Last summer my mom and dh found a plastic miniblind made for outdoor use. And boy did it help with keeping our west facing house cooler during the horrid heat. But sadly it got torn to pieces during one of our many storms last year.
We knew we needed something again this summer, to keep the harsh rays off the porch and out of the house. But luck was not with us in finding another this year. And a thought to make our own popped into my head.
Now mind you, this is intended for seasonal use, so temporary, but it could be sewn for a permanent fixture.
Dh had attached a ratchet strap between two porch poles, to use as a laundry line, so I made use of it for this project. You could use any other rope type, just make sure it's taunt.
I took a full size sheet folded over the strap and used larger safety pins to secure it. Much like you would it drying it on a line. Then to keep the bottom weighted down, keep to from flapping in the wind, I found a scrap piece of 1/2 inch pvc pipe and again using safety pins, folded the sheet up around the pipe. You could use a dowel, or even a straight stick instead of the pvc pipe. I just used what I had on hand. The pipe isn't as long as the sheet, which would've been nice, but again I was using what I had on hand. So the keep the pipe from slipping out of the ends, I used two more pins, this time vertically, to keep the pipe in it's grove.
But it was still pretty light weight, and swung some in the wind. I needed it keep it down better but also wanted to be able to raise it when storming, or at night for the cool breezes. So again using what I had on hand, I attached a chain and carabeaner clamp (ok so I probably spelled that all wrong! Haha.) to the pvc pipe. With this I am able to attach it to the porch rail and also a swing hook in the ceiling. The added weight and security of the chain keeps it down. The fabric will still billow a bit, but not so much to be an issue.
It completes it purpose. Blocks the sun and helps keep the temperature down in the house. I went into this prepared to loose the sheet to damage, but so far there has been none, so I may be able to reuse it again.
And bonus, it doesn't look to bad.
(Since I'm posting this from my phone I'm not in control of how the photos upload, so I hope you can figure out the steps I did.)