Buying Fabric at a Hardware Store

7.22.2010

You would think that I would have at least some Italy pictures ready to go by now.  But I don’t.  You see my old laptop was out of space and no matter how many pictures and music I moved to the external hard drive it was still too full and s…l…o..w.  Luckily my brother (whose major is computers) was still in town after dog-sitting for two weeks and officially condemned it and told us what we needed.  So we did what every jet-lagged person does…go buy  a new computer.  We decided on a desktop because of amount space and power I wanted while still keeping the cost down.  I love my new toy that is running amazingly fast….and I now have photoshop.  I was so excited to get to making all the vacation pictures super pretty.  Then I tried to use photoshop…..and then started googling “basic photoshop tutorials”….and then went to the bookstore to buy a how-to book.

So while I attempt to understand the very basic functioning of this program, I wanted to share with you my guest post from Remodelaholic a couple of weeks ago.  I am happy to report that they have been in use over a month with lots of sun, wind and rain and have held up beautifully.

 

Our deck was hot and sunny….a combination that did not bode well for spending time out there.  Especially because I am not a fan of sweating.  We had a rickety pergola that the previous owners had installed but the slats were so far apart that it did not do much in terms of providing shade.  Oh yeah we also installed lights when we moved in for some ambiance.  I still love the light set, but our installation method…..well let’s just say it was straight and rigid.  Not exactly evoking feelings of summer casual fun.  Behold the before-

Before/After sailcloth project

Before/After sailcloth project

But how could we get some shade without adding a roof or another layer the the questionably stable pergola?  Ultimately we would like to have plants climb it and provide shade, but that will take years.  And patience is not one of my virtues.

And then when I was admiring the famous drop cloth curtains I had an idea.  Why couldn’t we use cheap paint tarps as the canvas to cover the pergola with?  Brilliant!

So I head to the nearest home improvement store and bought two 4x15 drop cloths.

IMG_1175 I worried that if I left them this size that rain and wind could have negative consequences.  So I sliced them in two and did a quick seam in heavy duty thread.  No measuring or preciseness…..I cut where they were folded.  I am not fast on the sewing machine and got four done in in 35 minutes.

Then I added two grommets on each end to attach to the pergola.  Again this step did not take very long at all.

With the husbands help, we took down the lights and wove the four strips of drop cloth into the pergola all the way across.  They were attached with screws through the grommets that can easily be taken down in the winter.   An “above” pic from the window.

Before/After sailcloth project

Again no measuring was involved….we just eyeballed the spacing.  Then we added the lights back in a more casual way to get this-Before/After sailcloth project

Before/After sailcloth project

And at night…

IMG_1200

The table is now shady and we can pretend we are in a fun restaurant when we are just eating in our own backyard.  It would have been easy to add another two strips to bring the shade to the end of the pergola…..but you see that green tarp?

Before/After sailcloth project

That would be the BBQ and I do not think flame and canvas are a good mix even in the name of style.

The entire project cost less than $50 and a 2 hours of time.  Will it fade…..yes but I do not care as a lighter color will still work.  Will it last 20 years….no but it was cheap and easily replaceable.

Well worth it for some shade and ambience in my opinion.  And even if you do not have a pergola in your backyard, drop cloths could still be used on other structures or even between a couple of poles.  Who knew that they could be so multi-functional?

26 comments:

  1. This is awesome! I love the look! Also, though I am by no means a master of Photoshop, we could hang out and I could go over some of the basics with you-- fun?

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  2. wow that looks so pretty at night!!

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  3. genius! It looks so pretty on your pergola. I love the look both day and night.

    i'm jealous - we really want a pergola on our 'ugly patio'

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  4. Love this project! What a relaxing space you have created.

    I just finished a 5 week Photoshop class and I feel like we barely touched the surface. There is so much to learn!

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  5. Still love it - glad to see it's still working awesomely for you guys.

    good luck with photoshop - it's a beast. :)

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  6. This is beautiful. You are so clever.

    And, I'm green with jealousy.

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  7. Luckily, I was s design major and became well versed in Photoshop in college. The screen on my Mac crashed, so I am without Photoshop now and it is killing me. Congrats on your new computer and have fun learning and working with all those photos! So fun!

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  8. This looks so very nice. I love the more casual lights. Good luck on Photoshop.

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  9. I also got a new computer, but it's a laptop. I love it! And again, your pergola is so fab. I want that same look in my patio area!!!

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  10. Jenny, that is lovely! I really like the look at night. :) Thanks so much for the visit yesterday. :)

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  11. my mom spotted this before I did :) (she loves your blog and is always talking about your decorating projects)

    This is such an awesome idea! I wish we had a pergola just so that I could do this. I was looking at an Architectural Digest magazine with this super ritzy house in Greece and they suspended parachute type fabric over their patio/arbor/pool. Fabric really softens up an outdoor look.

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  12. Just stumbled across your blog, and I LOVE what you did with your pergola!

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  13. So pretty! I hope that we can someday put up a pergola off the back of our house.

    Would you mind sharing the paint color of your house? We're looking to paint our house and I'm looking for some potential colors! :)

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  14. What a wonderful idea! Looks fantastic and love that it was all DIY.

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  15. I am super jealous! Can I come over and eat dinner ouside?

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  16. What brand of string lights are you using? I really like the look.

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  17. Love this idea Jenny. We have a similar structure back home in Melbourne and we are growing grapes over it. But this would be a great addition as well. Will pinterest for future. Thanks!

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  18. love this!!! doing it this weekend! great idea! thanks for sharing!

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  19. Hi there!
    Just came across your blog and i love it!
    You have a lot of cool things. Thanks for sharing.

    Anyways, I was wondering about your lights. perhaps you have already provided this detail, but what kind of lights are they? where di you get them? how are they all plugged?

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    1. They are from Target in their garden section. There is an extension cord that runs down a beam and we can plug it into the outdoor outlet when we want them lit.

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  20. Just stumbled across your blog while looking for diy pergola cover and love this idea for its cost, cozy/relaxed look, and the fact that its super easy.

    My hubbs just built one in our backyard and i love it but want a little more shading since i live in Fla and its HOT in the summer.

    I will probably steal this idea from you however i was wondering how this holds up in rainy weather? I'm more concerned with mold..

    Thanks!

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    1. For three summers, it has held up beautifully through the rain and the elements. This summer, some black spots (which I am assuming is mold) started to appear and did not come out when washed. So I am going to make a new set this year. For the price and how quickly it goes together, I am thrilled it lasted three years outside. Good luck!

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  21. Thanks for the idea...We just finished ours and it looks dreamy!

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  22. Thanks for the idea! My husband just finished building our pergola and it now looks dreamy with the fabric and lights. Can't wait to actually have some people over and have a few cocktails.

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