Thursday, 8 April 2010

A "You Can Do It" project: Awning for the Backyard

I was killing at Big Lots...and got an idea, all of a sudden, as soon as I found some canvass, drop cloth for painting. I figured out a design in my head of how to make an awning in my back yard, to replace garden umbrellas, for I needed something to better protect my guests from the sun, during the gatherings I was planning to have.

Here are the requirements for this project:
Imagination to execute the awning design
4 4'x 15' canvass drop cloths (original size when bought), each re-cut to size 4' x 14', based on the distance between the roof edge and the wooden beam in my porch
A 50 foot nylon twine
4 48" dowels
10 hooks
A sewing machine
Ability to sew in straight lines
Half a day to work on the project
This is the area in my backyard I usually hold my outdoor gatherings in...and this is the area I wanted to make the awning project for - from the edge of the roof to the beam on the brick columns.
First step: fold the finished edge by 1 1/4 inches, line up the twine inside and top stitch to keep the twine in place. This side of the canvass is going to be attached to the edge of my roof. An 18 foot long twine is used for the four, top panels.

A knot is made at the beginning of the first panel and at the end of the fourth and last panel.
Second step: fold the bottom edge of the same canvass piece by 2 inches, line up with the twine and dowel, and top stitch to hold the twine and dowel in place. A 32 foot long twine was used for the bottom parts of the four panels.

A 6 inch loop is made at the beginning of the first panel, and in-between the two middle panels, and at the end of the last panel. Set your panels aside, when done, and prepare to attach the hardware outside, in this case, a total of 10 hooks.
5 hooks are attached on the side of the roof, 4 feet apart. 5 corresponding hooks are also attached to the beam atop the brick columns.
Climbing up a ladder, I hang the top panels (roof side) beginning at the center.
Then, the rest followed on that side.
After, I attached the bottom parts of the panels to the wooden beam...
leaving an opening of about 6 inches, to make room for the wisteria vine which is in full bloom. As you can see, the loops that were made on the bottom parts of the panels were secured to the hooks on the wooden beam.

And here is the finished project.

All set for the outdoor gathering...table is set up with appropriate protection from the sun. After, you can take down the awning panels, fold and store until the next party...or, you can leave them there all spring and summer long.

This was a project under $50.00, very functional, and truly easy to make! You can make something similar to this. Just be sure to think it through. You can do it!


  1. Yogie, a woman of many talents and not just a pretty face.

  2. Thank you for sharing Tita....The awnings were not only pretty, but it did what it was supposed to do....Protect guests from the sun!

  3. Soon, I'll post about quick and easy to make home-furnishing projects that can give a corner, a wall, or a room a new look.

  4. Great idea! Will be trying this after the winter rains.

  5. Bob, let me know if you have any questions.



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