Grommets are a girl’s best friend

It’s that time of year when the mere thought of opening the front door fills me with dread: the snot-freezing depths of winter.

So out come the winter accessories! In previous years, I’ve kept my hats, gloves, and mittens in a plastic drawer unit in my coat closet. The problem is that my coat closet is nowhere near the front door. As a result, I would end up piling hats and mittens on top of the Ikea butler next to entryway so they’d be in arm’s reach whenever I wanted to pop out for a minute. Of course, it’s hard to see what’s above my head, which meant the top of the butler was perennially disorganized.

What’s up there? Hmmmm, a summer hat, some slipper socks, a pair of ear warmers, a wrist purse …

So I decided to repurpose a flimsy shoe organizer that I found on the curb this summer. The organizer has hook-and-loop closures at the top for hanging off a large closet rod.


Having no large closet rod near my front door, I wanted to be able to hang the organizer on the inside of my butler. Of course, I needed something by which to hang it. I chose grommets.

This is a grommet kit. The parts include (clockwise from top): mandrel, hole cutter, male half of grommet, female half of grommet (wow these grommet manufacturers are heterosexist), anvil. The anvil has a depression on one side to accommodate the grommet (shown); it’s flat on the other side.
Pressing the hole cutter against the flat side of the anvil, with the cloth sandwiched between. I tapped on the hole cutter with a hammer a few times until a whole was punched through the fabric. (That hole you see in the fabric is a flaw and unrelated to the grommet project.)
The set-up for inserting the grommet, from bottom to top: anvil (flat side down), male half of grommet (inserted through hole in fabric), fabric, female half of grommet (ladies on top!), and mandrel. Once it’s all in place, you whack the mandrel a few times until the protruding part of the male half of the grommet is flattened. (Apparently the grommet makers are misandrists, too.)
Shoe organizer, grommetized.

I hung the organizer on hooks that I’d installed on the inside wall of the butler, then filled the pockets with mittens, gloves, gaiters and other good stuff.

Oooh! It’s so organized! And just high enough that Lilo won’t be able to steal any of my mittens when she’s hungry.

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