Large grommets suit long panels.

How to Put Large Grommets in Drapery Headers

by Linda Erlam

Grommets allow you to use a decorative drapery rod for stationary window panels; the rod shows between the grommets and terminates in the finials at the end. The forward-tilting folds of this header are well suited to a contemporary room design, and you can accentuate the main metal finish in the room by choosing like-finished grommets, or you can accent the grommets by choosing a bright painted finish.

Decide how much space you want between the top edge of the drape and the top edge of the grommet. Grommets typically sit at least 1 inch from the top edge, but you can make this distance more if you wish; just make sure you have enough space for the whole grommet on the drape header with 1/2 inch below the grommet. For example, if your grommet is 3 inches in diameter and your header is 5 inches deep, the top edge of the grommet must not be more than 1 1/2 inches from the top of the drape.

Draw the top edge line across the wrong side of the panel at this measurement using a self-erasing fabric marking pencil.

Draw 6-inch-long lines perpendicular to the top edge of the drape through the top edge line, indicating the center of each grommet. Use an even number of grommets across the top. This causes the outside seams of the drape to fold toward the window, because each fold needs two grommets. An uneven number of grommets across the top causes one end to stop while pointing into the room, exposing the backside of the curtain, and side hem.

Separate the grommets into two piles: male and female sides. The male side has an extension that protrudes from the center.

Center the female side of the grommet over the perpendicular line, aligning the outside edge of the grommet to the drawn top edge line.

Draw around the center opening of the grommet.

Remove the grommet and set it back into its correct pile.

Pin the layers of drapery together around the grommet 1 inch from the drawn line.

Use sharp-tipped scissors and cut out the drapery on the drawn line. Expand the cut hole by 1/16 inch by cutting just outside the first cut line.

Insert the male end of the grommet up through the cut hole from the right side of the drape to the wrong side. Place the female end over the male end and snap the two together, following the manufacturer's instructions. If the grommets came with a grommet-setting tool, follow the instructions for the tool's use.

Remove the holding pins and continue on to the next grommet.

Items you will need

  • Tape measure
  • Self-erasing fabric marking pencil
  • Straight pins
  • Sharp-tipped scissors

About the Author

Linda Erlam started writing educational manuals in 1979. She also writes a biweekly newspaper column, "Design Dilemmas," in the "Lakeshore News" and has been published in "Design and Drapery Pro" magazine. Erlam is a graduate of the Sheffield School of Interior Design and is a practicing interior decorator and drapery workroom operator.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images