Thursday, 18 October 2012

Purse Hardware

While hardware isn't always necessary in a bag, it can add to the look and sometimes function of a bag. Here some items I use.

Rings - These come in a varierty of shapes. O rings, D rings, retangular rings.  Here's what I have in my "tool"  box right now.  Ah, looks like I'm out of O rings..

They have various uses. One common use would be as part of strap attachment as in the left photo below. I usually like O rings or oval rings for this. 

The rings can placed so that removable pieces can be clipped onto them. i.e.  a removable strap or keychain.  When I have a removable strap, I attach two small D-rings to either side of the bag.  The straps will have a clasp that clips on to them.

Sliders - This rings are used to give make your strap adjustable.  One side of your strap needs to be threaded through a plain rectangular ring (or any ring), so usually you'll see sliders sold with a matchining ring. I keep 1" and 1.5" sets, if a bag is bigger I'll use make a wider strap and need wider rings.

Clips/clasps/snap hooks - These are used to make removable straps. The small ones can be used for keychains or wristlet straps, while the large ones can be used for wider straps. 

Zippers - These are extremely handy to have on hand when making bags,  They can be used for bag closures or for pockets.  I have some long pull zippers where the zipper is a bit wider and pull is larger making it easier to grab.  I have zippers in various sizes, but a zipper can be shortened easily by sewing across the teeth at the length you want

Long pull zipper on the left, it is wider and has a much bigger pull
Magnetic snaps - easy closure to install. I have two kinds - one with prongs that you insert through a slit in your fabric and then bend the prongs. The other is a hidden version where the magnets are encased in a plastic casing which you sew between between your lining and exterior. I haven't had a need for the hidden ones yet, but have a few in my stash.   Magnetic snaps come in different sizes and strengths so consider your fabric when choosing.  Too strong a magnet can pull at fabric and tear.

Magnetic snaps

Snaps - ok, I'm scared of snaps.. Last time I tried to install them I messed up and the snap was not functional and couldn't be removed.  So practice installing these before applying to your project. I have since purchased a snap plier, but still need to try it out. 

Heavey duty snaps on left, normal snaps on right.
Bag feet are just a nice finishing touch to a bag. These ones are so easy to  install with bendable prongs.

Rivets are my new favourite hardware.  They are a nice cosmetic touch but also can add some strength to your strap attachments. The ones I have are double cap so they have a finished cap on both sides and are easy to install.    Just snap the two pieces together and them give a quick hammer using a special anvil.  Other rivets have only one finished end, so typically they would be used where the unfinsihed end would be hidden.  You can go through rivets quickly, so I have bought packs of 100.  Rivets come in different sizes. When using rivets make sure you use the right size to get the best fit that will hold your fabric together.

Grommets/Eyelets - another item I haven't used but am looking forward to trying them.  They come in different sizes.   The small ones can be uses as a decorative embellisment, or they can be a way of hooking a strap clip onto the bag.  In the picture below the large ones have prongs that bend for installation. The small ones need to be installed with a the corresponding tools.

So that's the hardware I have in my stash..  There's so much more out there.  Different finishes, metals etc. .I really like the flat rings but need to deplete my inventory before purchasing more.  (Or so I say :) )  I buy most of my hardware online as it's substanially more expensive at the local craft and fabric stores.  Many times hardware is optional, but they do add a nice touch to the finished product.


  1. *wow* holy crap, bag making is complicated!
    (open a store, open a store! lol)

  2. haha, Yes can be complicated, but can also be simple..

  3. I'm struggling with heavy duty snaps myself right now and just put in an order with Tandy Leather for a set of Line 24 and Line 20. I'm sure I will be posting the details of how that works out.

    Nice to meet you, Nissa! :)

    - Jodi (


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