4 Simple Patio Shade Ideas

Looking to beat the heat this summer? Now you can, without having to stay cooped up inside! We’ve put together 4 patio shade ideas that you can use to DIY your own summer shelter and make a backyard oasis.

Create a Patio Awning

What it is: An awning is essentially a roof cover which can be made of fabric, wood, aluminum, or vinyl. We recommend using tear-resistant, waterproof and flame-retardant vinyl for fabric awnings since it’s the most durable fabric up for the job. Vinyl laminated fabrics are recommended for awnings because they cover these properties. If you’re looking for all that, plus stain resistance, opt for vinyl coated fabrics instead.

Why use it: Creates full shade for your deck, patio furniture, etc., plus it’s easy to clean.

Ideal for: Complete shade, plus additional privacy.

Tutorial: DIY Awning Tutorial (Simple Details Blog)

4 Simple Patio Shade Ideas - Vinyl Awning
Customer Photo

Build a Garden Pergola

What it is: A pergola is an outdoor roof structure that’s supported by columns. They can be wooden, vinyl or even aluminum.

Why use it: Garden pergolas often feature vines and flowers growing on the top and sides, which not only makes them a beautiful addition to any patio but can also help provide more shade.

Ideal for: Some shade over small seating areas in the garden or yard.

Tutorial: How to Build a Wood Pergola (HGTV)

4 Simple Patio Shade Ideas - DIY Pergola

Get a Shade Sail

What it is: A shade sail is a piece of triangular or square mesh fabric that’s made to be hung, in order to block out the sun and protect against harmful rays.

Why use it: People like to use shade sails because you can get creative and make your own custom design. You can even dress up the actual fabric with fabric scraps, ribbons or other materials. They can be hung from any tall structure (building, tree, pole, etc.).

Ideal for: Protection against harmful rays plus partial shade with air circulation for patios, decks, children’s’ play areas, outdoor entertainment areas, etc.

Tutorial: How to Install Shade Sails (Bunnings Warehouse)

Patio Shade Ideas - Shade Sail

Use a Shade Cloth

What it is: A shade cloth is a mesh fabric that provides sun/wind protection, plus reduced temperature for your outdoor area, plants and more.

Why use it: Some prefer using shade cloths instead of shade sails due to the rectangular length. Shade cloths can be hung from the ceiling as a shade curtain, attached over a fence, draped over your pergola and more. You can set shade cloth up in strips for some cool (no pun intended) and innovative designs! They are also super easy to put up and take down.

Ideal for: Portable or temporary shade (plants/crops, animal shelter, parties, kid’s play areas).

Tutorial: How to Install a Shade Cloth (Bunnings Warehouse)

Do you have any creative DIY shade ideas? Leave them in the comments below!

Patio Shade Ideas - Shade Cloth Rolls

Save 50% on DIY Shade Fabrics

Select Shade Sails & Shade Rolls - Sale Ends 10/1/17!

GG Knows – A Dictionary of Textile Terms

Meet GG, one of the beloved founders of Chicago Canvas & Supply. Although she’s no longer with us, her vast knowledge of industry terminology lives on in this textile dictionary! Each month, we’ll pull from GG’s personal collection of terms—don’t miss out by subscribing to our blog over on the right-hand side of this webpage.

Ready to learn something new? Let’s get started!
Read more

Ultimate List of Fabric Scrap Projects

Anyone that works with fabric knows there are always a LOT of scraps. Why throw them away? Instead, save them, store them and take them out on a rainy day for some fun projects. This ultimate list of fabric scrap projects has a bunch of ideas to get your imagination going. Have something to add to the list? Leave it in the comments below! Be sure to bookmark this page for later and check back for updates.

Note: If you’d like to learn how to turn scraps to yardage before you start your fabric scrap project, see The Sewing Loft Blog for a complete tutorial.

60 Fabric Scrap Ideas

Décor

  1. Bows
  2. Wreath
  3. Fabric banner
  4. Picture frame
  5. Christmas ornaments

Pets

  1. Toys
  2. Bows
  3. Collar
  4. Pillows
  5. Blankets

Home

  1. Pillows
  2. Coaster
  3. Lanyard
  4. Curtains
  5. Floor rug
  6. Drink sleeve
  7. Table runner
  8. Quilt/Blanket
  9. Coffee/tea cozy
  10. Seat/floor cushions
  11. Embellish towels or blankets

Baby

  1. Bib
  2. Fabric baby mobile
  3. Toys (blocks, animals, etc.)

Fashion

  1. Scarf
  2. Brooch
  3. Hair bow
  4. Headband
  5. Fabric Jewelry
  6. Embellish clothes

Fun

  1. Ribbons
  2. Flowers
  3. Magnets
  4. Bean bags
  5. Cake flags
  6. Bookmarks
  7. Patch collage
  8. DIY bobby pins
  9. Fabric feathers
  10. Animal figurines
  11. Fortune cookies

