Shade Cloth Tutorial

DIY Shade Cloth

DIY Shade Cloth

It’s been so hot in Cape Town. Our poor herbs are dying in the heat. And we have Level 2 water restrictions so we cannot water them as much as they need. I’ve been looking for ways to keep our house cool on the Internet. One idea was to create a cloth awning or a shade cloth over our front patio. A shade cloth would cool that outdoor space and protect our herbs from the baking sun. It was surprisingly easy to make and a lot quicker and cheaper than getting in a builder for a permanent cover. It makes that outdoor area so much more cosy. When winter comes we can fold the shade cloth away until we need it again. Here’s the shade cloth tutorial.

You need: –

  • canvas fabric to fit your outdoor area
  • matching colour thread
  • sewing machine
  • sewing scissors
  • pins
  • big hooks
  • drill
  • rope
  • (optional) nautical rope thimbles

 

You need this for the shade cloth

You need this for the shade cloth

You do: –

Measure up the area you want covered to get the size of fabric you need. I used plain canvas. Remember to allow for seams. You need a big area to work so move tables, chairs and whatever furniture away and clear as much space as you can.

Start by making a hem all around your shade cloth.

Hem all around shade cloth

Hem all around shade cloth

I cut a 10 centimetre piece off the end of the fabric and hemmed it. Then I sewed it down the middle of this shade cloth to allow a slot for a third rope so the shade cloth would be extra secure. It gets windy in Cape Town.

Hem long thin piece

Hem long thin piece

Pin the long thin piece of fabric to the middle of your shade cloth.

Pin long strip to middle of shade cloth

Pin long strip to middle of shade cloth

Pin to shade cloth

Pin to shade cloth

Fold back at each end and sew a wide hem for rope to slide through

Fold back at each end and sew a wide hem for rope to slide through

Fold back at each end and sew a wide hem. It’s important to make sure this hem and the long thin strip are wide enough for your rope to fit through. Rather make too wide.

Slide ropes through

Slide ropes through

Make sure you have enough rope to be able to knot at each end. Slide your rope through the shade cloth.

Nautical thimble spliced to rope

Nautical thimble spliced to rope

My husband is a master mariner and loves all things nautical. He volunteered to splice a metal thimble into our ropes to protect against the ropes against chafing. It looks lovely, however I would have just tied a knot and we used knots on the other ends of the rope. Splicing is an art and I suspect most people will do a knot.

The other big job my other half took care of was drilling holes in the wall and under the eaves of the roof. Then inserting big hooks.

Attach to one end

Attach to one end

Attach to other end

Attach to other end

Halfway up

Halfway up

All the way up

All the way up

In the space of a few hours we had this new awning. I was amazed at how much cooler our patio is. We also decided to make blackout curtains for the upstairs rooms. Will show those in an upcoming post.

Have a great green week.

Greenie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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