Crafts & DIY
Outdoorsman uses old bedsheets to show easy way to waterproof almost any fabric
I will never throw out an old bed sheet again after learning this. They hold up better than plastic tarps do and keep everything they're covering just as dry.
Ma Fatima Garcia
10.14.22

When you have old sheets, what do you usually do with them?

Some cut them and use them as rags, and some people just throw them away.

But did you know you can turn your old bedsheets into water-proof tarps?

You can waterproof any fabric.

YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight
Source:
YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight

You may ask, aren’t tarps supposedly made from canvas, nylon, polyester, or other thick and durable materials?

That’s true. They make tarps from these materials, but the most important feature that they have is that they are waterproof.

They withstand air, rain, and snow.

Now, Ben of NightHawkInLight, a YouTube Channel that features fun, interesting, and useful hacks, posted a video on how to turn a regular sheet into a waterproof and durable tarp.

YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight
Source:
YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight

Who would have thought that you can waterproof a regular sheet?

Simple and effective

This tutorial is really informative and easy to do.

YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight
Source:
YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A bucket where your sheet will fit in
  • Bigger plastic bin
  • An old bedsheet
  • Naphtha Solvent
  • Garbage bag
YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight
Source:
YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight
  • Silicone
  • Chemical-resistant gloves
  • Clothesline big enough for your sheet, installed in open air
  • A place where you can work with sufficient ventilation
YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight
Source:
YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight

Turning a sheet into a tarp:

The amount of silicone and solvent that we will need depends on how much fabric needs treatment.

Factors, such as the material’s thickness and the size of the bed sheet need to be considered.

YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight
Source:
YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight

To do this, we need to see how much volume it takes up by putting the fabric in the bucket and pressing it down.

In the video, Ben saw that the fabric he used would take about 2 liters of solution.

Know what you’re working with.

Before starting, you must know what you’re doing, and this includes the dangers of using a solvent.

YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight
Source:
YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight

Since you’ll use a lot of solvents, you will need an open workspace, or at the least, a well-ventilated one.

You can wear a mask and chemical-resistant gloves as well.

If there are kids, make sure they don’t go near the area.

YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight
Source:
YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight

Now that you are ready, get a plastic bag, and do a chemical test.

Pour some of the solvents into the plastic bag and see if it will melt.

If it doesn’t melt, you’re ready.

Layer your bucket with a plastic bag, and in this process, you will need to use three-quarters of the volume of the fabric.

YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight
Source:
YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight

That’s a liter and a half of the Naphtha Solvent.

The right ratio

Get your silicone and in this video, Ben said that a five-to-one ratio between the solvent and the silicone is the perfect mix.

He used 0.3L of silicone to 1.5L of Naphtha.

YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight
Source:
YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight

Now get your bigger container ready and transfer your plastic bag.

Mix and make

Mix your solution carefully until you achieve a thin consistency, much like maple syrup.

Make sure you support the upper part of the bag to avoid spillage.

YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight
Source:
YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight

Put the sheet inside and tie the bag.

Knead carefully

Knead until the sheet absorbs the chemical.

It’s normal to still have a few dry spots.

You can get the wettest part of the bedsheet and then press it against the dry parts of the sheet.

YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight
Source:
YouTube Screenshot / NightHawkInLight

Once you’re done, hang your treated sheet and allow it to dry. That’s it!

Reuse old bed sheets and turn them into very useful tarps, or even waterproof raincoats.

Get the full process and learn to secure your sheet tarps in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Ma Fatima Garcia
hi@sbly.com
Ma Fatima Garcia is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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