Tutorial ~ Waterproof Park Blanket

by Destri on June 10, 2010

It’s officially park weather…hooray!   I have mentioned that I like to get to the park in the morning before the crowd shows up and before the slides get too hot for little tushes.  But there is one drawback.  The grass is always on the damp side, so I whipped up a waterproof park blanket to keep our britches from getting soggy.  This  would work great for a beach blanket too, the sand wouldn’t stick to the bottom.

I was originally going to buy oilcloth or tablecloth material at the fabric store, but then I ran across a weather-proof tablecloth for $4 at big-mart.  It already had a finished edge and it was the perfect size for my blanket, plus it was a cute print, and cheap!

The other thing I knew I wanted was a key clasp.  When we go to baseball games or to the park in the car, I only take my keys with a few bucks in my pocket.  It never fails, I always lose my keys in the grass.  Every. Single. Time.  I would put them in my pocket, but that is not too comfy, so this solved my problem!

The last thing I added was an elastic strap so when I roll it up I can secure it.  You could even add handles to carry it.  Shall we get started?

Making a Waterproof Park or Beach Blanket


  • all your sewing stuff
  • ¾ inch to 1 inch elastic
  • metal clasp
  • blanket (I used one I already had)
  • waterproof material cut or sewn to the size of your blanket

I had to cut my blanket down to fit my tablecloth, but you may need to sew together fabric to fit your blanket, so do what ever it is you need to do.  Lay the waterproof material with the wrong side up on flat surface with good amount of room for you to work.  Ten lay your blanket on top with the right side up and make sure that your blanket is 1½ inches smaller all the way around.

Take your clasp and thread a piece of fabric through as shown to make a loop.

Pin the material over the edge of the blanket and the key clasp where you would like it under that fold.  For the corners just fold the sides over first then the corner in pin.

On a short end of your blanket, find the center and pin your elastic under the fold as shown.

Now just sew around the perimeter using a zigzag or straight stitch. When you get to the corners make sure your needle is down, lift your pressure foot and rotate fabric.  You’re done!

If you would like you can sew two lines down the blanket, short end to short end.  Measure so that this makes the blanket easy to fold into thirds.

To fold up just fold into thirds and wrap the elastic around the roll.  My elastic was long enough that I could wrap it twice.  I was surprised at how compact it was when rolled up, nice and compact.

There you have it!  No wet bums at the baseball field or park, no more losing your keys in the grass, and all for around $5.00!

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Judi June 10, 2010 at 10:28 am

Is that really just a vinyl tablecloth? I was going to go by me a waterproof thing like thisfor $25, but heck, even I can make on of these!!


maria June 10, 2010 at 11:12 am

Genius! That is all I can say about that. A key clasp…….Genius!


Aimee @ Simple Bites June 10, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Hello! Summer picnic perfection!

Loving this. Merci!


Rebecca @ Pantry Cookin Mama June 10, 2010 at 1:05 pm

What a great idea and very good tutorial. Myself and one of my kids are allergic to grass and wet blankets stink. Thanks for sharing!


KYouell June 10, 2010 at 1:07 pm

The key clasp is what makes this better than the vinyl-ey “blanket” I got as a gift. Plus yours rolls where as that one folds flat, and rolled up things work better in the stroller basket IMHO. Bookmarking this to make after I get my mending done.


Tiffany June 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm

is this the picnic blanket you’ve been saving? it’s lovely!


Kate June 10, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I hope you realise that I am keeping track of all the goodies I want us (err I mean you!) to make while I take care of our fab 4…………….only joking… kinda!

marvellous, ingeneous, clever, clever lady…………………and with perfect painted nails I see!

17 days and counting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Anne June 10, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Brilliant!! I HATE getting up from sitting in the grass only to realize that the ground is slightly damp and I now have a wet spot on the back of my pants that looks like a I had a little accident….

I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:



Mikaela June 10, 2010 at 7:50 pm

This is such a great idea! I’ve seen a similar one with a tarp as the backing but I like the idea of the tablecloth as it would be thinner and more flexible. Thanks for sharing =)


heather June 10, 2010 at 7:59 pm

great idea!!! I linked your tut on my blog.


Suzanne June 10, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Love this idea, your such a smarty pants, how you do it I’ll never know!


Lindsay Wilkes June 11, 2010 at 1:51 pm

What a great idea! I did something similar, but mine was WAY more involved (http://thecottagehome.blogspot.com/2010/04/waterproof-picnic-blanket-tutorial.html)…….I honestly would have never thought just to hem up the tablecloth – you go girl!!



Destri June 11, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Lindsay, so funny you should stop by! When craft gossip linked to this post they had similar post links under that post and I found your tutorial. Here I thought I was a genius! Yours was adorable! See if I would have found yours before I would have saved myself the trouble. oh well!


Heidi June 17, 2010 at 12:32 pm

I love this idea. And I just bought an adorable tablecloth at Target on clearance. I’m going to give this a try even with my very limited sewing skills. Thanks!


