Replacing a zipper in doll boots

I was excited to get a pair of older doll boots second-hand. They were cheap and worked for one of my harder-to-fit girls. Unfortunately, the mail carrier was not kind to the padded envelope.

While the broken heel was no biggie, easy to glue, there was other damage as well. I only paid ten bucks, so it wasn’t the end of the world if they weren’t perfect, but I did need to be able to unzip them. That, I’m afraid, was impossible.

The zipper was crushed on the damaged boot, the slider mashed shut. Not only that, it had cut through the fabric of the zipper. It couldn’t be opened or removed, and the cut meant the whole zipper needed to be replaced. There was no way to sew it in, so I decided to experiment.

First things first, I had to get rid of the old zipper. I cut it out with an X-acto knife and pulled the fabric remnants out of the seam in the back of the boot.

These are Dollmore boots, pretty big, so I used an 8 inch zipper from my sewing stash as a replacement. I unzipped the zipper, turned the tops down, and added a liberal amount of E-6000 glue.

Clothespins helped keep the zipper in place, and didn’t adhere to the glue that seeped though the cloth part of the zipper. I pinned it on both sides, making sure the sides of the zipper were well aligned. The way I had to turn the top of the zipper down kept it from going all the way to the top of the boot, but it was close.

The last thing to do was repair the sole. I glued it to the bottom of the boot and the new zipper, then used painter’s tape to hold them together as tight as I could get it. There was still some gapping, so once it was dry, I mixed some heavy body acrylic paint to match and dabbed it into the gap, as well as using it to hide some places where the vinyl coating on the heel tore when the heel broke off. After a full day to dry, they were almost as good as new from the outside.

I learned a new trick with things I had on hand, and my doll got cheap boots after all!

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