How to Use Eyelets in Fabric

Updated November 21, 2016

Eyelets can be used to embellish purses or clothing, to hang curtains or to close things. Though not complicated, eyelets can be frustrating as they're small, hard to see, easy to lose and even more frustrating to thread. Fortunately, the process is a little like riding a bike: once you know how to do it, you're set.

Know How Many You Want to Use

Before you begin putting the eyelets in whatever you're making, decide how many you want to use, how big you want them, the colours you want them to be, how far apart you want them spaced and whether they're simply for decor or if they'll have fabric or a cord running through them. Mark where you want the eyelets and make sure it looks like you want it to be.

Mark the Holes in the Fabrics

With the eyelets still on the fabric, trace around the inside of the eyelets, and make sure you can see the line (which will later be covered by the eyelet). Mark where you want the eyelets and make sure it looks like you want it to be. Make a hole that is large enough for the eyelet shaft to pass through. Don't make it to large or it won't grip the fabric correctly. Try very hard not to make it too small, either.

Push the Eyelet Shaft Through the Hole

Push your eyelet shaft through the hole and to the other side of the fabric until it is in place. If the hole is too small, make it a little bigger so the fabric doesn't stretch. Be very careful, though, that the hole isn't too large or you will not be able to finish your eyelet.

Apply the Eyelet Plate

Place the material somewhere flat and hard, like a countertop, the floor or a table. Then, put the eyelet plate over the shaft and trim any extra bits of fabric. Now, hammer the eyelet plate, whacking it several times. Remove the eyelet setter and voila, a very professional-looking eyelet.


Make sure the surface you're hammering on is flat and hard so that the hammer doesn't leave eyelet marks on your table and so that they eyelet sets evenly.

Practice on a scrap until you've got it right and are comfortable doing it on your official piece purse or other fabrics.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer plate
  • Hammer post
  • Eyelet shaft
  • Eyelet plate
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