How to Set a Leather Double-Cap Rivet

Written by bridgette ashmore
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How to Set a Leather Double-Cap Rivet
Rivets are a common means of securing leather. (leather strip image by Andrzej Włodarczyk from

Double-cap rivets are a common choice for leather workers when both sides of the leather will be seen. Unlike many other rivets that have an unfinished back side, double-cap rivets are the same on both sides to present a finished look no matter the view. Setting double-cap rivets follows the same procedure as regular rivets. Fortunately the procedure is not very difficult and with a little practice, you will be able to use rivets to secure all of your leather needs.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Rivets
  • Leather punch
  • Rivet setting tool and anvil
  • Mallet

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  1. 1

    Determine the size of the rivet you will need. Hold the rivet up next to the two pieces of leather you are securing. The stem of the rivet should be longer than the thickness of the leather so it will correctly engage, but not so long it will prevent the caps from aligning. Typically 1/4 to 1/3 of the length should be visible past the leather.

  2. 2

    Determine the size of the hole you need to punch. Most leather punches have hollowed out bits. Fit the stem of the rivet into the bit of the leather punch. The stem should fit loosely, but the hole should not allow the cap of the rivet to come through.

  3. 3

    Punch the holes for your rivet. Line the holes up and push the stem of the rivet through the holes.

  4. 4

    Place the cap onto the rivet stem. The small anvil that came with your rivet tool will have two sides; a flat side and a concave side. Place the anvil on the table with the concave side up. Place the rivet on the anvil. Place the concave end of the tool directly over the rivet cap and hit it squarely with a mallet once or twice.

  5. 5

    Examine the finished rivet to ensure it has engaged properly. There should be a slight indent in the leather where the rivet is set and the caps should be directly in line with each other on each side of the leather.

Tips and warnings

  • If the stem of your rivet is too long when you place it through the leather, you can shear off the excess length with cutters.

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