DIY shade for plants is one of the dream projects for any homeowner. Shade is important for plants to protect them from sunburn, so doing a homemade project with shade cloth for plants is the perfect garden project.DIY Shade for Plants

If this is the case, then worry no more because we’ll discuss how you can make your own shade structure.

How to Make DIY Shade for Plants

To make DIY shade for plants, prepare the materials needed and measure the area. Then, you can cut the wooden posts, and you can now drill holes. Then cut the pipe to lengths and secure them. Measure the cloth cut, attach them to the pipes, and trim the excess.

Not everyone can make their own garden shade cloth for their plants, and this can cause anxiety for some homeowners. Standing cloth structures are the easiest way to create shade, but you can also make customized versions. These include a lightweight, portable sun shade for plants or a plant shade umbrellas project, so you can even make a DIY tomato shade project for your plants; they don’t have to be limited to tomatoes!

1. Prepare the Materials

First, you’ll need to prepare at least 4 to 6 wooden posts, 4 to 6 polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes, and 4 to 6 metal L-brackets. Of course, these are all minimum and subject to the size of your planned shade.Materials for Making Plant Shade

Aside from these, you need to prepare drill and drill bits, screws, a saw, some shade cloths, a measuring tape, and a rope or wire. Once you have these materials, you’ll be ready to start preparing how to make a frame for shade cloth.

2. Measure the Area

To start your DIY shade cloth project, use a measuring tape so that you will be able to determine the length and also the width of the place you want to shade. Make sure to measure the area accurately, taking into account any curves or irregular shapes.

Once you have the measurements correctly, you can now determine how many wooden posts you will need. A good rule of thumb to adhere in this case is to place a post at each corner of the shaded area. The following step that you can do is add additional posts every six to eight feet along the perimeter, depending on the size of the area.

For example, let’s say you have a rectangular area that measures 20 feet by 30 feet. You would need four wooden posts at the corners and four additional posts spaced evenly along each side. Using this specific method, you will come up with a total of 12 posts.

Next, you should choose the size of the wooden posts. The posts should be sturdy enough to support the weight of the shading cloth and withstand wind and weather. Typically, wooden posts measure 4×4 inches. You can always pick a thicker or taller post if your shade will be larger or if you inhibit in an area that has some very strong winds.

Finally, you should decide how high to set the wooden posts. You should leave about three feet of the post above ground level for a plant shade cover. This height ensures that your plants have enough space to grow. On top of this notion, you may also fix the height based on the height of the plants you’re shading.

3. Cut the Wooden Posts

When cutting the wooden posts for your plants shade covering, we recommend measuring the area first. This will help you so you can locate the exact site where to install the shade and determine the height of the posts at the same time. Another important tip is to leave about three feet of the post above ground level.Wooden Posts Shade for Plants

Doing this ensures that the posts can be securely anchored in the soil, but to cut the posts, use a saw that’s useful for the wood that you can utilize. If you have a hand saw or circular saw, one of these will work well for most types of wood. Make sure to measure keenly and mark the posts before cutting to ensure that they are all the same height.

4. Drill Holes in the Posts

Now, you’ll need to drill holes at each post’s top. The holes are where the PVC pipes will be inserted. The drilled holes should be about two to three inches from the very top of the post, so you must ensure that the holes are measured well enough so that each PVC pipe fits snugly.

To drill the holes, get a drill slightly larger than the diameter of the pipes you will be using. Now make sure to drill the holes straight and perpendicular to the post. This will ensure that the PVC pipes will be level when inserted.

After drilling the holes in all the posts, insert the PVC pipes into the holes to ensure they fit snugly. If the fit is too loose, wood glue or caulk can fill any gaps and securely hold the pipes in place.

5. Cut the PVC Pipes to Length

The PVC pipes should fit snugly into the holes in the wooden posts, and one way to properly make this happen is to drill a spot that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the PVC pipes. This will create a tight fit that will hold the pipes in place and protect it from any damages in the long run.Making Shade With PVC Pipes

Another option is that you can opt to use a saw to make small cuts around the top of the pipe. This will create a more flexible end that can be inserted into the wooden post. Now that the latter is especially useful if the holes you drilled are slightly smaller than the diameter of the PVC pipe.

