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How to Convert a Separating Zipper to a Closed-End Zipper

Posted Tuesday, December 12, 2023

How to Convert a Separating Zipper to a Closed-End Zipper

Converting a separating zipper (also known as an open-end zipper) to a closed-end zipper is easy. In this guide, we'll go over what you need and how to do it.

Supplies Needed

Before getting started, you will need a couple of supplies on hand:

  • Bottom stop(s) - 1 stop per zipper. Your stop must match the gauge of your zipper or be slightly bigger. Anything smaller will not fit. 
  • Zipper shortening tool (if working on metal or molded plastic zipper) or pliers (if working on a nylon coil zipper
  • Pair of scissors
  • Measuring tool (tape measure, ruler, etc)


Step 1 - Measure

Measure the length of the closed-end zipper that you want to create against a ruler or tape measure. Start your measurement at the top of the top stop, and mark the final length at what would be the bottom of the bottom stop. I prefer to mark the spot with a safety pin, but you can also use chalk or other type of marker.


Step 2 - Add the bottom stop

Install the bottom stop at the designated length marker. Push the stop over the teeth and then use pliers to fold the ends of the stop over the back of the zipper.


Step 3 - Cut

Leaving approximately half an inch to an inch below the newly installed bottom stop, cut off the excess material. This will include the pin + box components at the bottom of the separating zipper.


Step 4 - Remove the teeth

Individually remove the zipper teeth underneath the newly installed bottom stop. This will leave you with the necessary fabric for sewing.



Important Tips

  • Make sure that the size of the bottom stop pairs with the size of the zipper. For example, if you’re converting a #5 zipper, you’ll want a #5 bottom stop. If you’re converting a #10 zipper, you’ll need a #10 bottom stop, etc.
  • While the step-by-step example above showcases converting a metal zipper, the same method can be used for molded plastic and nylon coil zippers, with a couple of differences:
    • Molded plastic teeth cannot be pulled off. Instead, they will need to be broken off individually
    • Nylon coil teeth cannot be removed by hand, so you will have leftover coil left on the chain underneath the bottom stop. Normally, you’d just fold this over or sew it into the item.
  • While you can convert a separating zipper to a closed-end zipper, you cannot convert a closed-end zipper to a separating zipper. The components on the bottom of a separating zipper (pin + box) are attached under high pressure and high heat during the manufacturing process. This process cannot be replicated by hand.
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