Ideas for patio shade

Outdoor living spaces can add a lot of value to your home, not to mention all the extra space for entertaining, enjoying the beautiful summer weather, and just relaxing and taking a few minutes to yourself. But if your backyard gets baked by the sun, you might find that a few minutes are all you want to spend out there!


22 Amazing DIY Backyard Sun Shade Ideas You Won’t Believe Are Homemade

If you’d love to get more use out of your outdoor spaces without a scalding sunburn, these DIY backyard sun shade ideas might be just the ticket. Whether you’re looking for something portable that can be moved around the yard to suit your current mood or a big, bold, statement piece like a pergola that’s as functional as it is stylish, you’ll find there’s a backyard sun shade that suits your design sensibilities, budget, and DIY skills, whether they be sewing, carpentry, metalwork, or something else altogether!

These nifty projects do more than just keep off the sun. Use shade panels to define outdoor seating areas, or add privacy from nosy neighbors around your pool or deck. Keep in mind that adjustable panels are the most useful; you can always remove or retract them if you decide you need more light, or if heavy wind threatens to damage them. Ready to beat that sweltering summer heat? Check out these DIY backyard sun shade ideas that will have you spending your entire summer outdoors.

1. Easy DIY Canvas Shade Sails

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2. Roman-Style DIY Pergola Canopy

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3. Outdoor Living Space with Sheer Curtain Divider

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4. Quick and Easy Retractable Awning

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5. DIY Breezy Outdoor Room

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6. Upcycled Sun Shade from an Old Sail

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7. Moveable Backyard Sun Shade Hoops

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8. Luxurious Hanging Shade Curtains

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9. Easy Tent-Style Awning with Milk Can Anchors

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10. Backyard Shade and Privacy Curtains

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11. Fun and Funky Outdoor Seating Shade

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12. Hanging Shade-Cloth and Outdoor Lighting Combo

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13. Simple Aluminum-Pipe Framed Backyard Canopy

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14. Rustic Draped Canopy from Natural Fibers

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15. Elegant DIY Pool-Side Cabana

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16. Brilliant DIY Tent Frame from PVC

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17. Relaxing Pergola Sitting Space with Shade Curtains

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18. Wall-Anchored DIY Backyard Sun Shade Ideas

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19. Simple Fabric Sun Shade

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20. DIY Back Deck Pergola Design

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21. Easily Adaptable Backyard Shade Curtains

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22. Overlapping Backyard Sun Sails

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It’s pretty tough to enjoy summer activities in a backyard that bakes in the afternoon heat. We all need a way to get out of the sun, but still be able to spend time outdoors. We found these 9 clever DIY ways to a shady backyard oasis for you to help turn your space into a retreat! We didn’t want to just share the same ol’ wood pergolas (though if thats what you are looking for, check out our post on DIY pergolas!) so we hope these unique and creative backyard shade ideas hit the shady spot!

Backyard Shade Ideas

Patio Shade Ideas

Our first project is a DIY drop cloth shade cover made by ‘Anything Pretty‘. Check out her tutorial, it took them just a couple of hours to get this up, and made over their old pergola! LOVE the globe lights woven through the shades.

Here is another backyard shade idea for a fabric shade by ‘Koiphen’. Good close up photos here with this tutorial to help you understand the wire system for holding the shades.

From ‘J and B Marvin‘, this DIY fabric pergola has a quick tutorial, and a lot of good tips. Same type of backyard shade system as the project above. This is fully retractable too!

Ok, so you need Google Translate for this one, unless you read Dutch. At least, I think it’s Dutch! But I love this one, because it’s a freestanding DIY fabric pergola that can be put up even where there is no existing structure. You can have backyard shade anywhere! From ‘VT Wonen‘.

DIY Slide Wire Canopy

Learn how to make a slide wire shade canopy with this DIY video from ‘Sailrite‘. They even have lots of home do it yourselfers loading up photos in the comments of their finished shade project!

Hope you were paying attention to those tutorials, ’cause these next few backyard shade ideas don’t have instructions, but they follow the same principles of the ones you’ve seen so far! This space from ‘InDecora‘ has a simple wire mounted fabric shade, with grommets to string the cable through. Grommet kits can be bought at craft and sewing stores, and this could be made out of sturdy canvas drop cloths from the hardware store.

Same idea as some of the projects above with this slide wire canopy from ‘Superior Awning‘.

