How to Replace the Zippers on Older Sofa Cushions

Mother and son around a sofa
  • 2-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
New Zipper
Tape measure
Tapestry Needle
Spare Fabric

If your old sofa cushions have broken zippers, you don't have to discard them. Replacing the zippers is quick and easy to do, and you will be able to keep your reliable old sofa cushions without having to worry about replacing them with ones that complement your furniture.

To replace the sofa cushion zippers, you will need to carefully remove the old zippers and then refit replacements of exactly the same length. This process will not take very long, and you will have some good-as-new sofa cushions. Follow the simple steps below to effectively complete this project.

Step 1 - Remove the Old Zipper

Use your pliers to gently remove the metal guards from the top and bottom of your zipper. Pull these towards you, and then slide off. Turn the zipper inside out, and use your scissors to cut along the zipper material. It should be comprised of teeth, a bar, and a piece of material that joins it to the cushion. Cut carefully around the join between the sofa cushion and the material joined to the zipper. When all of these parts are free, you should be able to simply pull it away using the pliers.

Step 2 - Get a New Zipper

tan sofa, floral pillows and a coffee table

Measure the length of your zipper, including any material above the top and bottom of your zip. This is the total length of the zipper. You can now go to an arts and crafts shop to find a zipper that matches the one you removed. These come in a range of materials, but if you can not find a color that you like, then you could purchase an additional piece of fabric to go over the zipper.

Step 3 - Attach the Zipper

Make sure you have the sofa cushions turned inside out. Place the zipper down on the open end of the cushion, and then tack it into place using spare needles. Lay your piece of replacement fabric on the top of the zipper. Sew it into the inside of the fabric, and then stitch hems around the edges. This should now cover the zipper.

Step 4 - Sew the Zipper

Gather your tapestry needle and some suitable threads. Start on one side of the material, and sew it into the hems which previously held the old zipper. Make sure your stitches are small and close together, so the zipper is firmly held. Sew tightly at the top and bottom of the zipper, as this is the place where most stress will be put on the material. Sewing it tightly here will prevent the bottom from coming loose. Make several stitches over each part of the cloth so there is a lot of thread holding the zipper in place. Finish by sewing several lines underneath each other, and then cut using scissors.