At first glance, eyelets might not seem like something that goes hand-in-hand with papercrafting, but they can and do! In recent years, and thanks to the introduction of much better eyelet setting tools, the humble eyelet has become widely used within the papercrafting world. Here’s why.
Eyelets have become a form of embellishment that’s widely used in various papercrafting techniques. They’re basically a form of fastener with a hole in the middle. An eyelet setting tool is required in order to attach them to a surface, such as paper, card, metal or fabric, but once they’re in place they can be used to thread ribbons through, to tie the front of card together, to make a hanging object or for general decorative pleasure.
Eyelets come in all shapes and sizes – they can be round, square, novelty shaped and plain, patterned, shiny, dull or wacky. There are teeny tiny eyelets, medium sized eyelets and really big ones, so whatever your project, you’re likely to find an eyelet that will suit the purpose. Good craft shops are well stocked with eyelets and you can either buy them in packs of one design or colour, or as mixed variety packs.
To use eyelets in your projects you will need an eyelet setting tool. There are various types of eyelet setters available and the more recent varieties (e.g. the Crop-a-dile) have made setting an eyelet a whole lot easier than it used to be.
Some of the more traditional eyelet setters involved the need for a hammer, whereas others involved a little device that is pressed down. Modern eyelet setters are much more easy to use, don’t involve the need for a lot of pressure and can be used by almost anyone.
When you’re setting an eyelet, and especially if you’ve not used a setter before, it’s best to try it out on a protected surface. You’ll need your eyelet and then just follow the instructions that came with your particular setter. The general idea is the same – make a hole, then set the eyelet – but the method involved varies slightly depending on the type of setter you have.
Using Eyelets in Creative Papercrafting
Eyelets are very versatile and open up a whole new world of innovative design ideas. They can be used in a wide variety of ways, including:
- On cards– eyelets can be used on the front of gatefold cards, with ribbon threaded between them and tied so the card can be opened and closed nicely. Or they can be used elsewhere on other sorts of cards, either purely for decoration or with ribbon threaded through.
- On scrapbook pages – as with cards, eyelets can add a new dimension to scrapbook pages and play both a practical role and add a decorative element.
- On altered art projects – eyelets are ideal for altered art papercraft projects. As setters work on surfaces such as plastic or metal, eyelets can be used on decorative metal boxes, on covered buckets or tins, on altered stationery items and to make items such as ribbon holders. Basically anywhere where you need a hole and want it to be finished off to a high standard, so it won’t tear, get worn out or look untidy in a few months time.
Eyelets are funky, trendy and great fun to use, so why not have a go for yourself and see what new ideas you can come up with. Happy creating!