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How To Use Snap-on Grommets

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You've seen grommets many times: on apparel, bags, athletic gear, etc. They're those metal circles with some type of rope or cording woven through at a closure point. Well...things are beginning to change in the world of grommets (bet you didn't know there was a world of grommets ... did ya?!). Dritz® Home has a great product available for home décor enthusiasts, snap-on Curtain Grommets. Fast, fashionable and functional.

The industrial installation of metal grommets usually involves a large, also metal, machine, which uses an intense force of weighted pressure to secure these circles in place. You may have also seen metal grommets in your local fabric and craft stores that require you to purchase a metal tool (looks something like a pair of pliers) to install them on your home projects.

The Dritz® Home snap-on grommets require NO tools. They come in various sizes, colors, and finishes. You'll have no problem matching your selected fabric. They're packed in sets of 8 and include a plastic see-through template for positioning (we really liked this!). You'll be delighted to know that these are incredibly easy to install.

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Grommeted curtains have traditionally been associated with a modern style interior. However, we've noticed them showing up in home furnishing stores and catalogs more and more lately, and in fabric styles that blend with all types of interiors. Grommets are an easy way to hang a curtain from a rod, they're functional (you can actually open and close the curtain without sweating), and they look clean and sleek.

And ... who said grommets can only be used on a window curtain? For our sample test, we decided to give them a try in on a bathroom shower curtain.

  1. To start, pair the grommets. There's actually a front ('raised center' side) and a back ('prong' side).
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  2. Use the included plastic template to mark the position of each grommet on the header of your shower curtain. Grommets are a ‘final' step, which means your curtain should be finished and ready to hang prior to marking and inserting the grommets. The template has a cross-hair to help determine the center of each circle. However, we discovered it would be more helpful if the template had a small center hole for marking. So, we used an awl to make that hole.
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  3. Determine the overall positioning of your grommets across the top of your curtain, making note of the distance from center point to center point. Using a see-through ruler and the template, we marked the center points and traced the circles.
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  4. We decided to zig zag the marked circle before cutting it out. Why? Because we learned these grommets easily snap on and off for laundering. Cool. But, we wanted to be sure the fabric wouldn't fray when we washed our shower curtain. The zig zag reinforces the cut edges.
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  5. Cut out the circle close to the zigzag stitching. Fold the sewn circle in half and make a ½" slit. Then, cut around the circle.   
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  6. With the wrong side facing up, insert snap grommets. Place the 'raised center' side of the grommet in the circle so the ridge of the ring pokes up around the inside edge of the circle.
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  7. Snap the 'prong' side of the grommet on to complete. Done!
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  8. If you decide to remove your grommets for laundering, just find a small flathead screwdriver or even a letter opener. Slide the end into the tiny slot on the back side of the grommet. Twist the screwdriver slightly, and the grommet will snap off.
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We had some leftover grommets after we completed our shower curtain project, and figured there must be a lot of other great uses for these. Sure enough, we found a number of handbag and tote patterns where grommets are used. Sweet!

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Comments (36)

Bellbird said:
Bellbird's picture

I have just used these grommets in a backpack I have made. They snapped on through two layers of fabric plus bag batting. The secret seemed to be making sure the hole I cut was large enough for the inner rim of the bottom ring to poke through clearly and to lay the bag on a firm surface when pressin them together.  I love how easy they are to insert.

Fran Miller said:
Fran Miller's picture

Do they come in 2  1/2  inch size?  I am doing some heavy drapes and want  to use a larger pole that needs that size grommets.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Fran Miller - I believe 1-9/16"is the largest option for the Dritz Home Grommets.

PTjanny1 said:
PTjanny1's picture

I was wondering if these snap on grommets can be used on purses, which are much smaller grommets?  And do they even sell smaller snap ons?

Siobhan said:
Siobhan 's picture

Wondering about using grommet tape, can these be used with that?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Siobhan - we have not tried these in combination with a grommet tape. The pre-cut grommet tape holes would have to be a perfect match to the template hole for the Dritz grommet size you choose. If you can determine that the holes match up, then, yes, you should be able to use a grommet tape. 

Brownie said:
Brownie's picture

I am making drapes and wondering how much thickness the grommet can hold?  I was planning on a double thickness of drapery (cotton) fabric, double thickness of cotton drapery lining and interfacing.  Will this be too much to get the grommets to snap closed together?

