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Fascinating Fasteners

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Fasteners are generally not the most glamorous notions on your list, but they are very hard workers and necessary to many projects. Sometimes you just need a functional closure; other times you want a cool way to attach one thing to another, like a fancy buckle on a pillow front, or an innovative tie-back for your curtains. We've compiled a list of commonly found fasteners to introduce you to the potential of these all-around accents.

Whether you're simply joining one piece of fabric to another or adding an element of style to bring everything together, there's quite a range of different fasteners to choose from. They fall into a few basic categories, which we outline below. Each has its own look and functionality, but with some creativity, they can fulfill a surprisingly wide range of uses in your sewing.

Two Sided Fasteners

These fasteners have two visible sides, and are used to join two pieces of fabric together so they meet in the middle (instead of having one fabric overlap another). These have a tendency to come unfastened if not pulled taut, which may be a consideration, depending on your project. We took advantage of decorative frog closures on our Vintage Rescue: The Denim Jacket Pillow.

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Snaps

An oldie but a goodie, the snap is a dependable fastener choice, especially when you need a firm hold between two fabrics. You can choose the standard sew-in snap, or a decorative version with a 'capped prong' in a solid color or even in beautiful mother -of-pearl. The magnetic snap is especially helpful when you need a super-strong bond, and the magnet is helpful if you're joining two surfaces in a hard-to-reach spot.

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Buckles

They're not just for belts! Use these great fasteners for everything from drape tie-backs to innovative pillow accents. There are tons of different styles. You could even recycle an old belt from your own closet. Here are a few we like.

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Rings

Rings are a versatile fastening method and there are many stylish versions available. They can be used for curtain tie-backs, in conjunction with a nail or hook on the window frame. Two can be used together to create a belt-type closure, or as a decorative effect on a pillow. We used a D-Ring and Clip combination on our popular Wristlet and Embroidered Wristlet projects.

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Hidden Fasteners

Sometimes you need something to get the job done as inconspicuously as possible. Enter what we call Hidden Fasteners. Velcro is the standard favorite for this task. We recommend a sew-in Velcro. The Velcro is stable and reliable when sewn-in. Stick-on Velcro can gum up your needle. We used good ol' Velcro to seal our Nature Brights Kitchen: Insulated Shopping Tote.

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Another good fastening device is fusible bond, which is sold by trade names like Stitch Witchery and Heat N Bond. This substance is ironed between two pieces of fabric to create a bond. We recommend stitching down any seam that will receive wear, but this is an easy alternative for a quick bond.

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