This tutorial will show you how to cover zipper ends easily in just a few minutes. Covered zipper ends give your clutch purse and bag patterns a professional finish and are a great opportunity to add a pop of color to your project. They hide the raw edges of the zipper tape and the rough ends of a plastic shortened zipper.
How to Cover Zipper Ends Tutorial
Supplies for Zipper Ends & Zipper Tabs
You will need the following supplies when learning how to cover zipper ends:
- ZIPPER - This can be metal or plastic. If you need to shorten a zipper, make sure you read: How to shorten a zipper. When choosing a zipper for a bag or clutch, remember that they are measured from metal to metal and not to the ends of the zipper tape, which usually extends an inch or so further.
- FABRIC SCRAPS - This can be matching or contrast to your bag or purse. Small prints and block colors generally look best.
- SEWING SUPPLIES - Sewing machine, pins, thread.
How to Cover Zipper Ends - Instructions
This will show you step by step how to finish a zipper end:
Step 1 - Cutting Fabric
Start by cutting a strip of fabric that is 2 inches (5cm) wide by 4 inches (10cm) in length.
Choose a fabric that is not too thick and is 100% cotton. I like to use quilting cotton with a small motif. If you want an invisible look, choose a coordinating fabric. Otherwise, make a bold choice and use a bright contrasting fabric. It just depends on how you want your final product to look.
Step 2 - Press Fabric
Press your Fabric piece lengthwise with WRONG sides together so the long edges meet in the middle.
Press it in half again so the raw edges in the middle are hidden. Alternatively, you can use double fold bias tape in a ½ inch width. This is essentially what we are making.
Step 3 - Trim Zipper Ends
Trim the tape end of the zipper so there is only ⅜ inch (10mm) showing after the metal stopper.
If you have shortened a plastic zipper and there is no metal stopper, you will want to cover the stitched stopper so it looks neater. In this case cut ¼ inch (6mm) after the stopper you created. This way you can put the fabric end over the stitched stopper for a neater finish. Just double check this doesn't make the zipper too short for your project as you may need to think ahead and adjust accordingly.
Step 4 - Slip on the Fabric
Open up up the fabric piece and Slip it over the end of the zipper.
For a metal or unshortened plastic zipper, the fabric will be right next to the metal stopper. For a shortened plastic zipper, you will put the fabric over the stitches.
Step 5 - Stitch Ends
Using a zipper foot, stitch across the ends. A regular foot will not get close enough to the metal ends.
Step 6 - Trim
Trim the fabric even with the zipper tape.
Step 7 - Other End
For the open end of the zipper - stitch across with a wide zig-zag to keep the top closed. Make sure the ends are evenly matched.
Then slip the remaining piece of fabric over the end, repeating steps 3 to 6.
How to Cover Zipper Ends - In Conclusion
All done! What are you going to use your covered zipper ends for? Don't forget to check out my premium bag and clutch patterns.
How to Cover Zipper ends
- Zipper Presser Foot
- Fabric Scraps
- Start by cutting a strip of fabric that is 2 inches (5cm) wide by 4 inches (10cm) in length. Press lengthwise with WRONG sides together so the long edges meet in the middle. Press it in half again.
- Trim the tape end of the zipper so there is only ⅜ inch (10mm) showing after the metal stopper. Open up up the fabric piece and Slip it over the end of the zipper.
- Stitch with a zipper foot. Trim the edges.
- Repeat for the other end.
More Zipper Articles
- How to Shorten a Zipper - plastic or metal
- How to Cover Zipper Ends
- How to Sew an Invisible Zipper
- How to Sew an Exposed Zipper
- How to Sew a Zipper
- Zippered Cushion Cover
- How to Fix a Zipper
- Zipper Pocket
- Types of Zippers
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