How to make a grommeted counter skirt.
Hello there friends! Happy Friday! I hope you've had a fantastic week. It's been a good one around here. I feel I am slowly catching up after Christmas and the chaos that was our January.
As part of my ‘catching up', I'm making good on some of last year's commitments. Remember during the One Room Challenge when I said I'd come back and show you how I put the grommeted skirt around my counter top to make it look less, well ‘Formica-y'? Well, first Thanksgiving and then Christmas happened, then we were decluttering and bottom line, I'm just getting back to you today on how I made my counter skirt.
I spied this Barclay Storage Table from Ballard Designs right about the time I was trying to figure out what to do with the Formica countertop in my office.
I had considered swapping out the Formica for a different surface, but given the wear and tear it gets on a regular basis, the Formica which can handle bleach and abrasive cleaning, really makes the most sense. So when I saw this…I thought that a counter skirt might be all I need to update and improve the look.
I have many ‘favorites' from my office redo, but this skirted counter is clearly one of them. It really transformed my ho-hum, even a little ‘ugh' but useful counter to something that looks great as well as being wonderfully functional.
Not only does it really finish this space, but the skirt covers the underneath storage that this counter affords.
And after I figured out ‘how' to make this counter skirt, the actual ‘doing' was really quite easy.
I purchased 3.5 yards of linen. I calculated my yardage like this:
There is a 36″ drop from my counter top and I knew I wanted a substantial 4-inch hem at the top and a 1-inch hem at the bottom, so I added an additional 7″ for those, resulting in 43″ in vertical length.
The fabric is 58″ wide, so I just needed to know how many sections of 43″ high fabric I would need to go the horizontal length of my counter. As it is I needed 2 1/2 sections of 58″ wide fabric. With this linen I may have been able to get away with less fabric since there really isn't a pattern and I could have pieced the shorter section on the end, but the last thing I wanted was for it to look all wonky so I bit the bullet and got the 3.5 yards. And I just wasn't sure how thick I wanted the pleats, so I got the extra just to be sure. I can always use spare linen for something!
If you like the thickness of my pleats, then multiple the length of your surface by 1.15. The linear length of my counter is 119″, and my counter skirt is 138″.
I sewed the sides together so that I had the 3- 54″ wide panels side by side and put a 4 inch hem on the top and an 1 inch hem on the bottom.
Then it was time for the Grommets.
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I used these grommets. Once again, not knowing how many pleats I was going to have, I purchased more than I needed. But by using the factor of 1.15 for the pleat thickness, I needed 28 grommets, spacing them 5″ apart. They come in packs of 8, so I only needed 4 packs.
I marked every 5 inches on the top of the skirt. Do a little math to make sure you aren't going to have one end with 3.5″ at the end…know what I mean?
I placed the circle shape that came with the grommets so that the center of it was on top of the marks I made, traced the circle and then cut them out.
Then it was just a matter of placing the grommets (which come in 2 pieces) on both sides of the hole you cut. We placed the fabric with the 2 grommet pieces in place between 2 books and then gently tapped with a hammer to push the 2 halves of the grommet together.
Now we were ready to put the hooks on the counter.
I used these hooks which I found at Home Depot. They come in packs of 2 and I needed 6 total, so 3 packs. They were originally bronze, but I spray-painted them black. This size worked perfectly for my 1/2″ thick rod.
We (OK, Terry) drilled starter holes into the counter and then screwed the hooks in. On the rounded edge of the counter, there is a good 1/2″ of wood for the screw to embed in, but on the side, there was no wood. We (once again, Terry) glued a piece of wood to the underside so that the screw would have something to grab onto.
Because my counter has a corner that I needed to go around, this rod was the one element that took me the longest to noodle. I spent countless hours at Home Depot looking at all sorts of options, and there are many if you don't need a bend in your rod. Ultimately, I called a local welding shop and had them bend a 1/2″ thick solid metal rod at a 90° angle.
(In case you're wondering, I did figure in the weight of that rod as it relates to the hooks. Each hook can handle 95 lbs in wood and the rod was under 10 lbs)
I needed the end product to be 8′ by 2′, but since the rod came in a 12′ section, I just had them bend it at 9′. This gave us some wiggle room to cut it exactly as we needed it when we got it home and lined up on the counter.
When measuring, bear in mind that your rod will not be right up against the counter, so figure in some space for the hooks and your corner.
Once all the pieces were in place, it was just a matter of threading the curtain on to the rod and placing it on my hooks. This counter skirt turned out better than I had hoped and was really easy, once I figured the rod part out.
Phew, I don't think I have any more outstanding 2016 commitments! Now we can proceed with all the fun stuff we have planned for 2017.
Thanks again for spending a few minutes of your busy day with me today.
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Until next time…