Rainbow Zippers

How to Use Zippers by the Yard


As opposed to most zippers available in fabric and craft sores, Zippers by the yard are sold by the yard.  There is a learning curve using zippers by the yard but they are very flexible and the best part – they are cost efficient.  I receive questions about zippers by the yard all the time and this post is intended to answer your questions.

Where can you buy zippers by the yard?

My Handmade Space has the best options.  There are hundreds of zipper tape colors and all possible coil colors: silver, gold, rose gold, gunmetal, rainbow, bronze, or regular coil.  You can also select from different pull styles.

You can match your favorite fabrics or cork.

How do you cut the zippers? Do you need a special tool?

Cut the zippers to the size you need plus seam allowance with regular scissors.  You don’t need any special tool.

How can you avoid raveling?

Use a lighter to burn the edges of the zipper tape – similar to polyester webbing

open zipper end

Can you make the zipper separating?

I would rather use an already made separating zipper because the finishing is much better, but if you like, you can use Open Zipper Ends to make the zipper separating.  I’ve seen jackets made with zipper by the yard with the open ends.

To install:

  • burn the zipper end (to avoid raveling)
  • remove 1/2″ of the nylon coil (secure the threads with glue)
  • You can wrap fusible vinyl for a better finishing
  • Place the ends close to the coil and press firmly with pliers.

How can you attach the zipper pulls? Do you have a video?

Attaching zipper pulls takes practice, but gets very easy.

  • Open about 1 inch of zipper tape
  • Slide the one side of the rounded end of the pull (with two openings) onto the end of the tape.
  • Slide the other side of the pull making sure that it is even.
  • Wrap around your finger and slide the zipper pulls onto the tape.

I don’t have a video of my own but there are several available.  I like this one:

Can I make two-ways zippers?

The zipper is two ways, you can make head to head zippers.


Do I need zipper stops?

For nylon zipper tape, you don’t need zipper stops.  You can sew over the zipper tape and depending on what you are sewing you can use zipper tabs or metal zipper ends.

You can learn to install zipper tabs in this tutorial.

If you use metal zipper tape, yes, I recommend zipper stops.


Can I use zippers by the yard for garments/clothes?

Yes, but if the zipper is holding a dress or a skirt, use locking pulls.

Non-locking pulls won’t lock the zipper and it will not hold.  non-locking zippers are great for bags or if you are not putting a lot of stress on the zipper (i.e decorative accents, sleeves, etc.) – I’ve seen onesies and jackets with non-locking pulls.


#3 and #5 zipper tape

What is the difference between size #3 and size #5?

Size #3 is thinner, the thickness of the closed coil is 3 mm.  This zipper is excellent for wallets and interior pockets.  The width of the zipper tape is 1 inch.

Size #5 is thicker – the thickness of the closed coil is 6.45 mm.  This zipper is excellent for exterior zippers on bags, backpacks, totes, etc.


Can I use zipper pulls from other vendors?

It is difficult to know because Zipper size varies from vendor to vendor.  For our #5 zippers, the thickness of the closed coil is 6.45 mm.  Our #5 zipper pulls fit Purse zippers from craft stores, but #5 zipper pulls from other vendors might not fit our zipper tape.

Our #5 zipper pulls are guaranteed to fit our #5 zipper tape.

Are items/prices the same on Etsy and the website?

We have two selling channels: Etsy and My Handmade Space website.

I usually list new items on the website first, and then on Etsy.  You might see some items listed on the website that are not on Etsy yet.

There are some differences due to Etsy fees. 

  • Items are grouped on larger quantities 
  • kit option of 1 yd & 3 pulls is not available on Etsy.
  • Zippers by the yard are not available on Etsy.  

Prices are the same on both stores but most sales and discounts are applicable on the website only.

D-Rings Pull

D Ring Pulls

I’ve received many questions regarding our D-Ring pulls. These sliders have D-Rings to attach custom pulls. The custom pulls are usually cork, leather, or fabric. Below is an example.

What are the names of the pull styles?

In addition to the D-Ring Pulls (pictured above), below are the names of our zipper pulls.


Nylon Metallic Zippers
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