Now that you have cut the pipes to the desired length and prepared them for insertion insert each pipe carefully into the hole in the wooden post. You may also try to use a bit of force to push the pipe in, but be careful not to split the wooden post. If the fit is seems tight, you can now sand the edges of the PVC pipe or use a rubber mallet to stick it into place gently.

Once the PVC pipes are inserted into the wooden posts, congratulate yourself! You should have a sturdy frame that can support the weight of the shade cloth. But if you’re concerned about the pipes shifting or moving over time, consider using additional metal brackets to secure them in place.

6. Secure the PVC Pipes

You will need metal L-brackets, screws, and a drill to keep your PVC pipes stable. The L-brackets should be about the same width as the wooden posts and long enough to fit around the pipe. You can now position the L-bracket on the wooden post so that it is directly adjacent to the pipe.

Use your drill to screw the bracket into the wooden post. Make sure that it is tightly secured. Repeat this on both sides of each PVC pipe until all of the pipes are securely fastened to the wooden posts. Double-check that the pipes are straight and level them before you move on to the next step. If they aren’t, adjust them until they are aligned properly.

You should also make sure that the L-brackets are screwed into the wooden posts at a 90-degree angle if possible. If they aren’t, the PVC pipes may not be properly secured, and the structure may be unstable. Additionally, be careful not to drill too close to the pipe, as this could damage the pipe and weaken the structure.

7. Measure and Cut the Shade Cloth

To measure the size of the cloth, start by measuring the distance between the PVC pipes along the length of the shade from one end to the other. Once you have this measurement, add a two feet of cloth to each side. This extra cloth allows you to secure the shading cloth to the PVC pipes without leaving any gaps or exposing your plants to the sun.

To cut the cloth to the appropriate size, so try using a strong pair of scissors or a utility knife. Be sure to cut the cloth carefully to avoid fraying or tearing. If the cloth is particularly large or difficult to handle, so you may want to enlist the aid of a professional to assist you out with the cutting and measuring process.

8. Attach the Shade Cloth to the PVC Pipes

After you have cut the shading cloth to the appropriate size, it’s time to attach it to the PVC pipes. Start at one end and attach the cloth to the pipe using rope or wire. Be sure to pull the cloth tightly before placing it on the other end of the pipe.Attaching Shade Cloth to PVC Pipes

Once you have attached the cloth to both pipes at one end of the shade, move to the opposite end and repeat the process. Continue doing this until everything is securely attached to all of the PVC pipes.

When you attach the cloth, check that it is evenly stretched across the frame. Avoid having any wrinkles or gaps. This will ensure that your plants are protected from the sun and that the cloth will last for many seasons to come.

9. Trim Excess Cloth

To trim the excess shade sail cloth, you can now utilize some scissors or a utility knife to cut off any parts of the cloth that extend beyond the edges of the pipes. Be sure to make clean, straight cuts that will not fray or unravel over time.

Next, you should inspect the structure to make sure that it’s secure and stable. Check the wooden posts to ensure that they are firmly anchored in the ground and not leaning or wobbling. You should also inspect the metal brackets to make sure that they’re securely fastened to the posts and the pipes, and that there are no loose or missing screws.

Shading cloth is typically made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or a similar material. Typically, these materials provide medium to excellent ultraviolet (UV) protection. At the same time, they help regulate the temperature and humidity of the plants inside the structure.

The lifespan of your shading cloth depends on the quality of the chosen material and the conditions in which it is used. You can expect your shading cloth to last anywhere between five and ten years with proper care and maintenance.


Some creative garden shade ideas are worth trying, and a shading cloth project is one of them. Let’s recap what we’ve learned so far:

  • You need to prepare the materials and measure everything to make the structure.
  • Next, you’ll need to cut everything according to size and drill holes where needed.
  • Finally, you need to assemble everything together, securing and attaching all materials.

Congratulations, you are now equipped to make your own shading cloth structure, and your plants will be happy because of their new shaded area.

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