Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Portable Windscreen

Boy do I wish I had this clever contraption at the beach a couple weekends ago. The sun was out, not a cloud in the sky, but the wind was blowing with a vengeance. No matter where we went (up high, down low, behind logs, etc. etc.) we could not escape the unyielding wind. I was getting a legitimate sand facial. It was all over. Even in my teeth. Yuck! If I were at all crafty, I would make this super-handy windscreen to avoid the sand exfoliation in the future. Here's hoping someone out there is more capable than I am!

(Image courtesy of

Tools and Materials
Heavy canvas is best for this project because it is sturdy and machine-washable
6 yards of 54-inch-wide preshrunk canvas
Four 1 1/4-inch wooden dowels or broomsticks measuring 59 inches in length
Four tent stakes
Cut a 191-by-46-inch piece of fabric for the windscreen and a 15-by-13-inch piece for the pocket.

Portable Windscreen How-To
1. To make the screen, fold in a 1/2-inch hem along the top and the bottom, and sew securely (any gaps in the stitching will allow sand to collect in the hem). At both ends of the hemmed fabric, fold in 3 inches and turn under the unfinished edge; sew along this edge to make a channel for a dowel. To form the middle two channels, measure and mark 65 1/2 inches from each end.

2. On one end, fold the cloth over onto itself at the marked spot so that the overlapping portion is 3 inches wide.

3. To make the channel, sew along both of these folds through three layers of fabric. Repeat on the opposite end.

4. For the pocket, turn under 1/4 inch on the two sides and the bottom, and press. Hem the top edge (which is the wider measure) by 1/2 inch. To attach to the screen, position the pocket 20 3/4 inches from the bottom and 22 1/2 inches from one end. Sew into place along the two sides and the bottom, backstitching at the pocket's top edge to reinforce. Slide dowels into the channels. To set up the windscreen on the beach, drive the dowels into the sand, and secure them with guy lines made by tying rope to a stake and to the top of a dowel.