DIY Backyard Canopy for Shade

A simple backyard canopy that can be made in under 1 hour and with only a few supplies. This diy pvc pipe sunshade adds a little backyard shade for your family's enjoyment when you're learning how to shade your backyard.

I made this diy backyard canopy because my mom has visited us three times since we moved to Miami and each time she came she complained that there was no place for her to sit in the backyard in the shade so she could drink her morning coffee or watch the kids play.

That’s no bueno, so I definitely had to figure how to make backyard shade!

How to Make a Backyard Canopy

Here is my diy pvc canopy 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!

A simple backyard canopy that can be made in under 1 hour and with only a few supplies. This diy pvc pipe sunshade adds a little backyard shade for your family's enjoyment when you're learning how to shade your backyard.

DIY PVC Canopy Materials

  • 4- 15″ 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

A simple backyard canopy that can be made in under 1 hour and with only a few supplies. This diy pvc pipe sunshade adds a little backyard shade for your family's enjoyment when you're learning how to shade your backyard.

How To Make a PVC Canopy

I had to decide how wide and long the diy 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.

A simple backyard canopy that can be made in under 1 hour and with only a few supplies. This diy pvc pipe sunshade adds a little backyard shade for your family's enjoyment when you're learning how to shade your backyard.

The rebar is used to support the pvc pipe sunshade.

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.

A simple backyard canopy that can be made in under 1 hour and with only a few supplies. This diy pvc pipe sunshade adds a little backyard shade for your family's enjoyment when you're learning how to shade your backyard.

A simple backyard canopy that can be made in under 1 hour and with only a few supplies. This diy pvc pipe sunshade adds a little backyard shade for your family's enjoyment when you're learning how to shade your backyard.

A simple backyard canopy that can be made in under 1 hour and with only a few supplies. This diy pvc pipe sunshade adds a little backyard shade for your family's enjoyment when you're learning how to shade your backyard.

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 of the easy diy canopy.

A simple backyard canopy that can be made in under 1 hour and with only a few supplies. This diy pvc pipe sunshade adds a little backyard shade for your family's enjoyment when you're learning how to shade your backyard.

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!

(Update: 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.
A simple backyard canopy that can be made in under 1 hour and with only a few supplies. This diy pvc pipe sunshade adds a little backyard shade for your family's enjoyment when you're learning how to shade your backyard.

A simple backyard canopy that can be made in under 1 hour and with only a few supplies. This diy pvc pipe sunshade adds a little backyard shade for your family's enjoyment when you're learning how to shade your backyard.

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.

A simple backyard canopy that can be made in under 1 hour and with only a few supplies. This diy pvc pipe sunshade adds a little backyard shade for your family's enjoyment when you're learning how to shade your backyard.

A simple backyard canopy that can be made in under 1 hour and with only a few supplies. This diy pvc pipe sunshade adds a little backyard shade for your family's enjoyment when you're learning how to shade your backyard.

All I had left to do was add a little soil and flowers to the pot and voila!

My mom has her own little diy backyard canopy in the shade to enjoy.

A simple backyard canopy that can be made in under 1 hour and with only a few supplies. This diy pvc pipe sunshade adds a little backyard shade for your family's enjoyment when you're learning how to shade your backyard.

A simple backyard canopy that can be made in under 1 hour and with only a few supplies. This diy pvc pipe sunshade adds a little backyard shade for your family's enjoyment when you're learning how to shade your backyard.

DIY Backyard Sunshade

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

Easy DIY Canopy

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105 Comments

  1. 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.

        1. Hi, Lila! The pipe does slightly bend to help make the arch, but the two pieces are connected at the top with a T-bar.

  2. What a wonderful Idea! Being a military family we move all of the time…and this would be the perfect way to make a shaded area at any home!

  3. This is SUCH a cool idea! I love the flower pots. I bet this is making the backyard so much more enjoyable. Ours has no shade either and we bake in the Texas heat. This would be so perfect to put in our space. Thank you for sharing!

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

  4. 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.

  5. Oh Wow! You are very clever that is a great idea, and wouldn’t be hard to do at all. My hubby has been wanting some kind of shade to go over his grill when he is grilling. Maybe we can do something like this. Thank you for sharing!

    1. 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.

  6. What a clever idea! I can’t wait to see how you use the sun shade. I wonder if grommets would work or if they’d make the shade slide too easily on the arcs?

    1. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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!!

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

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

  15. 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

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. What are the measurements for you sunshade? How does the curtain slide if you have a cross piece at the top?

  19. This idea is so perfect. I’m going to put this in my driveway for my car to park under. The portability makes wonderful as well. Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful idea. So very creative.

  20. I LOVE THIS “DIY BACKYARD SUNSHADE” I can’t wait to make my own. One Question, do you have any problem with the curtains sliding out of place and leaving a gap at the top? Thanks so much for sharing!

    MLS

    1. Hi, MaryLynn! I eventually added velcro to the curtains so they could stay together, but still be easily removed when I needed to.

    1. Hi, Taran! The rebar made a huge difference and I don’t think it would’ve come out as sturdy without it. I’m glad you like the project and I’d love to see yours if you get around to making it!

  21. Hi Kendra! I saw this (or similar) a year or two ago and got all excited….and bombed SO BAD! lol. But I want to try again! I didn’t have the rebar before, so I think that was my biggest problem. Question, what size rebar did you use? I am finding it has many lengths, and I need to spend as little as possible! I’m so excited to try again, and I adore the flower pots!!!

    1. Hi, Cassandra! The rebar makes a world of difference. If I remember correctly, the rebar was close to 12 inches long. I’d love to see your finished product! If you email me the pictures, I’d be more than happy to share them on my FB page!

    1. This is brilliant, and your mom is very lucky to have a daughter like you! Enjoy her company as time goes by much too fast, and some day you’ll be glad you did.
      My husband made something similar for our little King Charles to do her business under as she hates our Oregon rain. My husband’s design is more of a A frame on top. We call it her little “She Shed”, and it even has a tiny chandalier that lights her way at night. Frankly I think your design is way more clever, as well as pretty with the flower pots.

  22. This idea is genius. We have a deck that needs shade. Used to have a nice big elm tree but sadly it passed away and had to be removed. 1200 dollars later we now have no shade on the deck. I have been thinking of getting an umbrella but they just dont really fit our space. I am so happy to have seen this posted on pintrest. I can see a trip to Menards in my future…(that is a Midwest store like home depot.) Anyway thank you so much for posting this.

  23. Hi LOVE this idea ultra creative!
    Can you please include how much you paid to create this with or without the planters?

    1. Hi, Camrod! I don’t remember exactly how much I paid for it. I believe it was definitely under $100 because pvc pipe isn’t that expensive and I already had the curtains on hand. The planters were only a couple of dollars. I’m sorry that I couldn’t be more help.

  24. I like what you said about how water-proof pvc slides can be easily removed. I need to get a new awning installed in the backyard. I’ll have to consider hiring a contractor to install it for me.

  25. Hi Kendra, this is a great idea and solution. Thank you for sharing!!!
    Does It get windy there that It risks getting blown away or broken?
    I didn’t understand how long Is the piece of rebar you “planted” for support? How deep Is It burried and how much Is left out to be covered with the PVC pipe?
    Thank you for tour help! I am going to try and make my own this weekend!
    Claudia

    1. Hi Claudia! It definitely gets windy here because our hurricane season lasts from June until November. When it gets slightly windy I lower the curtain shades, but when it gets very windy it’s pretty easy to take it all down since it’s not a permanent fixture. The rebar pieces are 15″ and are buried about 1/3 of the way into the ground. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have anymore questions.