A rivet is ideal when you have thick fabric and layers of fabric that are just too thick for your sewing machine to handle. A rivet is a great way to attach leather bag handles.
A double cap rivet comes with two sides, a male and female. The long ones the male, which you insert through the hole in the leather, then press the female half of the rivet onto the other side. The cap refers to the round top of the rivet, for a double cap you have a round cap both sides.
Putting rivets in fabric is an essential tool in your bag making skills. Check out my other essential skills tutorials for bag making:-
- How to insert a magnetic snap
- How to box corners
- How to make a slip pocket
- How to insert a zipper pocket in a pocket lining
How to install rivets
Using the right tools will make this so much easier. You will need:
- Hole Punch Tool
- Various sizes of rivets
- Rivet Setting Tool
The first step is to measure the thickness of the fabric so that you can install an appropriate size rivet.
Check that your double cap rivet is the right size (depth for the bag). This bag has Annies Soft and Stable so is reasonably thick therefore I am using 8mm cap rivets, if you use fusible fleece to add strength to your bag I suggest 6mm or smaller cap rivets. The right size rivet is important, too small and you will not be able to install the rivet, too long leads to any handle having a wobble to it!
Use a hole punch to create suitable size holes in your bag and the leather handles. You may need to hole punch separately the bag and then the handle.
Place the male cap rivet through the handle and fabric layers, then press the female side onto the back of the rivet.
Place the rivet so that the bottom cap lays on the concave side of the rivet tool. Align the convex end of the rod on the head of the rivet and give it a good hit with a hammer (ensure you are on a solid surface!).
This is such an easy way to install rivets for any project. Using rivets in bag making is one of my favorite features as I believe it takes the finish of a bag to the next level.
I have several free bag patterns on the blog which utilize rivets, check them out:-