how to work with eyelets

May 3, 2011

If you have looked at the yin yang bag tutorial, you might have noticed the big eyelets that I used to lead the holding strap through. These are the biggest you can still hammer in by hand, without using a real press. Since I’ve had a few questions concerning where to buy them and how to add them to your piece of work, I decided to write a short tutorial about them.

The eyelets I use are manufactured by Prym. In The Netherlands they are quite common, and you can buy them at most fabric stores or at shops specialised in haberdashery. For some online options look here or here. The ones I used are the 14 mm dark bronze kind, although they are difficult to find online. They come in a package with ten eylets and washers, with a little toolset and an explanation on the back. But, there’s one problem: often the eyelets disform in the wrong way. Recently I found out how to avoid this, which is what I’m going to share with you today.

And here it comes.. the TRICK. It’s easy: lubrication is the word. Just add a little tiny bit of grease to the inside of your eyelet. Don’t add too much or you risk stains on the fabric (or leather) around the eyelet. A really thin layer is just enough to make hammering in an eyelet a piece of cake.

Now position everything in the right order on a smooth, hard working surface (for the sake of this tutorial the pictures were taken on a white table, in reality I use a piece of metal on a workbench as a working surface).

Start with the round metal piece that serves as a mould, then place the eyelet in the mould, next the fabric (or leather) pierced at the position where you want the eyelet to be, and last the washer on top.

Now the other small tool that came with the package is needed; place the metal side of it inside the eyelet. Take your hammer and give it a good blow. The eyelet will deform and the edge that was sticking out will curl down to keep the washer in place. If everything went according to plan, you’ve now got a perfect metal reinforced hole in whatever you were making:

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  1. I love eyelets, and I was always wandering where I could get those big ones. The trick with the lubrication is very good, what kind of oil do you use?
    I think in the future I´m going to give it a try!

    • Hi Este,

      It doesn’t really matter what kind of lubrication you use, I used some regular petroleum jelly. The kind that you can also use for dry hands during winter.

  2. Thanks for the tutorial. I recently bought some grommets and am about to try my hand at them. This will help quite a bit. I love your blog!!

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