Beltmaking – Eyelets & Snaps

Today I wanted to talk about the closures on belts. I know the buckle plays a key role in this, but I wanted those to have their own post so now what’s left to talk about are these little parts of a belt that help it stay put. These can also be the part of the belt that are the hardest things to master. For now, we’re just going to talk about the items themselves and then tomorrow, I’ll be showing you the tools I use to get an expert finish. Ok? Ok.



Believe me when I tell you that I know a lot about eyelets, especially because the last few weeks I’ve been looking for better eyelets for my belt and buckle kits. Having finally found some that I’m very happy with, you’ll find that all the kits in the shop will now be carrying them. Eyelets and their application can be a serious pill. What’s more, you can’t unpick an eyelet if you do the application badly. It gets to stay there forever. Yup. But, don’t worry, I’m going to show you some of my tricks and tools to get these to look fabulous. Let’s move onto eyelet types and sizes, shall we? There are two types of eyelets – scored and rolled. Scored eyelets are scored along the back end of the eyelet and are found regularly in any sewing store and are fairly easy to apply. However the scoring can create a rough surface on the back of the belt which doesn’t do well if you are using something like a silk. Rolled eyelets don’t have a scoring but are smooth, and are harder to apply. However, these have a much more professional end result and are now what’s stocked in the belt and buckle kits I sell. What about size? Belting eyelets are usually 3/16″ in diameter. This said, you’ll find that if you go pick up some eyelets at your local fabric store you’ll notice that instead of saying 3/16″, the package will say they are 5/32″. This confused me to no end and actually it was not until recently that I figured out what the measurement was referring to. Eyelets are measured in two ways. First there is the diameter of the finished eyelet – in this case 3/16″. Next there is the length of the flange which is the length of the tube that goes through the hole of your belt and is then pressed into it. This is what the 5/32″ refers to. And now that you’ve had a mini dissertation on eyelets, let’s move on….

Eyelet Washer

Eyelet Washers

Eyelet washers provide a backing, underneath the rolled back of an eyelet. These do provide a nice backing, but I’m still kind of hung about them myself. These are not like grommets though, just in case that’s what you’re thinking, because I thought the same thing. You know how a grommet’s backing is slightly smaller than the front (I’m talking about the holes here)? That way, when you set a grommet, the scored edge of the front flays out inside the back. Eyelet washers are different. They are like a small ring of metal that sits underneath the back of the rolled edge.

light blue cowgirl snaps

image source


Snaps provide a great fastener to a belt that doesn’t have a buckle, of which there will be one that I will be showing you how to do. I like using the heavy duty kind that attach to your fabric rather than the kind that are sewed on, but it does depend on the belt. For belts with buckle slides – no prongs or eyelets – I like the sew on variety just to keep things in place.

Hopefully I’ve clarified here rather than confused, but let me know if you have questions! I’m happy to help! Tomorrow we’ll talk about some tools that make life easier and next week, I’ll be showing you some belt tutorials! Yay!



6 thoughts on “Beltmaking – Eyelets & Snaps

    1. I was the very same way! I kept looking for images of what washers did to eyelets and it didn’t make sense until I finally got some in my hands and tried them out.

  1. I’m about to make the belts for my mac coat (the main one plus two littlies for the sleeves) I’ve already got eyelets but it it impossible for me to find two buckles that match in two different sizes (I need 1 x 5cm (2″) prong width and 2 x 4cm (1.5″) prong width). I’m trying my best to find them online and I’ll have a good look in your online shop too. Sometimes finding the perfect notions is the most difficult part of sewing 😉

  2. I just found your Beltmaking School posts and they’re fantastic and very timely. I recently found a couple of vintage belt making kits at the thrift store so I will be referring back to your posts when I get around to making mine.

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