|My new riveting set...|
Without going into a long story with boring details, let's just say that not all rivets are the same and if you want them for crafting — and bag making in particular — you probably want double cap rivets.
After some browsing on Amazon, I finally got myself a complete kit for a decent price ($12.90 USD; $18.99 CDN).
This one is made by Seloky. It includes 210 double cap rivet sets (420 individual pieces) in two sizes: 5/16" and 1/4" (8mm and 6mm), 35 each in gold, silver and bronze tone.
While less expensive sets are available, the deciding factor for me was one of the setting tools. It had the standard punch and set tools, but the setting base was what sold it.
|210 rivet sets and three tools...|
Rather than just a piece with a single "dimple", this base can accommodate seven different rivet cap sizes. Having the right size can make a difference in how the finished installation looks. (I know this from installing different size grommets.)
How does it work?
The punch tool — the one with the hollow tip — is used with a hammer or mallet to cut a hole in whatever (layers of) material you want to rivet together. (You may want to get yourself a small piece of wood to support the pounding that you'll be doing.)
After the hole is cut, slip the rivet stud through.
|Setting tools and a silver 5/16" (8mm) rivet set... stud at top, cap at bottom|
Position the rivet stud on top of the base piece — stud facing up — and place a rivet cap on top. Now the setting tool — which has a concave end to cover the rivet cap and a flat end that you pound on with the hammer — can be used to secure the rivet cap onto the rivet stud.
|Comes with instructions... although the English is questionable!|
It's that easy. No more complicated, really, than installing snaps or grommets.
This set even comes with a sheet of instructions that clearly demonstrate the process with pictures. (The instructions themselves? Not so great. Don't know if you noticed, but STEP is spelled STER.)
Here is the first thing that I did with it, within an hour of its arrival. (Finishing this project was the reason for purchasing the kit.)
|Rivets on my P&P belt...|
It's a belt made out of a couple of scraps of my Pride & Prejudice fabric in lycra. (The pieces were remnants left over from my quick sew kimono project; when I finished, there were four rectangular pieces waiting to be made into something. I made a pair of fingerless gloves out of the other two.)
|A belt that's been waiting to be finished for over two years...|
It didn't take long to come up with the belt idea. I had kept the buckle/fastener from a belt that had been repurposed into the waistband of a skirt a while back; naturally, it was meant to be put back to use on another belt.
|Just a couple of rectangular pieces sewn together...|
It's a simple project. The two pieces of fabric were joined end to end and then the long edges were sewn together and the whole thing turned right side out.
The width of the belt was purposely wider than the "buckle" to create a pleated look, but the thickness and stretchiness of the lycra did not make me feel confident about actually sewing those two end seams around the hardware.
So the project sat for over two years. I would occasionally look at it and wonder, should I attempt to sew this today?
|A solution that is so much easier than sewing!|
I don't remember at what point I decided that rivets would be the solution, but I know that I've been looking into getting some rivets for almost a year. The end result is that — using six sets of the smallest rivets — finishing it this way probably took me less time than it would have taken to sew it.
Not to mention that it probably looks a lot better, too!
One last word about rivets if you're thinking of making your first purchase. The length of the stud post is important to consider for your intended application. While my layers of lycra would have been thick to sew, comparatively speaking, they aren't as thick as a couple of leather purse straps. What I mean is that if you're buying rivets for bag making purposes, ensure that you have stud posts that are long enough for the job... but not too long. Generally speaking, the bigger the cap diameter, the longer the post.
The rivets in my kit have the same cap diameter as post length: the smaller ones are 1/4" or 6mm; the larger ones are 5/16" or 8mm. Given that I work with fabric — and not faux leather or cork — I think they will serve me well.