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  1. #1
    Forum Member hadvil's Avatar
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    Question Bag decoration questions (Pins, buttons, patches, etc.)

    Howdy all! First time poster here. I got a Synapse 25 for Christmas, having never heard of Tom Bihn, and I've been really liking it. It's a great bag for school and the trip to Seattle I took back in January.

    In the past, I've liked personalizing my bags with a few buttons or lapel pins. With this bag though, I'm concerned that putting holes into the fabric might compromise the waterproofing - a feature that I've really appreciated. Has anyone tried putting any pins on their bag and could share their results? Or does anyone have any alternative ideas? I got a few iron-on patches recently, but I'm not sure how they'd interact with the fabric of the bag. My bag is Black/Iberian Dyneema.

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Welcome, hadvil! Glad you're liking your Synapse 25.

    The holes that the pins or buttons create will compromise the integrity of the waterproof urethane coating of the fabric and void the Lifetime Guarantee in that context. (If you find water enters through any holes you yourself create in the bag, that wouldn't be covered under the Lifetime Guarantee, which only covers defects in materials and workmanship and not user modification.)

    I'm guessing that the iron-on patches wouldn't be a good idea because the heat of the iron could effect the coating -- but we don't know what would happen for sure as we've never tried that and we're kinda curious about it, so if you've got some spare patches around you wouldn't mind experimenting with, we could send you some scraps of Dyneema to experiment on.
    Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

    Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Ilkyway's Avatar
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    I am on the phone and cant link but there are quite some examples around here.

    Ilkyway

    Edit the phone swallowed my text: I was suggesting colored paracord with creative knots on the Zipperpulls. And welcome!
    Last edited by Ilkyway; 02-27-2015 at 11:03 AM.
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  4. #4
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    The zipperpull stop knot I like the best is not the Solomon's Bar shown in the Tom Bihn zipper pull blog entry (for some reason called a "robust knot"). Instead, I suggest trying a Lanyard Knot (sometimes called a Diamond Stop Knot). It's easy to tie, easy to pull, and very pretty -- it's symmetric, like a turban -- though you need to work the slack out of the knot once you've got it tied to get it into proper shape. This video is the best I've found for learning how to do it.

    Here's a Laynard Knot in 550 Black Reflective Paracord on my BB.
    Bag decoration questions (Pins, buttons, patches, etc.)-out-jpg
    Last edited by feijai; 02-27-2015 at 11:57 AM.
    Blue Parapack Brain Bag with Brain Cell

  5. #5
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Now I am at home and can link: this is what inspired me to do "personal" zipperpulls: http://forums.tombihn.com/photos-vid...brain-bag.html done by jujigatame
    And here is what I made of it (be aware it is a tad girly ;-)): http://forums.tombihn.com/photos-vid...tml?highlight= but there are lots of examples throughout the forums. Even with multi-colord paracord which I still have to get my hands on.

    Ilkyway
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  6. #6
    Forum Member hadvil's Avatar
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    I do like the colored paracord and different knots, that's a neat idea. Ilkyway, I particularly like your setup, though, as you mentioned, it is a girlier color scheme than I would choose Wink I just have the standard black paracord and TB zipper pulls at the moment, but now I'm considering a switch. Now if only I could devise a way to attach a pin or a button to paracord...

    And as for the patches, Darcy, I think I do have a couple extra. I'd be happy to experiment on some extra material (for science!), so let me know how you'd like me to send you my address. Should be fun!

  7. #7
    Forum Member Moose's Avatar
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    I hang things off the zipper pulls. I have a copper dog tag with my name and address on one. I have a headlight attached to the strap webbing. I've got a Timbuk2 Shagg bag on one strap. It catches coins, keys and the odd bits and bobs when I'm on the run. I have successfully used real strong magnets to support an organizer bag attached to the inside top of both my 25 and 19s. Please post photos of your solutions.
    Moose
    Last edited by Moose; 02-28-2015 at 04:40 AM.
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

  8. #8
    Forum Member binje's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    I have successfully used real strong magnets to support an organizer bag attached to the inside top of both my 25 and 19s.
    Moose
    Magnets seem like a really good idea for pins, too. Rare-earth magnets are pretty amazing. Except that you'd want to be very careful about where you put your credit cards if you do that.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Moose's Avatar
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    I do a bit of stitching and have way too many cool needleminders. I've been known to put them on bags and have a couple that are permanent fixtures on my jackets.
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

  10. #10
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    For adding patches (and perhaps can be modified to work with Label pins and buttons), there were a few previous posts that @Miking and @dorayme that had some ingenious ways to do this:

    http://forums.tombihn.com/questions-...ut-sewing.html
    http://forums.tombihn.com/questions-...ighlight=patch

    Hope this helps give you some more ideas

    Cheers!
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  11. #11
    Forum Member Kshni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    The holes that the pins or buttons create will compromise the integrity of the waterproof urethane coating of the fabric and void the Lifetime Guarantee in that context. (If you find water enters through any holes you yourself create in the bag, that wouldn't be covered under the Lifetime Guarantee, which only covers defects in materials and workmanship and not user modification.)
    What about pin badges on the straps? Rather than on the bag itself? Would that destroy the warranty on the bag strap?
    I love my Burnt Orange Medium Cafe Bag, Black MCB, and Azure LCB.
    The Preciouses: A45 in black/zest, (original) Yeoman Duffel in verde, Mini Yeoman Duffel in Burnt Orange, the S19 in black/ultraviolet, and the MB in black/northwest sky; Shop Bags in zest, monarch, sitka, fjord, and island.

