Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Tip for All You Bag Ladies Out There

Before I started quilting I made bags. Because of the costs involved in the hardware associated with bag making, I started looking for alternative ways of finding these jewels....NO, I didn't steal them! I just started taking purses apart!  Most of us have some sort of thrift store or Goodwill in our area. I would hit my local shop and buy purses from the markdown bin with loads of hardware in them. I have also done some demo on my own purses that are worn out.
Well, something new struck me the other day after the kids came home from the last day of school: backpacks! Yup, how many times have I thrown them away because they were so worn out and awful looking, but didn't take them time to check the hardware? This is what I took so far from my kids' book bags this year.
A zipper at least 12 inches long that can be cut down, 4 swivel clips and D rings, 3 slides and a slide release buckle. There are also 2 slides in black from my son's backpack. I haven't tackled his zippers yet. I will say this about recycling hardware: make sure it's worth your time to remove. If there are scratches and dings on it, if you wouldn't won't it in a piece you made, then don't remove it. All of my pieces were in great shape (especially in comparison to the bags!) so I took them all. With zippers, you can usually tell within the first couple of snips with the seam ripper whether or not it will be too dirty to worry with. Plastic holds up to a lot but zippers do get dirty. If it is only mildly dirty, zippers can also be hand washed. If you think re-using the zipper is not your thing, that's fine. But remember that only the center of the zipper is even visible in most crafts anyway so no one is going to know that needles have been through it before. And, yes my zipper's ends need to be trimmed but ends are hidden in most crafts anyway. You will just need to remember to sew the ends together on both ends so the zipper pull will not come off either end while your'e working with it.

It is also important to figure out how involved it will be to remove the hardware. My son's backpack has two zippers I'm still contemplating removing. One would be really great because it's long, but it's also really complicated getting it out.

What other hardware have I removed? O rings and magnetic snaps. Depending on where you get them, magnetic snaps can be very costly. When I purchase them, I usually hit Joann's because they have a brand where I can get 4 for the same price you would normally buy 1 for in other stores. I have not attempted it yet but you may also be able to remove purse feet (though these are more likely to be tarnished and damaged because of the wear and tear) and metal purse frames found on snap change purses.

Happy hardware hunting!


Barb said...

Now aren't you clever...I always take the buttons off shirts and things but never thought about the hardware....thanks!

Can't Stop Stitchin said...

Great tips... never would have thought about those worn out backpacks hardware! Thanks for sharing