D.I.Y fly screens

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We will be traveling the length of Africa as part of our trip so we will need to protect ourselves from insects whilst we sleep (namely mosquitoes for me – as I am quite allergic to them). This afternoon I made a bunch of D.I.Y window fly-screens. All in all the whole set up cost us $90.00 (55 quid) to make seven screens. If you had these made for you it would cost about that much per screen. And in true Blue Peter Style (for all you English folk) – here’s what I made earlier!

First, I gathered the materials: Magnetic tape (sticky on one side, magnetic on the other), flexible silicone adhesive, fiberglass fly screen material, electrical tape, measuring tape & ruler, scissors, stanely knife and of course a few BEERS!

Step 1: Cut and place magnetic tape onto exterior of window. Step 2: Measure and cut fly screen to the dimensions of the window (allow a bit extra for error)

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Step 3: Peel off the backing to the magnetic tape revealing it’s sticky side. Step 4: Apply silicone adhesive along all four strips of tape.

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Step 5: Use a square of magnetic tape to spread the adhesive across the strips evenly. Step 6: Place the section of fly screen on top of tape and silicone – smooth out whilst wet

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Step 7 : (Optional – can use any finishing material) – Roll out electrical tape over ugly sticky sides, making use of the fact that the adhesive is still tacky and bond-able.

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Step 8: With a cloth rub finger firmly over finishing material to achieve a strong bond. Step 9: Swig some beer and admire handiwork thus far.

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Step 10: Swig more beer whilst handiwork dries off (15 mins)  and remove entire piece from vehicle. Step 11: Turn upside down on flat surface and trim off excess materials.

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Step 12: Test fly screen on window and congratulate yourself! Step 13: Practice peeling off and re-applying fly screen for fun.

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Step 14: Test the fold-ability of the fly screen  but not for too long! It needs to dry. Step 15: Lay fly screen out to dry. Repeat for the other 7 windows. Maybe skip the beers if you want to get it right 🙂

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Categories: Vehicle prep | Tags: | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “D.I.Y fly screens

  1. How did you join the magnetic strips at the corners? Did you overlap the strip at the corners, or just butt them up next to each other (leaving the corners very flexible)?

    • Anonymous

      Hi Tim, butted them up to each other. Allows great flexibility. 2 years on and still going strong!

  2. PHC

    Hi.
    We just got ourselves a nice used van for traveling with the kids. We want to use it’s inner spaciousness for sleeping quarters so I thought magnetic attached screens would be a good approach. I’m looking on the internet to see how others have created theirs.
    This is the best DIY for camp vehicle screens I’ve seen so far.

    Others suggest using magnetic tabs, but I live in the ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes’ which translates into a bazillion and two mosquitoes….per night….per person, so I had been thinking of sewing long magnetic strips interspersed with tabs as the water in our lakes have such excellent nutrition that our skeets are smart enough to creep in under the netting where magnet tabs are not.

    I like the ease, the simplicity, and the finished look of your design. One sided sticky magnetic tape secured even better with silicone adhesive! Then covered for a finished look with electric tape.
    Brilliant! The silicone adhesive I think is the part I must have been looking for. I like the magnets being directly attached to the van body better then having screen in between.
    Easy peasy, bring in the breezy.

    QUESTION: How well are they holding up now that you have had them for a while? Do you find the magnetic tape strong enough to keep the screens secure?

    • Hi there thanks for the kind feedback, makes it all worth while to know at least one person is making use of my idea 🙂 we are in Aralsk kazakhstan right now so excuse the short msg. Fly screens still intact we store them under our matress nice and flat. The side screens are def not too heavy and stay put easily. I have driven with one on before by accident. Rear screen is heavy won’t take much to pull it down. Would suggest extra fixing points such as hooks to take some of the weight. But side ones rock. Enjoy your trip jess x

    • hey there i posted up a reply to your fly screen questions the other day but i don’t know if it uploaded – did you get it? Jess

  3. A simple but effective idea. Instead of folding where there’s a chance of creasing the edges and making it difficult to stick to the metal smoothly, maybe consider rolling them into cardboard tubes (like the ones from the inside of a glad wrap roll).

    • Hi Lindsay thanks for the comment. We have discovered that they will lie flat between the mattress and the ‘floor’ below it so it saves heaps of space and preserves the nets really well

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