DIY Zipper Jeans (No Sewing Required)

DIY Zipper Jeans
This is one of my all-time favorite DIYs. Because I should have titled this post “A DIY for short girls who like to wear skinny jeans.” These heels (which I love) made a rare appearance for photos because I am normally in one of my 57 pairs of flats. And I hate when my jeans bunch up at the ankles. If your are 5’3″ or under, I know you know what I’m talking about. Yes, you could get them tailored but isn’t a zipper way more fun?

How to Add a Zipper to Your Jeans and Avoid Sewing

DIY Jeans with Ankle Zipper

What you’ll need:

  • A pair of jeans (these are the ones I used)
  • 2 5-inch zippers
  • Fabric fuse tape
  • Seam ripper

How to DIY Jeans
First lay out the zipper on the outside seam of the pants. The end of the zipper should be at the very bottom of the jeans. Then make a mark at the top end of the zipper so you know how far to rip the seam.

Ankle ZIpper Jeans
Then rip away! But don’t get too carried away – as you get close to the mark check the fit of the zipper.

how to add zipper to jeans
Apply the tape to both sides of the top of the zipper. One thing I learned is that you want to cut off the extra tape width if its wider than the zipper. So trim any overhang before you peel off the top white part.

diy jeans Ankle ZIpper Jeans
Carefully attach the zipper with the tape to both pant legs.

If you accidentally rip the seams too high (like I did on one side) stick a bit more of the tape at the top of the zipper to hold it together.

DIY Ankle Zipper Jeans
DIY Zipper Jeans

I haven’t washed my jeans because I’m one of those lazy people who washes jeans every other month or so. It’s gross, I know. But I’ve worn them at least a dozen times and they’ve held up great.

Edit: It’s now June and the zippers are still going strong. I’ve washed the jeans several times (regular washing & drying cycles), and the tape is holding up perfectly!


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  1. Kim says

    Holy cow I think you just saved my pants… My favorite capris are about 5″ too long to be comfortable in the heat. They’re tapered so rolling is not an option and but I didn’t want to chop them as they’re styled well. A zipper in the side will open them up for air when walking about in Florida heat and humidity in July, but I can still close them back down for the normal New England summers.

    Before anyone comments that I should just wear shorts or a skirt: I’ve inherited the bad veins from my Grandmother. I just feel better staying covered.

    • Kim says

      Quick update: The new sew option is okay, but will not hold up in the heat/humidity of Florida summers. Some sewing is required to strengthen the ‘new’ edges and the connection to the zipper.

      I will say, when sewn appropriately, with a no show zipper in the same color, it’s hard to tell the zipper is there at all when zipped closed.

      Still very thankful for this thread. I was debating destroying my capris until I read it.

  2. Lynn says

    I’m a seasoned seamstress (very experienced home sewer) of 35 yrs. Even for me this is a great idea. You don’t always feel like setting up your machine, filling a bobbin with the needed color thread, and more – especially for a small project like this. This has also reminded me that many smaller, tedious sewing projects can be simplified by using these tapes, fabric glues, etc. It’s not cheating! Go for it!

    And btw, I LOVE the haircut you have in this photo! It’s awesome! If I could find someone I could trust to give me this cut I would walk away from long hair.

    • gerbermom says

      Lynn, you made my day! :) And just fyi, I was wearing these jeans on Sunday and thought, those zippers are still going strong!

  3. pinky sade says

    PS: What stuff would you recommend to buy for all these no-sew projects? Fabric fuse tape, liquid stitch… what else? You’re awesome, thanks!

  4. pinky sade says

    You are a genius!!! This is sooo awesome. I have a pair of skinnies that fit nicely once worn, but it’s kinda tough to get my feet thru (think I have big feet). This will def solve that problem. Plus, it’ll look more stylish. Thanks so much!

  5. says

    Love this idea – because I always have to hem my pants! Do you think iron stitch witchery would work? I mean it holds corduroy and jean hems together so do you think it would work on this project?

    • gerbermom says

      I almost went that route but the ladies at JoAnn’s sewing dept said the tape was a better bet. But I would think the iron on version would work too.

    • Elisabeth says

      I’m tall, too, just two inches shorter than you. I’ve had zip leg pants & I think they look better on tall women. Sorry, ladies, it’s just my opinion. I’m older now but I had them a few decades ago, same concept, same process, only there wasn’t the convenience of tape like this.
      Go for it, you won’t regret it. Make sure you wear heels, too!

  6. Ashlee says

    Way to score one for the “petite posse”! Thanks to your brilliant idea I shall never have to walk on/ruin the hem of my jeans again!

  7. Susanna says

    Where did you get this idea? Amazing there’s no sewing required! These are very cool, well done again sis :)

      • Mel says

        I use this double stick tape for costumes all the time! It stays incredibly well. I actually still have some on a costume from a show over a year ago and I just toss it in the washer and dryer when I need to.

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