I’m not sure if it’s the shininess, the ‘bought from a store’ feel, or the fact that you get funky little tools to play with, but there’s something about rivets that always make me feel like a professional. It’s a bit like drinking wine from a crystal glass instead of a coffee mug. It tastes the same, but one is just a touch classier than the other (or so I’ve been told).
I won’t lie. They’re not quite as easy to install as a magnetic snap (see Hardware Heaven: Magnetic Snaps) but with a little patience and practice, you will find yourself yearning for a bag that needs riveting.
Installing a rivet
Unlike the other hardware we’ve looked at in Hardware Heaven, rivets do require a few special tools.
You will need:
- Hammer friendly surface such as a wooden board or ‘anvil’ (read: chunk of stainless Mr. AD gave me – he even polished it up to make it all shiny and pretty!)
- Hole/Leather/Saddler’s Punch
- Anvil and rivet setting tool
The saddler’s punch, anvil and rivet setting tool will often be available for purchase alongside rivets. Check out the ‘Where to buy’ section at the end of this post for a list of great suppliers of handbag hardware.
The rivet comes in two parts: The cap and the shank/post.
Take the part of the bag onto which you will install the rivet, in this case a strap, and place it on your hammer friendly surface.
Lay the rivet down on your bag to determine the best location. Mark the centre of the rivet in a manner suitable for the fabric you have used such as using tailors chalk or an air erasable marker. You may even find gently pressing on the rivet (with the rivet up the other way) leaves enough of an indentation for you to complete the next step without the need to mark your fabric.
Position the saddler’s punch over the centre of the rivet location and…here comes the fun part…whack it with the hammer! You may need to strike it a few times for it to cut all the way through.
Push the rivet through the hole and place the cap on the end (it will click in place). The post/shank should be a few millimetres longer than the fabric. If it’s too long or short, you will have trouble setting the rivet, or it may be unreliable on the finished bag.
Place the setting anvil under the shank/post side of the rivet, with the setting tool positioned on top of the cap. (This may be different to how others set rivets; have a play and see which way around you prefer to set them). Yet again you can release some hidden frustration by giving the setting tool a few swift strikes with the hammer. For the best results, keep the setting tool upright and strike it as straight as possible.
There you have it. Now go forth and rivet all the things!!!
Where to buy
Some fabulous online suppliers of handbag hardware include:
Betty Box Pleat – Queensland, Australia.
Sew Creative Supplies – Western Australia, Australia.
Voodoo Rabbit Fabric – Queensland, Australia.
Emmaline Bags – Canada.
Bobbin Girl – United Kingdom.
Which Andrie Designs bag do you think would look great with some rivets?