Rachel June 21, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Ooh this is great! I love the tablecloth idea. Thanks so much, I’ll be linking.


AmberLee June 25, 2010 at 6:48 am

I have been wanting a good park blanket for years! I love the idea of having something pretty that will also keep us nice and dry. Totally cute. Love the key hook, too.


K April 30, 2011 at 1:42 pm

How do you wash it though? I mean, the blanket has to be washed some time. I love the idea, I’m just not sure how to wash the fabric side.


Destri May 12, 2011 at 7:03 am

I just wash it alone on my washers hand wash cycle and then line dry and have had great results. The tablecloth was washable too, so I would just make sure on that part :)


Cathy July 21, 2011 at 5:36 am

We made one similar to this a few years ago except we used scraps of fabric and “crazy quilted” the top – quilted directly onto the vinyl tablecloth. I like the idea of adding an elastic band and key holder. I will do that next time.


paulaj July 21, 2011 at 7:44 am

I love it! I have the perfect star spangled tablecloth, bought on clearance for $1 after the 4th, can’t wait to get started!


julie grasso July 22, 2011 at 6:00 am

Thank you for this idea!!1 What a great gift item. I will definitely make this.


Katie July 26, 2011 at 8:26 am

Love this! I’m on it now… I have the cloths that I purchased earlier this summer so I’ll use them for this. Thanks for the great idea!!!


carolyn kay July 31, 2011 at 4:12 pm

what an awesome idea;;;can t wait to make it for my girls and for their girls. thanx. ck


Patty August 4, 2011 at 10:03 am

What a great hostess gift I’m going to a family reunion picnic
and will bring this as part of my gift. Thank you for this great idea


Wendy August 7, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Thank you for such a wonderful, easy and useful item. The tutorial was so easy to follow. I plan on making one soon and I forwarded the link to our Girl Scout Troop leader to possibly teach our Girl Scouts. If nothing else, our Girl Scouts will have dry bums at the park from now on. lol


Michelle October 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm

My husband just told me I need to make a quilt with an oil cloth back. Oil cloth is expensive and kind of stiff, but I have a drawer full of tablecloths plus a bin full of quilt tops. Hmm think he may get is quilt for Christmas. The key clip and rolling up is pure genius. Keep up the good work.


Ellie October 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Marvelous idea. Now I can finish those blankets in the attic for my grand children.
Thanks for sharing.


Elaine Keegan November 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Ya know I take my old blankets n buy 2 cheap sheets n cover the blankets.Like a real big on the pillow case n slide the old blanket in to it.Than close the end by folding them back to make it the top of the blanket,Sew closed .If you want you can embroider their names on them or cute sayings.Than take wool , colors that match an go all over n sew knots through all 3 sheets n blanket, an all around the edges, about every 2 or 4 inches.You can use a pattern sheet on one side n plain on the other side.The kids love them n the big kids do too.You can do a patch work on one side too. Cut big squares out of your old cloths n theirs n other material or old sheets n You can make pics from the computer n do photos of all of you n pets n sew together for a patch work on the one side.Its cheap n great memories ,for ever.An your recycleing too.


Bonnie Spielman October 7, 2011 at 12:34 am

What a great idea. You know I wonder if you couldn’t also use a pretty shower curtain too, although it probably wouldn’t be quite as flexible as the tablecloth.


Elaine Keegan November 12, 2011 at 11:10 am

That is a great idea you could even add a tote bag to it. Make out of the same patterned table cloth.But fold it so the bag is water resistant in n out. Add a few pouches on it if you want velcro it to close n velcro it to your blanket . use for food,cloths, flip flops. as a pillow,a book ,chips.your drink.even a small radio n wash with a damp cloth. Put straps on it to carry. Your park,Beach,Hike or a ride with the kids Thank you for a great gift idea.


Destri November 13, 2011 at 5:09 am

Yes Elaine, A tote would be great for this. Especially the way you describe it, makes me want to go for a picnik :)


Elizabeth June 13, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Thanks for this tutorial! Such a simple and genius idea, plus I was able to get all the things I needed on clearance!! I added a strap that snaps around it so I can carry it over my shoulder. I can’t wait to use my new blanket for watching the fireworks in a few weeks!!


Destri June 26, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Oh see, I love it when people make it better then me! What a great idea. So glad you liked it, and thanks for letting me know!


Maeve July 2, 2012 at 11:04 pm

I love, love, LOVE this idea! But I have one question. Is this safe to toss in the washing machine, should it get terribly dirty? Just curious, because I have several mess-makers in my family! :)


Destri August 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm

I just wash mine on gentle and it’s always come out okay!


Nivva March 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm

What a great idea and sooooo easy! I’m definitely gonna make one!


becky July 17, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Can you wash these in the washer?? And air dry only because of the table cloth back?


Destri August 8, 2013 at 5:00 pm

I just wash mine on gentle and the air dry and it comes out fine!


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