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Portable Windscreen




Don't let a stiff breeze chase you off the beach. Bring along a windscreen to protect yourself from gusts and blowing sand, as well as to enjoy a little surf-side privacy and shade. The oversize pocket on one of the screen "walls" lets you keep your water bottle, sunblock, magazine, and sunglasses grit-free and within easy reach.


  • Heavy canvas is best for this project because it is sturdy and machine-washable
  • 6 yards of 54-inch-wide preshrunk canvas
  • Four 1 1/4-inch wooden dowels or broomsticks measuring 59 inches in length
  • Clothesline
  • Four tent stakes
  • Cut a 191-by-46-inch piece of fabric for the windscreen and a 15-by-13-inch piece for the pocket.


  1. Step 1

    To make the screen, fold in a 1/2-inch hem along the top and the bottom, and sew securely (any gaps in the stitching will allow sand to collect in the hem). At both ends of the hemmed fabric, fold in 3 inches and turn under the unfinished edge; sew along this edge to make a channel for a dowel. To form the middle two channels, measure and mark 65 1/2 inches from each end.

  2. Step 2

    On one end, fold the cloth over onto itself at the marked spot so that the overlapping portion is 3 inches wide.

  3. Step 3

    To make the channel, sew along both of these folds through three layers of fabric. Repeat on the opposite end.

  4. Step 4

    For the pocket, turn under 1/4 inch on the two sides and the bottom, and press. Hem the top edge (which is the wider measure) by 1/2 inch. To attach to the screen, position the pocket 20 3/4 inches from the bottom and 22 1/2 inches from one end. Sew into place along the two sides and the bottom, backstitching at the pocket's top edge to reinforce. Slide dowels into the channels. To set up the windscreen on the beach, drive the dowels into the sand, and secure them with guy lines made by tying rope to a stake and to the top of a dowel.

Martha Stewart Living, August 2002



Reviews (7)

  • Lindalemonade 4 Jun, 2012

    These look like they might just solve the wind/sand problem except for the poor person behind you that just lost their water view on a crowded beach!

  • TBDZ 6 Aug, 2011

    This looks awesome!! We live in Hawaii & the wind is too much for umbrellas - so we recently decided to get a giant golfer umbrella (that is until now the sand is really stuck in the handle) - Everyone has large tents and it's just too much work to break out the tent and put it back together, -- This is really a great Idea, because you can eat w/out the sand in your food, and a bit more privacy on those busy beaches (we still might take the golfer umbrella if the sun is over head just in case)

  • joygross 7 Aug, 2009

    great idea... we always have a problem at the beach.. thank you

  • hazeybabes 7 Aug, 2009

    we swear by these in ireland - you don't go to the beach without one!!

  • sherlene 10 Apr, 2008

    *stakes...I'm just too tired to spell, I guess.

  • sherlene 10 Apr, 2008

    Boy, I know just what you mean. I live on the coast, too. Someways, it's hard to make or eat a sandwich! Too it would help block the crowd at Galveston! I'm going to make one of these. If you make the stacks long enough it should work great!

  • Bee13 10 Jan, 2008

    There always seems to be wind on our Texas coast. Has anybody tried this? Should I consider it before my next trip to Galveston Island?