How to Design a Shade Sail

Lead Image
  • 3-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
Canvas or otherheavy fabric
Large ring grommets
Grommet tool or rubber mallet
Screw hooks
Post hole digger orshovel
Concreteand mixing tools
Measuring tape

A shade sail is a great alternative to a fixed roof or umbrella for your patio area. They are attractive, provide shade for you and your visitors on the patio and are easy to make and install. This simple how-to guide will show you everything you need to know to properly design and create a shade sail for your patio. Let's get started.

Step 1 - Choose Size and Shape of Shade Sail

First, you need to determine a size and shape that will be used for this shade sail that will provide shade for your patio. Generally speaking, you can use any geometric shape that you choose for creating a shade sail. Squares, rectangles and triangles are easy to cut and easy to sew together. Generally speaking, you should choose the shape of shade sail that pleases you and provides the maximum amount of shade cover for your patio.

Step 2 - Measure and Cut Fabric

Once you determine what type of shade sail you want to create, and how large it needs to be, it is time to get out your measuring tape and scissors and cut the canvas or heavy fabric that will be used for the shade sail. If you want to prevent fraying or splitting on the scene for edges of your shade sail, you may want to use a sewing machine to create seams along all the cut edges of the material.

Step 3 - Install Grommets

In order to install grommets on the shade sail, you need to place the pieces of the grommet on either side of the fabric or material. Make sure that the two pieces are aligned (one on top of the other) and use the grommet tool to compress the two pieces together. Alternatively, you can use a hammer to compress the two pieces of the grommet together if you're very careful. However, this may take a few practice runs before you get it right.

Step 4 - Choose Support Method for Sail

Next, you'll need to select a method for supporting the shade sail above your patio. You can use the screw hooks to secure two points on the shade sail to your home or roof eaves. However, you need to the secure their corner(s) of the sail to a post or consider tying one or both of the corners of the shade sail to branches on a tree. If you'll be installing support posts, you can use an old piece of pressure-treated lumber to make the post. To do this, simply dig a hole with some post hole diggers and mix and pour concrete in the base of the hole. Then, set the pole upright, let the concrete dry and screw in the book.

Step 5 - Install the New Shade Sail

After you've settled on a method to secure the shade sail, screw in the eye hooks and connect the shade sail so that it provide shade for your patio.