Creative Outdoor Shade Ideas

From Jamie Durie of ‘HGTV‘, these sliding canvas panels are mounted and slide the same way as the fabric ones above. There are eye hooks mounted on the frame of the panels, and the wire cable slides through the hooks, over the top of the panel. These can be moved to add backyard shade to different areas of the space as the sun moves.

Also from ‘HGTV‘, covering sections of your existing pergola with canvas cloth makes a more permanent outdoor shade structure. Clever!

Backyard Shade Ideas with Shade Sails

Finally, if you want a cool look for over your patio, or even your pool, think about using shade sails. They come in triangular and rectangular shapes of different sizes, and are attached to posts, trees or buildings with hooks and cables. Check out our post on how to hang shade sails for more info on this project! We used Coolaroo shade sails in our backyard. Photo by

So have your got lots of backyard shade ideas now to create your own shady oasis? Good! Now check out our posts on DIY Patio Flooring Ideas and How to Build DIY Floating Deck!

Image Credits: Indecora, Anything Pretty, Koiphen, J and B Marvin, VTWonen, Sailrite, Superior Awning, HGTV, HGTV,

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Although summer provides us great time to be outdoor relaxing and entertaining, the glaring sun in the day can be brutal, so we all need a way to get out of the sun so that we can still spend relaxing time outside. Fortunately, there are many great ideas about how to block the sun for your yard or patio. These creative and beautiful shade ideas are both practical and stunning. At the same time, they not only promote the curb appeal of your home and also protect your outdoor space’s privacy. If you are happen to plan your outdoor shades, come and enjoy these ideas!

1. Roof screen on pergola with a fascinating lattice shade.

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2. Lay water reed mats over panels used for fencing to create a shade screen.


3. Add shade and style to outdoor living space with a slide-on wire-hung canopy.

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4. Create a tree umbrella by removing the fabric shade and then training vine to climb the center pole.


5. Hanging thin bamboo panel looks like floating in midair.

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6. This sun shade sail adds gorgeous look to your outdoor space.


7. Climing plant covered arbor is perfect for summer shade.

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8. Use rollup venetian blinds for shade.


9. A covered patio with large curtains that work to keep the morning sun out.

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10. Re-purpose trampoline frame to create a structure for wisteria to cover to get your yard shade.


11. Bamboo blinds as a sunshade pergola.


12. Steel cables for creepers to let you have a growing shade.


13. Drape fabric between the beams to create shade in your deck or patio.

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14. Add bamboo shade cover to pergola.


15. Build an easy and cheap retractable awning.

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Tags: deck, patio, summer, summer shade Written by: Jonathan On June 3, 2017

6 Creative Ways to Add Shade Outdoors

Carving Out Shady Spaces

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Positioning yourself in the shade not only makes the warm season bearable, it can also safeguard you against harmful sunlight. A recent report by the Environmental Working Group found that after a review of 1,700 Sun Protection Factor (SPF) products, including sunscreens, lip balms, and moisturizers, 80 percent provided “inferior sun protection.” (Read more about the findings on It turns out that applying a sunscreen with an SPF rating before you head outside for a grilling session may not give you adequate protection from sun damage and related health risks.

If those findings don’t convince you to stay in the shade, these attractive ideas for outdoor rooms and spaces will do the job. Click through to get ideas for your own space in the shade.

Install a Fabric Canopy

Photo by Tria Giovan/GAP Interiors

Transform a deck into a restful outdoor space by anchoring a fabric canopy to deck railings. Opt for fade-resistant fabric to keep your upgrade looking great for the long run. Get more info on this tent-like topper.

Crack the code and shop smarter when it comes to reading outdoor fabric labels.

Drape a Tarp for Cover

Photo by Mark Lohman

Turn a slatted ceiling or a pergola into a sun-proof space with a moisture-resistant cotton-canvas tarp. See 15 more creative ways to customize your deck.

Get a vibrant look for your outdoor space with how to create a well-traveled terrace.

Or go for a more rustic look with weathered finishes for a stylish porch.

Invest in an Outdoor Umbrella

Photo by Michael J. Lee

The time-tested deck and patio go-to helps keep outdoor diners cooler for longer spurts of entertaining. See more charming decoration ideas from this vintage cottage redo with timeless appeal.

Shop some of our picks for patio umbrellas.

