Plastic zippers are common on children's clothing, backpacks and accessories. Plastic zippers are less sturdy than their metal counterparts, and tend to break easier. There are several simple ways to repair a plastic zipper that breaks or gets stuck.
Repairing a Plastic Zipper
Check the top and bottom of the zipper. Determine if either end of the zipper is mangled, stretched or missing teeth. Identify the problem spot by slowly moving the zipper pull to see where it catches or becomes difficult to move.
Snip off any bent or broken teeth that are located within 2 inches of the top or bottom of the zipper. This will create a new place for the zipper to begin or end.
Sew the zipper to the edge of the fabric by wrapping the thread around the zipper several times where the new bottom or top of the zipper will be--just past the broken teeth. The thread will replace the bottom or top of the zipper. Repeat on the opposite side so that the zipper stops in the same place on both sides of the garment.
Repairing a Zipper Pull
Examine the zipper to identify the problem. If the pull is simply missing the small handle, it can easily be replaced.
Select an object for your new pull. Use a small hook or ring from a craft store, a charm, small key chain or even a paperclip. Make sure that the new pull fits through the hole on the top of the zipper.
Thread the new pull through the top of the zipper and operate the zipper in both directions to make sure that the handle stays in place.
If the zipper is severely damaged, you may need to completely remove it. Rather than replacing the entire zipper, consider alternatives like buttons or a Velcro flap.