Saturday, August 6, 2016

IITBS-- Amber of Roarhaus Bag Hardware Explained

Today's guest post is by Amber of Roarhaus. Amber cranks out absolutely stunning handbags, and I am always awed by what she makes AND how quickly she can make them! If you follow Amber on Instagram you know what I mean, it's like every day she is sharing another amazing creation.

So, So good! She is amazing! I'm so honored that she will be sharing some of her wisdom with us today and talking about hardware. Thank again Amber!


Hello and welcome to my crazy world of bag creation! Let’s talking about bag hardware, shall we?!
Bag hardware! What a huge category! I could spend all week just talking about it, but instead I will get down to the basics:

There’s something about rivets that simultaneously takes a bag from homemade to handmade – from looks pretty to lookin’ fabulous! So many people are nervous to try these awesome tools of the trade and you really shouldn’t be! A little practice and you will be well on your way to mastering this “riveting” look. Haha I crack myself up! :D

Rivets come in various sizes: the diameter of the rivet head and the length of the shaft. You will want to pay attention to both of these when purchasing. When choosing a rivet for a project, you will want a shaft that is just long enough to go past the material it will be holding. Anything longer and you risk the rivet bending while installing and it’s no fun removing a bent rivet – take it from me!

They will also come in two different types: double cap ends or regular flat backed rivets.
I prefer to buy only double capped ends. What does double capped end mean? It means that the pretty rounded face of the rivet is on the front and back of the rivet when placed, meaning you can install it anywhere and it will look great! No ugly flat backing to try and hide!

I prefer to use a press when installing my rivets, but a good old hammer and rivet install tools will do the work just as well!

Also, I highly recommend a god leather lunch for all your hold punching needs! I’m not a fan of table top hole punches, although they are a great place to start and I will admit to pulling mine out in hard to reach areas!  I am an equestrian by profession so I know a thing of two about a good hole punch!  If you want to know my secret, this is the one I use:  Sprenger Leather Hole Punch <<use link if that is OK?>> -  it’s an investment that will pay over and over again because it’s, wait for it……………..SPRING LOADED! Amazing little piece of equipment right there!

Magnetic Snaps:

A staple in your hardware tool bag! These little beauties are perfect for beginners and advanced bag makers alike!
A few key notes about magnetic snaps – I prefer the “thin/slim” design ones. The reduce bulk and are just as strong as the thicker counterpart you find in most box stores. You might have to order them online but once you use them you won’t go back!

When installing magnetic snaps, I am always making sure my fabric is interfaced with ATLEAST a woven fusible like Pellon SF101 to prevent tears or rips – and if this has ever happened to you, you feel my pain!
Next, after marking and cutting my slits for my prongs (I use an exacto knife like this one: <<Link “
“>> to slice my slits) I use a no-fray gel to make sure the slits don’t get frayed or slit further.

Then, before I close the prongs, I insert a tiny piece of thicker material (I use scraps of Pellon 71F Peltex) placed underneath the top closure. This gives the snap some extra strength and helps make it taunt against the fabric.

Finally, close my prongs pressed towards each other NOT away. Away from each other leads to the snap pulling out over time. Finally, a good smack with a hammer to set it all nice and tight! Voila! Magnetic snap!

A side note: there are also hidden magnetic snaps as well! These are fun to incorporate, but that’s another topic entirely! Lol
All the Rings! D-Rings, O-Rings and Rectangle Rings Oh my!

There are so many options of bag hardware nowadays! You can use round rings, oval rings, d shaped rings and rectangle rings plus so many more!

This is some of the most used hardware you will see. Used for straps, attachments and more, these rings bring life and beauty to you bags!
To start with, you want to use good quality heavy rings. Also, you want them to be welded shut all around, no open gaps. Gaps in hardware will lead to bending and breaking and heartbreak!

Choose what to use is personal option and based on bag style Mix it up! Use o-rings on a bag normally you would use rectangle rings on! Go wild! It will give your bags a sense of your personality and style and that’s the whole point, right?!
Swivel Hooks & Sliders:

The bread and butter of cross body straps and removable carry straps! These little beauties are pretty and functional all in one!
Swivel Hooks are awesome for removable cross body straps, wristlet straps and even for closures! They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes! From tiny little lobster claws to large and in charge heavy duty.

Make sure your swivel hooks are made from a quality and sturdy material. No cheap swivel hooks please! They don’t hold up (sometimes barely past installation) and break easily. These hooks usually bear a lot of weight so a nice quality is important.
Sliders are a great way to add adjustability to your straps! It takes some getting used to threading them properly, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a piece of cake! They come in several varieties and sizes. I prefer the solid shaped ones rather than the ones with a moveable center bar, but that’s just my preference! :D

Purse Feet:

I use purse feet every not and again. These are beautiful professional touches that can really elevated a bag to the next level. They are also great for keeping the bottom of your bag clean!
Slider Buckles:

Adding buckles to a bag’s exterior is another way to show some of your unique personality as well as function. They come in several different sizes and shapes. Again, quality of over quantity always!
Twist Locks:
– photo credit to sara Lawson @sewsweetness >>
These fun locks can be a pain to install but always come out looking 5 star! They are unique in that the user must twist the top knob in order to release the locked panels from each other. Great for when you need extra security. They come in several different shapes and sizes; all that can complete a bag or wallet.
Take your time when installing these locks and maybe even practice cutting and placing the lock on scrap fabric before tackling the main project. Go slow, be thoughtful and you will be successful!
Snap Buckles:

Buckles are a fun way to close a bag that needs to be secure. You can find them in colorful colors or simple stainless. They are easy to attach, very similar to attaching a swivel hook.


Grommets can add some fun quirk to any bag! Use them as ways to connect your straps or simply as decoration. Either way you can’t go wrong!

Practice on scrap fabric until you get the hang of setting the grommets. You can buy attachments for your rivet press that will install grommets, or you can go the old fashion stress relieving way and grab a hammer and start pounding! :D

Brand Tags, bling and more! Studs, gems, embroidery, corners and pins! The sky’s the limit when creating your master piece!  Most of these items will be installed very easily or similar to a rivet or magnetic snap!
Zipper ends, hand tags, strap holders and more! There are so many options in today’s market to customize and “bling” out your bag!
I hope you enjoyed this intro to bag hardware and learned some tips & tricks as well! For inspiration, tips and tricks, follow me on my blog at or on InstaGram at @monpetitebiscuit and @roarhaus – happy bag makin’!


Unknown said...

Great much needed information for someone just starting out with making a bag for oneself.

Unknown said...

Great much needed information for someone just starting out with making a bag for oneself.

dalla nonna said...

I love your bags, too, Amber! Great summary of different hardware options!

Julia Smith said...

Thanks for the informative post

AJ said...

Excellent post, thank you. I've always closwd my snap prongs away from eachother so I definitely learned something.

Pamela said...

Thank you so much for this post! I will use all of this advice!

Unknown said...

Great article. Especially the tip on the magnetic snaps. I have always folded my prongs outward. Thanks

Pamela said...

Thank you so much for these excellent tips.

Ann Daley said...

Wow! What a comprehensive explanation of bag hardware. Thank you so much. Bookmarked! ��

Lindsey Payette said...

Excellent! Thanks for the review!

Unknown said...

Great info,