Make decorating your outdoor space a breeze with these porch design ideas.

Increase the Shade With a Pergola

A pergola can filter out sunlight on decks that aren’t shaded by your trees. Additionally, one can add an architectural point of interest to your grilling space. Get more details on this reader’s pergola project.

Add a little shade to your driveway with our how to build a garage pergola project.

Screen out noise and nosy neighbors with privacy screen upgrades.

Deck Out a Freestanding Structure

Photo by Richard Leo Johnson

Build your own salvage-style fortress of solitude, and outfit it with a daybed for shady afternoon reading. Learn how to separate the gems from the junk with the This Old House TV crew’s guide to hunting for salvaged items.

Marvel at how a reader turned a front door into a hanging daybed.

Add Wisteria to a Pergola

Photo by Tria Giovan

Set a scene as magical as the one pictured here with potted, fast-growing Wisteria. It will make even a small urban backyard feel like a remote space.

Transform a small lot with a homeowner’s seven ways to create a small yard with big impact.

Get more inspiration for incorporating climbers into your outdoor space from this picturesque rose garden.

If you hop-skip like a rookie firewalker across your sun-drenched patio, then patio shade projects are probably a hot priority.

But there’s no reason to get burned on price; you’ll find plenty of low-cost shade-giving options to cool your tootsies.
If you’re looking for shade beyond the typical market umbrellas ($45) and freestanding gazebo kits (starting at $200 at home improvement centers), check out these other easy, affordable patio shade projects — all for under $300:

Tall Order: Vertical Trellis

Even if you have overhead shade, low morning or late afternoon light can make your patio uncomfortably hot in summer. Filter low-flying rays with a vertical trellis for growing leafy climbing plants.
The taller the trellis (60 inches or more), the more time you enjoy in the shade. Plus, an attractive trellis adds structure, lush greenery, and home privacy to your outdoor getaway.
Trellises can be made of weather-resistant wood, metal, PVC, or a combination of materials. Build one from scratch in just a few hours for less than $100 using vertical posts and cross members that plants grip and climb.

Mike’s DIY Projects & More

Or, make a simple frame and add pre-made garden lattice, $20 for a 4-by-8-foot sheet.
Trellises also come in kits ($40-$250 and up) or ready-made ($15-$200 and up). In an hour or less, you’ll be ready to set the trellis in the ground.
For plants, choose climbing leafy or flowering vines, such as English ivy, golden hop, morning glory, clematis, bougainvillea, or roses. Prices range from $10 to $40 and up for climbers.
Or, start veggie climbers from seed ($1 or less per packet), such as pole beans or sweet peas, and harvest the rewards later.

Related: 5 Ways to Make Your Cramped Outdoor Space Feel Like Versailles

Patio-Dwelling Trees

Add leafy shade by planting a sapling or ornamental tree in a container. A small (6-10 feet tall) tree will still throw plenty of shade — Japanese maples and dwarf red buckeyes are favorites. You’ll pay $40-$100 for a young tree.
Select a container large enough to stabilize the tree so wind won’t blow it over. Add a wheeled base for shade mobility. Fill out with these other ideas for container gardening.
A potted tree requires more care than one in the yard. Feed it monthly during the growing season and water regularly (once or twice a day in dry weather). As your trees grow, transplant them to larger pots. Winter over container trees indoors — anywhere with ample light and temperatures that won’t drop below 40 degrees.
Potted citrus trees are a beautiful, bountiful option. A lemon tree loves a sunny patio while offering shade and juicy fruits for squeezing. Other fruit-bearing trees include fig and semi-dwarf apple trees.
A potted palm transports your patio to the tropics with wide fronds for dappled shade and an island feel. Chinese windmill, or chusan palm (Trachycarpus), for example, can grow up to 7 feet tall in a container.

Sailing in the Shade

Shade sails are triangular or square pieces of high-strength nylon that you suspend over your patio, adding color, pattern, and plenty of shade. The sails require connections to posts, trees, or rigid structural members of your house, such as exposed rafter ends.
A sail with 11-foot sides starts at $40. More expensive shade sails ($170 and up) include hardware (turnbuckles, eye bolts, and cable) for sturdy, wind-resistant installations.


Shade From the Islands

Mix up a mai tai and enjoy a cool respite beneath these tropically inspired patio shade projects:

Top an existing structure, such as a pergola, with reed or bamboo fencing. A 6-by-16-foot roll of bamboo fencing starts at $22. Secure the fencing with galvanized staples or roofing nails.

