How to Sew Plastic Sheeting

At first glance, sewing plastic sheeting seems impossible. But you can sew it, and it's quite simple -- with a few modifications to your sewing technique. While you may fear that the needle might make large holes and rip the plastic, with the right needle, the job should be as normal as sewing cotton fabric. Purchase a small amount of extra sheeting so you can get a feel for the adjustments that work best with your machine.

Sew plastic sheets together to make a backyard greenhouse. (Image: Nancy Nehring/iStock/Getty Images)

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic sheeting, 6 mil

  • Tissue paper

  • Scissors

  • Large coated paper clips

  • Sewing machine

  • 70/10 sewing machine needle

  • Thread

Step 1

Lay a strip of tissue paper the same length as your sheeting on your work surface or the floor. Place a piece of your sheeting down right-side-up. Place another piece of tissue paper on top of the sheeting. Place another layer of sheeting on the tissue paper right-side face-down.

Step 2

Secure the layers with the large coated paper clips. Place the paper clips at approximate 8-inch intervals.

Step 3

Change the needle on your sewing machine, according to the manufacturer's instructions, to a 70/10-size needle.

Step 4

Set the stitch length to a long basting stitch.

Step 5

Pull up your presser foot and place your pinned sheeting on the machine with the tissue paper-side down. Lower the presser foot. Begin to sew at a slow speed. Hold your material taut in front and back of the presser foot. Do not pull on the sheeting as it may stretch it -- just hold it firmly as you sew.

Step 6

Remove the tissue paper after you have finished sewing the sheeting. It will tear away from the seams.


Sew in a cool area, as it will prevent the sheeting from sticking together.

Use a Teflon-coated or roller presser foot if you have one.

References & Resources