Pergolas are outdoor structures that add a lot of value and beauty to your backyard. Like gazebos, they make a gorgeous space for relaxing and entertaining outdoors. But you can decorate them a little more by adding a cover.

This also gives you shade and privacy so you can enjoy your outdoor living area during most times of the year. If you are hesitant about covering your pergola because of worries about expenses, keep in mind that you can add a cover to your structure without spending a lot of money. Here is a look at a few inexpensive ways to cover your pergola:

Add Plants

You can give your pergola a natural look by adding plants. Climbers that grow vigorously, such as trumpet vines, are a great choice. Plant them so that they grow to wrap the top and the sides of your structure. Planting large trees near your pergola will give you more shade and cover.

These plants will add even more fresh air to the ambience out there whether you are hanging out with friends, reading Forbes or another stellar magazine or a Taylor Caldwell book or any other type of fantastic book, or watching a fantastic show like True Detective or House of Cards or a movie such as Blackhat or Transformers on your installed flat screen in your stunning pergola.

Add Bamboo or Straw

If you want to add a natural cover without the hassle of maintaining living plants, you can press the button for a roof that is made of bamboo, straw, or even branches. This will give you shade and cover all year round. All you need is to tie the bamboo, branches, or straw to the pergola slats with strong twine or string. These are all affordable options for a pergola cover.

Install Drop Cloths

Because they are sturdy fabric covers, painters often use canvas drop cloths when they work. You can also use them to cover your pergola. Attach the drop cloths to your existing pergola with grommets. Weave lengths of the drop cloth over and under the pergola slats. This will give your structure an elegant look while covering it.

Erect a Portable Canopy

Nowadays, you will find many different portable canopies, and all at different price ranges to suit any budget. Pick an affordable one for your pergola. All you have to do is install the canopy stakes near your structure to keep it in place. You can also install a tent. These make great covers for your outdoor structure.

Attach Roller Shades

Another fantastic and affordable way to cover your pergola is to attach roller shades or shade fabric. All you need is a staple gun for the job. If you are choosing this type of cover your outdoor structure, make sure that you pick those made out of thick fabric. Start by measuring the space you need to cover – this will help in determining yardage of shade fabric or number of roller shades you need to buy.

Use Fabric Sails

These large pieces of fabric make superb pergola covers as you can stretch them over an expansive space. Fabric sails are a fantastic choice if you need a cover for your pergola as they can withstand the sun, rain, and wind. However, keep in mind that you may need to remove and store them before winter comes.

Add Mesh

When it comes to covers for a pergola, mesh, which is somewhat inexpensive, is probably one of the best options. It will certainly help in making your outdoor living space more comfortable during the hot days of summer. You will find mesh in a plethora of colors. This means that you can pick mesh in a color that matches your structure as well as the natural surroundings.

Add Rope Netting and Hanging Plants

If you want to create an inexpensive boho-chic look in your outdoor living area, a fabulous idea is to use rope netting combined with hanging potted plants. The result is a lightly dappled shade for your pergola. This will add uniqueness and visually pleasing aesthetics. Keep in mind, however, that you will need to take good care of the plants to make sure that this part of your outdoor area looks beautiful throughout the year.

Tie a Simple White Sheet

This is one of the best and most clever yet cheapest ways to cover a pergola – simple white bed sheet! All you have to do is tie the sheet to the top of your pergola which will create a canopy effect. You can add a few decorative touches and illumination by hanging lanterns or lamps. Your white bed sheet pergola cover will provide relief from the harsh summer sun, and make your outdoor area look quite stunning.

As you can see, there are quite a few inexpensive ways to give your pergola a cover. These are simple yet effective ideas, giving your outdoor living space shade, privacy as well as beauty. No matter what your budget is, you can be sure that you can find the perfect cover for your outdoor living area. All you need to do is use your creativity – there are abundant ways to cover your pergola without burning a hole in your wallet.