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How to Put Rivets on to Material

Updated February 21, 2017

Rivets are metal fasteners that can be applied to almost any material. To attach a rivet to a certain material or fabric, a rivet gun is used to make application simple. Attaching rivets to fabric can be interesting because it can make for a great design for any project. Rivets are made of various materials, such as wood, plastic and metal. The rivet gun is used to press the rivet into the material and fasten it, permanently attaching it to the material.

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  1. Prepare your material so it is ready for the riveting process. Determine the specified amount of material you will need. The length and the amount of fabric pieces is based on your preferences. You can have two pieces of material so they can be connected by the rivet.

  2. Mark the spot where you will place the rivet, using a marker or pencil. Make sure the designated area is not too close to the edge. According to studiocreations.com, placing the rivet too close to the edge will cause the rivet to tear the material.

  3. Drill a hole into the material using a 1/8-inch drill bit. Studiocreations.com states that when using a 1/8 inch drill bit you should use a 1/8 rivet. There are different size rivets and using the corresponding drill bit can make for a successful placement. You will be drilling a hole in the exact place you marked earlier.

  4. Push the rivet through the material. According to studiocreations.com, the thick end of the rivet should be pushed in first. The thick end of the rivet is the round, wide end. The thick end allows the rivet to stay in place.

  5. Place the washer on the stem of the rivet. A washer is a small metal ring that attaches to the rivet stem. Studiocreations.com states that the washer is crucial, allowing for the rivet to have a strong bond on the material.

  6. Place the rivet gun onto the rivet. The rivet gun has a series of holes, and the thick end of the rivet should be placed into the first hole. Hold the washer in place with your hand so it doesn't slip away.

  7. Clamp the rivet gun onto the rivet by applying pressure onto the handles. You might have to clamp down a few times to securely fasten the rivet. The rivet gun will remove the excess stem on the rivet. The washer has to be in place for the stem to snap off successfully. After the stem is removed, the rivet and the washer should have a strong bond on the material.

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Things You'll Need

  • Rivets
  • Rivet gun
  • Material or fabric
  • Drill
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • Washer
  • Marker
  • Pencil

About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Ashley Leonard has been writing professionally since 2007. Her articles have appeared on rsportscars.com and various other websites. Leonard holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marymount Manhattan College.

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