Summer Sewing ~ Grommet Tutorial

on July 14 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 65 Comments

Toni helped us before with a fun apron pattern review. Today she shows us how to use grommets for a summer sun canopy, perfect for the beach or local park. We’ll utilize our new grommet techniques in a child’s tent project later this week!

I totally love grommets! You can use them in so many different applications… The possibilities are endless! Here is a great way to beat the summer heat using grommets to create a canopy:

First, gather your supplies…

I’m using a vintage sheet and antique brass grommets, but you can use canvas/home dec fabric, or anything you want really and the grommets come in brass and silver as well.

They come in lots of different sizes but this is the best size for this project.

Now, we need to measure where we want to place our grommets. I am going 2” in and 2” up.

Use an air erasable marker to mark placement, then place male end of grommet centered on that mark. Color in the circle. If you are using a lightweight fabric, you will need to stabilize it. In this case, it’s thick enough to hold.

Next, it’s time to cut away the marked fabric.

Place the male end on the pretty side of the fabric, poking it through the hole.

Place the female end on top of the male end on the backside of the fabric and place the male end on top of the grommet tool. You will need your hammer for this step.

Place the long piece of the grommet tool on top of the grommet end that is sticking out of the back side of the fabric making sure it is centered and level. This tool will cause the male end of the grommet to roll down and smooth out while the female ends points grab into the fabric to hold everything in place.

You will need to do this on a hard surface. (I use the cement floor in my garage– covered, of course.)

After you’ve given it a few good whacks, it should look like this.

Repeat for each corner. Tie it to a tree, drape over a clothes line… The possibilities are endless… We like to use ours on the side of our oak tree.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial on using grommets and don’t forget to experiment with other applications as well!

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65 Responses to Summer Sewing ~ Grommet Tutorial

  1. Elle says:

    thank you so much! taking them out to the concrete totally did the trick!

  2. epompey says:

    wow thank you ! i can finally use them with out destroying them a;ong with my fabric.

  3. rachel says:

    when the grommet is being placed in something bulky – like the top of a canvas tote bag with interfacing for support – ??How do you cut the hole out before placing the grommet?? that is a lot of thicknesses to cut thru and a tiny little space – any hints??

  4. Leah says:

    Thanks! But any tips when the grommet doesn’t seem to work?? I made a shower curtain for my dorm room, but even using these same steps, and many good whacks, nothing happened!

  5. Judy Jarrett says:

    I have been looking for a tent pattern for my 3 year old. This is simply!
    Thank you.

  6. Noelia says:

    I dont have little kids around but i remember doing that when i was a kid … 🙂 Very cute! I will keep it in mind for the future

  7. meg says:

    I used a very similar technique to make a tent for our small balcony/deck, which gets intense direct sun. I screwed hooks into the eaves overhanging the deck, and used a fabric dropcloth. When we want to sit outside, I hook the grommets through the hooks, and then attached fabric ties that I loosely tie around the deck railing to anchor the other side. An easy, breezy summer shade! Thanks for the tutorial!

  8. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the reminder that I need to pick up all the stuff to do grommets. They are so useful for so many things…

  9. Lil' d says:

    I like the canopy idea – thanks

  10. Vanessa says:

    Oh, thanks for putting the spotlight on grommets! I have avoided them, but I think it’s time to venture into the grommet world!


  11. Ane says:

    The canopy is such a great idea, so much more portable than a parasol!

  12. knittin mama says:

    I’d like to try this for an easy summer play tent for DD!

  13. Vicki says:

    This tutorial is great! I’ll be bookmarking this for when I find the perfect fabric for my new shower curtain! Love it. Thank you.

  14. ElizabethC says:

    Have a few sheets that I could put to good use and make a canopy. Thanks so much for the tutorial. Would be a great light weight thing to take to the beach. Love how you have your hammer and your sheet coordinated :-))

  15. homejewel says:

    I have grommets in my sewing box. Love this great idea!

  16. Amy says:

    Wow, that looks easier than I thought it would be. I like the canopy idea!

  17. Jan says:

    Thanks for the instructions. I can’t wait to try this one.

  18. Gerwerken says:

    I am so glad I have the knowledge to do this correctly now. I have been wanting to make some curtains with grommet hangers.

  19. Nichole D. says:

    Great resource. This is going in my bookmarks for sure!

  20. Nancy says:

    So, I am totally going to make a new purse with grommets around the top….thanks for the tute…

  21. Molly says:

    I have been wanting to use grommets for a while now. I can do it with confidence after your tutorial.

  22. Jean says:

    Very cool- this will definitely come in handy at some point!

  23. Di says:

    Great tut! Thanks for doing it.

  24. Stacey says:

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! I hve had a project in mind for a while but wasn’t quite sure how to do it because I had never used grommets before!

  25. Pamela says:

    Oh thank you for this tutorial! My boys are plotting their projects now that we know how to do grommets. 🙂

  26. Candi says:

    I’m sew excited I found your site! I’d put sewing on my list of “Things to Learn” and this will be a HUGE resource! Thanks again!

  27. LadySnow says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. I have always wanted to try grommets, but never got the nerve up to do it. 😀

  28. Andrea says:

    I have a grommet tool and some tiny Grommets that I got from my Grandma. I wonder what I can do with them!

