(denim) battle jackets for dummies
There’s a lot of different options out there for studs and a lot of places to get them– providing a glossary and a distro list here would likely consume way too much space. My personal recommendation of where to buy is There’s also a lot of ways to attach a stud. I’m going to cover the most common methods I encounter.

If you’re just starting out, I suggest using pyramid studs, which are square studs with a raised center (like a pyramid, hence the name). They’re easy to place, since you can line up the edges of each stud.

However, if you’re not using pyramid studs or have a unique pattern in mind, I suggest placing two or three studs, then measuring how far it is between the centers of the studs. Using this measurement you can mark out where to place each stud on the vest. Normally I use a colored pencil or pen, since the marks will fade or wash out after time. Tailor’s chalk would also work just fine.

Many studs are attached to the fabric via 2-4 small flanges. To attach these to the fabric, you press the flange through the material and bend the flange down and inwards towards the stud. If you’re working with this kind of stud, get yourself a thimble or something to press the flanges down with that isn’t just your bare fingers– otherwise you’ll have very sore hands.

Flanges can also bend and pop out after time, catching on skin and clothes. Once you’re done, I suggest covering the inside (flanged area) of the studded area with a thin layer of glue, and then covering it with fabric, such as a cut-up t shirt. I suggest a fabric glue like Tear Mender or another flexible craft glue like E6000, both of which can be found at most craft stores or online. This will help keep the studs in place and protect your clothes and skin. If you’re ambitious, you can sew down the edges of the flange-covering fabric to really keep it in place.

Some studs or spikes, especially larger ones, have a screw back instead of flanges. For these, you’ll need to manually create holes in the denim to insert the screw back through. A leather hole puncher works great, as does an Xacto or craft knife. Supergluing the end of the screw before you attach the main spike portion is a good way to make sure they don’t come unscrewed. This method is more time-consuming, so keep that in mind when deciding which method of stud/spike fastening you want for your vest or jacket.

Overall, where you place the studs and what kind you use is entirely up to you. My go-to is to do small studs over the shoulders, and bigger ones on the shoulder seams.

Buy more than you think you need. ALWAYS buy more than you think you need. You will run out so much faster than you expect. I usually buy at least double what I plan to actually use.