  12. #12
    Forum Member scribe's Avatar
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    I've put pins on the flaps of my cafe bags, and even (very carefully) sewn a patch onto my FJN, but for my Synapse I've only ever used "charms" - e.g. a Lego Darth Vader flashlight, or some other decorative key fob. If you don't want something as bulky, charms designed for phones or journals would work nicely as well. Like the paracord, they make the zipper pulls easier to find!
    Collections:
    Work EDC: SE + S19
    Leisure: SCBs, FJN, Swift, lots of YSSs
    Travel: WF + Pilot or SA, with SE/SCB
    General organisation: More pouches, stuff sacks and cubes than you can shake a keystrap at!
    Favourite TB colours: aubergine, forest (sniff!), linen, wasabi, UV
    Hoping for: A new dyneema colour for YSSs; a Linen Side Effect; the return of Portable Culture!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kshni View Post
    What about pin badges on the straps? Rather than on the bag itself? Would that destroy the warranty on the bag strap?
    i guess so. you are essentially damaging anything you attach a pin badge to

  14. #14
    Forum Member hadvil's Avatar
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    Hi yall! I meant to follow up on this thread but never got around to it. Better late than never, I suppose...

    In the intervening two years since I started this thread, I actually came up with some nifty, non-destructive ways to decorate my bag that I'd like to share. But first, following up about this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    I'm guessing that the iron-on patches wouldn't be a good idea because the heat of the iron could effect the coating -- but we don't know what would happen for sure as we've never tried that and we're kinda curious about it, so if you've got some spare patches around you wouldn't mind experimenting with, we could send you some scraps of Dyneema to experiment on.
    True to his word, Darcy did send me some Dyneema scraps. I put them on my bookshelf until I had time to do experiments... and there they sat, staring at me reproachfully. My apologies, Darcy.

    Bag decoration questions (Pins, buttons, patches, etc.)-img_2824-jpg

    Aside from procrastination, one of the big reasons I hadn't tried experimenting was worrying about melting the Dyneema and ruining the iron and/or ironing table. After a bit of online research, I kept seeing that iron-on patches generally need to be heated to a higher temperature than nylon can usually handle without melting itself. So I still haven't done any experiments with ironing on patches to the Dyneema.

    However, if people are still interested in seeing what happens, I've recently come up with an idea on how I could do this without hurting my ironing equipment. Basically, I'd just sandwich the Dyneema and iron-on patch in between two sheets of parchment paper, which should be able to tolerate pretty high temperatures. That way, if the Dyneema becomes a gooey mess, I can just throw away the parchment paper. So just let me know if anyone wants me to try it!

    Anyway, to my decoration ideas. Here's my bag:

    Bag decoration questions (Pins, buttons, patches, etc.)-img_2819-jpg

    As you can see, I've added a few pins and buttons like I originally wanted, but they're attached to paracord zipper pulls rather than the bag itself.

    Bag decoration questions (Pins, buttons, patches, etc.)-img_2822-jpg

    The mini-buttons are pretty easy: I just slipped the pin of the button through both ends of the paracord. They're pretty sturdy and haven't been yanked off yet.

    Bag decoration questions (Pins, buttons, patches, etc.)-img_2823-jpg

    The pins are a little bit tougher. I first tried using the usual brass pin backing (the round one you pinch to slide on the pin). That worked for a while, but the pointy part of the pin wasn't long enough and the paracord inevitably popped it off. I ended up almost losing my EVE pin twice, which would have been very sad (both for me and for WALL-E). The solution I found was a special pin back that I found at Disneyland, which you can see in the picture. The cylinder fits over the pointy part, and then a small hex key is turned in order to lock it in place (presumably to secure the safety of super rare Disney pins). Since switching to these pin backs, I haven't had any trouble with the pins falling off of the paracord.

    Finally, I came up with one other idea:

    Bag decoration questions (Pins, buttons, patches, etc.)-img_2821-jpg

    As Mathew noted, using a button on the strap could damage it and void the warranty. However, if you have a large enough pin, you can secure the button around the strap without puncturing it, like so:

    Bag decoration questions (Pins, buttons, patches, etc.)-img_2817-jpg
    Bag decoration questions (Pins, buttons, patches, etc.)-img_2818-jpg

    Well, that's all my ideas for now. I hope someone finds this helpful!

    EDIT: not sure why most of my pictures don't appear in-line. You should be able to click through and see them, at least.
    Last edited by MatthewR; 08-29-2017 at 07:43 AM.

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