When I was planning Cypress’s first birthday party – I really wanted a cool picnic rug that was huge enough for all the bubs to play but that wouldn’t cost a small fortune and look super lame either.

So a quick trip to Bunnings and I had myself a really cheap solution in the form of a plastic backed canvas drop sheet! I scored one for $15 that was about 3m x 3m square!  Such a bargain.

The plan was the paint tribal style patterns on it with some $3 aqua and blue paint I found on the sale pile at Bunnings where they put all the paint that didn’t come out the right colour – always keep an eye out for these at your local store BTW!

The party was a wash out and I never got spare time to paint the drop sheets so they kind of just sat in the shed for a few months until I came up with all these hair-brained uses which are actually borderline useful!

1. Outdoor Curtain

This is probably the most useful purpose I’ve found for it.  I strung it up in our patio so that when it’s pissing down rain – we can still hang outside on the lounges.

2. Baby Swing Cover

On the top of my to-do-list is to use the canvas to make a cover for Cypress’s much loved but very unattractive baby swing.  I’ll update when I’ve tackled this one.

3. Outdoor Cushion Covers

Being backed with plastic means moisture won’t get into your outdoor cushions but the canvas fabric top gives a nice fabric finish.  For extra style you could paint on some patterns & decals.

4. Sandpit Cover

We have the sandpit with a lid that folds out to chairs so I throw a small piece of this canvas over the top when bub isn’t playing in it just to keep any creepy-crawlings and the rain out!

5. Food Drop Cloth

Kids are messy.  Kids are really messy when they’re eating.  I’ve started using a small square as a little drop cloth for him when he’s eating outside.  Any food scraps get chucked to the chooks, my patio floor is clean, and the kid is fed!

6. Picnic Rug

Ah yes, the original point of me buying this – the perfect picnic rug.  The plastic backing with keep your bum dry in damp grass, it’s freaking huge so there’s room for everyone to slip into their food coma and they actually fold up really small so you can keep it stashed in the boot or pram!

7. Table Cloth

Table cloths are boring and no one likes wasting money on those plastic ones that blow away before the party starts so use the canvas drop sheet instead for something a little nicer!

8. Shade Cloth

Next time we go camping – I’ll be taking a big one of these for sure to run from the edge of our gazebo, down to the ground for sure!  I’ve even considered throwing it over the trampoline and clothes line for added outdoor shade!


So there you go – 8 somewhat useful uses for a plastic backed shade cloth!  Any other cool ideas I’ve missed?

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