Have you read our post about how to repurpose empty wood pellet bags? What about our tutorials on how to make a water blob, or a kite, or DIY treat bags from empty bags? Here’s a new one for you – a pallet tarp! We’ve created a step by step guide on how to use your leftover bags to make an extra layer of protection for your pellets, that fits over a skid of 50 bags nicely.
What You’ll Need:
- Ironing Board/Surface
- Parchment Paper
- 25 Empty Pellet Bags (at least)
- Open Window or Fan
To begin, open a window or have a fan going, since we will be fusing plastic for this project. Also, please note that this DIY is for adults only. Children shouldn’t be involved with this one. Safety first!
Shake out any excess fines and/or leftover pellets inside your bags to avoid making a mess. Line up a few bags on top of one another, and carefully cut the jagged tops, and the folded bottoms with your scissors. Repeat this for all of the bags.
You can make a super tough tarp by keeping the sides of each bag as-is, and not cutting one side open. This will create a double layer. We made the top of the tarp this way, because a double layer on the top will protect the underlaying layers best from the elements.
Cut a large piece of parchment paper, and fold it in half lengthwise. On the top layer, mark a line an inch or two away from the fold, across the entire paper. (We just used the parchment paper box as a guide.) This line will help guide your iron, making the seams of your tarp the same size.
Similar to basic quilting, line up the edges of two separate bags, and place them in between the folds of your marked parchment paper. Adjust the paper to make the inside fold as close as possible to the bag edges inside. Keep in mind that this is not an exact science, because it isn’t likely that your bag cuts were perfectly straight lines. (That’s okay!)
The edges of the bags should be sandwiched inside the layers of your parchment paper, separating the plastic from the ironing surface and the hot iron. Start to press the iron along the folded edge of the paper and stay inside your drawn line guide.
Make sure to do a test for the settings and make sure it’s hot enough to fuse the layers of plastic together efficiently. As you would for ironing clothes, keep a slow constant motion going with the iron – do not pause with the iron in one spot.
We had our iron set on the Wool setting, which worked perfectly for fusing together two bags of double layers. When we later switched to the sides of the tarp, which were only a single layer, we turned down the setting.
Carefully remove the parchment paper and check out your work! The seam will be on the inside of the tarp. If you flip it over, you’ll see your secure hidden seam. Repeat this process until you have a square of fused bags! We used three layers of three bags, so 9 total bags for the top of the tarp.
To make a flat tarp, instead of the trickier cube like we made, just continue adding rows of fused bags together until you get to your desired size!
For the sturdiest, most reliable pallet shaped tarp, repeat this whole process the same way four more times. This way, the entire cube tarp will be double layered like the top of ours. This will take at least 45 bags for a one ton skid (50 bags).
For our sides, we cut each bag on one side to open them up into wider pieces. After turning down the setting on the iron, we fused the edges in the same way, but had to adjust our layout a little due to the different shape of each piece. The sides only needed four bags. Again, there’s no exact science. To plan our cube sides, we pre-arranged each bag on the floor to see what the best configuration would be.
Once your four sides and top are complete, you can begin to assemble the cube shape. Start with the same process of aligning two bags, but align the edges of your top layer and one of the side layers. The parts you’d like to face outward upon completion should be facing one another for the fusing.
Repeat this process of fusing the top layer with the sides, until all four sides are securely connected to your top layer. Position your almost cube on a table, or chairs lined up, so the edges are hanging down next to one another.
Align the side edges of your side panels together, fold the edges inward, and tape a few pieces to temporarily keep the sides in place. Repeat this with the other three corners, and carefully flip your rough cube inside out, so all your seams are pointing outward.
Line up your taped edges, and place them inside your parchment paper, like you’ve done many times by now. Fuse together each side, and flip your creation over again. You should now have a cube like tarp!
We made a flap out of one of our sides by making two oversized pieces that overlapped in the middle, and connected to the top layer and each corner. This trick will make it easier to get to your bags through the season!
Your pellets are delivered wrapped up in a protective shroud, and we strongly suggest keeping this on if you’re storing outside. The more layers on your pallets – the better. Depending on your personal choices and techniques for this project, your pellet bag pallet tarp could be really sturdy, but it still shouldn’t be your only layer of protection.
Do you have any ideas you’d like to share? Comment or visit our Facebook page to show us how you reuse your empty wood pellet bags! Give us a call at 1-800-PELLETS if you’d like to speak to an expert!