Introduction: Strapless Firewood Tarp

Picture of Strapless Firewood Tarp

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

Picture of Gather Materials

Materials needed

  • Heavy duty tarp ( I bought 9'x12')
  • Nylon upholstery thread

Tools needed

  • sewing machine
  • scissors

Step 2: Sew Some Pockets

Picture of 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

Picture of 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.

Comments

Jobar007 (author)2014-11-20

Does stitching the tarp provide leaks? Where I live in western Oregon, we get a lot more rain than snow and having the tarp be leak proof is paramount to a dry wood stack.

Dustin Rogers (author)Jobar0072014-12-08

We just had two straight days of rain. Water was pooled in areas on top of the tarp. The entire woodpile remained dry though. The underside of the tarp also remained dry. The only wood that got wet was a few pieces that were in the pockets of the tarp because the opening was positioned where rain could get in and pool inside the pockets. I'm very pleased with how they held up in the rain.

Jobar007 (author)Dustin Rogers2014-12-10

Great to hear and thank you for the follow up!

Dustin Rogers (author)Jobar0072014-11-20

Any hole through the tarp will allow for water to get through, but the small size of holes likely won't pass much unless water is allowed to pool on top of the tarp. The seams could be sealed, but I don't think it necessary for the amount of winter rain we get here. The rest of the tarp will help shed rain water and keep the majority of "falling" rain off the pile. This style of tarp won't do much for blowing rain, but having the face of the pile open helps things dry out if some water gets through.

Instead of sewing seams, you could maybe use contact cement or other adhesive to hold the two layers of tarp together?? Maybe a couple stitches at each side of the opening just for some extra strength.

flamesami (author)Jobar0072014-11-20

If the tarp does leak from the sewing, painting it with silicone would probably re-waterproof it. Mind, the solvent that dissolves the silicone might eat some plastics, so experimentation is the key to success.
I really like the instructable, BTW, a neat idea ang a great "well if you won't sell me one I'll make it myself!

warehouse32 (author)2014-11-20

i'm currently in the same situation...looking for something to keep my wood pile dry. I just had a tarp with wood on top...little did i know i just had to put it inside the tarp! great job!

mikeandre (author)2014-11-20

I've had trouble with just plain old tarps staying on my wood pile. Thanks for sharing this great idea.

Dustin Rogers (author)2014-11-19

Thanks. In years past, I've also used roof shingles held down by bricks, but it was a pain to move all the shingles so you could remove an even layer of firewood. No need with this setup.

PaleHorseRider (author)2014-11-19

Best work i've seen in a while when it comes to finding or even making a place to store your fire wood to allow it to dry!

The problem I always have is the wind knocking it all the way over the firewood pile allowing ants and other bugs to survive the cold winter. But that could be fixed with some simple pesticides around the base.

Keep up the great work buddy ^^

seamster (author)2014-11-19

Excellent work!

And a high five for posting a manly sewing project. Yeah!

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm a husband and father that loves working in the garage. From sewing to welding to wrenching on engines and everything in between.
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