How to Replace Pull Tabs on Zippers

by Irena Eaves ; Updated September 28, 2017

Use needle nose pliers to replace a zipper pull tab.

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A broken tab on the zipper of your favorite pants, dress or boots can seem like the end of the world. It's easy to think your perfect piece of clothing is forever ruined by the loss of a simple pull tab. However, replacing a zipper pull tab is one of the easiest repairs you can do at home. With the right tools and a few spare minutes, you can salvage that well-worn sweater with ease.

Lift the small metal piece that holds the pull tab in place. This will be located on the front of the piece that moves up and down the zipper, know as the "slider." Take special care not to damage the slider or the piece that holds the tab in place. If you bend it too much it may break off entirely, so work slowly and carefully to avoid this mishap.

Remove any remaining pieces of the old pull tab using the pliers, if necessary.

Carefully slide the new zipper pull in to place underneath the lifted piece of metal. Secure it with your hands so that it does not slide around.

Bend the metal piece that secures the pull tab back into position. Once again, work slowly so that you don't accidentally break the slider.


  • Replacement zipper tabs are available at most fabric stores and often include instructions for proper usage.

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About the Author

Irena Eaves began writing professionally in 2005. She has been published on several websites including RedPlum, CollegeDegreeReport.com and AutoInsuranceTips.com. Eaves holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Boston University.