How to… Alter Zippers


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I don’t know about you but for me is hard to find haberdashery things in small sizes for my dolls. Of course with the internet, nowadays, it’s much easier, but sometimes I can’t wait for them to arrive, I want to finish the doll right away. =)

When I first made Gir with the Hood Down I knew the zipper might be a problem, but I didn’t want to alter him because the proportion would not be right. So I bought the smallest zipper they had in the store and set out to alter the zipper instead. 

Keep reading and I’ll show you how!

I’ve only tried this technique with zippers that have a nylon coil as teeth.


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1. First we need to take the top stops, the metal pieces that prevent the slider from coming out from the top. With the help of an x-acto knife lift the teeth of the stop. Be careful not to cut yourself.

2. From the back of the zipper insert a needle under the stop and pull it out of the zipper.

3. Pull the slider all the way down so that it doesn’t come out accidentally. Measure the new length you want your zipper to be and mark it.

4. Cut the zipper 2,5cm (1 inch) above the mark you made on the previous step.

5. Using a nail clipper cut the plastic coils above the mark you made on step 3.

6. With the help of a tweezer pull the plastic coils you cut out. 

7. Cut the other side of the zipper and repeat steps 5 and 6.

8. Place the top stop piercing the zipper’s tape with the teeth of the stop. If you can’t pierce the tape with just the teeth of the stop, use a needle to open the holes in the tape.

9. Use pliers to close the stop into its original form.

10. As an alternative to reusing the stops, you can sew several stitches in the place where you want the slider to stop and those will act as stops.

11. On the right side is the stop made with stitches and on the left the reused metallic stop.

12. Zipper completed. The grey zipper is the same length as the blue one in the beginning.

Know some altering tips? Share!

Have a nice weekend everyone!

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