Four of our five 10-pound propane cans are mild steel. Meaning they rust and leave orange streaks behind, which is bad enough, but the rust makes the propane guys nervous and they may refuse to fill it. So after wire-wheeling to remove the rust, priming with Corroseal to prevent future rust, and painting with Rustoleum to make them pretty, the propane guys were happy. However after returning from the first trip to be filled the cans were already scratched where they had bumped together or scraped against the milk carts that Jon transports them in. So Jon asked me to make covers for them.
This is a simple job, but maybe I can make it even simpler for you if you have 10 pound propane canisters. If you make all the covers at once it goes very quickly – you can do three or four in a couple of hours. If you have larger cans you will need to adjust the sizes but the same method will work.
Use whatever outdoor fabric you have left over from previous projects. I used Sunbrella but anything will work as long as it can withstand the sun. Mine are stored in a locker but they still sit out enough and get wet even in the locker that I would want them in an acrylic or polyester fabric. You will also need some small line to cinch the tops – I recommend leach line or Paracord or whatever you may have spare. You will also need outdoor thread. I used V90.
Cut Out the Fabric
These are quick and easy so I am not protecting the hem edges. Therefore you will need to use a hot knife or other method to seal the edges. I have included a 1/2″ seam allowance to all measurements. You will need a piece 51″ by 14″ for each cover. Cut two pieces:
- 9″ diameter circle
- 42″ x 14″ rectangle
- 46″ long cord burned on each end
If you struggle with making nice circles I highly recommend the Sailrite Patterning Ruler. It will make circles up to 16 inches across.
Good marking will make the sewing step easy, so take the time to do this.
Mark Circle in Eighths. Fold the circle in half and mark the folds. Line up those marks and fold again and mark the folds. Line up, fold, and mark twice more to get eight marks around your circle.
Mark Straight Piece in Eighths. First draw the hems: 1/2″ inch in from each of the short ends, and 1″ along the top edge (for the cord chase), as shown above. Then mark every 5 1/8″ along the bottom long edge, starting and ending inside the hem marks. You should have exactly 8 sections plus the two hems. If you are doing more than one cover you can mark all the bottoms at once by stacking them together with a slight offset then marking all at once.
Sew Hems and Top
Cord Chase with 2″ Gap in Center
Fold down the cord chase on the wrong side, inserting the cord. Sew the flap down making sure not to catch the cord as you sew. Sew from the edge to 1″ shy of half way, reverse and lock your stitches. Skip about 2″ and sew down the rest of the flap.
Fold the cover in half, with the short, right sides together. Using the gap you created above, gently tug each end of the cord until it just clears the hem on each side. Sew the 1/2″ hem, securing the cords in the cord chase as you do. Back up several times to make sure the cords are tightly secured.
Now you have a cylinder with a corded top and the circle bottom. We are going to create darts in the cylinder to bring it down to the size of the bottom of the cover.
Securing the Bottom
You should have 8 marks on the cover and 8 marks on the bottom piece. Line these up and staple the pieces together with right sides together at these marks. Now fold up the extra material between the marks and staple again. You should now have 16 staples in the bottom hem. Sew the pieces together, removing the staples as you go.
You can pin the fabric, but stapling is easier and faster. I use a Rapid Classic Staple Gun and 1/4″ staples. It’s light and easy to use one-handed.
So that’s it – covers for your 10# propane cans. Now your cans are safer from scratches and rust and are instantly recognizable when you pick them up from being refilled.