9 DIY Pergola Cover Ideas for Your Patio

Everybody loves to have a good time out of their homes, especially when the weather is harsh. Set up a cover for your pergola so you can enjoy the outdoors in your patio during any season without having to suffer extreme weather conditions like rain or scorching heat from the sun.

If you have a pergola in your home, you’ll find it an excellent place to hang out in mild seasons when the sun is not so hot, and there is no rainfall. The pergola provides some form of shade in this weather condition and allows you to enjoy the outdoors so you can cook, play or hang out with friends and family. During peak sunny and rainy seasons, the effectiveness of pergolas wanes, and it becomes difficult to enjoy the cool and space the outdoors bring.

Unlike pavilions, pergolas do not come with top covers and provide very little shade when it gets sunny or when it rains. It is because of this discomfort the need for pergola covers has become highly sought after. 

To protect yourself and make your stay outside comfortable, you need to add a cover to your pergola to protect you from the sun and rain. In this article, you’ll see some fascinating pergola cover ideas you can do yourself without stress. Remember, pergolas are open for a reason. The covers are meant to make it comfortable to be in your patio when the sun is at its peak, or it is raining, not to completely block the pergola as it’ll no longer be a pergola. The goal is to have a fanciful cover that makes your garden pop and your patio area the center of attraction.

There are different materials you can use as pergola covers, including straws, plants, wood, bamboo, fabric, and even metal. Whatever that can provide you with the necessary cover and remain attractive. Some of these materials are more expensive than others; some may require frequent replacement while others would last you a long time, some are temporary fixes, while others are more permanent options.

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Top Pergola Cover DIY Ideas

As earlier mentioned, this guide will show you DIY pergola cover ideas to install, so you enjoy a more comfortable stay in your pergola even under harsh weather conditions. Some of these ideas are easy to implement, while others may require more time, effort, and skill to set up. Nevertheless, you’ll be getting an impressive and practical cover for your pergola.

#1. Plants Over the Top

plant over the top cover

Plants can be the cover you need for your pergola if done right. Growing climbing plants around the pergola to serve as a trellis design for the plant is a great idea. Not only would this be a beautiful and peaceful space for you, but it is one of the most straightforward covers to set up. It requires little or no experience.

Plant pergola covers may not provide absolute cover against heavy rainfall and may be challenging to maintain since you would have to keep the plants in shape and prevent them from encroaching. Nevertheless, plant pergola cover is a beautiful idea you can try if you want something simple and you live in an area with more sunshine and less rainfall.

Bonus Read: 30 Perfect Tropical Garden Ideas

#2.  Fabric Design

Fabric Design

Simple yet effective, this fabric pergola cover is easy to accomplish and set up. You can get a matching fabric color and design with the patio furniture used to make it more aesthetically appealing. This blue and white fabric complements the blue furniture used and provides cover from both the sun and rain.

The fabric is fixed permanently with the help of wooden batons and nails to hold it down. Make sure to get good quality fabric material that can withstand the heat from the sun without getting torn.

#3. Weaved Fabric Design

Weaved Fabric Design

Here long pieces of 10-inch wide fabrics are interwoven around the beams at the top of the pergola to produce an exciting design. This weaved Fabric design is more effective when the beams are far apart, so there are air spaces and spaces for the sun rays to pass through when it is not at full strength.

The weaved Fabric cover for pergolas is modern and attractive, will protect you from the sun, leave room for air and sun rays to pass through at an angle, all of these while still looking cute. Its downside is that it doesn’t protect you against the heavy downpour. If you live in areas with minimal rainfall, you may love this design.

To make this, clip the end of the fabric to the side of the first beam at the top of the pergola, tightly weave it across the top by passing it over and under corresponding beams before finally clipping the end to keep in its place. Use as much fabric till you have covered the entire pergola top.

#4. Decorative Wood Cover

wood cover

There is nothing simple about this design. It is captivating and distinct and would stand out in your garden. Small pieces of wood are used to cover the top of the pergola decoratively and distinctly so that you see different patterns when you look up. The woods are fixed so that there are tiny openings between them so light rays can enter at different angles depending on the sun’s position

The decorative wood pergola cover will protect you from sun and rain. However, there may be some water dripping into the area since the woods used as cover are not tightly fixed close to each other. It would be best to cover the wood with a protective layer to protect it from getting damaged from water. You can DIY if you are daring enough with small woodworking skills or have a professional handle it.

#5. Complete Wood Cover

complete wood pergola cover

Unlike the previous design, this wood cover has a more straightforward procedure, and the woods fit tightly against each other, protecting you from the sun and rain. So you can cook, eat and chill with friends and family no matter the weather.
Use wood treated to prevent water damage, so you do not have to change it every season. You can DIY and get a beautiful and practical wood cover on your pergola with minimal woodworking skills.

#6. Retractable Fabric Screen

6. Retractable Fabric Screen

Most of the pergola cover already mentioned here are permanent fixes. How about a temporary shade for people that want the best of both worlds? I mean people that want to enjoy the shade but also don’t want to miss out on the sun sometimes. This retracting cover may be what you’re looking for as cover for your pergola.

The farthest two beams opposite each other are fitted with rails fittings, while white fabric material with metal frames at specific positions and rail are fixed into the rail fittings on the pergola. You can drag the fabric to cover the pergola and protect yourself from rain and sunshine. You can also retract the material to allow sunlight into the space.

#7. Double-Sided Fabric Screen

Double sided fabric cover

Do you want more privacy with your pergola? This double-sided fabric screen provides a screen from nosy neighbors while also protecting you from the sun and rain – talk about double delight. Now you can enjoy your “me” time outside without having people pry into your matters.

A one-piece dark hue fabric is stretched over the top of the pergola and held firmed at the sides using clips or ropes. One side of the pergola (preferably the side with the most prying eyes) is covered with another one-piece fabric of the same shade as the first to keep everything uniform and attractive.

#8. Straw Pergola Cover

Straw Pergola Cover

Would this list ever be complete without a straw design? I don’t think so. The ever-dependable straw cover for different outdoor structures, not only pergolas, is here again. This design incorporates a neatly woven cover that not only protects you from the elements but adds an exotic feel to the atmosphere. It is perfect for areas with a pool nearby and lots of green plants.

You can hardly go wrong with this design if you stay in a mainly dry area. Even in relatively wet regions, you can still enjoy the cover by adding waterproof material under the straw to keep water out. The straw cover is a natural and beautiful design you can have on your patio to increase the appeal of your outdoor space.

#9. Minimalistic Bamboo Cover

Minimalistic Bamboo Cover

Bamboos are functional and affordable, so this minimalistic bamboo Cover for your pergola will not cost an arm and a leg to set up. You can easily set by getting the correct number of bamboo sticks, rope to hold them together, and nails to pin them to the pergola.

You get to enjoy the sun rays coming in at angles and filtered to avoid harsh effects. It is also a minimalist design using just bamboo at the top and allowing you the space and comfort to enjoy the outdoors.


You have the luxury of choosing from this list of 9 of some of the most exciting DIY pergola covers for your patio. The ideas cover different designs with varying requirements. You will get the opportunity to enjoy your pergola in any weather condition.

About Jennifer Igra

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.

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