How to Make a Tiki Hut Palm Leaf Roof

A tiki hut is a cool place to entertain friends and family and helps create a tropical feeling anywhere, regardless of the climate. You can use a kit or pre-made plans to build one, but to make the hut feel truly authentic, you need a thatched roof. In addition to providing the look you want, palm leaves help protect your tiki bar from rain. Thatch can be bought in rolls or panels, which make application quick and simple.

Palm leaves make your tiki hut feel more like the real thing.

Step 1

Measure the width of your tiki hut roof if you have a peaked roof.  If you have a conical roof, measure the circumference of the bottom edge. Cut a strand from your thatch roll that is the length of this measurement.  A roll of thatch has two sides: a weaved side, also called the back, and a thatched side, also called the front. Cut between the knots on the weaved side when cutting the roll. 

Step 2

Position the piece of thatch close to the edge of the roof so that it drapes over the edge with the weaved side facing up.  Staple it to the frame of your roof along the top of the piece with a staple gun. Stapling it so that the thatched side is down makes the thatched side visible from inside the hut; the thatch will show through the roof frame. 

Step 3

Cut another piece of thatch to the same length as the first.  Lay it over the top of the first, weaved side down, and staple along the top of the new piece of thatch. This will make the thatched side visible from the outside of the hut and hide the weaved sides of both pieces, since they will be on the inside of the two pieces of thatch.  Using multiple layered pieces of thatch adds thickness, which is visually appealing and helps better protect your hut from the weather.

Step 4

Cut another strand from your roll.  If you have a peaked roof, cut a strand that is the same length as the first two. If you have a conical roof, measure it again.  The new piece must be the circumference of the roof a few inches above the first piece. Lay the new piece along the roof just above the old piece; again, weaved side facing up.  The new piece should overlap the first two pieces by quite a bit to make the roof thick. Staple along the top of the new piece.  Repeat, cutting a second piece that is the same length as the first and stapling it over the first with the thatched side facing up.

Step 5

Continue to cut strands of thatch and staple them to the roof until you have covered your entire roof.  Each new layer must first have one piece of thatch with the weaved side facing up, then a piece on top of the first one with the weaved side facing down to hide the weaved sides and show only thatch. Again, with a peaked roof, you can use the same measurement each time, but with a conical roof, you must measure the roof a few inches above the last thatch layer to determine how long the pieces of thatch should be for the next layer. 

Things You Will Need

  • Palm leaf thatch roll
  • Scissors
  • Galvanized staples, 1/2 inch
  • Staple gun

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images