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How to Install Rivets

Once you've started using Rivets and realise how wonderful and versatile they are, you will be rivetting all over the place! LOL! They are GREAT to use particularly when you are making straps for your bags and have too many layers for your sewing machine to handle....just reach for the rivets!

Tools and requirements:

*You will need Rivets (Of course!) and there are different types and sizes of rivets but the ones I am using here are commonly referred to as "Rapid Rivets".….Some are single capped and some are double. The cap being the nice shiny dome side that you like to look at! Single sided rivets only have one cap and are suitable to use where only one side is visible, for example, one side might be hidden behind the lining in your bag. For bag straps etc where you will see both sides, it is nicer to use the double cap rivets as they look equally nice from either side.

They also range in size and it is the size of the post (The long rod bit that goes through your fabric) you need to worry about. The cap is usually sized according to the post length but you can get some with bigger caps. A common size I like to use in bag making is 6mm (¼") X 6mm (¼") and 6mm (¼") with an 8mm (5/16th") cap but the size you need to choose is according to the depth of your fabric layers. Choose a rivet length that matches the total thickness of the materials to be fastened. If the rivet post is too long, it will not compress enough and the materials will be free to move about. NOT a good look! If the rivet post is too short, it will not grasp the materials enough and it could pull out. Also not a good look!

*Hammer (For setting Rivets and punching holes)

*Hole Punch

*Anvil and setting tool. These are optional and you can set rivets just with your hammer BUT I find that without them it is waaay too easy to squash that nice shiny dome flat and spoil the look of the rivets!

In this picture below you can see how the setter has a dome shape to it to protect that nice shiny dome head of the rivet!

 1. Use a pen or a fading marker to mark dots at the location where you want your rivets to go. Use a tape measure or ruler if you like, to ensure they are evenly spaced.

2. Place your material on a firm work surface. I use an old self healing mat under mine. (I use an old one because it wouldn't be the first time I have punched a hole right through my fabrics and the mat as well! LOL!) You might find it helps to be on a very firm surface such as a cement floor (Which is where I do mine) or perhaps on a cement step etc. Tables tend to bounce unless you have a very sturdy one!

3. Now using your hole punch, punch a hole in the places you marked.

4. Next insert the post of your rivet through the hole.


5. Place your cap on the rivet post. They should 'click' together loosely. 

Now position your cap onto the anvil and set gently with a hammer. I realise that in my picture (The second one below) it looks like my setter is at an angle BUT it is actually held directly straight upright. This is important so as not to get your rivet setting crookedly!  

Congratulations! You're done! Now that wasn't hard at all, was it? What a great way to make your next bag project look even more professional!

You can download and save a PDF copy of this tutorial to your harddrive by clicking here. I hope you have found this tutorial useful! J