Installing roll curtains is one of the most effective ways to transform your patio into an all-weather outdoor living area. Patio roll curtains can be made with awning fabric for privacy, or with an open-weave fabric that will provide shade but still allow some light and breeze to come through.
Sketch your patio to determine where the curtains will go. Each patio roll curtain should not be more than 10 feet wide. A patio that is 18 feet wide would require two roll curtains, each 9 feet wide. Each curtain will need a support on at least one side to mount a cleat to secure the curtain.
You will probably need to make several roll curtains if you plan to enclose your patio. To make a curtain 8 feet wide by 7 feet tall, you will need a finished panel of fabric that size, with a 5-inch pocket on the top and the bottom of the panel.
Cut a 1-by-2-inch wood strip so that it is 8 feet long. Slide it into the top pocket. Hold the curtain up to where it is to be mounted and screw the curtain to the mounting surface. Screw through the canvas and the wood strip, using screws every 2 feet.
Cut a piece of 2-inch PVC pipe 8 feet long. Insert it into the bottom pocket. Screw an eyebolt into each side of the PVC pipe in the hem. Screw through the canvas into the pipe. This holds the pipe in the pocket and provides a way to tie the curtain down if needed.
Take four more eyebolts and screw them into the wood at the top of the curtain, 1 foot in from each side, both on the outside of the curtain and the inside. To roll the curtain up, you will need 1/8-inch rope or line. For a 7-by-8-foot curtain, you would need 26 feet of line for the first set of eyebolts. Tie the end of the line on one of the outside eyebolts. Run the line down under the pipe, then back up to the eyebolt on the inside. Continue the line across the top of the curtain to the next inside eyebolt, run it through the eyebolt, then let it fall to the ground.
Take 20 feet of line and tie it to the other outside eyebolt. Run the line down under the pipe, then back up to the corresponding eyebolt on inside. There is already line running through that eyebolt, so run the second line through in the same direction. You should end up with two pieces of line hanging together.
Install a boat cleat on the patio support closest to where the lines are hanging. Mount the cleat 36 inches off of the ground. Take both pieces of line in your hand and pull down; the curtain will begin to roll up. Keep pulling both pieces of line at the same time until the curtain is at the height you want. Wrap the line around the boat cleat in a figure-eight pattern to secure it.
- Laurie Brady; Indian River Canvas Inc.; Merritt Island, Florida
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