Spruce Upholstery Tip: Venting Leather and Vinyl Cushions with Grommets

Venting your cushions is a must if you’re working with leather or vinyl. These two materials don’t allow air to escape as easily as cloth does; therefore, you may experience a little pushback as opposed to some squish when sitting on an unvented leather or vinyl cushion. Something as easy as adding grommets will allow your cushions to breathe and make for a much more comfy and longer lasting seat. Don’t be intimidated. Adding grommets is super easy! Allow me to show you how.

Tools labeled for grommet tip blog

Above are the tools you need to install grommets. We use a grommet tool kit that you can get from your local upholstery supply shop or most craft stores.

1 mark with chalk  tip grommets

The first step is to mark where you would like your grommets to be. Obviously you will want to choose an inconspicuous area so they are not seen.

6 hammer grommet and washer together tip grommets 6

Next, using the hole punch and a hammer, punch out the fabric where your grommet will be. I placed a piece of scrap wood beneath the fabric so the hole punch doesn’t damage the work surface once it goes through the fabric.

3 set grommet on the anvel tip grommets

After all of the holes have been punched out, place the grommet into the anvil.

4 place washer onto grommet and fabric tip grommets

Next, place the punched hole over the grommet and the complimentary washer over the fabric.

side by side

Here is the fun part. Insert the mandrel through the grommet and give it a few really good whacks with the hammer. Don’t be shy, this is a great opportunity to relieve any pent up anger you may have.

7 finished grommet tip grommets

finished grommeted cushions tip grommets 31

The final step is to step back and admire how professional your grommet handiwork is. I’m not going to lie, installing grommets is kind of fun to me. Remember, you can use this skill for so many other projects such as draperies, shower curtains, and belts. I hope this little tutorial will make you confident in your grommeting abilities.