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August 12, 2013

A Tarp in a Pinch

Last week I needed another tarp. There was rain in the forecast, and the sheet of plastic that covered my hay bales had several big holes in it courtesy of Cracker, who thought his best guard dog position was on top of the stacked-and-tarped hay bales. But I didn't have another tarp, so I did the next best thing: I improvised.

I pulled eight plastic feed sacks out of the trash barrel, cut off the bottoms, and split them along the seam. (I'll use a cat food bag here to demonstrate where to cut. Cut the bottom off first, then cut up along a seam so that your cut line is straight.)

This gave me eight flat pieces of plastic.

 Using duct tape, I connected four together into a strip, then the other four to make another strip, and next taped the two strips together to make a rectangle four sacks long by two sacks wide. I tossed this new tarp over the hay and weighted it down with bricks and scrap wood, because of course there are no grommets to hook bungie cords to.

If you have a concrete or asphalt driveway, or another hard flat surface to make this on, your seams will be better constructed than mine. I made this in the yard on top of the grass-that-needed-to-be-mowed. This isn't a pretty picture but it gives you the gist of the idea.

In the past I've thought that I could sew open feed sacks together, but I've never gotten around to it. Just in case I haven't mentioned it before, my sewing machine and I have a love/hate relationship. I've also tried to iron them together in the past, thinking that heat would melt the two pieces of "plastic fabric" together, but it did not work at all. So, duct tape. It works. Just FYI, it works better if the plastic is clean, without dust from the feed.

I would have added another row of four bags, but I ran out of duct tape. If I had unlimited duct tape, I would also tape the seams on the other side of the tarp, so that both the top and bottom of the tarp had taped seams. This piece did cover the worst of the holes in the plastic over the hay, so it served its purpose and kept my hay dry, and it cost me nothing. It won't last forever, but it works in a pinch.

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  1. That is a really great way to improvise when you need a tarp! I never would have thought of that, but I do have plenty of feed bags lying around.

  2. It isn't pretty but it works. It won't hold up forever but then again, tarps don't either.

  3. What an awesome idea! I just shared this post on my daybydayhomestead FB page.

  4. Thank you for sharing, Nora! I appreciate it. I 'liked' your page.

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