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Repairing a zip pull tab with Sugru

Sugru ideas for quick and stylish repairs
Author: supermagnete, Uster, Switzerland
Online since: 13/06/2022, Number of visits: 4422
Zip fasteners certainly make life easy. But most of the time, you only come to appreciate this ingenious invention once it has stopped working. Zips can become stuck, and the pull tabs break or fall off at the most inconvenient moment. The repair often proves to be tricky.
The clever adhesive putty Sugru is a simple alternative for repairs or as a replacement for the pull tabs on zips. The adhesive putty is self-curing, durable and machine washable. This makes Sugru ideally suited for repairing or modifying zip pulls on clothes, tents, bags and school pencil cases. In this customer project, we use jackets, a bag and a pencil case to show you how you can easily repair or replace zip sliders with Sugru.
Table of Contents

Repairing the pull tab of a zip with Sugru

One wrong move or too vigorous of a pull, and you are holding part of your bag’s zip slider in your hand. Don’t worry, simply take some adhesive putty and repair the pull tab of your zip in an easy and stylish way:
  1. Remove a portion of the mouldable adhesive in a matching colour. Adjust the amount of adhesive putty to the desired size of the slider.
  2. Knead the Sugru and shape it into a sausage or ball.
  3. Wrap the putty around the remaining piece of the pull tab and press it on firmly.
  4. Once your new zip pull has the desired shape, allow it to cure for at least 12 hours.
Our tip: The bigger or longer you make your replacement pull, the easier it will be to grip while wearing gloves in the winter. Make sure that the pull tab is not too thin, or else the putty may break when the zip is pulled shut.

Replacing the pull tab of a zip slider with Sugru

Did your softshell jacket, raincoat, winter coat or fleece jacket lose the pull tab of the zip slider? It usually happens at the most inconvenient moment, either while you are out and about, hiking or camping. Here too, Sugru comes to the rescue to fix the pull tab: In no time at all, you can create a replacement for your zip pull out of mouldable glue. There are two different options:

Replacing the pull tab of a zip slider with a cord
Larger sliders are especially useful for winter coats and other outdoor jackets, as you often want to open and close them while wearing gloves. The advantage of this option is that you can determine the length of the slider yourself by cutting the cord as long or as short as you like.
  1. Thread a cord or tear-resistant string of appropriate diameter through the remaining opening of the zip slider.
  2. Simply join the two ends with enough Sugru.
  3. Mould the Sugru into the desired shape and smooth it out.
  4. Leave the adhesive putty to dry for 24 hours.
The option with the longer cord is also a great solution for tent zips. The longer tab allows you to quickly open and close the tent. And you no longer have to search for the slider. If you want to repair the zip pull tabs on makeup bags, pencil cases or backpacks, you can also use a paperclip instead of the cord.

Replacing the pull tab of a zip slider with a paperclip
Paperclips are ideal for this project because they can be bent while remaining quite sturdy.
  1. Pass a paperclip of the desired size and colour through the remaining opening of the zip slider.
  2. Wrap the paperclip completely in mouldable glue but leave the top part of the paperclip uncovered to ensure it can still move freely.
  3. Mould the adhesive putty into the desired shape and smooth it out a bit.
  4. Allow sufficient time for your Sugru creation to dry.

If you would like to make a larger pull tab for your slider, simply use more Sugru or a bigger paperclip.
Please note: Only use paperclips for items that are rarely or never washed, as they will rust over time.

Modifying zips with Sugru

Increasing the size of zip pulls
Some zips have rather small or awkward pull tabs. This poses a problem for people with impaired motor skills. The solution: Use Sugru to make the existing pull tab larger and easier to grip. In our example, we used the zip pull of a pencil case. Simply wrap the adhesive putty around, shape as desired, let it harden – and that’s it. All done. It really couldn’t be any simpler!
Our tip: It’s a good idea to make the zip pulls on ski jackets or on your camping equipment larger to make them easier to grip.