How to Attach Rivets in Fabric

by Contributing Writer

When you’re using thick or multiple layers of fabric, creating or repairing clothing, bags, or other objects, it is important to re-enforce the seams where your sewing machine isn’t getting through adequately. Adding rivets are a great way to secure material together and they are inexpensive, easy to use, and can add an edgy decorative detail to any project.

Items you will need

  • Cap rivet
  • Marker
  • Multi-sized hole punch
  • Cap rivet setting tool
  • Cap rivet anvil
  • Hammer
Step 1

Select the appropriate size rivet by measuring the thickness of the fabric you are connecting. The shaft of the rivet (bolt core) should be slightly longer. If it is too short the bolt core and the cap will not attach, and if it is too long there will be a gap for the fabric to move and possibly fray.

Step 2

Decide where you want to attach the rivet to your fabric and mark with a pen or tailor’s chalk.

Step 3

At the mark, punch a hole in the fabric using the multi-sized hole punch. Select a hole size that is identical or slightly smaller than the size of the bolt core. The hole size that you make should create a snug fit for the bolt core. If you do not have a hole punch you can use a small scissors to make your opening, but it is harder to get a correct size this way.

Step 4

Insert the bolt core through the hole you just created so that the cap will connect on the outside of your project. Push on the cap. The two pieces will connect, but more pressure is needed to lock them together.

Step 5

Place the cap rivet anvil under the base of the bolt core.

Step 6

Place the concave end of the cap rivet setting tool on the cap of your rivet.

Step 7

Make sure that the connected rivet and tools are on a hard, protected surface. Using a hammer, tap the cap rivet setting tool against the cap. This will connect the two rivet pieces together.

Tips

  • If you have a rivet gun you can connect the bolt core and cap using this device instead of a hammer. Follow steps 1 through 4, and skip steps 5 through 7, connecting the two pieces with your rivet gun.