Setting Eyelets with an Eyelet Tool


Decorative eyelets set with an eyelet tool are attractive and functional additions to an altered book. eyelets

The picture to the left shows a portion of a layout containing eyelets. They're the little black circles with hollow centers. In this case, they are used to hold the layout togthether, as well to enhance the visual appeal.

Eyelets are particularly handy for attaching vellum to a page. They eliminate the problem of adhesives, glues and tapes showing through the transparent paper.

You can purchase eyelets and your eyelet setting tool online. offers free shipping.

If You're Unfamiliar with Setting Eyelets

Just in case you are completely bewildered by this discussion, I'll explain it here.

An eyelet is a metallic doo-dad with a hollow stem. They come in various shapes, sizes and colors -- see the little black circles in the picture above.

You need an eyelet setting tool. Items such as this Making Memories Universal Eyelet Setter are hugely popular nowadays.

This is how to use your eyelet tool set:


  1. Align the items that you are going to punch through, and decide where you want to place the eyelet hole.

  2. Place your items on the cutting mat or board, facing upwards. Any really hard surface will do, if you do not have a cutting mat. But be cautious. You can damage countertops if you do not use a suitable mat for protection. And, if your cutting surface is too soft, as is the case with wooden cutting boards, you will not get a proper alignment. I find that using a regular cutting mat with my eyelet tool set is convenient and solves a lot of problems.

  3. Use the punch to make a hole in the paper or layers of paper. In the picture, the punch is the tool with a long hole in the middle. Its sharp tip will cut through several layers of paper.

    Place the sharp end of the punch on the paper where you want the hole to be. Hold the punch upright. Tap it on the upper end with a hammer. This makes a hole through the paper. If you have not cut through all layers, tap again until you do.

    Note : An ordinary hole punch will work. However, with hole punches, you are limited to areas near the edge of your paper. With one of these "anywhere" punches, you can make a hole any place you want.

    Note: Eyelet punches are available in different sizes. If your hole is too large,the eyelet will fall through. Punches are available individually. I have two.

  4. When you have made the hole in your paper or fabric, position your eyelet so the stem reaches downward through the hole. Carefully turn the project over, holding the stem in place in the hole. Place the project on the cutting mat. The project's back will be facing upwards. The stem will have emerged through the hole and will be pointing upwards also.

  5. Place the pointed end of the eyelet tool setter inside the upwards-pointing stem. Be sure to hold the setter in a verticle position. If it is slanted, your eyelet will not set correctly. Holding the setter in place vertically, tap the flat end with your hammer. This drives the pointed end downward, forcing the metal to "splay" outwards, forming a protective rim around the hole.

  6. Remove the setter and inspect. If jagged, upright edges are showing on the back, tap them directly with the hammer to flatten. Jagged edges can cut or rip surrounding elements. However, do not pound too hard. You don't want to damage the decorative eyelet on the front.

  7. And that's it. Your eyelet is in place. Incidentally, this is a noisy business. You might plan to bring out your eyelet tool kit during hours when you will not annoy the neighbors!

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Return to Altered Book Home Page when finished with the eyelet tool.