Bags – how do I love thee, let me count the ways…
I really do not know WHY I love making bags so much. In fact, they do cause me a significant amount of stress sometimes! ONE source of stress is finding the right hardware. A lot of the hardware I see on bags that I admire is NOT available at my local Joann’s, Hancock Fabrics, Sewing Machine or Quilt Shop. So I’ve searched, and searched, and when I do find what I want, I usually end up buying 50 or more.
I’ve had one person ask me where I got my hardware, so I thought it would be worth sharing that info with everyone. I’ve just finished my taxes, and part of that process was taking inventory on all my hardware and stocking up on a few things, so NOW is the time to share this info with you.
Here are some lessons I’ve learned when it comes to looking for hardware:
- Different people call hardware by different names. Frustration abounds because of this!
- The lovely sites that are easy to navigate are often selling one or 2 pieces at a time – at a pretty high price…you’re paying for that pretty site! The sites where I’ve found some SIMPLE things are sometimes infuriatingly hard to navigate!
- Late in the game I discovered that Etsy and Ebay are pretty good places to look for this stuff. (DOH!)
- Hardware comes in different thicknesses, and even when they photograph the piece on a ruler you can still misjudge the size. I ordered some d-rings that were VERY thick. Too thick to use on a mini messenger I used to make, but I turned Lemons into Lemonade and use them on the convertible messenger/backpack bags and with the big thick swivel snaps. I’m glad I love the look because I’ve got 90 more!
- There are lots of places that sell hardware for making dog collars, useful places but seriously, where do all these dog collars go? 😉
- The best place to find all the cool hardware you can’t find anywhere else is Hong Kong! (You may have to go pick up your package at the post office becasue they’ll thing it’s a strange package!)(And Yes, $26 for shipping on a package that is an 8″ x 10″ x 1″ envelope hurts, but the pricing STILL works out in my favor)
OK, here are my sources, and down below I’ve labelled up some photos with the hardware names.
- J Caroline Creative: It’s so sad, this is a very nice shop, but she’s pretty much closing down. But becasue she says she’ll still offer ribbon and hardware, I’ll include her becasue this is the best place for the key ring and key fob tip.
- DAN’s Bags and Purses Making Supplies: This is an Etsy seller located in Hong Kong (user name 3dPatternPaper). This is where I’ve found the neatest hardware. I convo her for larger quantities, she responds very promptly.
- Ah Kwok Supplies is an Ebay store, again in Hong Kong. Again, lots of cool hardware.
- Countrybrook Design: An ebay store specializing in dog collar hardware.
- Seattle Fabrics carries the rectangle rings and tri-glides (a.k.a. slides a.k.a. slide-adjusters) in all the sizes I need (1/2″, 1″, 1 1/2″, and 2″). Yeah, I know, really strange sizes, right? I really like to match the size of the straps to the size of the bag, so I looked HIGH and low for those. I also got lik 100 7″ zippers in bulk an an amazing sale they were happening to have…did you know you can get zippers that AREN’T stapled to a cardboard package? I sure didn’t! I will be very sad when these run out…
I KNOW there are lots of other places to find this stuff, but these are my go to’s! And again, I can’t stress enough how different people will call the same hardware by another name, so always make sure you see a nice picture of whatever you’re buying!
EDIT: Ooh – if you have any other sources for hardware – feel free to share them with us in the comments!
Hope this helps someone!