Sewing Fail - Why can't I get eyelets to work?

Today I was planning to show a cool finished bag with triangle corners and featuring extra large eyelets at the top for the straps to run through. But after lots and lots of hammering, NOTHING happened. I swear I followed the instructions but I just can't get it to work.

Have you had success with applying grommets, eyelets or snaps? Have you ever used a tool like this or this? Do they work better than the little metal post things? I'd love to know if you have any advice. I always find frustration and disappointment when trying to do these.