How to Grommet Leather

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Whether fashionable everyday modern wear or special-occasion Renaissance Faire garb, many leather garments feature both functional and decorative laced closures. Laces lend boots and shoes, jackets and coats, bodices, corsets, trousers and gloves not only practical solutions, but power and style. However, threading laces through plain leather holes can leave them looking unprofessional or sloppy and risks damaging the leather over time. For a clean, finished look, adorn leather lacing holes with sturdy metal grommets.

Things You'll Need

  • Grommets
  • Washers
  • White chalk
  • Leather punch
  • Rubber mallet
  • Grommet punch kit
  • Measure the size of the grommets and determine the desired distances between them. Mark the grommet placement on the leather with white chalk.

  • Center a leather punch over the markings to make lacing holes. Hit the top of the punch with a rubber mallet until it pierces the leather.

  • Slide a grommet end through a hole in the front side of the leather.

  • Turn the leather over and slide a washer onto the protruding grommet end.

  • Place the leather, front side down, onto the anvil in the grommet punch kit. Center the grommet's face side on the anvil.

  • Place the grommet punch through the center of the grommet. Hit the punch sharply with the mallet until the washer folds, securing the grommet. Repeat the process on all lacing holes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Set the anvil on a block of wood to cushion the floor, table or workspace.
  • Select grommets with teeth only when working with heavy leather, as these may loosen with use in lightweight leather.
  • Select the same size leather punch as the grommet size.
  • In addition to hammer punches, setting machines and plier punches are optional. Pliers, however, do not give as clean a result as the others.

References

  • Making Leather Handbags and Other Stylish Accessories; Ellen Goldsten-Lynch, Sarah Mullins and Nicole Malone
  • Sew and Repair Your Outdoor Gear; Louise Lindgren Sumner
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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