What could I do with military surplus parachutes?

I have the opportunity to acquire one or more military surplus parachutes. Besides using it for parachuting (which I will NOT be doing), what else could I do with them?
  24 answers
  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Feb 01, 2015
    If you have a yard with large, mature trees, you could anchor the parachute at a number of points at the perimeter (to high in the trees and outboard areas) and create a huge garden umbrella/canopy. Check out this link for some ideas: https://www.google.com/search?q=make+a+parachute+tent&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=hN3OVIXDDIubyASrqYCQCg&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAg&biw=1280&bih=673#imgdii=_ Have fun.
  • Susan Mayne O'Keefe Susan Mayne O'Keefe on Feb 02, 2015
    You can make bags out of them, as they do with old sails from sail boats. With that much fabric, you could make several lined/reversible bags. You could donate them or sell them!
  • Jodie Carlson Jodie Carlson on Feb 02, 2015
    You can anchor it between trees or poles to create a shady area for picnics or play spaces. Anchor it to the ground with a pole in the middle, and an arch doorway- voila a tent.
  • Cheryl Markus Reynolds Cheryl Markus Reynolds on Feb 02, 2015
    Having never seen one up close, I'm not sure of the weight of the material but I see a few possibilities. Garden wind socks, decorative flags, table clothes, shower curtains, window treatments, maybe even clothing. You could experiment with different ways to color it using fabric dyes, paint, permanent marker, homemade dyes from food, etc.
    • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Feb 02, 2015
      @Cheryl Markus Reynolds Generally, even a huge parachute doesn't weight very much. A few pounds. We have an enormous one and I can lift it with one hand. It's so slippery and light, though, it's like trying to hold Jell-O with a fork.
  • Darla Darla on Feb 02, 2015
    They would be great for bed canopies or reading nook "tents". Also consider donating one to a school, gym or organization for developmentally disabled people. The play "parachutes" for circle exercise are popular and expensive.
    • See 2 previous
    • Cathy Cathy on Feb 08, 2015
      @Henrietta Retired-- Love Gardening Yep! Late 50s my Dad was with an airborne unit here in Canada. He gave one of the old silk parachutes to his Mother (my grandma) and she made peasant blouses out of it. Draw-string neckline and sleeves. She did the most beautiful needlework I have ever seen around the neck. I still have one of them but it only fits maybe my arm! :-) but I hate to give it up.
  • Betty Fancher Betty Fancher on Feb 02, 2015
    My grandma made all her granddaughters simple nightgowns with one many years ago. The necks and armholes were each bound with bias tape. Each child had different colored bias tape, for ease in telling them apart !
  • Mabeline Mabeline on Feb 02, 2015
    Watch the movie "the holiday" - a father makes his two daughters the most enchanting tent in their bedroom with a parachute! One tent outside during the summer months would be fun. Great for reading and naps! Otherwise, you can always send one to me!
  • DJ DJ on Feb 02, 2015
    Not sure how much weight they will take. But how about a hammock and sun shade.
  • I use the one I have to make a "special tent" under my trampoline for the grandkids. We have special treats (cookies, donut, forbidden stuff ha) and still jump on the trampoline with no problems. Just spread it out on top and use string to tie up a door...good shade and the feeling of protection like a tent!!
  • Jodi Jodi on Feb 02, 2015
    Back in the early 70's I had a friend who had an older brother who we all knew was the coolest person on the planet. He had one of these parachutes hanging over his bedroom! You literally walked into the room and had to find the slit cut in the chute to enter. It was the coolest place to be!
  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Feb 02, 2015
    Another thought...with all the interest in getting away from using plastic shopping bags, you could cut the parachute up into portions large enough to sew handled shopping bags. Parachutes are, intentionally, quite durable so would make very good bags for carrying groceries, etc. Many years ago, probably at least 30, I made about a half dozen grocery shopping bags with handles out of rip-stop nylon. They're still going strong. Parachute material would probably be just as durable.
  • Michelle R Michelle R on Feb 02, 2015
    Curtains, shower curtains, laundry bags. Sun sails, kites, windsocks. Awnings, play tents. Toys storage hammock, tablecloths, lamp shades, hanging lamp shade, candle shades, ghosts for Halloween.
  • Beryl Smith Beryl Smith on Feb 02, 2015
    Bedding, dye them, make pillowslips & sheets.
  • Susan-Amber Springer Susan-Amber Springer on Feb 02, 2015
    Jodi in Bourbonnais said what I was going to say! I was trying to find a chute the whole time I was in college in the 70s and ended up decorating in another style--India print bedspreads. The sunsail and kids' tent ideas are pretty neat!
  • Colimbia1 Colimbia1 on Feb 02, 2015
    Where do you find them? If I had one I would use part of it to make a "ceiling" in my laundry room.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Feb 03, 2015
    Sky is the limit. Lots of great suggestions have been given. What fabric are they made of? You could make some art /bedding by using a watered silk look..
  • Judy Judy on Feb 05, 2015
    I was thinking what a sweet canopy bed you could make. One of my Christmas catalogs had many "chairs" that looked like tents with cushions hanging from trees. and every child loves a tent. I think stenciling would be awesome on that material, something light and whimsical. The idea under the trampoline was something I had thought about myself. I thought it might be tooo hot.
  • Alice Shockley Alice Shockley on Feb 05, 2015
    Two words: Hammer pants. :-)
  • Karne Queen Karne Queen on Feb 07, 2015
    perhaps tablecloth or table runners or even dining chair covers and if really slick maybe a hammock, billowing outdoor curtains on a porch would be fabulous.
  • Glenda Pino Glenda Pino on Sep 10, 2016
    Well if I had one, I'd find a way to attach it to the outermost limbs of my olive tree. I didn't spray it in time and I have a billion olives all over my lawn. If you would like to sell me one, I'd really appreciate it.
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 18, 2023

    Make a tent?

    You could advertise and sell them.

  • Dee Dee on Aug 18, 2023

    You can make or have made some beautiful prom dresses.

    Some are collectable so check out ebay

    Use as a boat, camper or car cover.

  • Wil22934849 Wil22934849 on Sep 23, 2023

    My mom made us girls beautiful dresses. That was many years ago.