Pool Care Pool Equipment

Here’s How to DIY a Pool Cover

Pool Covers are expensive; there is no doubt. Even though their manufacturers build them to perform exceptionally, their pricing is relatively high.

Many pool owners are now opting for a cheap DIY pool cover, and I can try to relate. With such a pool cover, it is easier to control its quality and materials to minimize the cost.

I believe you’re here to know how you can DIY a pool cover for your swimming pool. Right? I will try my best to make this post as beneficial as possible by giving you the best pool cover hacks.

Let’s get to it.

What are the Best Materials to Use for DIY Pool Cover?

Before we get to the handy part, there something I need to explain. You cannot use any material when making your DIY pool cover. The cover itself has to be exceptional; the supports have to be sturdy and solid.

All the nuts, screws, and grommets have to be rust and corrosion-resistant. So, what materials fit these descriptions?

Cover Material: Heavy-Duty Tarp Poly Cover

The best Heavy Duty Tarp Poly Cover has tightly-woven fabric to provide superior durability and protection. It’s also waterproof keeping all the dirty and muddy water out of your pool water.

Besides this, a high-quality tarp poly cover is lightweight yet durable and sturdy. You might even come across a model enforced with border piping for solid ends and tear prevention.

Some tarp covers come with built-in aluminum or stainless steel grommets to make it easy to secure tie-downs.

I would recommend getting such a model, but at times you might be forced to adjust the grommets to fit your pool setting.

However, if you get a model without, then you will have to order them separately or run to your nearest hardware and get some.

With most tarp poly covers fitting regular swimming pools, you might need to cut and readjust the length and width to match your pool’s shape and size.

Anchors or Tent Stakes

The pool cover will need supports, and if not, you will need a way to take it off, a DIY pool cover reel.

The supports have to be strong to hold the DIY pool cover on the pool surface. The reel has to be solid enough to allow lifting of the DIY pool cover for storage.

The best materials that fit here are Bronze Pool Cover Anchors or Stainless Steel Tent Stakes. What do they have in common?

  • They are all durable, rust, and corrosion-resistant.
  • All three materials offer solid support required by the cover.
  • They are easily accessible and cheap.

Whichever you decide to buy, remember to get the best length. Measure your pool width and give it some allowance. The measurements you get here are the size of the pipes you need.

Buying a foot or two longer won’t hurt as you might need to cut them into pieces. You might lose some length in the process.

How to Make a Pool Cover Out of a Tarp

Before you can start the project, you will need to measure your pool opening to be sure how much heavy-duty tarp poly you need.

Most inground pools are between 3ft and 10ft in width and 6ft and 20ft in length. However, others have different measurements. Measure yours to be sure.

Once you’re done with the measuring, it’s time to gather some protective gear, tools, and supplies. You will need:

  • Grommet Tool Kit
  • Drill with a drill bit
  • Heavy-Duty Poly Tarp
  • Tent Stakes or Pool Cover Anchors
  • Measuring tape (the longer, the better)
  • Scissors or Utility Knife
  • Sewing machine (You could also rent)
  • Bungee Cables
  • Seam Sealer

Steps to Follow:

Step 1: Cut Your Tarp Poly Cover to Size

Most of the time, you will come across above-ground pools with similar measurements. For this case, you can measure and mark your tarp to see if it fits on your swimming pool.

But remember, sometimes the inground pools or customized above-ground pools might have custom dimensions.

You will need to cut it down to the exact size for such pools, and remember you need an 8-inch allowance on all sides.

Step 2: Sew the Seams

Lay Now that the tarp edges are cut, it’s best to sew a 2-inch seam from the 8-inch allowance along all the sides. After this, you will have an allowance of six inches all around, which you will use in the next step.

Step 3: Secure Your Grommets

If your heavy-duty tarp poly cover fits nicely on your pool and comes with grommets, you can skip to the next step. If you had to cut the grommets out, you would need to secure them in again.

Get the Grommet tool kit and use the hole puncher to create holes for the grommets while punching them in the tarp edges.

You can do it inside the 2-inch seam but remember to position it away from the edges to prevent the tarp from tearing.

Test them to ensure they are holding secure. Keep the grommets at least 36-inches apart.

Step 4: Lay the Cover

Now comes the hard part, laying the tarp cover down without allowing it to fall inside the pool. Start from one end, secure it and move to the next one along the tarp edges.

Start laying the cover lengthy-wise against the pool size, and go to the next step to secure it into place.

Step 5: Secure the Cover First Half

Use the tent stakes and bungee cables to secure the tarp’s first half to the ground. You should have around six or seven tent stakes on both long sides and two on the width size.

Plant the Tent Stakes just outside the cement pool frame. The bungee cables will run through to make up for the remaining gap.

Remember, your DIY pool cover will be stretched around 6-inches of your actual swimming pool dimensions.

If the soft ground is far or not available, use a drill to bore holes on the cement pavement around the pool and install Pool Cover Anchors into the cement to use it for support. Tie the bungee cables to the anchors.

Step 6: Go All Around the Pool

Now move around the pool, attaching the stakes to the ground or anchors to the cement while also securing the pool cover.

Avoid the tarp or cover from falling into the pool water. Allow it to float nicely by unfolding it slowly. If it’s proving to be tough for you, get a friend to help from the other side.

Once you’ve secured all the bungee cables, you good to go. When the time comes and you want to remove your DIY pool cover, you can leave the tent stakes or the anchors in the ground for reuse the next time you install it.


As you well know, company-made pool covers are pricey. DIYing yours can save you a considerable amount of money. What’s more, the cover quality is entirely in your hands to control. You get to choose the best materials to use, and you can go even premium. This post can help you if you want to know how to make a hard-cover for above-ground pool too. However, find longer bungee cords to reach the ground. Good Luck!

About the author

Sharif Miah

Hi! I'm Sharif, the founder of Globo Pool® and I have been working in the pool & hot tub industry for the last few years. I love to share my experiences with people & hope you are enjoying my information and lessons!

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