This awning is the simplest thing in the world. After struggling with how to provide some shade over the pallet bed I made for My New Backyard, I finally abandoned all my crazy plans and got back to basics. Though it’s not particularly fancy, I love the way my canvas awning turned out.

Let me show you how I made my simple awning, maybe you will find some inspiration…

How to Make A Simple Canvas Awning

First things first, I found this black and white polyester rope at my local hardware store for $5. I knew it would come in handy somewhere on the patio, but I didn’t like that it was BRIGHT white. So I brewed some strong coffee…

Dunked the rope in it.

And let it sit for a day until it was nice and muted.

So here is what I was working with. The deck ends, but the wood awning ends five feet before the deck does, leaving my pallet bed in bright sunshine all day. Not so great for my pasty-faced family. The other challenge is that right behind the deck is a cement landing where the barbecue and air conditioning unit sit. So any awning could not also cover this area (you know, to prevent fire).

Upon closer inspection, I found there were holes drilled in each far corner of the cement landing space.

Now, if you need to create an awning and don’t have holes like this, you can easily drill them in cement with a masonry drill bit. The cement is only a few inches thick, and under it is dirt. So I dug the hole out a bit deeper and measured it (1.5″ diameter).

Then I headed back to the hardware store to look for something tall to stick in there to support my awning. I found 12′ bamboo poles. I purchased them for $4 each, and had them cut to 8 feet (otherwise they wouldn’t fit in my car). I screwed an eye hook into the top of each one.

Then inserted each bamboo pole into its hole and mixed up a teensy bit of cement to seal them in place.

Then I purchased a 3 yard length of heavy canvas at my local upholstery fabric shop. This canvas was 60″ wide – perfect. On the side of the wood awning i screwed in two hooks. Then I attached large grommets to the corner of each side of the canvas, and hooked them on.

On the opposite side of the canvas, I attached grommets about 12″ in from each side edge. Then I threaded my rope through and tied it into a knot to secure.

Then I pulled the rope taught and threaded it through the eye hooks at the top of my bamboo poles. From there I need to secure it tightly to brace the awning structure. So I tied them to a sprinkler and asked my husband to come up with a better solution (staking into the ground or attaching to the back fence). So I’m still waiting for that to happen.

Then I grabbed some scissors and cut the side edges of the canvas into 1″ strips. I did this on the front as well (I tried to actually attached the entire front edge to the wood awning, but the canvas ended up acting like a sail, it need to let air pass through) as some short cuts on the back. I would have loved to make these longer, but the size was just right to shade the couch while leaving the grill to the open air. I had intended to string large wooden beads from some strips, tie some in knots, etc. but I never got around to it and I’ve learned to live without them.

So here’s how it turned out.

It may not be fancy, but it works!

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