Submitted by: Jane Wyvern
If you have an outdoor event coming up, you should consider making your own canopy to provide shelter and shade. An out door canopy is not only protection from the elements; it also adds a decorative touch to your wedding, celebration, or festival.
You can even make one for every day use just to perk up your back yard. It might not be easy to make your own canopy, but when youve finished it, you will proud of your accomplishment, and glad you took the time to add a personal touch to the occasion.
In order to make your own outdoor canopy, you will need about 3 yards of outdoor fabric, about 4 yards of border trim or fabric, six brass grommets, 100 to 200 feet of laundry rope, and approximately 6 tent poles as needed.
Heres how you put the above supplies together to create your own custom outdoor canopy:
Outdoor Canopy Fabric
The best fabric to select is one of natural color which will let the natural sunlight filter on through. Select a type of waterproof awning material about 108 inches by 54 inches in size. Cut the fabric rectangle across the diagonal to create two triangles of equal size. You can feel free to create your canopy in any shape you desire, the important point is to make sure they overlap in such a way that you can hang a chandelier down through the center.
Festive Border Fabric
Cut your border fabric into 6 strips that are ten inches wide. Each of these strips should be the same length as one side of a triangle plus an additional fourteen inches to allow for turning under the raw edges.
Fold the Strips
Fold over about one inch of fabric towards the center of each strip along each long side. Press the folded strips with a hot iron to hold them in place. Your strips are now eight inches wide. Next, fold the strips in half, wrong sides together, to make your strips four inches wide. Now, just cover the edge of the awning triangles with the strips and pin them into place. Turn the ends under, miter the corners, and use a sewing machine to run a topstitch through all the layers along the edge. Follow the instructions from the grommet kit and place a grommet into each of the corners of your awning triangles.
Hanging your Outdoor Canopy
If you can find three trees which are arranged in a rough triangular manner and about 15 feet apart, you can use these to hang your canopy. The branches need to be high so that the people can stand and move around under it, so at least six feet in height.
In order to plan how you want the final outcome to be, spread the pieces around the ground and arrange them in the manner you wish it to appear and how the corners will hang down. Lay two triangles next to each other so the two corners will overlap 12 inches in the middle. This will form a V which would make a hook from which you could hang a chandelier.
When you are ready to hang your canopy, take the front of the triangles and balance them from the same tree across nylon rope. Crisscross the triangles and secure the backs to separate trees. Hang one canopy triangle 12 inches higher and use tent poles to hold up the outside corners or use the poles in place of trees if needed.
Before raising your canopy, flip the nylon rope over the tree limbs and tie them snuggly around the trunk of the trees. If you need to use tent poles then you will need to slip the top of each pole through corner grommets on the canopy. Then place a slip knot around the top portion of the tent pole.
Pull the rope tightly to the ground, then secure them to stakes. Set the stakes around two to three foot away from poles and trees. Now you will be able to adjust the height of the canopy simply by pulling on a rope. Remember to make it high enough to allow people to mill around underneath and to allow plenty of clearance for candles or cooking implements.
Once you have your canopy in place and secured, you can decorate it to suit the occasion in any way you please. The ropes will be beneficial also for hanging decorations as will the tree limbs. You can put flowers, twinkling lights, or whatever you desire on your canopy or simply leave it as is.
About the Author: Jane Wyvern is an established freelance writer. You can find more of her writing at