Melissa Mora Gives Her Top Tips for Salvaging Purse Hardware

We’re excited to bring you Melissa Mora from Blank Slate Patterns every Friday through out April. She’ll be giving you great tips and tricks on sewing with knits, handbags and garments. You can check out the fun patterns and projects that Melissa created for our Sew With Me series. These are fun garment projects, perfect for the spring and summer season. We hope you join in!

Hey y’all, it’s Melissa from Blank Slate Patterns here to talk with you about unusual places to get purse hardware.

FB MM 500 swm Melissa Mora Gives Her Top Tips for Salvaging Purse HardwareThe Favorite Purse pattern calls for O or D rings for the strap and a slider bar, and the strap itself uses webbing. While you can find these things in sewing supply stores, selection is often limited, which is why I prefer to go on scavenger hunts to find my hardware and straps. And bonus: shopping this way is often less expensive and gives your creation a unique look that others won’t be able to duplicate.

hardware 500 Melissa Mora Gives Her Top Tips for Salvaging Purse HardwareWhat kinds of things to look for:

I typically look at belts, older purses and bags when I’m thinking about scavenging hardware and parts, but you could also check out scarves, jewelry and shoes for usable parts. Think creatively about the parts that make up each whole.

belt 500 300x199 Melissa Mora Gives Her Top Tips for Salvaging Purse HardwareWhere to shop:

Your closet – if you have old purses, bags or belts that you don’t use anymore, why not repurpose the parts that still work?

  • Thrift stores – used purses, bags and belts are sometimes literally a dime a dozen at thrift stores. These can also be an especially inexpensive place to look if you happen to have any stores that sell their goods by the pound. There is a thrift store near my house
  • Garage, Estate and Yard Sales – Just like thrift stores, you can find great deals on used items if you keep your eyes open.
  • Ebay, Etsy, Craigslist, etc – Any online forum that sells used clothing and accessories might be a good place to look, though these will often end up being more expensive than shopping at a sewing or hobby store.

Things to consider:

How many pieces might you be able to upcycle? This is why I like to purchase belts, because though the may only have 2 d rings or one slider, I can usually use the belt material as a purse strap or as trim on another project. Purses, on the other hand, tend to have more unusable parts. But if you can find bags that have straps, magnetic snaps, D or O rings, etc, it might be worth it to buy them and get all of that hardware in one place.

Colors and Finishes: This is particularly an issue when buying belts. I often settle for close but not identical finishes, because I like the character that can give a piece. If that would bother you, it might be better to see about upcycling all your components from one bag so you know they match.

Price – this is subjective of course, but if you’re scavenging parts to save money, you need to consider how many usable parts you get for the price.

Can you remove the hardware without damaging it? – If you can’t see a way to easily remove the hardware, it’s a waste of time and money to buy the item. Be on the lookout for super thick materials that can’t be cut with regular scissors or rivets and grommets holding components on that would be hard to remove.

Have fun hunting unique purse hardware, and keep your eyes open for rings, sliders and straps you can use with the Favorite Purse pattern. Check out  the Sew With Me: Favorite Purse Pattern and Video to see more of my thrifted selections and how I incorporate them into my finished purses.


Melissa Mora 200 Melissa Mora Gives Her Top Tips for Salvaging Purse Hardware

 Melissa Mora Gives Her Top Tips for Salvaging Purse Hardware

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
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One Response to Melissa Mora Gives Her Top Tips for Salvaging Purse Hardware

  1. Kate Zaynard says:

    Cool tips! I’ll be keeping my eye out in thrift stores from now on.