DIY upcycle with exposed zippers


Exposed zippers add a little edge and/or color to any article of clothing. Experiment with placement on any of the tired items in your closet. These zippers are not functional…wait, I take that back, they are functional for style purposes but not in the usual zip up and down kinda way. We used a black zipper on an old lace dress I have and made it look functional by unzipping it a little before we glued it down and cutting out the triangle of fabric so it looks mid-zip. Other ideas for exposed zippers are on the back of a dress/shirt right down the middle…diagonally across the back (see plaid shirt below), on sleeves, skirts, pockets, anywhere you wanna zip and glue! Depending on what’s available at your local fabric store, experiment with colors and sizes of your zippers.

Clothes BEFORE…

Prep It:

  • zippers – in your desired length and color (that’s what she said) (we got ours at the fabric store)
  • fabric glue
  • scissors
  • an item of clothing you want to spruce up!
[catalog-product id=”23815″]

DO IT!…or shall we say ZIP IT!:

  1. plan your layout (where you want the zipper to go) – tip: keep in mind how the fabric moves and the slack that’s created when the dress, shirt, etc. falls and place your zipper accordingly so there are no puckers.
  2. glue the zipper down using a thin layer of the fabric glue – press down on the zipper to make sure it’s secure and wait for it to dry fully before wearing.
  3. if you are adding a zipper to the front of a dress or shirt (like we did with the white lace dress), and you want the unzipped look, unzip the zipper first before gluing then glue in place and cut out the exposed fabric as the last step.

[catalog-product id=”22467″]



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