Thatch panels ($200 for a 12 pack of 4-by-4-foot panels) are typically made from palm fronds cut into strips. Staple or nail the panels to the top of an existing pergola or awning frame for tiki-hut charm.

Related: 7 Ideas to Help You Use Your Outdoor Space More

10 Patio & Deck Shade Ideas You Can Build Yourself

If your deck or patio gets a bit too sunny or hot for comfort, it’s probably time to add some shade and make spending time there more enjoyable. There are many ways you can add shade to your deck or patio without having to own expensive tools or having prior building experience.

With Kee Klamp, it’s possible to build all sorts of shade structures using just a few basic tools (such as a drill and an Allen Wrench). Kee Klamp fittings are similar to traditional threaded pipe fittings, yet they connect by sliding over pipe and tightening down a set screw on the fitting.

This make them easier to use than traditional threaded pipe fittings. This also allows for adjustabiltiy and with over 80 different types of Kee Klamp fittings, you can build just about any type of structure imaginable.

To show that you can build your own DIY shade structure for your patio or deck, in this post we’ve compiled 10 ideas built by our customers using Kee Klamp fittings. These ideas include shade sails, umbrellas, awnings, trellis structures, and more. Take a look:

  1. DIY Shade Sail

  2. This first idea comes to us from Bob in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Bob built this custom 20 ft. shade sail for the deck attached to the back of his house. The shade sail also doubles as trellis and features a wire grid on one side. The fittings used in this project include the Single Socket Tee, Side Outlet Elbow, Flange, Wall Flange, Single Sided Clip, and Double Sided Clip

    The clips are used to attach the wire grid to the pipe uprights. For an in-depth look at this project and the fittings used, visit the full project write up here.

  3. Dual Umbrella Support

  4. This project was built by Patrick in Napa, California. It features dual umbrellas held in place by a custom stand built from Kee Klamp fittings. Patrick had trouble finding stands that would support more than more umbrella, so he decided to build his own. The stand makes use of the Single Swivel Socket, the Adjustable Swivel Socket, the Double Swivel Socket, and the Single Socket Tee.

    Read more about this project here.

  5. Covered Patio with Pipe Accents

  6. This customer built an entire shaded patio out of wood then used Kee Klamp fittings and pipe to created awning “accents”. To do this, the Swivel Flange fitting was used. See more of this project here.

  7. DIY Trellis

  8. In this project, Peter used Kee Klamp to build a custom wisteria trellis for his backyard patio. The main fittings in this project include the 45 Degree Single Socket Tee and Side Outlet Elbow. Here’s what Peter had to say about the project:

    “The following pictures are of a pergola or climbing frame I built from your system for a very vigorous wisteria vine in the historic district of Frederick MD. The vine previously had a light frame which was in constant danger of collapse, especially in windstorms and from snow accumulations. Your system supports a grid of lighter garden stakes and netting for the vine to work itself around.”

    Read more about Peter’s custom trellis here.

  9. Front Porch Shade Structure

  10. This shade structure acts more as a design piece but nevertheless does provide some shade to the front porch of this small house. The main fittings in this project include the 90 Degree Elbow and Flange fitting. A full write up on this project can be found here.

  11. Porch Awning

  12. This awning extends from the side of the house and mounts to the ground. The main fittings in this project include the Single Socket Tee, Flange, and Swivel Flange.

  13. Translucent Roof Canopy

  14. This project features a translucent roof that diffuses sun light and adds just enough shade to this sitting area. Important fittings in this project include the Flange and Crossover fitting.

  15. DIY Attached Canopy

  16. Here we have a canopy that was built by Tamer in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. The design takes after many of the trellis designs we have seen built by our customers. However, a tarp can simply be placed over top of the structure to provide shade to the patio. Fittings in this project include the Standard Railing Flange, Single Socket Tee, Four Socket Cross, and Swivel Flange.

  17. Deck Canopy

  18. This project was built by Sean in Leominster, Massachusetts. It’s a free standing canopy with a tarp over the top pulled tight to add some shade to this deck. A few of the fittings used in this project include the Flange and the Eave Fitting.

