How to set an eyelet without a tool

Embellished background (seamless repeat tile) image by Sophia Winters from

Eyelets are small, metal rings designed to reinforce a hole. In the past, eyelets were seen most often in shoes. They were the covering on the hole that holds your shoelaces. Today, eyelets have many purposes. They are used as embellishment on clothing and in scrapbooking. Eyelets come in many different sizes and shapes, but circles are most commonly used. To place an eyelet without an eyelet setting tool requires some practice but can be easily achieved.

Lay the paper/material on a flat surface. Use a self-healing mat to protect your worktable. Tapping the eyelet too hard can leave dents in work surfaces.

Decide where you want to place the eyelet and mark the spot with a pencil. This will give you guidance when you go to set it in the proper spot. It also makes setting multiple eyelets on one piece a lot easier.

Place the hole punch on top of the marking and make the punch. If you are using cloth or any material other than paper, hit the top of the hole punch with the hammer to make the hole.

Place your eyelet into the hole. Place a piece of construction paper or cardboard over the laid eyelet and turn your paper/material over. This keeps the eyelet in place.

Place the head of a large screwdriver into the eyelet and hit it gently with a hammer. This will open the back of the eyelet, setting it into the paper. If only part of the eyelet is set, take the screwdriver out and reposition it to the unset side until it is completely open.

Take the screwdriver out and hit the eyelet a few times. This will expand the back of the eyelet to secure it to your material. Keep in mind that there are many different sizes of eyelets, so to set other sizes you will need to adjust your screwdriver size.

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