How to Build a Sun Shade at the Beach

A day at the beach becomes all the more picturesque if you can sit in the shade. Building your own sun shade isn't that difficult. Makeshift sun shades can be assembled and taken apart pretty quickly. All the materials you need are relatively inexpensive and can easily stow away in your car. It's likely that you can build a sun shade from things you already have.

  1. If you have old or broken umbrellas at home, you can take off their coverings. For adequate cover you will need at least six umbrellas. Unused umbrellas make good material for sun shade because the canvases on them are weatherproof by design. You can buy old umbrellas at a garage sale near you. Alternatively, you can buy 2 yards of weatherproof fabric from a local store.

  2. If you are using umbrella fabrics, hold them together with pins before hemming the seams. Cut out a broad rectangle from the canvas. It should be at least 60 inches long and 36 inches wide.

  3. Attach grommets to the corners of the fabric. The back grommets should be closer to the edge of the canvas than the front grommets.

  4. Prepare the sand buckets. First, cut a circle at the bottom of each of the four buckets with a craft knife. Then plug the holes with wads of scrap fabrics before filling the buckets with sand. Don't fill up the buckets with sand at this point.

  5. Flip over the four buckets and arrange them into a rectangle that defines the area where the sunshade will be. Remove the wads of fabrics.

  6. Prepare the dowels. Screw a cup hook on one end of each dowel. Plant the other end of each dowel through the cut hole of each bucket. Fill the buckets with sand.

  7. Hoist the canvas. This is done by hooking the grommets attached to the fabric to the cup hooks in the dowels. Then move around the buckets until the canvas is tautly stretched.