How to Gain Shade and Privacy Using Dollar Store Beach Mats

4 Materials
30 Minutes

Modern living means that most of us live in subdivisions where the houses are fairly close to one another. Where my husband and I live, the basement walkout comes out under the deck, which makes for a nice little area to sit.

However, with all of those upper story windows surrounding us, it’s difficult to relax there without feeling like there are eyes watching your every move. It’s pretty bad when you can’t even scratch yourself without thinking someone might see and pass judgement.
Here's what we see looking out from under our deck.
You will need enough beach mats to cover the area in question, tacks, a small hammer or mallet and tassel ties (optional). This idea can be used anywhere there's a wood overhang.
Make sure to hammer the tack through the coloured trim, or the beach mat will shred. I only used four tacks to hold these blinds up, one on each corner and ...
...two in the center, one on each side of the ties. Yeah, I'm not great with a hammer! LOL  But the tacks are secure.
In the area I have, I only used two beach mats to add privacy, but, at two bucks a piece, you can buy as many as you need to give you the privacy you want.
When they're not in use, I recommend rolling the mats up to protect them from inclement weather. The ties on these mats can be a tad skimpy. I bought some decorative tassel ties at the dollar store to use instead but, long shoe laces would work just as well.
Here's a view from the outside looking in. I still have a lot of work to do in the sitting area to tidy up after the winter. Stay tuned to see how I finish it!

To see how I used these blinds at our old home, see
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Terry Crenshaw Garrison
    Terry Crenshaw Garrison
    on May 18, 2018

    Fabulous ideal have you every tried stitching them together like a curtain ?

    • Diena Cameron
      Diena Cameron
      on Jun 13, 2018

      Great idea Suzanne, the paint might also help to hold them together 😉, or keep them from shredding alittle better. Couldn't hurt to try for that price and I bet it would work !

  • Elizabeth
    on May 18, 2018

    Wow this is great! Do you know other ways to use these Matt’s? I think they look nice And expensive! 👀

Join the conversation

3 of 58 comments
  • Teresa Fowell
    Teresa Fowell
    on Jun 15, 2018

    I love this idea. I want to use them for interior windows. Attach them to inexpensive dowels sold in hardware stores like Home Depot, and even Wal-Mart has them in a well stocked hardware dept. Use DOWEL of desired thickness that would fit neatly in a curtain rod holder. I bought a bag of holders from Dollar Tree that are a kind of aluminum industrial utility holder that come several in a bag for a buck. Saves on cost of expensive rod holders . Measure before attaching the holders to the wall. Attach the holders with screws. Staple or hot glue one edge of the mat to the dowel and hang it in the holders. The mat can have corded twine to roll up and tie when not using for privacy. Or get some seam binding braid or ribbon from a sewing notions dept. in a pretty color to tie the mat shades. Also can decorate the mats with craft paint and a stencil pattern of tropical leaves or flowers or other design that can be found in Walmart craft section. Thank you for your brilliant idea that gave me more ideas to do the same affordable project.

    • JJ
      on Sep 4, 2019

      I love it! Share it when you do!!!

  • Marlene
    on Jun 19, 2018

    Wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing!

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