How to Make a Canvas Walkway Canopy

Written by rachel terry
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How to Make a Canvas Walkway Canopy
Cotton canvas makes a heavy duty washable canopy. (Rough canvas. image by wrangler from

Canvas canopies are generally installed against a house over a doorway or to shade a patio, but you can make a canvas canopy to shade a walkway in a garden or up to the front of your house. Canvas canopies provide shade for people but they also make shade for plants. If you have a walkway where you would like to plant shade-tolerant plants, consider installing a canvas canopy over the walkway as a way to alter the plants' living conditions. Canvas walkway canopies can also be temporarily installed for a party or wedding reception.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cotton canvas
  • Sewing machine
  • Heavy duty denim sewing machine needle
  • Machine quilting thread
  • Metal grommets
  • Wooden or bamboo poles cut 12 inches taller than the height of your canopy
  • Rope
  • Tent stakes
  • Wooden dowel

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  1. 1

    Measure the walkway to be covered by the canopy. Add four inches to the width and four inches to the length for seam allowance and to extend slightly beyond the walkway. Cut the canvas to the dimensions.

    How to Make a Canvas Walkway Canopy
    Carefully measure the dimensions before cutting into the canvas. (measure image by Edsweb from
  2. 2

    Fit your sewing machine with a heavy duty denim needle and thread the machine with machine quilting thread in the same colour as your canvas. Sew a 1 inch hem all the way around the edge of the canvas. It may help to press the hem in place before stitching it. You could also use straight pins to hold the heavy canvas in place while you sew.

    How to Make a Canvas Walkway Canopy
    Use a slow stitching speed when using heavy duty canvas. (sewing machine image by Peter Baxter from
  3. 3

    Install grommets at each corner of your canvas canopy. Additionally, install grommets about every 4 feet along the length of the canvas. The grommets will reinforce the canvas so it will not tear where it is propped up by poles.

  4. 4

    Lay the canvas over the walkway and use a dowel to make an impression in the ground where the grommets fall. Insert the wooden or bamboo poles into these impressions in the ground. Sink the poles down at least 8 inches for stability. If the canopy is to remain in place permanently, use a post hole digger to dig wider holes and pour cement into the holes before inserting the wooden or bamboo poles.

    How to Make a Canvas Walkway Canopy
    Bamboo poles are strong and give your walkway an exotic look. (bamboo image by Adrian Hillman from
  5. 5

    Slip the grommets over the tops of the poles. If the canvas sags or if the poles begin to lean, tie a rope through each corner grommet and stake it to the ground with tent stakes to pull the canopy taut.

    How to Make a Canvas Walkway Canopy
    You can anchor the canopy to a fence or building with rope for added stability. (rope image by Edsweb from

Tips and warnings

  • Paint your canvas to match your decor.
  • If you use your canopy only temporarily, make sure it is clean and dry before you store it.

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