So I left behind life as a pastry chef and concentrated on making things with fabric instead of food. I work at Dinkydoo Fabrics now and get to write about sewing and quilting for work. Stick with me and I’ll show you all kinds of tips and tricks, from beginner to expert maker level. Can’t wait!