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Homemade Sandbags

April 29, 2013

The DIYer in me surfaced last week in the form of sewing up a few dozen sandbags, complete with draw strings. I’m using them in my duckweed ponds as anchors, sample bags, and of course- as sandbags.  I could have bought  what I needed off of eBay at a fairly reasonable price- $2.50 each but I didn’t want to wait to have them shipped.  I was in a DIY mood, and wanted to try my hand at recycling stuff I had around the house.  Awhile back,  I  lucked out with a huge amount of amazingly strong, breathable FREE woven polypropylene material that our local furniture store was throwing away. The polypropylene is used as a wrapping material around new furniture during shipping. What is so great about it is that it tears on perforated lines to be exactly the size I need for making sandbags.  Once I got set up, I could crank out a bag complete with draw string every three minutes on my sewing machine. I used a zig zag stitch with nylon thread and used marine grade  cording for the drawstring.  I think I’ll hire one of my kids to sew more for me- 25 cents apiece ought to be about right. Then they’ll get lots of experience sewing and I’ll end up with a pile of highly usable and durable sandbags. Cool!

sandbag homemade

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2013 3:14 pm

    Oops, I didn’t think about UV inhibition other than these bags will be underwater and not a lot of light will reach them. Neither polyethylene or polyester is known to rot on their own. Guess the sunlight reaching my bags will tell the tale eventually. Thanks for the heads up so I can figure out a Plan B just in case.
    My duckweed is growing-albeit slower than I’d like. I think the temps are still a bit cool as even my small test ponds outside around the house are slow to grow right now.As of last night, I now have two ponds seeded with duckweed and another two ponds being dug so I can grow specific species in a more controlled, plastic-lined environment. Many thanks to Gina and Robert McCord for supporting this project.


  2. Susan Munroe permalink
    April 30, 2013 2:45 pm

    Good job! Get the kids learning to work for a living, too!

    I’m sure you’re aware of the UV problem with poly — even regular sandbags have a sturdiness life that is counted in hours.

    I bought some to hold down sheet plastic on my leaky roof. I accidentally left one up there, and when I went up again, the thing had rotted (and that’s here in the PNW which has about 22 sunny days a year), the sand had spilled out, and grass was growing all over the clump. At least the grass roots made it easier to pick up and pitch off the roof…

    How is the duckweed doing? Multiplying before your eyes?



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