I bought a brand new suitcase to take a family vacation this summer, it two flights for one of the straps designed to hold the contents in place broke. I'm not sure how important those straps are, but it sure seemed a waste for my brand new suitcase to be less than 100% intact, so I reviewed the situation, made a plan to fix it, and got it done. It is a very simple fix, but I was pleased with how well it went, and I was glad to be able to reuse an altoids tin in the process. This basic concept should apply for fixing most plastic bracket that has pulled free of a rivet, particularly on a suitcase. I hope it can help someone else, and it gives me a good excuse to make my first Instructables post.
Step 1: Assess the Damage
Have a look at your broken strap and see what's gone wrong. In my case the plastic bracket holding the strap end had pulled off of the rivet on the suitcase frame. That is a much better situation than if the rivet had pulled through the suitcase frame. Everything is structurally sound, the rivet just doesn't really have a big enough head to allow the plastic bracket to bear much weight. I had a hard time getting a picture of the rivet by itself, but I did my best. Looking at the outside of the suitcase where the other side of the rivet should be coming through I discovered that there was a rubberized strip running all around the outside of the suitcase. Prying up the strap showed the other end of the rivet firmly in place, and measuring it showed me that it was about 1cm wide would be the maximum width for the head of the replacement rivet. Here we have a picture of the bracket with an aching hole where its heart used to be, an out of focus but clearly lonely rivet attached solidly to the suitcase frame, a shot of another bracket still firmly attached to the frame and looking a bit smug, a look at the rubberized strap, and the outside end of the rivet.
What I needed was a replacement for the rivet, and a nice big washer or metal brace to keep the new rivet from pulling through the plastic bracket.