• Hometalk Helper
  • Lawrenceville, GA

Beat the Heat in Your Back Yard

5 Materials
3 Days

3 roman shades made for our pergola on our back deck.

We have shade trees, but they were not quite enough to

keep the heat out.

We had recently build the pergola and we used smoke colored vinyl roofing so that it lets in some light and so we still have a visual of the sky. But in the afternoons it just get to hot when the sun is beating down on it.

I decided to try my hand at making some roman shades.

I had

beat the heat in your back yard

I first cut the canvas to the length of the pergola plus 6 inches.

I did not want to try to sew this on my home machine, so I used fusible backing that is used to make patches. I folded over 2 inches and cut the backing to fit, and ironed it. (follow the instructions from the manufacture). I used high heat and left the iron on it until the edge fused.

The top of the hem is where I started my measurements.

beat the heat in your back yard

Next, I had measured out for the placement of the brass rings that will be used on the wire guide line. I used brass because I felt the wire would wear through the plastic ones that are normally used on roman shades.

The brass rings are 3/8 inside diameter 7/16 outside diameter, perfect size for this project. For my project I made 5 rows about 15 inches apart and placed them 2 feet apart, starting at the edge of my hem.

Each brass ring I hand sewed using heavy duty thread doubled.

beat the heat in your back yard

For 5 rows you will need 10 closed eye hooks, 40 lb strength picture wire,

5 turn buckle hooks with one side closed eye and a pair of wire snips.

beat the heat in your back yard

On the back end of the frame. Measure out where your shade will hang, and where each row will be. Screw in an eye hook at each mark. Front and back of frame. Tie the length of wire that you will need, in my case 11 feet plus enough to tie so about 12 feet for each row. I did a threaded the wire through the eye looped it around the straight wire, threaded the end back through the eye and then again around the straight wire, and then wrapped the wire around itself to secure it to the eye. Thread the wire through all the brass rings for that row. You might find it easier to set up all rows at one time, and tread all rows at the same time. Loosely but securely thread the wire to the eye of the turn buckle. Hook the turn buckle to the eye screw. One at a time, I start with the ends and then the middle, untie the line and pull taunt. Tie off. Now you can use the turn buckle to take out any slack.

beat the heat in your back yard

Because of the length of ours, I couldn't attach the back to the wood like I would have liked to, so instead I just stapled the canvas to the underside of the frame. This hides the back row of eye hooks and wire. I folded the edge about an inch to give a clean look, and will add wood trim to cover the staples. We used a piece of 1x2x16 wood for the back frame.

beat the heat in your back yard

Here is the side view of the first panel. You can see how it will drape when opened.

beat the heat in your back yard

I love how it instantly cooled our deck off and how the light dapples through the canvas.

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Wandamurline
    on Jul 2, 2018

    I was going to use the same kind of roof on a projected pergola on my back deck....did you make one side a pinch taller where the rain will drain? I was going to look at the smoke colored, but after your problems, I am going to have to go back to the design and maybe look at the green

    • Susan
      on Jul 2, 2018

      Yes the roof is pitched from the back to the front so rain drains forward.

      The pitch of the room is about a foot taller in the back, towards the house to be able to get the correct pitch for it to drain properly.

      I do like the smoke colored. We used it when we lived in FL, and it held up well even during a hurricane. In the winter we will want to have the sun to help warm it up out on the deck. :)

  • Pam
    on Jul 2, 2018

    Did you post a picture of the completed pergola when finished or did I miss it?

    • Pam
      on Jul 3, 2018

      Thank you for posting these. Love it!!!

Join the conversation

2 of 12 comments
  • TW
    on Jul 3, 2018

    Great idea! I'm in Peachtree City---so necessary for our GA summers!

  • Phyllis Williams
    on Jul 4, 2018

    I love this. So really you have a covered porch.

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