It’s pretty tough to enjoy summer activities in a backyard that bakes in the afternoon heat. We all need a way to get out of the sun, but still be able to spend time outdoors. We found these 9 clever DIY ways to create an oasis of backyard shade, to help turn your space into a retreat! We didn’t want to just share the same ol’ wood pergolas (though if thats what you are looking for, check out our post on DIY pergolas!) so we hope these unique and creative backyard shade ideas hit the shady spot!
Backyard Shade Ideas
DIY Patio Shade Ideas
Our first project is a DIY drop cloth patio shade cover made by ‘Anything Pretty’. Check out her tutorial, it took them just a couple of hours to get this up, and made over their old pergola! LOVE the globe lights woven through the shades. Update: That blog no longer exists, but you can find a similar project at ‘Thirty Handmade Days‘.)
Here is another backyard shade idea for a fabric shade by ‘Koiphen’. Good close up photos here with this tutorial to help you understand the wire system for holding the shades.
From ‘J and B Marvin‘, this DIY fabric pergola has a quick tutorial, and a lot of good tips. Same type of backyard shade system as the project above. This is fully retractable too!
Ok, so you need Google Translate for this one, unless you read Dutch. At least, I think it’s Dutch! But I love this one, because it’s a freestanding homemade fabric pergola that can be put up even where there is no existing structure. You can have backyard shade anywhere! From ‘VT Wonen‘.
DIY Backyard Shade Canopy
Learn how to make a slide wire DIY shade canopy with this video from ‘Sailrite‘. They even have lots of home do it yourselfers loading up photos in the comments of their finished shade project!
Hope you were paying attention to those tutorials, ’cause these next few backyard shade ideas don’t have instructions, but they follow the same principles of the ones you’ve seen so far! This space from ‘InDecora‘ has a simple wire mounted fabric shade, with grommets to string the cable through. Grommet kits can be bought at craft and sewing stores, and this could be made out of sturdy canvas drop cloths from the hardware store.
Same patio shade idea as some of the projects above with this slide wire canopy from ‘Superior Awning‘.
Creative Outdoor Shade Ideas
From Jamie Durie of ‘HGTV‘, these sliding canvas panels are mounted and slide the same way as the fabric ones above. There are eye hooks mounted on the frame of the panels, and the wire cable slides through the hooks, over the top of the panel. These DIY sun shades can be moved to add backyard shade to different areas of the space as the sun moves.
Also from ‘HGTV‘, covering sections of your existing pergola with canvas cloth makes a more permanent outdoor shade structure. Clever!
Backyard Shade Ideas with Shade Sails
Finally, if you want a cool look for over your patio, or even your pool, think about using shade sails. They come in triangular and rectangular shapes of different sizes, and are attached to posts, trees or buildings with hooks and cables. Check out our post on how to hang shade sails for more info on this project! We used Coolaroo shade sails in our backyard. Photo by ShadeSails.com.