Know that old sail lying around that's hard to part with? It won't do much good on your boat but with the right elbow grease you can repurpose an old sail to good use. Here are some interesting and useful ideas for adding new life to old sails. For more ideas check out our Pinterest Board on the same topic.
Use as a Removable Deck Sun Shade
The sun can get pretty hot in the summer especially on a south facing deck. Want to hang out without getting scalloped? Just add shade with your old sail. It is easier than you think, has more character than most shades, and is portable. There are already three points to attach rope or a secure line of your choice. Here are the steps with a PDF from Instructables. Want to show off your new shade? Have a sailing themed party! The shade will fit perfectly alongside other nautical decor.
Sail Beach Tote or Duffel Bag
A good tote bag for the beach is worth it's weight in sand. Seriously, the ever worthy beach tote or duffel bag is always useful. As a project for your old sail it is an easy one. Plus you can use old rope hanging around for the project as well. Here is a full tutorial for the duffel bag.
Sail Shower Curtain
You know that pesky shower curtain that just doesn't seem to last? Take the older sail and have a shower curtain that lasts a lifetime. There isn't too much alteration, they look great, and are much better quality than any other type of curtain you might get. Don't want to do it yourself? Just check for places that do custom sewing and have them place grommets along one side. You also may need to have them cut to size and tape off one end. Then it is just a matter of getting some shower rings to match! Some still use an inner liner keeping the sail on the outside more for looks. There are places on Etsy that sell these you may contact for a custom job with your own sail.
Sail Personal Sunshade
Of all the setups this one is the easiest. There isn't any sewing but you will want to have the right size to make this actually portable. All you need is the sail, some rope, and something to secure the rope on one end. Having a smaller sail works particularly well. Bring it along next time you go to the beach for instant shade and conversation piece!
Sail Chair Covers
Design Sponge offers a great tutorial with images on creating sail chair covers. They also include some information on creating curtains with sails. Depending on what you have to cover you might be able to get away with using strong clips tucked away rather than sewing.
Donate Your Old Sail
If you just want to get rid of your old sail and put it to good use, donate it! There are a number of places including a small outfit in Gloucester, MA called Second Wind Sails that will take and recycle older sails. They also might be willing to do one of the projects above!