Sylvia Cheval said:
Sylvia Cheval's picture

I am having the same concern here about thickness. I am planning on 2 or 3 layers of decorative fabric, one layer of lining and one layer of buckram. Looking at the grommet, I have the feeling that it will not snap.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Slyvia Cheval - unfortunately, there's no way to tell without testing. The product itself does not have any specifications regarding maximum tested thickness. It does sound like you will be working with quite a few layers. You could trim back some of the layers around the hole for the grommet (similar to grading a seam), which could be helpful. But your best bet is going to be to try a test with scraps layered to similate the thickness of your finished project. 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Brownie - it's hard to tell long distance since the heft of the various layers you describe could depend on a number of variables. All I can suggest is to buy the grommets and test them on your actual fabric. Other than that, I can tell you when we did our recent tissue cover project, which featured a number of layers, we did have some difficulty with the gromment and had to grade the layers to made it work. 

http://www.sew4home.com/projects/fabric-art-accents/extra-large-tissue-b...

fondeegirl said:
fondeegirl's picture

This was a very helpful tutorial!  Thanks for giving us the benefit of your experience.  This was my first time to use grommets, and I HATE to make that first cut!  They turned out beautiful!!!!!

MARIE SERRANO FROM CALIF. said:
MARIE SERRANO FROM CALIF.'s picture

  I LIKE THESE, BUT HAVE NEVER SEEN THEM. WHERE WOULD  I GET THEM?  BUT I'M MAKING A UMBRELLA COVER AND I THINK I WOULD NEED METAL GROMETS. I WAS ALSO TOLD THAT YOU CAN'T BUY 2IN. GROMETS BECAUSE THEY TAKE A LG. MACHINE TO INSTALL. WHERE WOULD I FIND A PLACE THAT WOULD INSTALL THESE FOR ME?

 

 

anne.adams said:
anne.adams's picture

@Marie Serrano from Calif: The large Dritz® grommets are readily available at Amazon, Joann and more. Search online for Dritz Curtain Grommet and you'll get many results with buying options. If you want to use 2" metal grommets, those require a grommet press. For a one-time use such as yours, it would be best to call around to custom drapery shops. Most shops will have a grommet press and would probably be able to provide and install grommets for you. Another resource would be a business that makes custom boat covers.

Kiudamliu said:
Kiudamliu's picture

Where can I buy these snap-on grommets in New Delhi, India?

Glenda Beeler said:
Glenda Beeler's picture

Hello, how do I know what size grommet I need?  Should I measure all the way around my curtain rod?  

Thanks - I am new at the DIY

Glenda

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Glenda Beeler - The size on the package refers to the inside diameter of the grommet. So a 1" grommet has a 1" opening for the rod to pass through. Measure the diameter of your rod at its widest point. Usually, te easiest way to do this is to measure across one end. 

PamC said:
PamC's picture

Hi, Thanks for the tip about spacing. How far from the edge of the curtain should the first grommet begin?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ PamC - there are a number of variables, so I can't give you a hard and fast rule, it will depend on the type of fabric you're using, how much interfacing you've done, if there's a lining, how many and what size grommets you're using, etc. etc. - in general, most people come in just beyond the side hem.

denelle k said:
denelle k's picture

these are fabulous - the easiest part of my curtain project,  5 stars !!

Barbinswflorida said:
Barbinswflorida's picture

I've used the grommets for bedroom curtains and they turned out great. The only trouble I had was trying to decide how much space should be between each grommet. I had to wing it. Is there a standard space between centers of the grommets or is there some calculation I should be using? Thanks

Benthedraperyguy said:
Benthedraperyguy's picture

Spacing is best set to be a multiple of your fabric width.  Generally a minimum of 4" to 8" and which is determined by your grommet size.  A 2" grommet for a 1 3/8" pole would need 2.5" just for grommet thus 4" does not allow fullness and draping between grommet.  Best to use minimum of 6" spacing for 2".  8" spacing would be for 2" dia poles.  Also always use even number of grommets per panel so starts with side hem turned back to window wall at both ends.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Barbinswflorida - there aren't any secrets other than even spacing that we know of. If you have formal pleated drapes, then you do need to center a grommet within each pleat, but we do not consider ourselves the be-all-end-all experts when it comes to formal window treatments; that is an art in itself. But, if you are going for a casual look, simply evenly space the grommets, and remember that the closer they are, the smaller and softer the "folds" when you open the curtains - the farther apart they are, the deeper the folds. 

Cathy Schwegel said:
Cathy Schwegel's picture

I have tried to use the grommets on some drapery fabric I purchased, cannot get any of them to snap so I gave up and got the clip on round rings, had to remake the drapes because I cut the holes in the top.  Very frustrating.

Will not try again.

