How to Make ZipOff - Outdoor Grommet Curtains

by Pate Meadows Designs

You can easily add a breakaway zipper to existing grommet panels or if you have all the grommet tools you can make your own using fabric as I did.


  • 2 47" Breakaway Zipper
  • SteamASeam2
  • Extra Long Ready Made Grommet Panels
  • Curtain Rods
  • Plyers
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    I have this fabulous, screened porch. You can more about it in my OutOnThaPorch videos posted on our YouTube Channel, Pate Meadows Designs.

    Step 2

    I adore my views but during certain times of the year, the sun is blinding. I didn't want shades or shutters or blinds but I needed something.

    Step 3

    So one day, it hit me....while washing my Zipliner Shower Curtain Liner, you know, the ones we sell on our website, I could make grommet panels that zip off !!!

    Step 4

    You can make these zipper panels from ready-made grommet panels like these OR using fabric and products featured in this Snapguide like I did.

    Step 5

    I used these products - most are available from our website,

    Step 6

    If you are using ready-made grommet panels, make sure they are at least 3" longer than the finished length of your new zipper panels.

    Step 7

    I installed the rods first. Then determined how long I wanted the top portion to be. I determined that I wanted it to be 7" long.

    Step 8

    If I had used ready-made grommet panels, mine would have been 9.5". (7" + 2.5" = 9.5")

    Step 9


    Step 10

    I wanted the top fabric to blend in with the color of the stain on the deck so it would not be noticeable when I zipped the bottom portion off and stored it.

    Step 11

    I also pulled from my stash of leftover fabrics. This is some lightweight outdoor fabric.

    Step 12

    Cut the top portion 14" long - which is double my desired finished length of 7". (7" x 2 = 14") Then surged the top and bottom raw edges.

    Step 13

    Lay the buckram out on the panel top.

    Step 14

    Cut the buckram the width of my top portion (54") minus the side hems (2.5 + 2.5 = 5"). 54" - 5" = 49". It does not go into the side hems.

    Step 15

    I wanted the center of my first grommet to be 2.5" from the edge of the curtain so I marked the placement on both ends.

    Step 16

    You will have an even number of grommets and an odd number of spacing between the grommets.

    Step 17

    Fold the buckram in equal sections like a paper doll making sure the ends fold back or in the same direction.

    Step 18

    Use your die tool to punch the holes through all layers then lay the buckram out evenly on your panel top.

    Step 19

    Make sure the buckram is even all the way across. The top will fold down over the buckrum to conceal it completely as shown in the next photo.

    Step 20

    Step 21

    Fold the bottom up to meet the bottom edge of the folded over top.

    Step 22

    Pin and Press.

    Step 23

    Fold the side hems over to make a double side hem.

    Step 24

    As shown here.

    Step 25

    Finger press in place, fit the zipper to the top of panel as shown, then pin all the way across.

    Step 26

    If the zipper is too long and you have zipper locks, you can cut it off. If not, skip ahead passed "cutting off the zipper"

    Step 27


    Step 28

    Cut the zipper off at the end of the panel side.

    Step 29

    I always make my first cut a little longer than it should be - just in case !!!!! The zipper should actually end about where the slide is shown here - at the inside fold of the side hem.

    Step 30

    Carefully, completely remove the end teeth with pliers leaving about 1/2" of zipper band extending past the teeth.

    Step 31

    Place the zipper lock over the zipper band and up against the last tooth that.

    Step 32

    Pinch the zipper stop over the band and against the last tooth.

    Step 33

    Continue squeezing the lock until it is securely in place and cannot be pulled off.

    Step 34

    Set aside

    Step 35

    Set your grommets as shown.

    Step 36

    It always helps to have an extra hand.

    Step 37

    Hem the bottom of your panels as you prefer. I was limited on fabric since I pulled it from my stash so I surged along the bottom edge, then I pressed up a 1" hem and top stitched.

    Step 38

    Double fold the side hems of the panel bottom, press and topstitch.

    Step 39

    Fold down a 1/2" hem to the top of the panel bottom

    Step 40

    We use Steam-A-Seam2 instead of pins on lots of projects. Holding a zipper in place while sewing instead of pins is so much easier.

    Step 41

    Finger press the Steam-A-Seam2 on both sides of the zipper. Occasionally it is necessary to steam it on as well. Then peel the paper off one side.

    Step 42

    Lay the zipper out on the table and apply the top of the panel along the zipper side where the paper has been removed as shown.

    Step 43

    Press. Then top stitch.

    Step 44

    Place Zipper top on the panel top along the bottom edge of the top hem butting the zipper ends up to the side hem fold

    Step 45

    Press then top stitch.

    Step 46

    Top stitch the side hems of the panel top.

    Step 47

    And there you go!!! Now you can zip the bottoms off and throw them in the wash or store them until you need them.

    Step 48

    I couldn't be happier.

    Step 49

    My outdoor curtains. They are perfect.