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Install a Tarp Grommet

Updated: Jun. 30, 2017

Get more value from your tarps

FH03SEP_INSGRO_01-2Family Handyman
Repair an old tarp or make a new tarp more useful with extra lashing points by installing new grommets. Also install them in various sizes on tents, awnings and other covers.

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Cutting holes for large grommets

Photo 1: Punch the hole

Mark the desired location of the grommet. Slide a wood block under the tarp mark and align the hole cutter over the mark. Strike the hole cutter sharply with a hammer until it punches through the tarp.

Photo 2: Position the grommet

Set a grommet on the anvil. Push the tarp hole over the grommet post and then slide the washer (rounded side up) on top.

Photo 3: Hammer the grommet together

Position the punch into the grommet tube and through the anvil center. Strike the punch firmly with a hammer. Rotate the punch a quarter turn between blows until the grommet and the washer fit tightly together.

Grommet kits include an assortment of grommets in several sizes and all the installation tools required. Kits are available at hardware stores and home centers. (We used 1/2-in. grommets for this repair.)

Determine exactly where you want the grommet and mark the location. The hole cutter in the kit has a beveled edge that cleanly cuts a grommet hole in the tarp (Photo 1).

Then sandwich the grommet and washer around the tarp and pound them together to complete the grommet (Photos 2 and 3). Make sure the punch is completely inserted through the grommet post and into the center of the anvil. Otherwise, the grommet and washer won’t seat together fully and the anvil may be damaged.

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Hammer
  • Safety glasses

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Grommet kit