Betteboop708 said:
Betteboop708's picture

I used these grommets in 2 large bags/purses (the straps went through them) and they looked great.  Unfortunately because of the sizes of the bags, the people put many things in them and the weight of the contents pulled the fabric out of the rings.  With both bags I ended up removing the fabric that the holes were cut in and replacing it and redoing how the straps were.  Any suggestions in how to keep that from happening?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Betteboop708 - We haven't tested these grommets under super heavy-duty circumstances. I don't know enough about your bag design, the fabric used, or the stress the grommets were put under, but in general, if you know they're going to take a lot of weight, you probably want to reinforce the insertion point with heavyweight stabilizer. Also -- these grommets are meant to release so they can to popped off to allow easy laundering. If you don't ever want them to be removed, you might try a test with a few drops of glue between the two halves. 

betteboop708 said:
betteboop708's picture

(picture removed - images not supported)

those are 2 of the bags I made, and have thought that next time I would try some  glue.....the pink and brown bag was all cotton and the dark bag was cordoroy, both lined in cotton and interfaced with fusible fleece.

wi.dragonfly said:
wi.dragonfly's picture
To Alicia and Deanna, The grommet pictured in your flicker picture is actually sold as a premade tape that you mount to the top of the curtain. Itis designed so the curtain can be easily removed for washing without removing the rod. Last I checked, the tape runs about $10.00 per yard. I much prefer the grommets as shown in this tutorial- and the idea to zigzag around the holes is inspired!
mamaCon said:
mamaCon's picture
I LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT! These curtains with grommets cost a fortune if you buy it from the stores...thanks so much for the tutorials!
alicia.thommas said:
alicia.thommas's picture
Hi Deanne, I think this is the style of grommet you saw http://www.flickr.com/photos/3...009909280/, however, I don't know where they are sold. Maybe you could call the hotel and ask who supplies their shower curtains; see if they are custom or sold retail or even wholesale. They are cool.
Deanne said:
Deanne's picture
I was in the Oxford Suites Hotel in Idaho, and they had this grommeted kind of shower curtain. However, there was something ingenious about it. I have been looking EVERYWHERE to find out more about where to buy these special grommets. That is how I found this site. I will try to describe the grommet and the effect. Imagine that each grommet on the shower curtain had a cut completely through both sides of the ring at the 3 on a clock face. The cut then extended into the fabric until it reached the 9 side of the next grommet. The cut in the fabric was reinforced like a buttenhole. To get the shower curtain on the rod, all you did was bend the grommet in order to seperate the crack a little (it was slightly flexible plastic) so the rod slipped between the crack and into the hole. The fabric followed because of the slit. Does that make sense? Can you picture what I am trying to describe? I tried to look on the gromet for a manufacturer, but there was none. The coolest thing about this is that the shower curtain was one layer of fairly light weight material. It appeared that housekeeping was able to take the curtain down and wash it -- possibly after each guest. I would love to make several of these curtains and then throw them in the wash once a week. Think how nice it would be to have a clean shower curtain every week. And, it would be no more trouble to wash and dry than a reqular sheet! If anyone has ever seen or heard about this kind of grommet, can you please let me know? Thanks!
NorthWestSea said:
NorthWestSea's picture
I thought it would be appropriate to comment on the “snap on grommets” since it was this exact instructional page that brought me to Sew4Home.com and I am so glad it did.

I just finished my first project, curtains, using the snap on grommets. Honestly, they truly do work. Don’t try and snap them together by pinching between your fingers… lay the grommet on a flat surface and press the two sides together, with the fabric in between the two rings, with the palm of your hand.

A couple of “lessons learned” that I thought I would share.

Dritz, the manufacture of the grommets, say that you can use the grommets without sewing along the line that you created using the template. I did take the recommendation of Sew4Home, since I was using a lining (2 layers of fabric) for the curtains, but none of my zigzag stitching was a perfect as shown above. If you do decide to stitch, go slow and take your time. If you stray too far away from the line your stitching can show beyond the grommet ring. Luckily my thread blended with the fabric.

Last little tid-bit. When using grommets make sure you always use an even number of grommets on a curtain panel or shower curtain. You always want a “mate” for each grommet so the side edge of the panel “points” towards the wall (hopefully that makes sense).
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi HighRidge -- we've used these grommets in several projects now and found they hold up just great. So glad you found our tutorial inspiring. Let us know how it turns out smilies/cheesy.gif
HighRidge said:
HighRidge's picture
I am making a shower long curtain and plan to use them. I have tried a sample and couldn't get the first one to snap shut. I tried another in the same package and it worked. I do have some concerns about the plastic grommets holding up. It is a guest bathroom so it will not be used very much. I am also using a mesh screening at the top of the curtain to allow for light. Looks great. I am anxious to see how it all turns out.
ladylush118 said:
ladylush118's picture
i was @ a fabric store a few days ago and saw some, but was too scared of taking on doing a curtain with these! i'll definitely try them out on my next project! thanks

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