How to Set Rivets in Leatherworking

Updated March 28, 2017

Make your own belts, wallets, bracelets, jackets and boots as a leather smith. Leatherworking is a hobby that allows you to produce your own custom leather fashions. Part of leatherworking is using rivets to hold and connect leather straps. Rivets are stout metal wires compressed down with a burr -- the metal cylinder that holds the rivet in place. Special tools help set the rivets and burrs to hold your straps and leatherwork in place.

Set out the leather to be riveted. Insert the section of the leather to be riveted into the jaws of the hole punch. Punch a hole slightly larger in diameter than the rivet to be pushed through.

Bend back or connect the leather pieces to be secured with the rivet and align the rivet holes. Push the rivet into the holes so it faces wire up.

Push a burr down onto the rivet wire. Place the rivet tool onto the burr and push it down as far as possible against the leather.

Place the clipper jaws over the exposed rivet wire and clip it off. Put the concave end of the rivet tool onto the burr and tap it with the rubber mallet to further set the rivet into the leather.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather hole punch tool
  • Rivet setting tool
  • Rivets and burrs
  • Rubber mallet
  • Rivet clippers
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About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.