How to Make an Awning Frame

Cathy Conrad

Allowing the sun to shine through the windows in the summer can really heat the home up. Saving on the cooling bill can be helped by building awnings for the windows to keep out the penetrating sun's rays.

Retractable Awning

Having the lumberyard cut the PVC pipe lengths will make the awning easy to build, which can take about one weekend, depending on how many awnings are needed.

  1. Measure the width of the window just above the window and add 2 inches to each end. The 1x2 length of wood and 1 length of PVC pipe need to be cut to this measurement. Measure from the end of the wood to how far out the awning needs to be. Typically the awning should cover the top half of the window. This side measurement will be the sides of the awning. The lumberyard will cut these lengths.

  2. Measure this total area and add 3 inches to each side for the canvas cover. Fold the front side under approximately 1 1/2 inches and sew to the canvas, creating a hem on the front of the awning to hold the PVC pipe.

  3. Place the board up against the home just above the window. Place the canvas material between the board and home. Nail 4-5 nails evenly spaced across the board, securing the board and canvas to the home.

  4. Elbow
  5. Slide the PVC pipe that was the same length as the board through the hem at the front of the canvas. Attach and glue an elbow to each end with the PVC pipe glue. Allow to dry 20 minutes.

  6. Marine Hinge
  7. Attach and glue the side PVC pipes into each elbow. Allow to dry. With the awning stretched out, and the side pipes pointing toward the house, attach the marine hinges to each side of the window in the correct position to be able to fit the side PVC pipes into the top hole of the hinge. This type of hinge will allow you to be able to fold the awning up against the home when not in use.

  8. Velcro
  9. Glue or nail a long strip of Velcro near the top of the building on each side for the awning. Fold the awning up against the home and wrap the Velcro strip around the side pipes and stick together. The Velcro will hold the awning in place when not in use.


Use canvas with patterns. Use the same plan, but make it big enough for a patio awning except place the hinges on the top railing of the deck.