After recovering a trashed mid-century loveseat I scored on craigslist, I needed some new throw pillows to match the sofa's new style. Throw pillows are one of those things that always seem to cost twenty times what it would cost to buy the materials to make one, and I am big on saving money and using up extra fabric left over from other projects. Embellished throw pillows are particularly pricey. They are so cheap to make yourself!
I had just received my new grommet machine, and I was eager to experiment with the industrial look of grommets by adding them to all sorts of new projects.
This pillow is like a normal throw pillow, except it has a super-thick grommet stripe on the front in a contrasting fabric. The grommets add a masculine feel to the otherwise cuddly cushion, and they offer a neat layer of dimension.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Grommet Machine (I have this one, which came with a bunch of grommets)
Two contrasting heavy-duty fabrics
Step 2: Pillow Prep
Cut two 18" squares of your main pillow fabric. Cut one 18" x 15" rectangle of your contrasting fabric.
I used fabric I had left over from recovering the sofa for the main body of the pillow and a scrap of heavy-duty upholstery fabric in a vintage mustard print for the grommet stripe.
Generously hem the long sides of the contrasting fabric by folding over the raw edge twice and sewing it down. I wanted a chunky look, so I made a large hem and sewed it down twice.
Step 3: Grommet Grid
On the backside of your contrasting fabric, mark out a one-and-a-half inch grid using a fabric marker or chalk. This makes 54 marks for grommets. At the intersections, use a sharpie to clearly mark each point with a little "x".
Using a grommet back and a sharpie, mark a circle around each "x" on the grid. Cut out each circle with scissors.
I have to admit that cutting out each of the circles is ridiculously tedious. I recommend jamming out to something funky during this step.
Step 4: Grommet Grommet Grommet!
Now comes the real fun: grommets forever! Putting in grommets is one of those instant-gratification experiences. The little magic metal turns a raggedy hole of fabric into a shiny, crisp hole of perfection.
Unfortunately, the instructions that came with my grommet machine were sucky. It took a few trials to figure out the right way to make the grommets bind correctly. Here is what worked best on my machine:
1. Place a grommet bottom (the thin ring) upside-down into the bottom die of the machine.
2. Fit a grommet top (the piece with a tunnel) top-up onto the top die of the grommet machine.
3. With the right side of the material facing up, work a hole in the fabric up onto the grommet top on the machine. Using one hand to hold the fabric in place, lower the machine handle down just until the dies touch.
4. Take your hand off the fabric and, using both hands, push the machine handle all the way down.
Now repeat that 53 more times, and your grommet stipe is done! Woop woop!
Step 5: Sew the Pillow and Enjoy
It's all easy from here on out--you earned it after all that hole-cutting and grommeting.
Lay out one of your main fabric squares. In the center of the square, place the grommety stripe of glory. Put your other main fabric square on top, sandwiching your shiny stripe of glory in between. Pin it all up and sew around the edge, leaving a five-inch section on the bottom un-sewn. Snip off the corners of the pillow, turn inside-out, stuff, and sew up the bottom.
Yay! You're done!