  29. Maxwell says:

    Thank you! I’m going to grommet everything now!

  30. Tom Schavo says:

    The grommets are cheap at the hardware stores than at a fabric store. thats the reality!

  31. Betty says:

    Thank you for your tutorials…………I especially like the grommet instructions. I’m going to make one of these canopes to give my Gunnera plant some shade.

  32. thank you for the inspiration, i’ve wanted to play with grommets for a long time, i think i shall head out to the store and try it

  33. I agree with one of the other comments…such an easy and adorable Christmas gift for familes with young children! Thanks for showing me how to do grommets too…

  34. Nicole says:

    Now I want to make one of those rope bags and a safari tent for my classroom!

  35. Lynn says:

    That would be a fun way to hang curtains in the bath or kitchen too.

  36. Kerry says:

    OK, now I’m gonna have to figure out a project just for the specific purpose of using grommets! It’ll come to me, I know it will…

  37. Alison says:

    Excellent tut but more importantly I totally LOVE your hammer! It’s the most girly thing I think I’ve ever seen. Must have one!!!!

  38. Heather says:

    Such a great idea!!

  39. Amy says:

    Thank you for this very helpful information.

  40. Martha B says:

    how fun is that? I bet she has all kinds of plans for this fun canopy.

  41. Jennifer says:

    While in college my husband thought grommets were the best. After we were married I had to put my foot down on him putting grommets on our towels. He thought his invention of towels with grommets was the best. He could hang his towel on a plastic hook and he was good to go. There have a few times recently I’ve thought about finding his extra grommets and using them in craft projects.

  42. Monica gee says:

    I thought that you needed a separate tool to put in grommets, so I am happy to learn a hammer will do the trick. I need to try this one some of my bags! Thanks!

  43. Chassie says:

    I’ve always been confused about grommets, thank you!

  44. angela says:

    Oh how clever! I love grommets, too. I made my own shower curtain a couple of years ago using grommets. I must say, my hammer was not nearly as cute as yours :o)

  45. Teresa says:

    This looks great! We have used grommets in our house for our shower curtain, and I love how they turned out. Fun, easy tutorial! Thank you!

  46. melissa says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! Looks like it can be adapted to make a little pup tent too. Very fun project for summer!

  47. Caitlin W says:

    I love using grommets, especially on purses and backpacks! They’re just like enormous scrapbooking eyelets, which I also love to use! Thanks for the tutorial!

  48. nikole says:

    that is too easy! I need to try some grommets!

  49. Marci says:

    Great tutorial! I just learned about grommets a few weeks ago and used them in a handmade journal to insert round binder rings. I was confused about the difference between a grommet and an eyelet. What I learned was that a grommet is two pieces so there are no rough edges. Take a look on my blog.

  50. Christine says:

    Grommets are wonderful things, aren’t they?

  51. Tammy says:

    I love the grommets and the idea. We have been looking at purchasing something for some more shade on these hot days, but this would work as well. The kids would live to make a fort using this idea.

  52. Kathy says:

    I recently used grommets to make a sunshade cover for my daughters sandbox (see my blog for details). The can be installed in no time and add endless possbilities to fabrics!

  53. molly dybiec says:

    The grommets are less expensive to buy at the hardware stores than at a fabric store.

  54. Barb Anderson says:

    Gommets…in bags! Now there is a present!!!!!!!! Thanks for the reminder…looks like shoebags for the travelers, or backpacks for gym clothes!!!!!!!!

    Excellent photos…love the close-ups!

  55. Jaime says:

    Thank you so much. I have been wanting to make a hammock like one my parents have that has grommets on it for some time and had looked at grommet pliers at the store and passed because of the price. Then I saw your post about grommet projects that will be coming and have been waiting patiently. Where can you find a grommet tool like that. Cool canopy idea like a summer fort for the kids!

  56. Charlotte says:

    Grommet-ed sheet tent = GREAT idea!!!

  57. Lorrie says:

    Grommets are great! Thanks for the tutorial.


  58. Maggie says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I just made a new bag and was to unsure about putting on the grommets. I chickened out and got hubby to do it for me. I am so doing the next bag myself!

  59. Julie Andrea says:

    Oh, your timing is perfect! I need to make a shower curtain for my dear mum, who will be moving in to the apartment across the hall from me quite soon. I have some lovely fabric and have been tossing around ideas … do I make button holes for the shower curtain hooks .. use grommets .. make it ‘tab-top’ style??

    The grommets look east enough, I’m going to give it a try, wish me luck and fingers crossed. 🙂

  60. Wroth says:

    I’m getting ready to make hemp shower curtain liners and was planning on making buttonholes for the rings to go through, but you make grommets look so do-able, I might try to find the grommet tool and go that route. Thanks.

  61. Karen says:

    Great tutorial, I’m sure it will spark all sorts of neat ideas!

  62. Cynthia says:

    What a great demonstration! I am going to think of something I can put grommets on and make a project. It will be on my wish list of things to do.

  63. erinmalia says:

    i love using grommets. i recently found some that just snap together on j caroline’s website. they work great for doing grommets on larger projects (mostly because they’re just really big).

  64. Jenny says:

    Thank you so much! Canopies for everyone this Christmas, lol!

  65. Brooke says:

    that looks easy enough. Thanks!

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