How I Organize My Zippers

I love organizing things, but sometimes great organization solutions are slow to appear. I think I’ve finally hit upon a pretty dang good one for zippers and I’m excited to share it with you.

My zippers were formerly all housed in a nice labelled tupperware together. The problem was, I accumulate zippers since I pick them up at the thrift store and to find the right color/length zipper, I’d have to dump the whole tupperware on the ground and sort through the zippers one by one. And then I reached a point where I had too many zippers to fit in the tupperware so it barely closed so the zippers were constantly spilling and it just wasn’t a good situation.

I had a flash of genius (if I do say so myself) that allowed me to easily and visibly organize zippers by type and size. To organize your zippers in the same manner you need:

I bought the carabiners and key rings at my local hardware store (since I always try and shop local) but found that they only sold the triangle picture hangers in small packages and I could get them WAY cheaper buying a bulk package online. The carabiners don’t need to be exactly 3″ and don’t need to be load bearing quality.

For each zipper, thread one arm through the triangle part of the picture tab and staple it in place (this is often easier if you unzip it a bit first or staple it to the non-pull end of the zipper).

This is what it will look like. You can then thread every zipper that is the same length onto the same key ring.

I made little tabs out of washi tape and wrote on them with sharpie. (I made rings for 7″, 9″, 11″, 13″, 15″, 17″ and 22″). I then threaded a label on each key ring. Now when I know I need a certain length I can just grab the keychain full of zippers of that length and look for the right color. If I don’t have a good color match, I can go up a size until I find the right color (knowing that I’ll need to shorten the zipper).

I clustered my zippers into 3 different categories – regular zippers, bulky/heavy duty zippers, and invisible zippers (though you can see the invisible zippers are pretty depleted since making a whole bunch of pillow covers for our house!) and put one category on each carabiner for further ease of browsing.

I screwed cup hooks into a shelf in the open closet in my craft room. The carabiners also easily clip onto things so if you have any sort of mesh shelving anywhere it clips great onto that too!

Do you like the zipper storage solution I found? Would you use it yourself? Do you have a different solution?

Comments 8

  1. At the fabric market in Utrecht the store them almost the same. But instead of the triangles you use, they use normal (quite big) safety pins. The safety pins go through the hole in the runner, and are then hung on the carabiners. That way the top bit of the zipperstays straight as well!
    They do actually not use carabiners, but large rings. The safety pin in this case is the opening part. The ring can remain closed.

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  2. Great tip. I have mine in a small bag, but it is still frustrating to find the right one. I will keep this tip in mind.

  3. This is great (as are sewfitted’s suggestions). I was just lamenting the state of my zipper box, which looks a lot like your “before” picture.

  4. Have taken up sewing again after a 30-year break, and it’s a scary new world with computerized sewing machines as the first obstacle to conquer. Tips like this clever zipper organizer make me feel better – there are still thinking humans involved!

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      My unsolicited advice: Don’t feel like you need to jump into computerized things if they don’t inspire you. While I do much of my sewing on a new(-ish) computerized Pfaff, my favorite machine remains an old Kenmore that is entirely mechanical and was my mom’s when she was in high school. The Kenmore is a solid, reliable machine that works great for 95% of the sewing I do!

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