Make a Patio Sun Screen
So I moved into a new place about a year ago and it has a great patio. Well, at least in the afternoon but sitting outside in the morning when the sun was low could prove painful for the back of the neck due to sun burn! Since I’m renting I couldn’t really consider a screened enclosure (which would really cut down on bugs too) so I needed to find a creative way to block the sun in the morning but it also needed to be easily removed. I had an idea that I could potentially use a room divider screen like the one on the left. I sifted through Amazon’s divider choices and chose this one just for the heck of it. I knew it couldn’t be very heavy because somehow I’d be lifting it up to connect.
Similarly, it had to allow light through but cut down on the sun and be sturdy enough that light winds wouldn’t kill it. In this instance, as the photo on the right shows, the dividing screen on the ground could easily block the sun in the morning–but really, is that even visually appealing? I think not.
I knew that whatever I did had to be portable and easily fixable if I was going to do any drilling or painting. Nothing like being charged an exorbitant amount when moving eh? The home owner may not appreciate my eclectic style. First I thought I’d just hook them to the overhang and call it a day but try lifting this up as one whole unit and hooking it to anything. Not cool. I quickly made haste and removed all the hinges from the divider. I also screwed in eye hooks on each corner (x8) as shown in the photo.
Once I did that all I had to do was mark where I was going to be screwing in the hooks that would hold the panels and ensure they were equally spaced as shown on the right here. Okay, okay, I was off a little. You’ll figure it out as you move along –and if not your panels will look like crap, whereas mine, well they look friggin’ awesome.
Make sure that when you hang the panels on the (x8) eye hooks your screwed into the overhang that they are level. Your friends will come over and call you on it. And if they don’t; they are just being quiet about it so as not to quell your awesome creativeness. Yep. Just use a level for crying out loud.
So now that you have screwed in all your hooks and eyes and took the time to carefully check the level nature of your panels you need to stand back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Is that not really cool?
Just let the light shine through!
The panels on my patio hang just behind the cushions on my patio couch.
If you get something with an intricate design all the more artistic!
As you can see, the divider really blocks harsh sun during the early hours of the day at my house. Maybe you have evening sun issues? Oh, but let’s not stop here. Let’s consider a tiny, perhaps microbial, wind storm. Your panels will begin to sway in the breeze and you will hate that you ever found this! So after I had a microbial wind storm I found that my panels could end up in the middle of the yard and suddenly I doubted my abilities. (you are supposed to tsk tsk here)
I tried everything. I put eye hooks in the bottom of the panels and ran a wire through all four and connected to a cement block. Did it work? In a word; no.
Which brings me to your next set of instructions. Get (x8) little black squares of Velcro and a piece of molding that is easy to cut/paint/move. Remember we’re going for portable and easy.
Put your little Velcro squares on the bottom corners of your panels (x8). (winky, winky, you totally get where I am going)
Now then, you see in this image that I have peeled off the protective paper so that the adhesive is showing (Velcro already sandwiched together) so that when I put a long, straight piece of wood across all 4 panels it will immediately adhere and each square will end up on the molding in the perfect spot.
This is the piece of molding getting moved into place. Mind that I hadn’t cut that bad boy yet. So yes, cut it to size first. And if you are like me and have a black divider it is SO easy to use a fat Sharpie marker to get rid of those spots where you took the hinges off and the ends of cut wood. Instantly black! I also uses a very glossy black to paint the molding piece.
I left the end unpainted to show you what I meant. I promise. I didn’t forget to paint that piece. Now I’ll go paint it. Thanks. You get the idea. Once this “stick” is attached your panels will not fly all over the yard and you will have one cohesive unit gently swaying the breeze. Understand that if you are in a hurricane or tornado this needs to be taken down. Did I really have to type that?
Success! I ordered these lights from Amazon too. I’m a Prime member– shoot me.
This photo was taken without the strip–and it was apparently a very windless day.
Again, no stick/strip but after I chased my panels into the neighbors yard I knew I had to figure that last part out.
At night what you have is a very interesting piece. I thought that I could make 2 more “sticks” that I could make into tea light holders. Oh yea, it never stops this creative monster.