Hardware stores convert chemical sheets into waterproof tarps

For Northern Hemisphere hackers, the wet and cold season is upon us. Staying dry is just as important as staying warm, so what better way than a hack or two to keep us warm and dry! All you need is a bed sheet, some rope, and a run to the local hardware store and some knowledge. [NightHawkInLight] We’ve got you covered with the excellent video “Recycled Bedsheets Make the Best Waterproof Tarps,” seen below the break.

[NightHawkInLight] A shift away from oil, wax and canvas brings old traditional methods into the 21st century in favor of a recycled bed sheet waterproofed with silicone. The video goes into enough detail so you can reproduce their results without fear of working with the strong solvents used.

Inexpensive hardware store grade silicone sealant is thinned with naphtha, worked into old bed sheets and then hung to dry overnight. The result? A perfectly waterproof sheet that is as flexible as before treatment. But how can you use it like a tarp, when there are no eyelets? If you’re watching the video for no other reason, check out the clean attachment technique at the end, where the traditional technique is once again brought to the fore with nothing more than a stone and a slip knot.

We can imagine that such cheap, durable homemade tarps have many uses. One can probably use this when building your own custom cycling camper.