Introduction: Quilted Shade Canopy From Recycled Plastic

About: I am the founder of RuckusRoots, a Los Angeles-based non profit organization. We provide community based, sustainable arts education programs to underserved teens and young adults throughout Los Angeles. Our …

This shade canopy is made almost entirely out of recycled materials (we used old lotion bottle lids, but you can use any old collection of found/recycled materials, as long as they can be drilled into!) As you can see, we used zip-ties to connect over a thousand of these into a quilt-like canopy with messages of love and positivity written on fabric adorning the lids.

This 10’ x 7’ shade was built to be used as a mobile shade tarp in the desert - but yours can be any size you like and can be hung/installed in many different ways. Use it to hang off of trees, vehicles, structures or poles in your yard, at the beach, or anywhere you like!

Click here to read more about why we made this project!


Fabric scissors

Sharpies, paint pens or chalk markers

Hi-strength spray adhesive

Drill and sharp drill bit (we recommend a 15/64" bit size)

Nylon cable ties (4" size)

Recycled fabric (we recommend old sewing scraps or clothes)

Plastic lids (yogurt lids, vitamin bottle tops - anything goes here, as long as the plastic can be drilled into safely)

Work gloves

Canvas drop cloths

Scrap wood for drilling into


1. Select your fabric (TIP: re-use or upcycle any old fabric/clothes you have lying around!)

2. Lay fabric on flat, clean surface.

3. Place cup bottom or lid to the edge of fabric.

4. Trace around the edge of your lid.

5. Cut around the lines you've traced, or fold fabric over to cut several circles at once.

6. You might want to double-check here to make sure fabric circles fit inside lip of lids!

7. Repeat as necessary.


1. Write or draw on your fabric using sharpies or markers. Get creative!

NOTE: Depending on your choice of material, you may be able to write directly on your lid - try using chalk markers or paint pens.


1. Put on safety gloves.

2. Place lid face-up on safe drilling surface.

3. Holding the lid firmly with your hand to hold it steady, drill 4 holes at the 12, 3, 6, 9 positions.

Step 5: GLUING

1. Spray glue on center of the lid, and center of fabric (separately)

2. Do not glue down the edges of the fabric, only the center.

3. Press down firmly.

4. Let dry for 5 min.

5. Repeat as necessary.


1. Lay lids face down.

2. Align two holes.

3. With flush side of zip tie facing upward, insert end of zip tie into one hole and then bring it up through the frontside of the next hole.

4. Zip tie together, leaving a little slack (about ¼ inch- about enough to put a pinky finger or pencil through).

Step 7: FINISH!

1. Continue to weave lids together until you've reached your ideal size and dimension.

2. Check for any unclipped ties, or loose weaving - you don't want your tarp coming apart!

3. Enjoy the shade you've created and please, share it with others. :)

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