Useful

  1. Belt
  2. Baskets
  3. Hangers
  4. Pouches
  5. Keychain
  6. Cord wrap
  7. Bags/Totes
  8. Pencil case
  9. Pot holder
  10. Book cover
  11. Glasses case
  12. Scissor cover
  13. Heating pad
  14. Earbud holder
  15. Pincushion
  16. iPad/Kindle case
  17. Sew-in interfacing
  18. Water bottle carrier
  19. Duster/Swiffer cover
Summer DIY Party Banner Via blog.chickabug.com
Summer DIY Party Banner Via Blog.Chickabug.com/2013/06/summery-diyparty-banner.html
Dog Toy via http://www.marymarthamama.com/crafty-cat/diy-fleece-dog-toy-tutorial/
Dog Toy via http://www.marymarthamama.com/crafty-cat/diy-fleece-dog-toy-tutorial/

Learn How to Upholster with Dropcloth

Dog Toy via http://www.marymarthamama.com/crafty-cat/diy-fleece-dog-toy-tutorial/
Dog Toy via http://www.marymarthamama.com/crafty-cat/diy-fleece-dog-toy-tutorial/
Fabric Flowers via http://snowybliss.blogspot.com/2010/06/long-stemmed-fabric-flowers.html
Fabric Flowers via http://snowybliss.blogspot.com/2010/06/long-stemmed-fabric-flowers.html
DIY Cord Keeper via http://leafytreetopspot.blogspot.com/2013/05/tutorial-diy-cord-keeper-from-fabric.html

Need More Scraps?

Browse Our Remnant Sale

Drop Cloth Upholstery 101

Drop cloth is a versatile fabric that can be used for countless home and DIY projects. But did you know that painter’s drop cloth is also an ideal fabric for upholstery? We’ll show you why drop cloth upholstery has been so popular over the past few years, plus offer a few ways to upholster your furniture at home.

Why Use Drop Cloth for Upholstery?

So, with all the fabric choices out there, why use a drop cloth for your upholstery project? There are a ton of reasons why drop cloth is a great fabric, but here are just a few:

  • Very affordable
  • Durable cotton material
  • Good for beginners and for practice
  • Fabric comes with selvage edge (saving time on hemming)
  • Neutral color will fit many styles of room décor
  • Fabric can be painted on or dyed to desired shade
DIY Drop Cloth Upholstery - Customer Photo
Customer photo via Sandy Welsh

Convinced? Great! If you’re ready to purchase quality fabric for drop cloth upholstery, we recommend our 8-oz. cotton canvas drop cloths.

How to Prepare Drop Cloth for Upholstery

You can prepare your drop cloth for upholstery in 3 steps:

1. Soak fabric in a mixture of bleach + hot water + hydrogen peroxide for a few hours.
The hydrogen peroxide helps neutralize the bleach so it doesn’t ruin the fabric. Thecruxdesign.com recommends a 1:10 hydrogen peroxide and water ratio. About 2 cups of bleach should do it.

2. Wash in washer with hot water + laundry detergent, then dry.
Washing with laundry detergent helps soften the fabric. Plus, because canvas drop cloths are 100% cotton, you need to wash/dry to preshrink the material prior to cutting.

3. Iron the fabric.
This prevents wrinkling and helps for a neat-and-tidy end result.

 

DIY Drop Cloth Upholstery

There are several different methods of using drop cloth to “make over” furniture. You could either upholster your furniture or make a slipcover for it.

Tools to Upholster Furniture

Here’s what you’ll need for your drop cloth upholstery project (via HH&TW blog):

  • 8 oz. canvas drop cloth
  • Cardboard
  • Double-sided tape
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pliers
  • Staple gun with staples
  • Scissors
  • Screwdriver (flathead)
  • Upholstery tacks
  • Upholstery needles and thread
Chicago Canvas Drop Cloth Upholstery
Chicago Canvas Drop Cloths

Let us know how your projects go in the comments below. Have tips on drop cloth upholstery, or your own tried-and-true tutorial you’d like to share? We’d love to know! Email us your tutorials for a chance to be featured on our blog: email@chicagocanvas.com

Happy DIY!

Tips on Creating a Stage Flat

Stage and set design is an art form. Whether it’s for a professional Broadway show, or your local high school production, it’s the job of the set design team to find a way to transport you from the stage to another land. The tricky part is creating scenery that captures your imagination and can also be moved easily and quickly—this is where stage flats (or theatre flat) comes into play. Read more

Understanding Cotton Duck Classifications

What is Cotton Duck?

Cotton duck is a handy and versatile woven cotton canvas fabric. Also known as duck cloth, duck canvas, or natural canvas, cotton duck is known for its durability and has historically been used for a diverse range of heavy-duty applications, including boat sails and work clothing.  With a variety of types available, it can be confusing to determine which type of cotton duck canvas to use. Read more

Comparing Paracord Types

A parachute cord, or paracord, is a special cord that provides an average of three times the strength of a regular cord.  Capable of supporting hundreds of pounds of weight, a paracord is an all-purpose survival tool for both indoor and outdoor use. With several types available, this post will break down how each type differs and how to apply them to different applications. Read more