How to Replace a Backpack Zipper

I get really frustrated when the zipper goes bad on an otherwise still in good shape piece of clothing or accessory. Call me thrifty, but I like to get a lot use out of my purchases. 🙂 Elementary kid’s backpacks don’t get half the abuse of an overstuffed middle or high schooler’s bag, so when Em’s broke, I was a little peeved. Determined to fix it before tossing away and buying another, I picked up a new, heavier duty zipper and figured I give it a try. I had nothing to lose but a couple dollars that I spent on the zipper (half price with coupon). I ripped out the old zipper and realized there wasn’t all that much to it. I’d replaced a pants zipper with ok success before and that seemed way more complicated.

This is definitely a machine sewing project and not something you want to try to sew by hand. Most machines come with a zipper foot which is the only “special” tool required. Aside from that, it’s straight line regular machine stitching. I find that videos are better at explaining some things, especially sewing projects, so follow along below for step by step instructions on how to replace the zipper and hopefully get a little more use out of that backpack. Drop me a comment if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to respond quickly.

It’s much easier to replace something than to start from scratch because you can examine how it was constructed when you take it apart. And, if something is already broken, you’ve got nothing to lose by trying to fix it, so I’d encourage you to give it a try.  🙂