As a renter, it is necessary to choose your battles. Unsafe oven? That’s definitely worth complaining about. Backyard shade broken? A bummer, but not a deal-breaker.
When we casually mentioned that the aged canvas had ripped off its frame in a windstorm last year, our landlord didn’t express the smallest interest in replacing it. So, we just dealt with it. We have other shady spots in our yard so other than being an eyesore, it wasn’t that big of a deal.
But then David had an idea… a way to use it as shade again without spending any money on replacing the cover. And, giving our outdoor eating area a nice, beachy feel.
Read on to see how we made our own palapa.
What’s a palapa you might ask? It’s basically a thatched-roof type structure with open sides, usually made of woven palm fronds.
How we created our own tiki-esque backyard shade
Palm fronds are easy to come by in our neighborhood. We cut a few dead or limp ones off one of our own trees, and then I happened to catch a couple of gardeners trimming trees next door and up the street. They were more than happy to deliver bundles of dead fronds to my front yard after cutting them down.
Other than the “repurposed” palm fronds, David only used a few supplies: twine, scissors, heavy gloves (those things are sharp!) and a ladder.
He started by tying palm fronds to each piece of the metal frame.
Then he just began tying more fronds on, basically wherever he could — to other palm fronds or to other parts of the frame. It wasn’t exactly rocket science, but it seemed to come together pretty nicely!
All that was left after that was for my hubby and his team of “helpers” to stand back and admire their handiwork (that, and climb on the roof to get a better photo)…
Since the job was finished, the remaining green leaves faded brown and it has a very Baja-California-esque feel when we eat outside (pass the fish tacos!). We still need to do a little retying of some low-hanging pieces and fill in a few gaps, but overall it was a simple way to give our backyard a little shade and character!
What are some creative ways you’ve repurposed things in your backyard?