Where to Buy Buttons, Zippers, and Buckles for #Dolls, #Crafts, and #Sewing
On my “Submit a Question” page, I often hear the question, “Where can I buy tiny buttons for my doll clothes?” From time to time, people also ask me for advice on zippers and buckles.
I use Etsy for tiny doll buttons, tiny zippers, and similar sewing notions, but I generally buy my tiny snaps from Jo-Ann’s Fabrics. Jo-Ann’s does have an online store, but if you have a fabric store in your area, you can usually ask a salesperson to help you find snaps, hooks and eyes, and similar closures. I’ve found a lot of fabric stores here in the US carry snaps that are small enough for most doll clothes, and you can find snaps and other closures at hobby stores as well.
When browsing Etsy, take note of the sizes of notions. To estimate how your notions will look on your doll clothes, place a tape measure alongside the doll to estimate how big that notion will be when it’s on the doll. Different dolls require different sized notions.
For Barbie and similar-sized dolls, I prefer buying buttons that are less than 1/4 inch in diameter. A 1/8 inch diameter button is ideal but sometimes hard to find. For American Girl and Madame Alexander dolls, a 1/4 inch button usually looks about right. If you live outside the US, you’ll need me to translate to metric: 1/4 inch is 5.5 mm whereas 1/8 inch is 3 mm. This is a significant difference when dealing with miniatures, so pay close attention to the measurements listed on Etsy.
If an Etsy store doesn’t post measurements, do not buy their products! (It’s a red flag when they don’t post sizes; these merchants are average Joes who don’t know anything about the products they’re selling.)
ThaiFabShop has lots of options for teeny-tiny stuff, including extra small snaps. ThaiFabShop is found on Etsy, and I have done business with them. I bought some very small buttons from them and was happy with my purchases. But be aware that their tiny buttons are not exquisitely detailed. The plastic is flat with no ridges, and some of the buttons were roughly made. However, it’s difficult to buy ridged buttons in the very small 1/8 inch size, and when buying bulk, a few roughly-made products are to be expected in the mix of products found in the bag.
The nice thing about ThaiFabShop is the variety. They offer buttons, snaps, buckles, pom poms, charms, and more, all in very small sizes. Their photos show the items alongside a measurement tool, so you can tell exactly how small they are. That’s marvelous!
Even though ThaiFabShop is based in Bankok, Thailand, the shipping charge on something so small is quite reasonable. But do pay attention to your shipping charges. If you order from a nation outside the US/UK/NATO region, shipping can get quite expensive, depending on the country of origin and their taxes and restrictions. It can also take longer to arrive.
If you have any questions about the products I use in my doll sewing tutorials on my website and my YouTube channel, feel free to submit a question of your own. And if you have some advice to share, please leave it in the comments below.
Some of my followers have wondered what motivates me to give my patterns away for free.
First of all, I’m a librarian by trade. Librarians love free stuff! We believe that the more a person knows, the more enriched their life will be. So it may sound kind of crazy, but I want ChellyWood.com to become a sort of library of free patterns that help people learn to sew doll clothes.
If you’d like to learn more about my motives, feel free to visit my Chelly’s Books page.
My Gallery Page is the easiest way to search through all of my patterns to find what you want. Each image on the Gallery Page takes you to links for patterns and tutorials.
Please note: you must enlarge my patterns to fit a full-sized piece of American computer paper (8.5 x 11 inches or 216 x 279 mm) without margins, before printing.
My patterns are now available through “Creative Commons Attribution.” This means that I created my patterns (and therefore I own rights to them), but I’m willing to share them with everyone who will tell people about my website.
Here are some helpful ways to tell the world about my patterns: