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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Pool Out of WHAT? The Hay Bales and Tarp Pool

How to Build a Hay Bale and Tarp Pool 

You can build a refreshing above-ground pool in just one afternoon by simply using hay bales and a tarp.

Nothing beats a cool pool when you want to cool off, relax with friends or simply float in warm water with a frosty cold one in hand and let all the tensions of the day slip out of your body.

Unfortunately, you may not have a pool, and the cost of building one can be prohibitive, not to mention the time, noise and hassle of pool construction. Plus, it’s a well-known fact that the cost of building a pool adds little or no value to the equity in your house.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative to traditional in-ground and above-ground pools that’s simple, cheap, environmentally responsible and — best of all — lots of fun for you, your family and friends. You can build a refreshing, attractive above-ground pool in just one afternoon simply using hay bales and a tarp.

Before you begin, you need to think about a few things. First, you’ll have to decide how many hay bales you’ll need. Generally, about 80 bales of hay will be sufficient for a 30 foot by 40 foot tarp.
Next, you’ll need to pick a tarp. Many different colors, styles and materials are available for tarps. Polyethylene and vinyl are two popular materials, for instance. Whichever material you choose, however, make sure it’s waterproof. In this case, of course, you want the tarp to hold water in rather than keep it out.

You’ll also need a way of keeping the bales in place solidly and keeping the tarp on the bales and the ground. There are a few ways to accomplish these tasks. To keep your hay bales stable, you can simply tie a rope very tightly around the bales once you've arranged them. This will ensure that the pressure of the water won’t push them outward. Another option is to drive stakes through the bales to anchor them in the ground.

You also have a few options for keeping the tarp on the bales. Some people simply use large staples to attach the tarp to the underlying bales. Others use an even simpler method, just putting weights such as sand bags on top of the tarp and bales.

Sand bags also work perfectly as weights to keep the bottom part of the tarp solidly on the ground. If you don’t have sand bags readily available, other inexpensive options are possible. Jugs filled with water, for instance, are heavy and will do the job.

Once you've made your plan and assembled all your materials, it’s time to get started. All you really have to do is find a flat, level place for your pool. Then, you’re ready to get to work. Although building your custom hay bale and tarp pool will only take a few hours, consider inviting friends and neighbors over. Instead of an old-fashioned barn-raising, think of this as a new-fashioned pool raising. Sooner than you know it, you’ll be hosting your own pool parties.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tips for Storing and Transporting Your Tarp

Keep your tarps well-organized and ready to go while not in use with these handy tarp transportation and storage tips.

To roll or to fold: that is the question
You'll want to determine the best space-saving technique for your tarps based on whether or not you can compact them better by rolling or folding. This really depends on the size. If you're working with a smaller tarp, you'll likely want to roll it. Larger tarps are more difficult to roll, so getting the air out may be best completed by folding. Place them in a protective bin or on a shelf in a safe place for easy access later.
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Make sure to fold your tarp correctly
Hang or stack
If you're able to fold or roll your small and large tarps, you can save extra space by stacking them on a shelf in your storage area. You can also hang your tarps on a strong clothes hanger so you can more easily access them when the time comes to put them to use. Compressing a set of tarps, stacking them on top of each other and then securing them with a rope is a great way to get your tarps from point A to point B without hassle.

Keep it hospitable
Be sure to store and transport your tarps in an environment that's hospitable for the material. While many types of tarps are waterproof and mold and mildew resistant, it's still important to store your coverings in a cool, dry place that's not going to encourage the accumulation of moisture. You'll want your tarps to be completely dry and fresh when you're ready to put them to use.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Get Creative Decorating with Tarps

Decorating with tarps sounds a bit primitive, but if you consider the amazing advancements tarps have made over the last few decades, you'll find beautiful, unique ways to enhance any outdoor living space. Tarps are no longer facets of utility. Instead, gorgeous new tarp styles have become upscale accessories coveted by the most high-style yet practical home décor enthusiasts.
Decorate with sun shade sails
Sun shade sails are artistic outdoor coverings that look exquisite but also provide unmatched real-world utility. These gorgeous canopies come in a huge variety of colors, shapes and sizes, all of which offer a truly unique, geometric overhead covering that will draw the eyes upward. Forego the traditional dull canopy and instead double- or triple-up on a lovely triangle shade tarp sail to create an amazingly intriguing in-air sculpture.

Choose a shade tarp to cover your patio, pool, porch or entrance-way. These breathable tarps are made from a tight weave, poly mesh fabric that blocks up to 90 percent of harmful UV rays, making them a great way to keep your green space cool and safe throughout the warm-weather months. Configure your sun sails to your precise outdoor space with triangle or square sun shade sails that match your home's color scheme.

Other ways to decorate with tarps include using a tan or black mesh tarp to create a stylish privacy fence surrounding the perimeter of your property, taking your sun shade sails indoors to complement high or vaulted ceilings, creating uniquely shaped canopy covers outdoors that feature one or two-peak tops and using waterproof tarps to create a sound base for an outdoor fountain or koi pond. No matter your precise landscaping or exterior décor vision, a tarp can go a long way toward helping you achieve your goals.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Incorporate Tarps into Your Next Event

The next time you have a special occasion to plan for, you don't have to hire an expensive event planner to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. Instead, get yourself some tarps. You'll be amazed at all tarps can do for and during events.

Use tarps while you're setting up to protect place settings and decorations.

You can also use tarps to erect canopies to protect guests or to simply make a dynamic statement about the event itself. Tarps as tents or canopies also help organize an event, serving as a check-in point or a prep/staging area for those working at the event. And if the event will have food, a tarp can help protect the food or serve as a staging or serving area.

If your event will take place in a sunny climate or during a sunny time of year, a tarp can help provide much-needed shade for guests and/or allow them to cool off for a bit.

Remember: No longer are tarps just bright blue and made out of a crunchy material. PTM Tarps
Tarp colors for every occasion
carries a full range of tarps made out of a variety of materials to serve all your event needs. Tarps are much more affordable than canopies or tents and serve the same basic function, so they are ideal for cost-conscious consumers or for those on a budget. Your guests will think you've sprung for an elaborate setup and your secret will be safe with us. Plus, they couldn't be easier to install and to take down, which means you can devote your time and attention to ensuring the rest of the event runs smoothly. They can also easily be attached together, giving you as much or as little overhead space as you need.

And don't forget the ground. If there's been inclement weather recently and the ground is soggy, simply place a tarp down to protect guests' feet and shoes. It's a small gesture that will be very much appreciated.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Features to Consider when Buying a Tarp

Today's tarps come with many high-tech advancements, and choosing the right one of your unique needs can be a challenge. Reference this guide when you need to know which features to consider when buying a tarp.

Thickness - Tarps come in a variety of weights, including light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty. Choose the one that best matches your job. Tarps range in weight from lighter, easier-to-manage 6-mil tarps to extremely heavy-duty 23-mil tarps that are ideal for super tough jobs.

Size - A huge variety of tarp sizes are available, ranging from small tarps that measure just 5 feet by 7 feet to large tarps that go all the way up to 100 feet by 100 feet. Covering small things like wood piles may require a more compact tarp, while large tarps like RV covers, tarps for home renovation and other uses, may require a wider surface area.

Waterproof - Poly tarps are generally made of 6-ounce, 12-mil polyethylene material that is
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Everything stays nice and dry
supremely waterproof. Tarps for camping, covering materials outdoors, fixing leaking roofs and other uses should be fully waterproof. More pliable canvas tarps are water resistant but not 100 percent waterproof, so they're better suited for indoor or temporary outdoor usage.

UV protection - Opt for a UV protective tarp if you're looking for something to block out harmful UV rays. A great choice for canopies, gardening and agriculture and covering cars, boats and RVs, UV tarps will keep your outdoor items free from sun damage.

Fire retardant - Flame resistant tarps can actually help prevent flames from spreading, making them a great choice for camping, car repairs and emergency use. Choose a flame retardant tarp every time you're going to be working with high heat.

Mold and mildew resistant - Choose this feature if you know you're going to be using your tarp in a damp environment, like the basement, garage or outdoors. A mildew and rot resistant tarp will not only last longer, it will also help prevent your items from accumulating mold and mildew themselves.

Color - Tarps come in dozens of unique colors. Tan, camouflage and green tarps are great for landscaping use, while silver and clear tarps are especially well-suited for gardening and agriculture. Versatile white and blue tarps are terrific for a wide variety of applications.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Creativity Counts: Artsy Uses for Tarps

Tarps are a grade-A choice for crafting materials thanks to their durability and versatility. Whether you're looking for a great way to recycle old tarps into something fantastic or want to create an easy, convenient place to paint and craft, these suggestions will help you get creative.

Set the stage
Set up a DIY crafting station indoors or out by covering all of your exposed surfaces with a high-quality painter's tarp. Poly and vinyl tarps make great floor coverings for out-of-doors painting projects, while canvas tarps can be used as easy-to-move drop cloths. Finally paint that large-scale, abstract-inspired paint spill by having a paint party that's fully protect by a multipurpose tarp. Use corner grommets to secure your tarp over a dining or picnic table to ensure that every surface is safely guarded.

Crafty coverings
Create beautiful all-weather tablecloths, napkin holders, placemats and more using old and unwanted tarps. The waterproof, weather-resistant build of a high-quality tarpaulin means you can take these country-chic garnishes out of doors - from an upscale garden party to a rugged camping trip in the woods. Patterned and colorful canvas tarps make a fine starting point for sturdy table coverings and accessories.

Baggy chic
Give your tarp a fashion statement
Make yourself a practical, eco-friendly tote bag made out of a tarp for a stylish and unique way to
cart those heavy groceries. Affordable poly tarps make great building blocks for DIY tote bags, giving you the durability and waterproof qualities you need for hauling heavy gallons of milk. Backpacks, wallets, messenger bags and even high-style handbags can be fashioned from old tarps and other materials you can find in your garage or craft drawer. Top each bag off with a set of exquisite hardware or keep it simple with tarp handles that will stand up to the test of time.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Lifehacks that Require Tarps

Tarps are a severely underrated lifehack accessory. These large-scale, versatile materials can be used to help simplify so many aspects of our lives. So go ahead and dust off those old tarps in your shed or garage, because we're about to change the way you think about - and use - tarps.

Speed up fall cleanup
Quickly eliminate leaves in your yard by raking large piles of leaves onto a durable poly tarp. Choose a dull colored tarp to easily differentiate between the surface of the tarp and the brightly colored leaves to ensure that every last fallen leaf is accounted for. Go for an extra-large, heavy-duty tarp, like a 50-foot by 50-foot poly tarp, to knock out your whole yard's worth of leaves in one single trip.

Create an easy camping canopy
Save tons of effort and money by foregoing canopies in the camping aisle at your local sporting goods store and instead opting for a weather-resistant tarp canopy. Easily hoist a vinyl or poly tarp up off the ground using a vertical support pole, some twine or rope and a few stakes to angle the roof towards the ground. Choose one of PTM Tarps' fire retardant tarps for camping to keep things extra safe.

Relax in your hammock year-round
Use a waterproof tarp to create a simple hammock canopy so that you can enjoy your hammock
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Relax anytime of day rain or shine
throughout the year. There's nothing quite like relaxing in the out-of-doors with the pitter-patter of rain overhead - all without the need to haul all your camping gear deep into the woods. Simply secure the long ends of the tarp to the tree and surrounding ground using durable rope and the tarp's grommets and you've got an uncomplicated outdoor shelter.

Slow a leaky roof
Temporarily inhibit a leaking roof by installing a waterproof tarp over the openings. This nonpermanent solution could buy you up to three months of extra time before you can get around to repairing the roof, effectively saving your home's structure and interior from unsightly water damage. Nailing the tarp to planks in the roof can redirect water and prohibit it from entering gaps.
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