Shade sails are partial canopies designed to keep your favourite outdoor chair shaded on hot sunny days. Here's a simple DIY plan to make your own shade sail using fabric, a sewing machine, and attachment hooks.
Apartment Therapy offers a simple plans for a shade sail. These are perfect if you have a tiny apartment balcony that doesn't have enough room for a traditional patio table and umbrella. You'll just need to acquire a large enough piece of fabric to make a triangle that covers the area you want to make shady. You'll then fold a hemline along all three edges, pin each hemline in place, and sew the hemline. Save a few strips from the material you cut away to attach to the sail as connector loops and sew one loop to each corner -- make sure these are stitched tightly to your sail as they need to be sturdy. Finally, attach the loops to your hooks and enjoy the shade.
The author recommends using white cotton muslin for the shade sail as it is a light material that will let light through but take the edge off the harsh sunlight. If you want your shade sail to do double duty as a rain cover you'll want to go with a more weather-resistant fabric. One good thing about having the sail be all fabric is that when it needs to be cleaned all you have to do is throw it in your washing machine.
How to Make Your Own Shade Sail [Apartment Therapy]