1. Draining Oil Through the Engine Dipstick Tube
  2. Motor Mounts
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  6. Set up a Lemonade Stand for your kids
  7. How to Load the Dishwasher.
  8. How to Get Rid of a Cooler of Rotten Meat
  9. Sew a New Shade Structure Canopy
  10. How to Return $100 Cash to its Owner
  11. Disneyland Shades
  12. How to Fix a Fog Machine
  13. Umbrella Base
  14. Patio Umbrella
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  23. How to Untwist a Seatbelt
  24. How to Get a Ticket to a Sold-Out Show
  25. How to Make a Sign
  26. How to Memorize the Geography of Africa
  27. How to Memorize the Geography of Canada
  28. How to Remove Shoes from Power Lines
  29. How Not to Build a Patio Cover
  30. How to Remove Slats From Blinds
  31. How to Remove a Toilet Ring
  32. Things I Figured Out, Part 3
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  34. Instructions on How to Fix a Fence
  35. How Fences Break
  36. How to Fix a Gate
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  39. How to Paint a Room
  40. how to make a mold out of silicone caulk
  41. how to have a halloween costume contest
  42. How to Siphon Liquids
  43. How to Unlock the Bathroom Door
  44. How to Repair the Lens Mechanism
  45. How to Reset a Circuit Breaker
  46. Using the Hell out of your Digital Camera
  47. How to Decorate with Christmas Lights
  48. How to paper mache
  49. What is the Learning Curve?
  50. How to change a flat tire
  51. how to make coffee
  52. How to change your brake pads
  53. How to fix a Lawnmower pull cord
  54. How to Cut and Paste
  55. How to make fire with two sticks
  56. Refilling an Ink Cartridge
  57. How to Fight a Speeding Ticket

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Easy, Illustrated Instructions on How to Sew a New Shade Structure Canopy for your Patio

Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4

A few years ago, Stacy and I bought a steel framed shade structure from Target.

It had a lightweight waterproof fabric top and four mosquito net walls that could be zipped shut.

It was great to have a shady oasis in the backyard during the summer.

After a few years in the sun and the rain, The fabric top began to fade and rip. I tried mending it, but the fabric was too threadbare to hold stitches, and patches would have made it look like a hobo camp tent from a depression-era Mickey Mouse cartoon. Eventually I took the cover down.

I bought the wrong size replacement canopy (10'x10' instead of 12x12'), returned it and vowed to try sewing my own. I had taken some measurements and notes from the original canopy, and had even saved one fabric panel from the original.

But that winter, I got a sewing machine for Christmas!

I was in business. After a few small projects to get my bearings, such as this red patio umbrella, I set about making the new canopy.

The shape was straightforward. Two parts: A large tipless pyramid comprised of four trapezoids, topped by a smaller pyramid, comprised by four large triangles. It wasn't complicated, but it was huge. Each seam was six feet long, and I'd have to start with a ton of fabric.

I planned on cutting the trapezoids from a single bolt of cloth, as shown above. That strip of cloth would have been 11 yards long.

Unfortunately, the fabric store had some surprises for me. For one, stripes of fabric almost always went along the length, instead of across it. Also, laid out this way, there wouldn't be enough fabric in the width to add decorative scallops to the canopy. Even without decoration it was an inch short.

I needed a new plan.

The new plan required the cloth to be cut into many more pieces, just to be re-assembled with the sewing machine.

This would add a lot of work to the project, but it was the only way to have the stripes oriented so that they ran down the awning, instead of across it.

I almost let the fabric dictate my design, settling for a solid canvas color instead... but then I came to my senses. What's the point of creating your own patio cover canopy if you can't make one which is better than the ones for sale on Amazon?

My canopy was going to have 1) vertical stripes and 2) decorative scallops!

I ended up buying 16 yards of "outdoor" fabric and two spools of heavy duty blue thread. I buy fabric at a store called "Joann's Fabric". They almost always have coupons online or in their mailer. The total cost was $177.

Amazon has some nice patterns on their outdoor fabric too.

Please Continue Reading Page Two of the Easy, Illustrated Instructions on How to Sew a New Shade Structure Canopy for your Patio

page 1 | page 2 | page 3 | page 4

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