DIY Backyard Shade Ideas

Take shelter from the blazing sun with these products and design ideas that let you stay cool outdoors.

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July 17, 2020

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Photo By: Bryan Meltz/ Getty Images © 2014, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Shade Comes in Many Forms

There are many ways to grab a bit of relief from the summer sun. Expansive outdoor umbrellas, pergolas and awnings all offer a respite from the heat. Or you can get creative and string up a colorful patterned length of fabric or even a sheet and create your own stylish shade. This striped, makeshift canopy not only provides shade; it makes a bold statement in color and can be removed at a moment's notice when rainy weather is threatening.

More Ways to Make Shade

From cabanas to curtains to old-fashioned shade from trees, there are countless DIY ways to bring shade to your outdoor space. Here, white wood shutter doors open to a radiant indoor/outdoor room with stunning white furnishings and tropical foliage. A shingled roof and detailed border give the home's exterior a charming, unique quality.

Learn More : Make Shade: Canopies, Pergolas, Gazebos and More

Old World Charm

Need shade? A classic striped blue and white awning is a nautical, sophisticated solution to the problem. This DIY article gives tips on how to best install a retractable cloth awning.

Learn More : Installing a Retractable Cloth Awning

Up the Fun Factor With a Tiki Umbrella

Add some atmospherically tropical vibes to your outdoor space with a tiki-style umbrella.

BUY NOW:, $99.77

A Bespoke Pergola

Like a cross between a pergola and a cabana, this customizable pergola from Backyard Discovery is great poolside or to create a dedicated room in your outdoor space.

BUY NOW: Cabana Pergola, $2,499

Plant a Vertical Garden

A small porch becomes a private party space with this imaginative makeover by landscape designer Jamie Durie, who created "pocket gardens" around the perimeter, forming a living wall.

MAKE IT: How to Plant a Wall-Mounted Pocket Garden

More Vertical Gardening Ideas

Even if you have a brown thumb, you can create a gorgeous living wall using easy-to-care-for fabric pocket planters. Hang a group of them on a deck or patio. Voila! Your average outdoor space is now a lush, secluded oasis.

Learn More : Vertical Gardening Ideas

Make a Privacy Screen

Like curtains, a privacy screen can block out light while adding privacy from nosy (or well-meaning) neighbors. Use basic home improvement store materials to make this stylish, herringbone-pattern screen. The secret to the design is laying the boards out at a 22-1/2 degree angle.

MAKE IT: How to Build a Herringbone Privacy Screen

DIY Embellished Sail Shade

Transform a too hot, over-exposed patio or deck into a shady, relaxation zone with this sophisticated DIY sail shade. Just a few thoughtful details can take this project from looking strictly functional to stylishly designed.

MAKE IT: Beat the Heat and Add Privacy With an Embellished Shade Sail

Choose the Best Outdoor Umbrella

This Belham Living Patio Umbrella is one of HGTV's top picks for outdoor umbrellas. Find more picks in our outdoor umbrella guide below.

BUY NOW: The Best Patio Umbrellas for Your Backyard

Shady Deck

This elevated deck features a stone border with ornamental plants. White curtains provide shade, making this outdoor dining area a comfortable place to enjoy a lovely meal. Voluminous curtains on a deck, porch or any outdoor space offer both privacy and a break from the sun. Learn more ways, beyond adding curtains, to create outdoor shade in the story below.

Learn More : Add Privacy to Your Deck With Freestanding Outdoor Curtains

DIY Outdoor Pergola

Turn your backyard into an outdoor oasis with this stylish pergola you can build yourself. Grow wisteria, honeysuckle, grapevine or a flowering rose to provide shade and beautiful foliage on your pergola.

Sunbrella Curtains

Create privacy and a break from the sun with arrangements of Sunbrella curtains made to withstand all-weather conditions.

BUY NOW: West Elm, Starting at $140

Dress Your Pergola

Clever, inexpensive touches helped set the mood for this party. A white bed sheet tied to the top of this pergola creates a canopy effect and provide relief from the Florida sun.

Backyard Meditation Pavilion

This raised backyard pavilion offers a quiet respite from the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Sheer fabrics wrap the space in flowing color to provide privacy and sun control.

Shade With a Graphic Edge

Two modern awnings in gray and red provide shade for this space. The beauty of shade sails is they can be arranged in any configuration and color combo you desire. Click below for tips on installing shade sails.

Learn More : How to Install a Sail Shade

DIY All-Purpose Tent

Make your own shade with this beach tent using a shower curtain and PVC pipe. Better still, it's not just for the beach. This DIY shade would be great to cover a child's sandbox or play area.

BUY NOW: West Elm, $125

Try a Cabana

A cheery striped awning covers the poolside cabana of this contemporary California home. Woven outdoor furniture is stark and modern, with clean lines and a crisp black-and-white color scheme. Bursts of bright yellow add a stylish touch and pop against the neutral fabrics.

A Shaded Trampoline Lounge

A trampoline isn't just for kids in this backyard. A cushioned bumper and collection of throw pillows create a great space for lounging.

Plant a Tree

This cozy deck features a grand live oak — saved during the home's construction — which provides a shading canopy over this outdoor sitting area.

Learn More : 12 Great Patio Trees

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