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The 25 Best DIY Sun Shade Ideas

April 6, 2019 By James 
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The 25 Best DIY Sun Shade Ideas

By James 

Going outside can be great for relaxing, listening to the birds or enjoying the breeze. But then the sun comes in to bring the heat and the risk of sunburn. But that can be easily fixed with any of these great DIY sunshade options.

1. Canvas Sails

These gorgeous canvas sails are great for keeping the sun at bay without closing in your backyard. They allow for plenty of airflow and are reminiscent of the sails on old ships. This is not only an affordable DIY option but it also requires much less maintenance than other shade methods.

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2. Boxed-in Canopy

The great thing about this project is that it can be customized to any size to suit your needs. It is easy enough to complete in a weekend and the end result is perfect for enjoying a cool summer day. You can use it just to make a comfortable alcove in your backyard or to add some shade to an outdoor dining area.

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3.  Pergola Shade

If you already have a pergola and it’s not providing enough shade you can easily improve it with a few simple steps. This shade is able to be opened or closed simply by pulling a cord which is great for nights when you want to see the stars or times when you want more light on the patio.

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4. Gap Shade

If you have an inner courtyard or a space between two structures that gets a little too much sun, this shade is a perfect solution. It strings between the two structures and uses a pulley system to be opened and closed.

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5. Sail Away Shade

This shade will definitely have you thinking of the waves and the sea. This shade is actually a repurposed sail. All it takes is a few modifications and it can be secured to your home to make a great way to add some shade and character to your back patio.

6. Shade Hoops

This shade design might be small but it makes up for it with flexibility. You can easily move this shade anywhere in your backyard and they are so easy to make that you can have enough for all your guests. They are strong enough to stay in place when you need them but light enough that they can be picked up and moved anywhere.

7. Canvas Panel Shades

These canvas panels are thicker and very customizable. You can get them in just about any color or pick your own fabric design to use to cover the panels. Then hooks are attached to cables that allow the panels to move and change positions as the position of the sun changes.

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8. Mini Sun Shade

This simple and affordable DIY shade is great for a small area or to make a space perfect for children to play pretend. The instructions made the entire process easy and you can pick whatever materials match your tastes. This can also be a great way to add some shade over a window that might otherwise get warm in the afternoons.

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9. Shade Sails

These triangular sails are easy to install and they are great for both large and small areas. You can add as many or as few as you need to fill the space. Different colors can also be used to add fun and character to your outdoors. These sails stay in place so it is best to have one wherever you want shade.

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10. Curtain Shades

These elegant curtains are a great way to add a softness to your backyard while adding plenty of shade. This draped curtain can be hung from anywhere including a tall tree or from a roof overhang. While only best for a small space it can be just enough to cool off a sitting area.

11. Milk Jug Shade

This tent style canopy is stabilized with large milk jugs that add a bit of cute country charm to this moveable shade. The heavy milk jugs make it able to go anywhere in your backyard without the need for extra support to tie into.

12. Draped Canvas

If you already have a structure or pergola over your backyard you can easily add some extra shade with some strips of canvas. Drape the canvas over the rows of the pergola, you can even alternate to add some visual interest or go across the whole pergola for maximum shade.

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13. Poles and Fabric

If you do not have a pergola or other backyard structure, you can still create your own backyard shady oasis. This shade is created using metal poles for supports and then just draping the sturdy fabric over the poles. It is just enough to block out the sun from two sides and from above.

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14. White Canopy

This is yet another easy way to add shade over a large space. The easy and customizable pole build allows you to make the canopy to just the right size for your backyard. You can adjust all of the dimensions just by getting the correct poles for the size you need. Grommets and loops can be used to stretch the canvas over the poles.

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15. Wall Hanging

This canopy takes advantage of the strong brick wall to be the support for the shade. Special hooks attached to the wall and grommets in the fabric allow the canopy to hang perfectly. Poles or another structure can be used to secure the other end of the canopy.

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16. DIY Pergola

Sometimes just a pergola can add the shade you need. This tutorial helps you put up your own pergola with as little effort as possible. Once you have your pergola you can attach curtains or a canopy for even more shade.

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17. Overlapping Sails

If you have a large space that needs shade, then these giant sails might be your best option. You can even overlap them to make sure some areas get extra shade and that all areas are covered. The triangular shape is very decorative and suits any space.

18. Umbrella Shade

Umbrellas are great for offering shade and they can also be great at adding a decorative element to a backyard space. Hanging them upside down is unexpected and adds plenty of pops of color. They do not cover a large space so it is better for smaller areas or you might need a large number of umbrellas.

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19. Rectangular Shades

These large shades are great for big areas and they can be perfect for patios off the house. The shade allows enough light in without bringing in too much heat or bright sun.

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20. Four Post Canopy

This canopy takes advantage of a designated patio space. A tall post at each corner becomes a perfect place to secure a large canvas fabric. This is great for a prebuilt patio but adding the posts in after the fact may take more work.

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21. Up Down Shade

This shade is hung in such a way to add a bit of dramatic interest. The alternating heights provide shade and interest. Lights and night put the shade to good use even when the sun goes down.

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22. Simple Pull Shade

Another great small space shade this pull shade allows you to provide shade to a small deck or balcony when you need it and pull the shades when you need more light.

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23. Fabric Shades

You don’t always need to go with thick canvas for your outdoor shade. Simple fabrics can do the trick and add some softness to your lounge space. They can be draped over ropes in whatever position you need them and then brought back indoors when done.

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24. Split Shade

This shade is a great way to add some light into the patio while still offering plenty of shade. By splitting the shade into two parts, sunlight comes in through the middle while offering shade over the seating areas.

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25. Sheer Fabric Shade

This sheer shade offers just enough cover from the heat and sun to keep it from being unbearable while still allowing plenty of light to shine through. The sheer fabric adds a touch of whimsy and charm to the patio that most canvas canopies do not.

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