Using eyelets

This has been a popular subject on the forum so I thought I would bring together some of the advice on a page here.  I have added some sample on this page that might inspire you to use them.  I do still have some eyelets left in the shop, postage is still low and no minimum order.

Firstly eyelets are available in several sizes 1/8 being the most popular followed by 3/16. They do come in other sizes, although I have read that the smaller size 1/16 are too fiddly and probably best left alone!  They also come from Europe and are in mm, you may need to check your equipment will work on any size, before you purchase your eyelets.

There is a tool available that looks like a pair of simple pliers that inserts and sets eyelets from DiY stores and markets, and I have seen them on Ebay - I personally would not bother with this, you do not get a neat finish and I have only seen these in a large size, although this was some time ago and things may have changed. They are not easy to use and I have found other members of the forum agree with this. I would recommend the following methods, or check the forum for any latest tools.

Shapes and Colours
There are loads and loads of shapes and colours, some are 'painted' and other anodised - meaning that they are manufactured from a coloured metal. If you want to find others try searching for scrapbook sites (memory albums etc).   You can also buy additional shapes that can be fixed with an eyelet.

These are a product that are exclusive to the Eyelet Outlet and are soft enough to set with a blunt rounded instrument like a pen or ball tool. And these could be a great addition to using a cropodile - just for those long reach occasions.

Well we reckon (the forum members) that this is by far the easiest piece of equipment to use, you punch a hole first using the side punches. These have a sliding bar on the side so that you can set a whole lot of eyelets at the same depth, see first picture below. You can also mark your place with a small dot where you wish to punch your hole, and then line it up by looking down through the hole. Once you have punched the hole you then set it using the end jaws to set the eyelet, see the second picture below.  There are little letters and number on each block and it is recommended that you put 'A' with '1' and 'B' with '2' etc you may need to work out which is best, before you use it on a perfectly created card.

The only disadvantage I can find is that it has only a limited reach so you can't use it for say a middle of a large flower. I use mine a lot by making a 'topper' for the card - you will see the samples on the next page.

You can also use the punch for very thick items such as CDs and thick album covers such as mountboard and the latest 'chipboard'

The manufacturers are just bringing out a new product at the time of writing this (Jan 2008).

Equipment - hammer, punch, setter and mat
Firstly you will need something to work on if you are hammering, I use about 10 - 15 sheets of scrap paper, others use magazines, wooden chopping boards, old mouse mats etc. You can always purchase a special mat, the choice is yours. I have found that too much padding will not work and the hammer will bounce, I first tried it on a carpeted floor, and it just did not work. So whatever you use put it onto a hard firm surface.

Again you can buy a special hammer - but in my opinion a hammer is a hammer, so get the best priced small to medium hammer. If you have one in the toolbox - have a go with that.

You need to punch a hole the size of your eyelet in your card. There are several products available, I bought a set of 6 from my local tool stall (2.99) - which can be used on leather etc and are fine, you need to tap them smartly with a hammer. You can also get various ones from craft shops, and some have interchangeable heads for different sizes and a setter head, all require a hammer, or you can get them as the plier style punches. The ones you can hammer give you the freedom of being able to put a hole anywhere you like. You can see my punches on the left hand side of the picture.

I have one that can be used on any size eyelets, you can see what it looks like on the right of the picture. Also available are those mentioned above with the changeable heads, all need to be hit with a hammer.

What to do
Get your eyelet and make sure you have the correct equipment for the size you are going to use. Now mark the area where you want to put your eyelet. Hold your punch at a right angle to the surface and hit the punch smartly with the hammer - it may take a couple of attempts.

Now put your eyelet with the colour/shape at the bottom on to your 'mat' and put your work upside down on top of the eyelet - with it poking through the hole, you are now working on the back of your card. Pop your setter on the top and again at a right angle hit smartly with a hammer. Some eyelets set easier than others so check to see how it has worked after the first attempt. If the eyelet has sealed all around your item then it is probably done, if not hit it again. Do not hit it too many times and this will ruin the eyelet - particularly the shaped ones.

Silent Setter
There are a number of other products out there - the Silent Setter by Provocraft is a popular product. I have not had experience of this, but the method of punching and setting will still apply

I personally think it is worth trying the whole thing out with simple round eyelets on thin card first - just to build your confidence, then you can move on to bigger and better things!

I have made some standard templates - which is just some scrap paper that match the size of the 'tag' or 'card' that I want to add a central eyelet, which I have folded in half and have taken a central nick from the top of the fold. Once opened out I know to make the punch mark in this gap. If you are doing lots of eyelets - it saves keep measuring

They can be used as decorations, flower centres, something to thread ribbon, string, cord etc through, attaching vellum to card, in fact attaching anything to something! The list is endless really. You can use them on card, paper, vellum, fun foam to name a few. The only constraint is the thickness of your medium, as there must be enough of the eyelet to 'set' around the hole. I have just about managed to use them on a CD - just!

There are still some eyelets for sale in the shop, including Quicklets, they are available in fairly small quantities

  Crafts by Carolyn January 2008