You know that thing? That thing where you learn about a new tool or contraption and then you have IDEAS! ALL THE IDEAS! Yeah…well here’s a new thing you should know about.
They’re called chicago screws (they’re also apparently sometimes called sex bolts, but I’d feel weird walking into the hardware store and asking for that, so chicago screw or barrel nut works better for me…but I bet you don’t forget ‘sex bolt’ if you need to look this up again later).
They’re a two part fastener where one part looks like a screw with a flat tip, and one part looks like a little cup. The little cup is threaded inside, and the screw part screws into the cup part.
The thing that makes them fantastic for our purposes is that both parts have flared heads, so they can hold your fabric together. Think of them as removable/movable buttons you don’t have to sew in place.
The picture here shows one pair screwed fully together (top left), one pair screwed partially together (bottom middle), and one pair totally apart (top right). I’ve never needed a screwdriver to open or close them, I just do it with my finger tips.
They come in a bunch of sizes and lengths and colors. I bought a little variety pack of them on amazon the instant I learned of them and have been daydreaming about ways to use them to hold my fabric together ever since. I’ll link you to the exact set I got (amazon links are totally affiliate links because if I’m going to send traffic to the hellsite I am damn sure going to take a bit of their money back away from them), but you can also totally google chicago screw (or whatever other name you prefer) and find lots of options.
I used them to hold the corners of the darker gray tray together. You totally don’t need them to make the tray (you can use buttons or thread or yarn or snaps or hook and eye closures or whatever else makes your heart sing). But they are too damn nifty not to tell you about.
Plus I got to say sex bolt and have it be a totally reasonable, completely work related phrase. Which is a bonus.