How do you repair a tarp or make a custom size from a new one? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-10-2019, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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How do you repair a tarp or make a custom size from a new one?

How do you repair a tarp or make a custom size from a new one?

Example one: You have a tarp in good shape but one end got damaged. You can cut off a foot or three but then you have a ‘ragged’ end that could unravel.

Example two: You have a new tarp you can use for something but the tarp is way too big for the ‘something’ and you want to make the tarp fit it nicely.

I guess if you had a humongous sewing machine you could sew it, but what about someone like me that’ll do the work on the lawn?

The only thing I can think of is somehow fold over the cut end(s) and swage in tarp-hole grommets.

Any tips or tricks?
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-10-2019, 06:13 PM
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I assume that you are writing about the standard plastic tarp. They are not so heavy that any "humongous" sewing machine is needed. You can probably get any alteration/repair shop to sew for you.


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post #3 of 11 Old 06-10-2019, 07:50 PM
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How big is the tarp? Canvas or plastic? I get my plastic tarps at Harbor Freight. Great with a coupon or as a freebie.

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post #4 of 11 Old 06-10-2019, 08:52 PM
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Nothing that I’ve personally tried since I have a “big ass” sewing machine, but I would think you could glue the rolled edge to keep it from fraying. I think it would work with canvas or plastic, you just have to find the best adhesive.

Rolling the edge and trying to hold it with grommets would require a lot of grommets and it would still fray.


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post #5 of 11 Old 06-11-2019, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry I didn’t supply better info. No, no canvas tarps, just the plastic ones. Most are from Home Depot and are their ‘heavy duty’ ones. They are actually pretty nice: thick, don’t leak water in the rain even after years of use, and are two colors but I always have the brown side showing. The other local big box store’s tarps, for the same size and price, are much more cheaply constructed, very thin, leak pretty quick, and are blue only. I throw those away after use and don't buy them anymore. I do have some carport tarps remnants I’d like to utilize; they were torn / damaged in a storm earlier this year. The biggest piece from that is around 10x20’ before cutting off the damage areas.

None are of the type that are worth taking to an alteration shop, if one was around that could handle them.

Sizes? 8x12’ and a little larger. I do have one large tarp but don’t remember its size (I thought it was a two-pack of tarps on sale but it was just one large tarp, LOL). That one is fine as is.

I do have some stick-to-anything glue but it takes overnight to dry, so that’s out.

Hmmm… How about some double sided carpet tape? That would be a lot easier. Or mini hog rings? I just Googled that and the pliers are $10 USD but the mini rings are $15 a bag. Not sure it’s worth it for an occasional use.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-11-2019, 06:12 PM
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How about rolling the edge and covering with gorilla tape. That will work a lot better than double sided carpet tape. It’s a tarp, what difference does it make what it looks like.


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post #7 of 11 Old 06-11-2019, 10:08 PM
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I've only repaired small holes in a tarp before. I just used contact cement. It usually held until the rest of the tarp got unusable anyway.
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-12-2019, 01:57 AM
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I get mine from the net. Cheap and available in range of sizes. I have been able to reuse until they go into holes or get caked with mud or cement.
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-12-2019, 08:34 AM
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You can take it to an awning shop and get a hem sewn on the end.

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post #10 of 11 Old 06-12-2019, 03:55 PM
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This might be a dumb idea, but here goes: If they're plastic, would it be possible to seal the edges with heat? Melt them a little so they reform as a solid edge? If you had the tarp clamped between two lengths of aluminum or angle iron, with just a tiny bit of the edge sticking out, you might be able to melt the edge back to the metal and no farther and get a clean melt-line. Basically the same principle as using a lit match to keep a nylon rope from fraying.

Last edited by gj13us; 06-12-2019 at 03:57 PM.
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post #11 of 11 Old 06-14-2019, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Some good options, thanks!

On the iron suggestion, that’s not farfetched at all. The idea made me Google it and I saw a YouTube video where a manufacture ‘welded’ panels together to make a larger one. The machine looked like a sewing machine but had heat rollers instead of a needle. It was heavy duty vinyl, though. I know vinyl is a type of plastic, but a different type than in my tarps. The next time I go to Goodwill I’ll see if they have a $5 iron for future experimentation…

Again, thanks for all the ideas.
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