DIY Backyard Sunshade

2 Materials
1 Hour

I know that my mom likes sitting outside, but she always comes in pretty fast just because the sun would beam down on her. I guess I never really paid attention to the heat and sun because I was so used to it and sunscreen is my best friend. I needed something that could go in our backyard that wasn’t expensive because I still want to build a backyard kitchen and need to save for that. I also wanted something that looked a little better than the last set I made for her. Here is my DIY Backyard Sunshade that completely blocks the sun for her and now she can watch the kids play without having to rush inside. It only took about an hour to complete and it turned out better than expected. Enjoy!
For the full step-by-step tutorial with complete photos, click on the "Go" button below.
For the full step-by-step tutorial with complete photos, click on the "Go" button below.
For the full step-by-step tutorial with complete photos, click on the "Go" button below.
For the full step-by-step tutorial with complete photos, click on the "Go" button below.

Suggested materials:

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 11 questions
  • Bonnie Lachance
    Bonnie Lachance
    on Mar 22, 2017

    What size curtain did you use so we have some idea?????
    • Bryan Biery
      Bryan Biery
      on May 3, 2017

      I use shower curtains from garage sales & Goodwil but a tarp reinforced with that tennis shoe protector spray has worked well too.
      an in expensive mister that just attaches to a garden hose (about $15.) suspended on a smple garden hanging plant arch with a fern or two & solar dragonfly light string adds coolness, wets and further cools the canvas, & adds a higher privacy and exoticness.
      consider this over a sandbox or pitting shed too;-)
  • Wanda Ball
    Wanda Ball
    on Jul 9, 2017

    I see in one of your replies you mentioned a "mister" what exactly is this?
    • Anita Elaine
      Anita Elaine
      on Apr 17, 2018

      The mister mentioned by Barry is probably the hose attachment commonly found in hardware stores. It has a wide shower head like look and defuses water so you can "mist" your plantings without crushing leaves and flowers.

  • Sheliah Wall
    Sheliah Wall
    on Feb 1, 2019

    I saw this last year and decided to construct my own. The PVC in my town doesn't have male and female ends, just cut straight. I followed your instructions and have the following comments:

    I went to the thrift store and found a pair of solid green canvas cloth curtains. Curtains have rod space at the top and the bottom so this was great and it only cost $8. I painted my PVC with black spray paint to match the landscape decor. (I wouldn't suggest this as it scratches off easily ....)

    I also encountered windy and stormy situations. As she said, you can pull the panels down towards the ground. But what about the unexpected storm? I came home one day and "my tent was gone". I found it a couple houses over in their back yard. Only thing left in my yard was rebar and broken pots and plants! I dragged it back and put it upright, this time leaving out the flower pots. When I kept noticing that some of the PVC would pull away from the connection when windy, I used PVC cement. That didn't hold very long - maybe because of the bend in the pipe? I finally ended up using screws at the connectors and I was good to go.

    Regarding fabric material, the green canvas curtains I used did end up fading, which was expected. However, the weather changes from heat and rain can affect the material you're using. Mine became looser and would no longer "stay together" on the spine. I ended up making grommet holes on the curtain on both sides of the spine. I then used curtain rings and connected the two sides around the spine.

    I then used it all summer with no problems. I would say this is a great idea but maybe make some tweaks to avoid the problems I had. The only thing bad about using screws is sometimes it breaks the PVC when unscrewing them to store away for next year. Instead of trying to find space to store 4 10' pieces of PVC in the shape of the letter "C" in my shed, I laid them on the ground in an unused corner of my yard. I won't know until this spring if the PVC is still viable but I definitely want to try again.

    I'm attaching a photo. You'll notice plants at all 4 corners but they are standalone and not connected to the PVC.

    EDIT: Attach photo didn't work, LOL

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