I've been looking for a better way to keep my firewood dry. I've tried some of the 'firewood tarps' purchased from the big box stores, but they're so light weight and fell apart after a few months. I recently ran across a product called 'The WOODHOOD'. It's basically a long narrow heavy duty tarp that has pockets sewn into it. You slide a piece of firewood in each pocket which eliminates the need for ropes or straps and holds the tarp down on the most unevenly stacked piles. Perfect!! I'll order a couple.....eh....nevermind. Their website says 'Temporarily Sold Out!'. Bummer. I've got rain and snow in the future forecast, I can't wait that long, so I decided to make my own. I'd appreciate your vote in the Winterize contest.
Step 1: Gather Materials
- Heavy duty tarp ( I bought 9'x12')
- Nylon upholstery thread
- sewing machine
Step 2: Sew Some Pockets
My tarp was 9' wide. When cut in half, you get two 54" pieces. If you cut those in half, you're left with four 27" pieces, which is the perfect width to cover a firewood pile. So this tarp will yield two 12' long strapless tarps. The tarp also has grommets along the edges, which I started to remove, but realized it was unnecessary. If you wish to remove the grommets, simply pry the grommets apart with a small flat head screwdriver.
I decided to try to save time by sewing pockets on the entire 54" width and cutting it in half later. If I make another one (which I plan to) I'll cut them down to the 27" width before sewing, just to make it easier to handle and get through the sewing machine. You can see in pic 2 how awkward this was. If I had an actual sewing table like Seamster's custom sewing table this would have been much easier.
I made the pockets 12" wide. I started by sewing a zig zag stitch across the short side of the tarp, then measured 12" down and sewed another parallel stitch. Repeat for the entire length of the tarp. My sewing machine did have trouble sewing through the outer edges where the tarp was doubled over, so I cut the grommeted edges off of the short sides.
Note: If you use a heavy upholstery thread, make sure you do some test stitches on some scrap material to ensure that your tension and stitch length and width is correct. I had ended up having to use the highest tension setting on my upper thread and a very loose bobbin thread tension, otherwise it just knotted up in the machine within the first few stitches. Also, when using the high tension on the upper thread, when you thread or re-thread your needle, make sure to get the thread seated down between the tension discs by holding the thread up near the spool and pulling the loose end down near the needle (see pic 4).
Step 3: Split It Up and Finish It Off
Once the pockets were sewn, I folded the 54" section in half and creased it so I'd have a line to cut by. I cut the two sections apart. I then sewed a finish stitch over the ends of each pocket stitch. This was just a few stitches over and back to lock the pocket stitches in place (pic 2 & 3).
Now go out, fill those pockets, and cover that woodpile. To prevent tears, avoid putting pieces of wood that have sharp points in the pockets.