Which Eyelet-Setting Method Is Best for You?
By Jill Davis, Founder of Scrapbook.com
Eyelets have been a part of life since our births. Think of some of your first pairs of shoes. Didn’t they have eyelets on them to hold your shoelaces? Have you ever wondered how eyelets got into the world of scrapbooking? Read on to find out how I learned about eyelets and their setting tools and where that information is taking me…
My Original Eyelet Setter
I still own my first non-industrial eyelet/snap setter. I used it to add eyelets or snaps to the clothes I sewed for my children. I also used it for craft projects. I was limited in where I could place eyelets though, because the tool would only reach ¾” in from any edge. It was virtually silent, except for my groans as I squeezed the tool with all my strength to set an eyelet or snap. I longed to be able to put an eyelet anywhere I chose, with ease.
While working with a group of card makers in the mid 90’s, I learned how to use a leather hole punch, self-healing mat, hammer and eyelet setter to “set” an eyelet anywhere. The only problem was that the smaller eyelets, punch and setter were hard to find. Eyelet setting this way was noisy, but possible on any card. Many scrapbookers were beginning to include eyelets on layouts.
The Improved Version
It wasn’t long before Making Memories introduced their eyelet-setting tools and 3/8” eyelets in 20+ beautiful colors. For months, these amazing tools flew off the Scrapbook.com shelves; we could barely keep them in stock. The method was still noisy, and we had no idea tools and conditions could get better.
The New-and-Improved Versions
In 2004-2005 eyelet setting moved to the next level. Three companies introduced a single setting tool that eliminated the need for a punch tool, setting tool and hammer. I tried them all, and here is what I found:
Karen Foster Design - Clikit™
This spring-action tool helps you punch holes, set eyelets, and emboss with a simple push on the handle.
The tool releases the same amount of pressure as a hammer but with a little less noise. It comes with 10 interchangeable tips, two sets of different sized eyelets, a setting pad in a fun slide-top wooden box.
If you love to punch letters into metal, additional embossing alphabets are available. Rumor has it that more alphabets are on the way. Complete instructions and diagrams are included in the box. Click here to learn more about the Clickit™ and Embossing Sets and to see pricing.
Making Memories - Instant Setter
This spring-loaded, adjustable-tension tool is easy on the hands and less intrusive on the ears, though it still makes some noise. The three (3) interchangeable punching tips (1/16”, 1/8” and 3/16”), four (4) setting tips, and a setting mat are all included in a signature Making Memories metal box.
Tool handle is comfortable to hold and use. Each of the letter dies from the Making Memories Stamping Die Set fit into the tool head. Complete instructions are included on the back of the packaging label. Click here to see pricing for the Instant Setter and to learn more.
Provo Craft - Silent Setter
This ergonomic setting tool takes some getting use to, but it quietly sets eyelets without noise. And it doesn’t misshape the metal edges on eyelets. The set includes a zippered case with three (3) punch and three (3) setting tips in micro, standard, and large, and a setting mat.
It fits comfortably in your hand, and all that’s needed is a medium to firm push down and a slight rotation of the tool to securely attach an eyelet to any layout or craft project.
It works best on aluminum eyelets. Click here to learn more about the Silent Setter and to see pricing.
This handy tool can punch paper, leather, plastic, metal, chipboard, acrylic, fabric, wood, poly and more. It's durable, easy to use and quiet. The only down-side to the Crop-A Dile is that you can't reach the center of your pages or projects. It can only punch around the edges. For most projects, this is fine, but if you do need to reach the middle, you'll need one of the other tools as well. This is a "must have" for most scrapbookers.
Each new tool solves a different problem for me as they will for you too. Here’s what I’ve decided to do:
1. Keep my original gripper tool because it sets an industrial snap.
2. Save some of the early Making Memories tools (and those from other companies) to store in my teaching tote for student use. Donate the rest to our local women’s shelter for their scrapbooking lab. I’d hesitate taking them to a crop anymore because scrappers enjoy the “quiet” the new setters bring to the table.
3. Consider purchasing the Karen Foster Clickit™ because it will easily set my heavier eyelets that aren’t aluminum. I love the many tip options. I like the alphabet styles in the embossing letters. It’s a toss-up between this one and the Making Memories Instant Setter.
4. Consider the Making Memories Instant Setter with its simplicity, comfortable handle and signature box.
5. Purchase the Provo Craft Silent Setter because I scrap at night and need a quite setter to keep from disturbing my family. The Silent Setter fills that need. It doesn’t have as many bells and whistles and can’t set my heavy-duty eyelets, so I’ll want to purchase one of the other setters also.
6. Purchase the Crop-A-Dile. This handy tool punches through just about any material and it's easy to use... plus you can use it with several other embellishments.