11 Cool Backyard Shade Ideas to Block the Harsh Sun

Vines for Shade

Last Updated on October 31, 2021 by Phil

Love the outdoors but hate it when the sun’s directly shining on you?

Try these creative shade ideas for size.

They work well for patios, pergolas and even as canopies.

Plus, you’ll be able to control how much sun gets through.

The best part of it all is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money hiring someone to do it. Instead, many of them are DIY with tutorials that show you exactly how to set these shades up.

Fabric Covering

backyard Shade Ideas

Sometimes it’s as easy as putting a fabric to cover the sunlight.

The key is to know how to lay out the fabric.

Such is the case here.

By hanging them loosely in alternating fashion, it not only reduces the light that comes through. But, also makes it look wonderful.

Add to that string lights that glow at night and you’ve got something amazing!

Slide-On Wire-Hung Canopy

outdoor Shade Ideas

This is another lovely design.

One again, the shade is hung loosely.

This time you have a colored fabric that’s help you by a slide-on wire.

And, to make sure that the shade cover doesn’t block too much of the light. There are small slivers of space in between them.

Pergola Cover

diy Shade Ideas

This is another version you can use if your pergola or roof has a slight angle to it.

Like the one above, you’ll need to install some rings and use some kind of industrial wire. In this case it’s aircraft cables.

This will hold the cover in place so it doesn’t get blown away by the wind.

DIY Pergola Curtains

Outdoor Backyard Shade Ideas

Depending on where the sun’s coming from, the light may not always come directly from above.

If you’re facing the east or west, you may want to block out some of the sun coming from the sides.

Here’s where curtains come in.

As you can see, when done well, curtains can make your pergola so much more elegant.

Plus, they’ll give you a little bit of privacy as well.

Sliding Panels

patio shade ideas

Besides fabric, you can also use hard plastic, canvas or translucent material.

This is the case here.

It’s a very different look as the canvas is kept taut.

As such, you don’t see any of the material hang from above.

What’s unique about this shade idea is that it allows you to slide the panels when needed.

This lets you position it so that the sun doesn’t directly pass through the gaps.

All-Around Shade

All-Around Shade

This is another  take on outdoor shade.

But, with this design, you cover almost all sides.

The top, left and right are all covered by thin fabric.

This is a great way to block most of the heat and directly light. But, it does intentionally allow some light to pass.

This prevents the inside from becoming too dark.

Doing so pretty much defeats the purpose of going outside, right?

DIY Backyard Shade

DIY Backyard Shade

Here’s a similar idea.

But this time, the fabric creates a much bigger canopy.

Additionally, the top side is also includes a few more pipes to support the structure.

The horizontal tubing also allows you to let some of the fabric droop, which gives the shade a little more effect.

DIY Outdoor Shade

DIY Outdoor Shade

This is as lush and cozy as you’ll ever get.

Plus, it offers a lot of privacy as well.

The itself does only part of the covering, the tree does the rest.

But, it’s definitely the most romantic one in our list.

Overhead Screen

Overhead Screen

You’ll probably find very expensive version of this screen in stores.

But, this one isn’t it.

This is a DIY version.

You will need to install the screen yourself. And, there’s not automatic feature that slides the screen back and forth.

That said, it’s very affordable, gets the job done and looks great as well.

Vines for Shade

Vines for Shade

If you’re looking for something more natural, try vines.

Instead of using some kind of fabric or material, allow nature to provide the shade for you.

The vines give you excellent cover from the sun.

And, they don’t block everything out.

This gives you a little bit of texture and character.

Sail Shade

Sail Shade

If you happen to have an old sail from a boat or find one in the flea market, why not use it.

It works just as well as a tarp or other kinds of shade.

But, looks better.

The asymmetrical shape gives it a better look. Plus, it isn’t overly thick to block out all the light. The material also allows air to pass through so it doesn’t make it hot to stay under.


Having a space outside your home gives you a place to sit back and relax.

It also lets you entertain.

These shade ideas will make sure that the sun’s harsh rays on hot, bright days don’t ruin that.

Which shade design do you like the most?


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