How to Make a 4-Sided Shade Sail

Item # X-HT-300410

With a 4-sided shade sail, it’s entirely possible to transform any outdoor living area from drab to fab! Custom shade sails provide a relaxing seating area as well as create a stylish ambiance that helps to define what may have felt like a rather lackluster patio or deck. In our in-depth tutorial, we’ll show you how to sew and install your very own 4-sided (quadrangle) shade sail.

The brand new shade sail!

For starters, you can use our fantastic fabric calculator to help you figure out what you will need for your particular shade sail in terms of both fabric and hardware. While this tutorial will teach you how to create your own 4-sided shade sail, you can also refer to our blog “How to Make Shade Sails” (300183XHT) if you’re interested in making 3-sided (triangle) shade sails. No matter which shape you choose, you’ll be pleased to know that the hardware can be interchanged between 3-sided and 4-sided shade sails when attaching them to posts or buildings.

Fortunately, Sailrite offers a variety of shade fabrics that make for durable, resilient shade sails. We recommend using Parasol™ or Polytex®, which are made of 100% high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and promise dimensional stability, minimal fraying and great sun protection. Inherently resistant to mold and mildew, these lightweight fabrics are available in a number of colors to best match your outdoor décor. If you’d like to learn more about what makes Parasol and Polytex excel in the world of shade sails, we would highly recommend perusing the blog “How to Choose a Shade Fabric” (300380XHT). This will allow you to make the most informed decision when choosing a fabric for your new shade sail.

Not only does Sailrite® supply all the tools, supplies and instructions needed to make custom sail shades, but we also have exactly what you need to revamp every aspect of your patio. So go ahead and get creative, and don’t forget to share a photo of your finished shade sail in the comments below!

Video Chapters:

  • Planning & Attachment Points - 01:00 min
  • Measuring & Calculating for Sail Shade - 02:05 min
  • Installing Fascia Brackets (if required) - 11:03 min
  • Attaching Hardware to Posts - 20:55 min
  • Adding Additional Panels of Fabric (if required) - 22:37 min
  • Lofting Shade Fabric - 33:27 min
  • Creating Hollow on Sides - 38:21 min
  • Hemming Sides - 44:37 min
  • Reinforcing Sides with Webbing - 49:23 min
  • Adding Corner Patches - 56:25 min
  • Sewing Hem & Webbing on Sides - 1:01:21 min
  • Sewing Corner Rings - 1:05:50 min
  • Installing Shade Sail - 1:18:21 min
  • Tensioning Shade Sail - 1:27:46 min
  • Materials List - 1:31:59 min

Materials List:

  • Polyfab Fascia Bracket (2 Way) - Item #122017
  • Eye Bolt With Shoulder, Nut & Washer (SS) - Item #121228 and #121229
  • Parasol™ 118” wide or Polytex® 150“ wide Shade Fabric – we used Item #121793
  • Seamstick 3/8" Basting Tape for Canvas - Item #129
  • V-92 Polyester Thread or Sailrite® PTFE Lifetime Thread - Item #107128
  • Polyfab™ Webbing Polyester 2" from Sailrite – Item #120266
  • Quick Link Triangle 5/16" (8mm)(Stainless Steel) - Item #120763
  • Round Stainless Steel Ring 2" - Item #45697
  • Polyfab Pro™ Dee Shackle With Bolt 5/16" (8mm)(SS) - Item #120269
  • 5/16” Coil Chain Zinc Plated – sold at hardware stores
  • Turnbuckle Hook & Hook 5/16" (8mm)(SS) - Item #120768

Tools List:

  • Triangle Tailor's Chalk – White - Item #121912
  • Gingher® Scissors Right Hand Lightweight 8" - Item #101017
  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" - Item #102400
  • Sailrite® Canvas Patterning Ruler - Item #107040
  • Scribe-All® Water Soluble White Marking Pencil - Item #120681
  • Sailrite® Edge Hotknife Package (110V) - Item #103800
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LS‑1 BASIC Walking Foot Sewing Machine - Item #300501
  • Deluxe 5 1/2" Magnetic Sewing Guide - Item #103597
  • Laser Measure, Tape Measure, Ladders, Lag Screws & Washers, Drill & Bits, Yardstick, Office Clamp, ½” PVC Pipe, Stapler, Bolt Cutters, Ratcheting Strap, Anti-Seize Lubricant, Rubber Gloves, Screw Driver, Adjustable Wrench