  19. DIY Shade Wall

  20. This shade wall was built by Lynn in Freehold, New Jersey. This type of project can be great to block sunlight from a specific direction. The fittings in this project include the M50 fitting and Malleable Plug. The M50 is used to attach the canopy to the pipe supports. The Malleable Plug is used to cap off the exposed end of pipe at the top of the supports.

    If you want to add some shade to your porch, patio, or deck, try browsing our list of fittings to discover how you can build your own shade structure using Kee Klamp.

    If you have any trouble or would like some assistance creating a custom design, feel free to reach out to our team for help. Our team is experienced in designing and building Kee Klamp projects. We’ll even go so far as to create a 3D drawing of your project so you can see what it will look like before you buy.

Image Credit: @house.becomes.home

Americans take sun safety much more seriously than they once did. With skin cancer, heat stroke, and other serious consequences of the sun gaining more attention all the time, people want to remain safe while enjoying their time outdoors. We expand more on the benefits of installing a permanent source of shade below.

Top Benefits of Shade Protection

It doesn’t need to be summer for the sun to cause significant damage. That is because too much exposure to its UV rays can cause problems even on cold or overcast days. A barrier such as a patio umbrella can also provide protection from wind, rain, snow, and other weather elements. While a rainstorm or other severe weather can catch homeowners off-guard, there’s no reason they need to feel uncomfortable if they decide to wait out the weather under the protection of a patio umbrella or other common source of shade.

The type of material used in an outdoor product that provides shade protection matters to overall comfort. Fabric, for example, cools the area underneath patio umbrellas or an awning to make outdoor time more comfortable. Homeowners who install shade protection enjoy more time outdoors without worry of some of the more serious problems caused by excessive sun exposure.

Consider a Large Patio Umbrella to Shade Outdoor Spaces

It would be unfortunate for homeowners to invest in creating a patio and then not be able to enjoy it due to the sun’s intensity. A large umbrella that creates shade for the entire patio can be an ideal solution. They come in many different sizes and styles to meet the needs for practicality and aesthetics at the same time. Another benefit of patio or backyard umbrellas is that they protect outdoor furniture from premature wear.

Popular Patio Umbrellas

$2,505 Sale! $2,040 $1,795 $495 – $620

When shopping for patio or backyard umbrellas, homeowners should understand the most important factors to consider. These include the shape, size, and preferred tilt. Most umbrella styles come with a base and a stand that the homeowner will need to assemble separately.

Trees Near or on the Patio Provide Natural Shade

Several inexpensive ideas exist for those who want to consider other ideas beyond a large umbrella to provide backyard shading. For example, choosing to plant one or more trees near the patio can provide natural shade. Homeowners just need to carefully consider the type of tree they want to plant as some can take years to come to maturity.

Planting trees on the patio itself is another inexpensive idea. They will naturally need to be smaller trees contained within a pot such as dwarf red buckeyes or Japanese maple trees. These potted trees grow to a height of six to 10 feet and typically cost less than $100 to purchase and plant. If choosing this option, it’s important to realize that the potted trees will require ongoing maintenance such as daily watering and monthly feeding. Homeowners will also need to transport them into larger pots once they grow too large for the original ones.

Image credit: @bethgrowsgreen

Install a Partial Pergola

A partial pergola can make an ideal solution for homeowners who desire shade in the backyard but who don’t want to cover the entire area. Shading just a corner of the yard and placing seating underneath it gives families a place to hang out together outside or to sit and enjoy a meal with a few guests. This is an inexpensive option that can provide just the right amount of shade to keep outdoor time safe and comfortable.

Homemade Privacy Shades

Any homeowner who has some extra pipes and curtains lying around can put them to good use creating outdoor privacy shades. Even people who don’t already have these materials on hand can purchase them for a low cost. Creating a shady area is as simple as piecing together two vertical and two horizontal pipes and fittings and then adding shades or curtains to the top bars. The homeowner can then place furniture inside and pull the shades around it to enjoy time outside without excessive heat or other harmful effects of the sun.

Put Up a Trellis and Let Tall Plants Grow on It

A trellis is an attached framework of metal or wooden bars that help to provide much-needed shade. Placing a trellis near the porch or another spot in the yard where people hang out is yet another idea for producing more shade. Planting flowering vines near the trellis up to 60 inches high can provide even greater shade protection.

Image Credit: @tiburonremodel

Sun safety is essential in any climate. The above patio ideas are flexible enough to match with any backyard décor and typically inexpensive as well.

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