Tying down pillows on a very windy balcony

June 12, 2016: I am over the moon thrilled with the new DIY bench that I added to the balcony. It instantly transformed a bare and empty balcony into cozy living space. Here is a picture of the bench on May 17.

Balcony Bench

Now my plan was to always have colorful pillows on the bench in different sizes to add to the cozy look and feel. But here’s my problem. It’s very windy on the balcony. Very! The wind is so forceful sometimes that entire pieces of furniture has flown over the railing and into the parking lot (not the one below us, the one 300 feet west behind the neighboring property).

The wind factor of the balcony has caused many debates between Bruce and me about the wisdom and practicality of putting anything on the balcony (including the bench).

So to prevent my pillows being gone with the wind, I decided to try a DIY tie-down solution. I clipped two large binder clips to the top of a large 26″ pillow and threaded manila rope through the clip prongs. I then tied the rope around the top of the railing. Voila!

Pillow tie down with binder clip and rope

I was very happy with my clever little DIY solution. Until one day, coming home from work, Bruce gleefully points out that my pillow is now sitting on the other end of the balcony. The wind pulls the pillow away from the clip…and it goes flying on its own.

I needed a more secure way to tie the pillows to the railing so that they don’t go flying off of the balcony.

I found these Loops and Threads Snap Together Grommets from Michaels.

Snap Grommets

I decided to give these a try with the pillows. By adding grommets to the pillows, I can thread the rope through the pillow itself (and not rely on binder clips to do the job).

Using the included template, I drew a circle on each end of the pillow with a white chalk pencil.

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I cut out the circle using fabric scissors…

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…inserted the bottom half of the snap grommet (the half with teeth) under the cut fabric…

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…and snapped the top half of the grommet in place over the fabric.

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I repeated the steps for the other top corner of the pillow. Here are the grommets on one side of the pillow case.

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I moved on to add two more grommets on the other side of the pillow case so that I have a straight-thru opening for the rope to thread through.

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So here’s how the pillow looks with the grommets added. Now for the balcony test.

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It happened to be a very windy day today…perfect for pillow grommet tie-down testing. And you know what?

It passed with flying colors.

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There were many times the bottom of the pillow would be airborne. But with the grommets, the top stayed nicely (and securely) tethered to the railing.

Tied down pillow

I declare this day, June 12, 2016, balcony pillow triumph day. V-

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