This post was most recently updated on March 23rd, 2020
This canvas waterproofing recipe uses natural ingredients to create a waterproof coating on the fabric of choice. You can use it to waterproof canvas clothing, shoes, bags, tents, leather, even fabric tarpaulins and wood!
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I don’t know if you follow the Rhodes on Youtube or not (if you don’t, you should), but I have always wanted one of his aprons.
We live so far away, that it isn’t really worth the shipping to get one from the USA, so I started looking in to making oilcloth at home. It turns out waterproofing canvas is not difficult once you know how.
Why I love my Natural Oilcloth Apron:
I really love wearing my waterproof, oil cloth apron outside in the garden and on the farm.
- It protects my clothes from mud and water
- It is wipeable when doing messy tasks like processing chickens
- It has POCKETS! I keep my knife, gardening gloves, secateurs and wire weeder all there ready to go.
Pockets is such a big thing for me. Someone decided that women’s clothing doesn’t need pockets and it was a dumb decision. Having a hard wearing apron that both protects my clothes and carries my utilities is SUPER helpful.
How to waterproof cotton canvas at home
There are a few oilcloth waterproofing recipes out and about. This is a very old, traditional method of waterproofing items from well before plastic was a thing.
You can waterproof fabric by simply adding many many layers of boiled linseed oil, allowing it to dry in between coats.
I chose not to follow this waterproofing method because 1) It takes ages for it to dry between coats 2) Nope, that is about it. I am impatient.
DIY Oilcloth Apron: Homemade canvas waterproofing recipe
To make my own oilcloth apron, I actually bought this canvas apron. I could have made one, but canvas here is expensive, and it is too heavy duty for my sewing machine. I wanted TOUGH.
Look at how many pockets it has! I love it.
Next I bought all the ingredients to make the oilcloth waterproofing:
And I gathered an old pot, a stirring stick and a paintbrush.
Ideally you would do this outside on a campstove as 1) it stinks and 2) it is flammable.
This canvas waterproofing recipe is easy to make and will last in a sealed container for a very long time. You can use your canvas waterproofing mixture either warm and paint it on with a paintbrush, or you can use it once is it more like a paste.
If you wait for the waterproofing mixture to become more solid/paste like you can rub it in to your fabric with an old cloth.
This is perfect to take with you when you go camping or hunting, you can use it to re-waterproof tents, shoes, bags and other fabrics.
You can use this mixture to waterproof large sheets of canvas to make non-plastic tarpaulins - simply stretch the fabric out on a wooden frame and paint it with 1-2 two coats of the mixture. The mixture can be stored at room temperature and you can use it as a solid by working it in to the fabric with another rag or a shoe brush. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
You can use this mixture to waterproof large sheets of canvas to make non-plastic tarpaulins - simply stretch the fabric out on a wooden frame and paint it with 1-2 two coats of the mixture.
The mixture can be stored at room temperature and you can use it as a solid by working it in to the fabric with another rag or a shoe brush.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.