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Retractable Patio Covers and Other DIY Ideas for Beautifying Your Decking

Portland is a town of crafting queens and DIY divas. When Portlandia advised its viewers to “Put a bird on it,” many Portlanders responded, “Been there, done that, learned the transfer method.” Yet the deck is rarely the object of our DIY affections. The following are three crafty projects that can improve your outdoor living space.

1. Create a retractable patio cover.

Looking for a Portland patio cover that you can pull back or extend, depending on the light levels? A retractable patio cover could be the perfect answer. Here’s the only problem: Most manufacturers only sell retractable covers along with a kit for an entire pergola. If you already have a pergola in place, your best bet is to make a retractable cover yourself.

Clearly, this kind of project requires a strong background in sewing, a willingness to surf IKEA aisles and a healthy serving of chutzpah. Find curtain rods and ring clips that you like. You’ll use the curtain rods to support the sun-blocking fabric. The ring clips will hook into a sliding mechanism extending the width of your pergola. Then you just have to do the sewing to add pockets for the curtain rods.

If all of this just sounds like too much work, it may behoove you to look into more traditional options for patio covers – such as a solid-roof Portland patio cover that will provide protection all year, or aluminum patio covers, which allow light to shine through while blocking dangerous UV rays.

2. Build a serving cart.

If you have moderate woodworking skills, you can build a serving cart in an afternoon, and usually for less than $20 in lumber. Heck, you may even have leftover cedar fence materials that you could use to build your handsome new cart. For more detailed instructions on how to accomplish this DIY decking accessory project, we recommend visiting

3. Customize your planters.

Sometimes all a Portland deck needs is a little pick-me-up. Repainting your planters to match your current décor is a great way to refresh your decking area. Whether your planters are terra cotta or plastic, there is almost certainly a painting method that will work. If the idea of repurposing cedar fence materials into a new piece of furniture sounds crazy to you, repainting your pots may provide the right level of challenge.

[ Image Source: via Joanna on Pinterest ]

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