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How to Use a Tarp for a Privacy Screen

Privacy issues can challenge you, whether you are at home or outside enjoying a day at a state park. Perhaps you want to protect your modesty or avoid offending someone else's sensibilities. A tarp can provide instant privacy in your backyard, at poolside, on the beach or while camping.

Outdoor Single-Wall Divider

Besides a little shade, a tarp provides at least an illusion of privacy.

Step 1

Find a spot 4 to 6 feet longer and wider than the area you wish to screen.

Step 2

Weave a length of nylon clothesline at least 4 to 6 feet longer than the width of the tarp through the grommets along one of its long sides.

Step 3

Weave one flexible ultralight tent pole, salvaged from a used dome tent, through the grommets along each short side of the tarp. Go through only the top, bottom and center grommets if you have to use something less flexible, such as a wooden or steel dowel rod.

Step 4

With helpers holding the tarp upright so that the long nylon rope is along the top of the tarp, pull the tarp taut.

Step 5

Pull the left end of the nylon rope that is running along the top of the tarp out and forward several feet from the left edge, while a helper holds the rope at the other end. Stake the left end of the rope into firm ground, which may require digging through sand, gravel or soil.

Step 6

Stake the right end of the rope the same way. Add an additional rope and stake at each end for stability. Ropes at each end should be in a straight line with each other. The imaginary line on the ground between the ropes should be perpendicular, or at 90-degree angles, to the line created by the tarp. The two stakes at each end should create an imaginary triangle on the ground, with the bottom corner of the tarp as a third corner.

Outdoor Triple-Wall Privacy Screen

Step 1

Find a spot with a diameter 6 feet larger than the area you wish to screen.

Step 2

Weave nylon clothesline at least 2 feet longer than the width of the tarp through the grommets along both long sides. Knot each end to keep it from being pulled back through the holes.

Step 3

Drive three support poles 1 to 3 feet into the ground, 3 feet apart, so that a line drawn on the ground between each pole creates a triangle.

Step 4

Tie the top and bottom lines of the left edge of the tarp to the first pole.

Step 5

Wrap the tarp around all three poles until the right edge meets the left at the first pole. Tie the top line to the top of the pole, leaving the bottom line loose for easy entry and exit.

Step 6

Attach support lines to each pole if needed and stake the lines into firm ground.

About the Author

Jane Smith has provided educational support, served people with multiple challenges, managed up to nine employees and 86 independent contractors at a time, rescued animals, designed and repaired household items and completed a three-year metalworking apprenticeship. Smith's book, "Giving Him the Blues," was published in 2008. Smith received a Bachelor of Science in education from Kent State University in 1995.