How To Install a Grommet

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Have you ever used a grommet?  If the answer is no, my question to you is simple, Why not? Grommets are one of my favorite types of trims to add to a project.  I like to use them on everything from curtains to bags, heck even in-home organizational projects.  One of my most popular projects is the Scrap Bucket Bag.

Let’s explore:



  • an eyelet placed in a hole in a sheet or panel to protect or insulate a rope or cable passed through it or to prevent the sheet or panel from being torn. 
  • (MEDICINE) a tube surgically implanted to the eardrum to drain fluid from the middle ear.
  • (INFORMAL) a young or inexperienced skier, snowboarder, surfer, or skateboarder

Origin- Early 17th century (in nautical use in the sense ‘a circle of rope used as a fastening’): from obsolete French grommette, from gourmer ‘to curb’ of unknown ultimate origin. Current senses date from the mid 20th century.

sourceTips for setting grommets onto fabric. The Sewing Loft



A standard grommet package will include:

  • Eyelet Setter
  • Anvil
  • Eyelets

Tools needed to install grommets:

  • hammer
  • hard flat surface
  • pen for marking
  • small sharp scissors


The one thing I hear over and over again when teaching this pattern is just how much people are scared to use the hammer.  Let’s chat about this.  Grommets are really easy but they need a good whack of the hammer to be set properly.  Here are some easy steps to help you install a grommet on any project.

Learn how to install a grommet. The Sewing Loft

Grommet How To

This sewing tip is for all levels.

Skill Level- 1 Button

Basic Instructions:

1. Position and mark the inside of the eyelet on your project. Cut out the hole.

Learn how to install a grommet. The Sewing Loft

2. Insert the eyelet barrel in the hole from the RIGHT side to the WRONG side of the fabric. Place washer over the barrel of eyelet, teeth side down.

Learn how to install a grommet. The Sewing Loft

3. Place anvil on a very hard surface, like the floor. Place eyelet in the anvil, grab setter & hammer.

4. Position stud end of setter into the barrel of eyelet and hammer away.  Give it a few whacks just to be sure.

Learn how to install a grommet. The Sewing Loft

Tip: I like to use the sidewalk as my hard surface. Place a towel on the ground to prevent your project from getting dirty or scratched.

It’s not often to you hear the words grab the hammer in sewing but I promise this tool has a place in your workroom!


The Sewing Loft



  1. Thank you for this tutorial! I’d like to give grommets a try.

  2. Whacking a hammer is so good for venting frustrations. i sometimes use a piece of a “two by four” or a cutting board.

  3. jessica abbott says

    it took me ages to figure out how to do this properly, without getting everything all bent and ugly looking. I wish I had known this back then 🙂 🙂 :). Great tips!

  4. Great tutorial! These scare me too!

  5. I tried this just today and the one side is very rough..not sure what I’m doing wrong.?

    • Without a picture it is hard for me to tell Linda. It is important to have a soft surface when hammering down. Fingers crossed that helps.

  6. Can you give a source or two for the grommets and tools? I’m ready to try but don’t know the right sizes (maybe some standard ones) or quality companies. I’ve been checking around the internet and find it confusing.

  7. Still waging the grommet war. I still am hole size challenged. It seems in spite of the hole made by drawing on the inside of the pretty part, I am left with too much material, which then will not allow the grommet to close properly ( Side note, if you hit it hard enough,,, it won’t be pretty….but it will stay) Or to little material, and then there is no hope unless you sew the grommet in around the opening.
    Keep sewing.

    • Jan- I had a little giggle when I read this… The first time I used these, I was the same way, except I over cut the fabric. You can always clip additional fabric once your grommet is placed inside the fabric. Give it another go on a piece of scrap. Once you master it you will be using them all the time!

  8. Hi. I have been looking for eyelets and snap buttons and clasps ..All that with buckles that I can use on bags and belts ..
    Do you know where I can get them please ..

    • Most sewing shops carry them Akinyi. Just ask someone there to help you find it. Otherwise, there are many shops online that sell them. Just do a quick google search for purse hardware. You will be floored at how many come up.

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