DIY zipper to lace up

Updated March 23, 2017

You can convert the zipper on a pair of trousers, a skirt or even a dress to a lace-up for a change from the ordinary to a sexier look. You also can replace a zipper with a lace-up closure to expand a favourite fashion piece so you can still wear it if you have put on a little bit of weight.

Lay the item on a flat surface inside-out and gently use a seam ripper to remove the zipper from the clothing. Do not remove stitches used to keep the clothing's seams together, only the zipper. Discard the zipper or use it for another project. Pull out any loose threads.

Make 2.5 cm (1 inch) hems by folding the edges of the fabric where the zipper was removed onto the inside of the garment. Pin the folds in place. Unless the fabric is sturdy, like denim or leather, cut a piece of fusible interfacing about 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide and as long as the folded fabric. Place it between the fold and use an iron to fuse the interfacing to the fabric.

Sew the folded fabric in place using a straight stitch.

Mark the fabric with chalk to indicate where the grommets will go. The marks should be spaced about 2.5 cm (1 inch) apart and about 1.25 cm (1/2) inch from the edge of the fabric.

Use a pair of sharp scissors to make two small slits in the shape of an "X" at each chalk mark.

Turn the fabric right-side-out. Place the metal disc under the first "X" slit on the inside of the garment and insert the bottom grommet into the fabric from the inside. Place the upper grommet into the slit from the outside and tap it firmly with a hammer to join the halves of the grommet. Do the same to attach grommets at each of the "X" slits.

Thread a cord or ribbon through the grommet-lined holes.

Things You'll Need

  • Seam ripper
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Iron
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread
  • Chalk
  • Sharp scissors
  • Grommets
  • Metal grommet disc
  • Hammer
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.