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How To Make a Decorative Fabric Fence

Learn how to build custom fabric screens to boost privacy and add style to a new patio.

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Step 1: Lay Out Two Posts

Each screen will consist of a wooden rectangle covered with either plastic screen material, decorative landscape fabric or lightweight bamboo or reed fencing. To get started, lay out two of the redwood posts on the ground. Place them about 5-1/2 feet apart and make sure to keep them straight.

Step 2: Attach Fabric to One Post

Wrap one piece of 6' x 6' fabric or fencing around the outside edge of one side post so that the post doesn't show, about 8 inches from the top of the post. With a helper, stretch the fabric taut over this first post and hold in place, then nail the fabric to the post with 1" nails. Drive the nails about one foot apart, making sure to have one nail at each edge of the fabric.

Step 3: Attach Fabric to the Second Post

Repeat this process to stretch and attach the fabric to the second post. Remember to keep the posts even and straight; if they are crooked when the fabric is nailed on, the final screen will be crooked.

Step 4: Measure the Width

Flip the poles and fabric over so the fabric is flush with the ground and the exposed side of the pole faces up. Spread out the poles so the fabric is even and measure the distance between the poles. For this project, the measurement was 66-3/4 inches.

Step 5: Cut the Top and Bottom Crosspieces

Wearing safety glasses, use a saw to cut top and bottom crosspieces to fit snugly between the two posts. Always wear safety glasses and use caution when using a power saw or any power tool.

Step 6: Fit the Crosspieces to the Screen

Position the top and bottom pieces inside the posts, even with the top and bottom of the fabric. This should stretch the fabric taut between the posts. Make sure everything is even and in place, with the fabric covering the top and bottom crosspieces, before moving to the next step.

Step 7: Attach the Crosspieces

Drill a hole through the side post and into the end of one crosspiece, then use a wrench to secure it with a 3" lag bolt. Repeat until both ends of each crosspiece are connected.

Step 8: Add Decorative Touches

Wrap decorative rope tightly around the tops of the posts and secure with poultry staples. Wrap as much or as little rope as desired.

Step 9: Dig Post Holes

Position the screens as desired and dig a hole 12 to 14 inches deep for each post. The screens in this project were staggered, with the middle panel in front and the side panels about one foot behind it.

Step 10: Dry-Set the Posts

Set the posts into the holes, then pour dry post concrete into the holes around the posts. Add water until the concrete reaches a thick, wet consistency. Allow the concrete to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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