DIY Backyard Sunshade

DIY Backyard Sunshade

My mom has visited us three times since we moved to Miami and everytime she comes she complains that there is no place for her to sit in the backyard in the shade so she can drink her morning coffee or watch the kids play. At our house in Colorado, she had the same issue with no seating, so I had to make her a little deck furniture set. I completely understand where she’s coming from because if you’ve ever been to southern Florida, then you know it can easily be a very humid 80° at nine in the morning. That’s no bueno! 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. Luckily, she has a daughter who is a Miami diy blogger and can come up with ideas in a heartbeat. 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!

DIY Backyard Sunshade

What I Used: 4 Rebar Posts (We made sure that the rebar fit into the pvc), 4 Full Length- ½” PVC Conduit (Gray), 1- ½” PVC Conduit (White, Cut to the width desired for sunshade), ½” Conduit Tee Fitting, 2 Curtains, 4 Terra Cotta Pots, Flowers

DIY Backyard Sunshade

I had to decide how wide and long the sunshade would be. Once that was figured out, my husband placed the rebar into the ground according to where the ends of the full length pvc would sit. (He said that I would take all of the credit for putting it up and wouldn’t include him in this post. He was wrong and here is proof that he did help out.)

DIY Backyard Sunshade

The rebar is used to support the pvc. The full length pvc has a male and female end and initially I stuck two of them together to make one arch, but it wasn’t sturdy enough going across and the arches were bending to the sides.

DIY Backyard Sunshade

DIY Backyard Sunshade

DIY Backyard Sunshade

I used the tee fitting to help support the tops of the arch. The tee fitting was placed onto the male ends and the cut pvc was used as the support beam to attach the two arches.

DIY Backyard Sunshade

After we perfected the sturdiness of the arch, we used curtains as the shade. At first, I used outdoor fabric, but it was way too heavy. It was my husband’s idea to use the curtains. They’re not weather-proof, but since the pvc slides easily off of the rebar, the curtains can be removed during bad weather or replaced if damaged. The curtains also saved time because I didn’t have to do any sewing because the seams were already there. Bonus!  (I just found out about shade cloth, so I think I’ll go get some of that to use instead of curtains. I’ll share pics when I switch it out.) The curtains can slide up and down the pvc, so it can track the sun and keep my mom in the shade.

DIY Backyard Sunshade

DIY Backyard Sunshade

I had to add a touch of beauty for my momma, so I took the pvc off the rebar and slid the terra cotta pots over the rebar. Then I put the pvc back onto the rebar.

DIY Backyard Sunshade

DIY Backyard Sunshade

All I had left to do was add a little soil and flowers to the pot and voila! My mom has her own little sitting area in the shade to enjoy.

DIY Backyard Sunshade

DIY Backyard Sunshade

DIY Backyard Sunshade

What are some creative ways that you stay out of sun and keep cool when you’re outside?

Comments

  1. says

    What a great idea! I love how you used the terra cotta pots full of flowers too. I smiled at the first picture with your mom watching in the background with her hands on her hips!! That is so cute! Enjoy that Florida sun, I miss it now that we are in Seattle! I used to live in Tampa.
    Lisa Ladrido recently posted…The One Thing Mom Never Taught MeMy Profile

    • The Kreative Life says

      Hi, Miranda! I’m from OK, so I understand the heat and the need for shade. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. says

    I can’t decide what I love most about this but the pictures are too cute. I really like how you used the potted plants to hide the bottom. You dog made me smile and your kiddo in the background.
    laura recently posted…My Space?My Profile

    • The Kreative Life says

      It would be perfect for shade while grilling! Just make sure you use a breathable material so he won’t get trapped in all of the smoke.

    • The Kreative Life says

      Thanks, Lydia! I used grommets and nautical rope when on the outdoor fabric I was initially using with this project, but it weighed the pvc conduit down so we used the curtains instead.

  3. says

    This is awesome! I would never have thought of DIYing this. Plus I love the flower pots at the bottom…funtional & beautiful. Hope your Mother enjoys her shady getaway. So, happy I found your blog…recommended by the amazingly creative BriellaSoul Creative Design.

  4. Kathleen says

    You and the family did a very nice job lady. It was thoughtful for you to create a shady place for your mama to relax in. It looks like the dog likes the shade as much as the family. [smile] Good luck with your “outdoor kitchen”. Let you mama know that I enjoy my morning coffee outside too.

  5. MJ says

    Love this! My deck in NC needs this in mid-summer as nearby tree doesn’t cast enough shadow. I’m going to figure out how to do this –even if it takes drilling four holes to hold the rebar—so glad i learned how to use some tools..LOL
    Thanks for being so Kreative that day!!!!!!
    MJ

  6. says

    Hi Kendra,
    This is such a great idea! I just want to make sure I understand the construction. Is the Tee fitting used at the top to add a support bar across the top along the center of the arch? I think I am going to try this.
    Joselyn@ Meaningful Remnants recently posted…Time to GardenMy Profile

  7. Cindy says

    Great looking idea! Just a tip before you purchase shade cloth cause it’s so expensive,at least it is up here in north Florida . . You might want to get the densest you can get. I got the 40 percent to grow my greens under and even now in May it’s barely shady. I like your curtain idea much better, designer!!

  8. Ellen says

    How long is the pvc that forms the arches? And how long is the cross piece? Did you try the shade cloth yet?
    Great job!

  9. April says

    Absolutely brilliant. And perfect timing too. I’ve been racking my brains for cheap shade in the spot I’ve picked for my sitting area. Thank you SOOOOO much. I live in Orlando so I feel your pain for relief from the heat.

  10. Mschikin says

    This is a GREAT idea .. I’m thinking this may be on my projects short list .. and that is one FAT dog .. :o)

  11. Sheryl says

    I did this over my garden area but with shade cloth yrs ago. It works great. I need to do it again here as an extension of my patio

  12. Pam Atteberry says

    I love this idea! How much wind do you get? We live in Kansas where the wind blows…a LOT! We’d probably have to take it down quite often, but I think your idea is genius!

  13. dee says

    This is so great, especially if you need to move it around for various reasons. Can you tell me how far apart you put the rebar from each other. Sorry if it sounds like a strange question. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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