How to Build a Canopy Frame Out of Pipes

Danielle Odom

Get more use out of your outdoor space with a quick and easy canopy made from outdoor fabric and PVC pipes. With the range of sizes and fittings available, you can make a canopy for any size area that you would like to cover.

Spend more time outside and stay covered from the elements with a canopy.

Shading an area of the yard or porch gives your family more space for entertaining or just relaxing out of the sun. Gain additional square footage around your home with a simple canopy.


Drop cloths are a more durable material than a tarp and last outside much longer.

  1. Open a drop cloth or tarp over the area that you want to cover to find the outer corners of the area.

  2. Dig a 2-foot deep hole at each corner with a post-hole digger.

  3. Make a hole through one end of each piece of PVC that is about ¾ of an inch wide using a drill. Make each hole about 2 inches from the end of the pipe.

  4. Insert one piece of PVC into a corner hole of the tarp or drop cloth with the hole just drilled at the top. Have someone hold the pole while you check that it is level and straight. Shovel the dirt removed when digging the hole around the PVC pipe in the hole. Repeat for each hole.

  5. Cut four pieces of twine that are each 4 feet long. Fold one piece in half and step on a ladder to reach the top of a PVC pipe. Insert the middle of the twine into the hole at the top of the pole and out the other side. Repeat for each piece of PVC.

  6. Lift the corner of the drop cloth up to the top of the PVC pipe. Insert the loop of twine into the grommet at the corner of the drop cloth from the underside and pull through the topside. Bring the loop up over the PVC pipe and pull the tails of the twine to tighten. Repeat for each corner.

  7. Have your helper stand at one corner as you go to the opposite corner. Pull the tails of the twine at the same time until the drop cloth is tightly stretched between the two poles. Wrap the ends of the twine around the pipe many times to secure and tie them together. Repeat for the other two pipes.