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How to Make a Shade Sail

After fitting a small - very small - shade sail outdoors to cover my outdoor sofa I decided to rather make my own much larger shade sail to provide shade outdoors, and save quite a bit of money in the process!
The new shade sail is fitted over the top of the existing shade sail and provides far more shade than the little triangle-shaped sail that was expensive, while the made sail cost a fraction to make. The new shade sail is 3 metres wide at one end and tapers into a triangular shape of 5 metres in length.
Was it difficult to make... definitely not. The tricky part is cutting the fabric to get the shape right. You don't cut a straight-edged triangle, but rather curve the edges inwards slightly. And although I made another triangular shade sail, you can make one in any shape.
Shade net
Nylon line
Eye hooks if mounting on timber / expansion bolts if mounting to walls
Sewing machine and accessories
1. Fold the fabric in half and lay flat in an area that allows you to cut neatly. Taper the cut inwards as you cut half the triangle shape from one end to the other.
2. Use a sewing machine to double fold and sew a double row of running stitches along the fold. I thought sewing on the machine would be difficult, but it was actually quite easy. Don't sew right to the end just yet.
3. When you reach just before 10cm from the edge, insert the rope and sew this closed. Run the stitches over the nylon line here and there to secure firmly inside the net sheath. Go slowly so as not to break your sewing needle and if you find that the machine just won't sew along the line, remove it and do this by hand. I didn't have any problem but not everyone's sewing machine is the same.
4. When you are joining together two folded-over sections you will find it difficult to sew over these, so only do what you can and continue to sew closed by hand.
Use a lighter to melt the cut edges of the nylon line to prevent unraveling.

Secure your shade sail to large trees using eye hooks, or drill for expansion bolts if mounting to walls

To see more: http://www.home-dzine.co.za

  • Kathleen Maune AuBuchon
    Kathleen Maune AuBuchon Princeton, IN
    on Aug 25, 2015

    Love this! I plan on giving this a try! I like anything that saves $$$

  • Becky at Flipping the Flip
    Becky at Flipping the Flip Chicago, IL
    on Aug 25, 2015

    Thanks for this! I was thinking of buying one for our new deck but making one would be so much better!

  • Elizabeth Nordhaus
    Elizabeth Nordhaus Toledo, OH
    on Aug 26, 2015

    I would like to know what kind of fabric she used. Does it shed water?

    • Paulette
      Paulette Chillicothe, OH
      on Aug 26, 2017

      Out door canvas is waterproof..

  • Janice Anderssen
    Janice Anderssen South Africa
    on Aug 26, 2015

    I used shade cloth, which is a woven synthetic fabric that provides shade but is not intended as a waterproof cover. You could also use canvas.

  • Kim C
    Kim C Grifton, NC
    on Aug 28, 2015

    I bought an 18x18x18 shade sail on amazon for $29 for over our pool. Works great. But I do like the layered look you have here.

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