Making Your Own Outdoor Canopy

An outdoor canopy is a great way of providing shade and shelter for those unforgettable parties like weddings, garden celebrations, art shows, and festivals. They can also provide a simple shady retreat on the backyard during those lazy Sunday mornings. Whatever you may want them for, you can actually design and do one of your own outdoor canopy. Imagine your own outdoor canopy floating overhead shading its guests from a sunny warm day or cold summer rain. You can even add designs to it any way you like, put in more life to those backyards, gardens and outdoor activities with your own home made canopy. It can be a challenge though but it’ll be worth the excitement and pride once you’ve done it.

Here’s what you’re going to need:
1.) outdoor fabric – three yards
2.) outdoor fabric for border – four yards
3.) brass grommets (can be bought at a marine store) – six pieces
4.) laundry rope – one hundred to two hundred feet
5.) tent poles – about six depending on the location and number of trees

How to do your own outdoor canopy:

Outdoor Canopy Fabric
Purchasing a 108 x 54 inch piece of natural-color awning fabric that lets sunlight filter through is suggested. Cut the fabric in half diagonally to form two equal triangles. Creating other shapes for the canopy can be done but make sure that they will overlap in a way that lets you hang the chandelier through the center.

Colorful Plaid Fabric for Border
First, you need to cut six 10-inch wide border strips. Each border strip should be the length of one side of the triangle, plus fourteen inches for turning the raw edges under, depending on the size of the triangle cut.

Folding the Strips
Along each long row edge, you have to fold about one inch toward the center of the strip, then press in place with a hot iron; the strip will now be eight inches wide. Fold each strip in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together, so that you can make it four inches wide, and then press. Pin these folded strips so they enclose the edges of the triangles; turn under the ends and miter the corners (a sewing book can give you mitering instructions). Topstitch through the layers using a sewing machine. Following instructions from the grommet kit, place a brass grommet in each of the triangles’ corners.

Hanging the Outdoor Canopy
This will be a two-person job at least. Find three trees that are about fifteen to twenty feet apart and positioned in an about triangular arrangement. Each tree should have elevated branches so you can hang your outdoor canopy high enough that people can stand under it, maybe about six feet high.

Trial and Error
Form out how to best hang the outdoor canopy and chandelier depending on how you want it for a final outcome. Begin by arranging the pieces on the ground and planning how each corner will hang. You can arrange two triangles roughly side-by-side so that two corners overlap a foot or so in the center. The V formed in front of this overlap would make a nice hook where you can hang the chandelier. The front points of the two canopy triangles are balanced from the same tree with nylon laundry rope; the center back corners crisscross and are tied to opposite trees. Make sure one triangle hangs about a foot higher than the other. Tent poles can be used to hold up the two outside corners.

Tying a Length of Rope through Grommet Holes
Hang the outdoor canopy by flipping the rope lines over limbs and pulling and tying them tightly around the tree trunks. When you are using a tent pole for support, you have to slip the tops of the tent poles through the suitable corner grommets and then slip-knot a length of rope around the top of each tent pole. Pull all the ropes to the ground and then attach them to tent stakes, setting the stakes at least two or three feet away from the pole and the trees. You can adjust the outdoor canopy to the height you want by pulling on the ropes. Remember not to get the canopy too close to your candles.

After everything has been done and set-up, you are now ready to decorate your outdoor canopy any way you desire, add hanging decors or flowers to it, sparkle it up or just simply let it be, it’s all up to you, this outdoor canopy is your pride so do as you please with it.

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