Back Patio Decorating: How to Create a Pergola

May 2, 2014

I have received so many emails asking just how I made the pergola cover in episode 1 of American Dream Builders (NBC, Sunday nights) that I wanted to give you low down.

I had the great pleasure of working with some amazing craftsmen who built the wood structure with the open ceiling.  That was for the show, but, I can also assure you that I have seen readymade structures similar in style at Lowe’s.  All you have to do is assemble them in your backyard.

For my pergola, I needed to create something quickly and on a limited budget.  I started by buying canvas painting drop clothes at Lowe’s.  I measured the spaces between the top frame of the pergola and cut strips of the drop cloths accordingly.  I made sure to add a little extra for a seam allowance and then ran them through a sewing machine to finish them.  When complete they look like long banners or runners, ready to install.  The next step was simply to get up on a ladder and install them using a staple gun to secure each swap to the top rails of the pergola.

Each banner was the same length and you want to make sure the swaging I between is even.  You achieve this starting in the middle of the pergola roof.  Be sure you have the same amount hanging on each side, then staple the center piece first.

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