How to Apply Eyelets to Material

Updated February 21, 2017

Eyelets and grommets are metal rings which protect the edges of holes in fabric, such as the edges of the holes in lace-up shoes. Add eyelets to any item you wish to run a cord through. Small eyelets are usually made in one piece and are applied with eyelet pliers. They are used on lace-up bodices for costumes. Larger eyelets are often called grommets. They are made in two pieces. They are useful on household items such as laundry bags.

Mark the placement of the eyelets on the fabric. Choose the desired size of eyelet. If your eyelet pliers will work with multiple sizes of eyelets, be sure they are adjusted correctly for the eyelet.

Place the eyelet on the prong on the eyelet pliers. Position the eyelet on the fabric with the eyelet on the mark.

Squeeze the handles of the pliers together as firmly as you can. Remove the pliers and check to see that the back of the eyelet is completely folded into the fabric. If necessary reposition the pliers and squeeze the handles again.

Mark the placement of the eyelets on the fabric. Choose the desired size of eyelet. Cut a hole in the fabric just large enough for the stem on the grommet to fit through. Pick the half of the grommet with the longer stem up and stick the stem through the hole in the fabric.

Place a board down to protect your surface. Place the anvil from the grommet kit on the board with the round groove on top. The anvil is the round, flat piece.

Place the fabric over the anvil so that the grommet is inserted in the groove. Place the other half of the grommet over the stem. The convex side of this half should be up.

Place the tool from the grommet kit over the grommet with the rod sticking up. The tool is the metal rod with the round disk on the end. Hammer the rod with a hammer until the halves of the grommet are sealed together. The metal edges on the inside of the grommet will fold over and join the two halves together.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • One-piece eyelet
  • Eyelet pliers
  • Two-piece grommet
  • Scissors
  • Grommet setting kit
  • Board
  • Hammer
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About the Author

Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.