How To Shorten Metal Zipper

how to shorten metal zipper
Unlike normal nylon zipper, you can’t cut and sew through metal zipper to shorten the length. Metal zipper has to be shortened by removing the excessive metal teeth so that you can cut the extra length before sewing to your project. With the correct length, you don’t have to worry that you might accidentally hit the metal teeth and break the needle when sewing across.

I wish I have all the colors and sizes of metal zippers stock in my craft room or….. I stay next to a zipper store. In reality, I am not and I only stock a few for some lengths (4″, 8″, 14″ & 18″) in some most popular colors (white, beige, brown & green). I used this method to shorten all my metal zipper sewing projects, like this, this, & this… and many more to come.

{CLICK HERE to get the How To Shorten Metal Zipper Tutorial.}

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20 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Super util!!! aprendi algo nuevo hoy dia!!!
    Muchas gracias!!!!!

    Translation (by Google):
    Super useful! I learned something new today!
    Thank you very much !!!!!

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  3. waoo..another nice & easy idea..thanks for sharing this!!
    a simple thing but useful :)

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  5. Pingback:How to Repair or Replace Broken Zippers

  6. I love your zippers! Would you be willing to share the name of the store or company that you buy them from?

  7. I’m having a tough time shortening the zipper. I’m pulling the teeth out which is taking quiet a bit of force. I not able to pry the teeth or stops at the end open so that they pull off easier. Any tips/suggestions?

  8. Pingback:Sewing | Zipper Pencil Case | Free Pattern & Tutorial at

  9. Dear Joanne, you know you could use RIT dye to dye your zipper tapes in any colors you wish? I do it on ribbons and nets.

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  11. I have had these instructions pinned for a year now, waiting until I had the nerve to try them. Why did I wait so long? I just shortened an 18″ zipper to be a 16″ zipper and it was easy as pie. Thank you for the instructions!!! Now I’m off to sew your Wide Open Zipper Case!

  12. i purchased the zippers from they look just like the ones you have in your example. i am struggling with the top stops. i finally was able to get them both off, but then one broke when trying to clamp it back on! What should i do? What size and where can i purchase spare top stops? I waited a month to get these zippers and now this! I am having a hard time getting this project going…. :(

    • oh mine, I am so sorry about the broken top stop :( If you going to sew the zipper till the top stop, you can omit the top stop but you will need to sew very near to the last pair of teeth (hand stitching works too). Or, you can use other small metal parts you can find near you that is suitable to crimp in. Or, A drop of 3D texture fabric paint could do the magic too but it might not be that appealing on the outlook.

  13. I am having a terrible time finding a 4 inch metal zipper with a cute closure tab like you have. Do you know what website I can go to purchase about 12 from?

  14. Thank you for the great tutorial! Just to let you know I shared it on my blog!

  15. I use the wire cutter to first cut the top of the teeth off, then its much easier to separate the remaining ‘legs’ that crimp on the tape. Align the wire cutter parallel to the tape and the tops of the teeth, 90 degrees from what is shown in the second photo of the tutorial – as if you were using the cutter to open the closed zipper. Be careful not to cut the top edge of the tape. Cut one or two teeth at a time.

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