I have two pieces of sheet material that I want to fix together, one is reinforced cardboard and the other is a flat piece of metal that's part of a clasp. I'm looking for a fixing that would function a bit like a pop rivet.

I was imagining something a bit like a nut and bolt with a very short screw thread, but I've had a look in my local hardware stores and I couldn't see anything like this.

Does anyone know the name of a fixing that would function like this so I can search it online to buy some? I could buy a longer bolt and saw some of the thread off, but I thought there should be a fixing for this that I don't have to modify before using.

  • 1
    Usually a decent hardware store will have a wide assortment of fasterners, from large and small bolts, self tapping screws, rivets.
    – crip659
    Oct 31, 2021 at 16:08
  • 2
    Adding what type of sheet material you joining to your question might help.
    – crip659
    Oct 31, 2021 at 16:26
  • 1
    Dimensions would help too - total thickness and hole diameter. I have a suggestion that might work, so I'll post it, but it might not
    – Chris H
    Nov 1, 2021 at 11:48
  • 4
    "Something that functions like a pop rivet" includes .. pop rivets themselves.
    – pjc50
    Nov 1, 2021 at 12:25
  • 1
    For attaching to cardboard - probably just a decent glue? If higher strength is needed, then the cardboard will probably need re-enforcing with some sort of large patch/washer, or any type of fixing is going to pull through.
    – MikeB
    Nov 1, 2021 at 13:16

4 Answers 4


That is the beauty of bolts, they come in standard lengths so you can make them a non-standard length with a hacksaw and a file or a 4" angle grinder, dremel etc

  • 7
    I like to place a nut onto the non cut side of threads first. Cleans the cut thread when removing nut, instead of needing a tap and die set.
    – crip659
    Oct 31, 2021 at 16:03
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    @crip659 have a set of needle files that deal with the thin thread excess.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 31, 2021 at 16:04
  • The question mentions this as an undesirable solution. Posting it as an answer seems unproductive.
    – isherwood
    Nov 2, 2021 at 16:55
  • @isherwood, no yoou must have mis-read what the OP wrote - he said "I was imagining something a bit like a nut and bolt with a very short screw thread, but I've had a look in my local hardware stores and I couldn't see anything like this", which means explaining that a bolt can be cut down is a reasonable and possibly productive answer.
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 2, 2021 at 17:02
  • I'm not sure how I could misinterpret "I could buy a longer bolt and saw some of the thread off, but...." Apparently a change of mind was had. How annoying.
    – isherwood
    Nov 2, 2021 at 18:07

Just use rivets with washers behind the cardboard to spread the load.

If your hardware store doesn't have what you need go to a fastener specialist.


You can make a rivet out of a nail using a hammer.


peen a rivet

Pretty slick! Make hole thru sheets. Put nail thru hole. Cut off excess nail. Beat the rest down flat against hard flat thing, using flat side of hammer. Finish with ball side of hammer. I have some shiny brass nails I found in a dumpster that would love to be part of a project like this.

This is what that ball peen hammer you got from your grandfather has been waiting to do for the last 50 years! That is how it got its name!

  • 3
    Note: practice this first on some sheet trimmings or stuff you don't care about.
    – Willk
    Oct 31, 2021 at 17:11
  • Peening is not so much "beat down" as "many light taps" for best results, speaking from experience,
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 31, 2021 at 17:36
  • This is great to know. Unfortunately I don't think it's relevant for my materials I updated my question with more details.
    – Jojo
    Oct 31, 2021 at 22:34

Brass paper fastener.

brass fastener

Get some with the longest legs you can find. Put thru minimal slit in cardboard. Then flatten open legs against the far side, glue them and clamp them overnight.

The surface area of the legs and the glue will spread out the area needing to support your attachment. The brass will look good with your hinge. It might still pull thru cardboard but is at less risk than a rivet because of the greater surface area.

Consider augmenting the back of the cardboard by gluing down something firmer than cardboard. I would use a cap from a jar. You could cut a piece of plastic.

Are we crafting now?

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