Make this DIY summer canopy for dreamy, bug-free afternoons

A little slice of paradise for your backyard or deck.

A little slice of paradise for your backyard or deck

(All photography by Lady Hayes)

Grab your favourite book! We're reading in paradise today!

There is something magical about lounging under a canopy, sprawled out comfortably while reading a book! And I am all about making magic for the everyday. This summer canopy DIY is not only very easy to make, it will create a beautiful chill space for your family and friends encouraging relaxation, while being totally picture perfect. Close the canopy to make it comfortably bug-free. If you're without a sewing machine, not to worry, you can easily create an alt version of this DIY using cool vintage or store bought curtains.

When you're done making the canopy itself, add some pillows, cushions, and blankets to create a plush reading nook or sleepy getaway.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 8 yards of white lace curtain fabric, 120 inches wide
  • 1 hula hoop 30 inches in diametre
  • White tape (I used white floral tape but any kind would do)
  • 1 floral stem wire
  • Paper towel
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing machine
  • White thread
  • Sharp knife
  • 1 bunch of dried eucalyptus
  • 1 yard of leather string
  • 4 yards of white satin ribbon
  • 6 tent pegs
  • Pillows and blankets
  • A few of your favourite books

Here's how to do it:

1. Begin by taping your hula hoop with white tape. Most hula hoops come in bright fun colours but we don't want any colours to peak through the lace of our canopy. Wrapping it in white tape will help it blend in nicely. Work your way around the entire hoop.

2. Lay your fabric flat out on the floor. Take the top of one end of your fabric and fold it over towards the bottom approximately 20 inches. Now place sewing pins all the way down the fold, 2 inches from the folded end and 10 inches apart. We will be sewing all the way down the fabric to create a loop to insert our hula hoop into. Cut the ends of the fabric straight if needed. The ends will be the opening to our canopy so a clean edge is important.

3. Now it's time to sew! Pick a thread that matches your fabric and attach it to your sewing machine. Use a regular stitch setting and sew all the way down the length of the fabric, 2 inches from the fold over the sewing pins.

4. Take your sharp knife and cut the hula hoop apart. Loop one end of your hula hoop into the loop of your fabric and pull through until the hula hoop comes out the other end. Since we have more material than hula hoop our material will bunch together creating a ruching. Even the fabric out along the hoop.

5. Now we need to re-attach our hula hoop. Grab a couple pieces of paper towel and fold a few times until you've achieved the approximate thickness of the inside of our hula hoop. This will give us a bit more support when we attached it back together. Push firmly inside one end, and then push the other end over the paper towel attaching the hoop ends together. Now take your stem wire and cut in half. Place one piece on either side of our hoop centered to where our cut is. Secure to the hula hoop with white floral tape. This will create a strong reconnection.

6. Now we will create the top of our canopy by gathering the fabric together, almost like making a ponytail. Centre the bunch in the middle of the hula hoop and secure with 2 yards of white satin ribbon. Centre the ribbon around the gathered fabric, pull very tightly  and secure with a double knot. Repeat with another piece of ribbon. We will use the ribbons to hang our canopy.

7. Most of the things I create have some sort of botanical flare. I chose to add some eucalyptus to the top of the canopy and secured it with 2 yards of leather around the hula hoop. This gives our canopy the perfect finishing touch.

8. Now the fun part! Take your ribbon ends and hang your canopy from a tree, or try from a pergola on your deck. Use your tent pegs and secure it to the ground or push through the gaps of your wood deck. I like to begin with the opening of my canopy and work my way around to the back. This way we can have some symmetry. You can easily close the opening by moving your tent pegs around. Now add a blanket, some pillows and your favourite books and enjoy a bug free and breezy afternoon in paradise.

Lady Hayes is a designer, photographer and mama, known for her beautiful floral inspired projects and lifestyle. Her love of flowers shines through her couture crafted Flower Crowns and Petal Pop, her line of Floral Confetti with sun dried roses and gold confetti glitter. Stay connected! Visit Hayes over on her Instagram or visit her website to shop and say hi!