Go Back
+ servings
Bright Colorful Backyard with Pergola
5 from 2 votes

DIY Patio Shade

How to make an easy patio shade to snap onto your pergola!
Prep Time30 minutes
Active Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
Keyword: backyard diy, patio, patio shade, pergola, pergola shade, sun shade
Yield: 1 set of shades
Cost: $172.96


  • Drill or Screwdriver
  • Scissors



Making the Pergola Shade

  • Determine the length. I made each strip approximately 1.5x the length of the pergola I was covering, to account for weaving it through the beams and allowing it to drape a little for aesthetic reasons. You can make it longer, for more of a drape, or shorter, for less.
  • Determine the width. My sun shade roll came with the fabric (a total of 8′ wide) folded in half. I decided to make each strip about 42″ wide, and did this by just cutting about one inch off, down the folded side.
  • Cut each strip to the desired length and width using sharp scissors.
  • Fold over one of the short ends of one of your shades about 1.5″. This will create a more substatial end for hammering your snaps into.
  • Set your snaps to one end of the strip. I added five snaps across my 42″ wide shade, adjust accordingly for the width of yours.
    Place the cap of the snap through the folded shade material in the desired spot. Snap the socket onto the cap, on the other side of the shade. Place, the snap, cap side down, into the setting tool (called an anvil) and place the punch on top of the socket. 
    Hammer on top of the punch a few times. This will flatten and lock the socket in place. Repeat with all other snaps on this side.
  • Do a test run. Once all snaps are set on one side of your shade, I recommend doing a test run and hanging up one shade as desired on your patio.
    For us this meant weaving it through the beams of the pergola for the test run. This allowed us to determine exactly how much drape we wanted and if we needed to shorten it.
    Trim accordingly, remembering to leave that extra 1.5″ to fold over.

Installing the Pergola Shade

  • Screw the snaps into the pergola. To attach the snaps to the pergola, grab the screw-in snaps from your kit. Determine where you want the first snap to be along your wood beam and screw the piece into place on top of it using a drill with a Phillips head bit or a screwdriver.
  • Repeat for all other snaps, measuring accordingly so the snaps line up with the ones installed on your shade.
  • Repeat with other side of shade. Once you’ve done your test run and determined the length, repeat the fold and snap install on the other side of the shade and hang according to above instructions, weaving it over one beam and under the next.
  • Repeat with all other shades. For the same look as ours, alternate the over/under positioning of each shade to create the look.


  • Before cutting, measure your pergola to ensure you are cutting the appropriate width. We had to work around two beams which determined the width we could make each shade.
  • I recommend leaving the first shade you make longer and trimming one edge after you do a test run on your pergola for exact size.