Outdoor privacy screens are a great way to shield your outdoor living spaces, whether you’re trying to block the view from neighbors or a busy road.
This article will look at some easy DIY outdoor privacy screens that you can create with little to no experience. There are many ways to make a privacy screen at home, using materials you may already have on hand. You can use privacy screens in many areas – porches, decks, windows, out in your yard, along fence rows, or to hide air conditioners or garbage cans.
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DIY Outdoor Privacy Screen Types
Here are some easy types of DIY outdoor privacy screens. Any of these options will give you privacy, although some materials will be more seclusive than others. Which design works best for you will depend on your privacy needs and your tastes.
Fabrics are a great way to make a budget-friendly outdoor privacy screen. Fabrics have the advantage of adding privacy while still allowing wind flow.
While you can use any fabric, the best type is something thick and waterproof, which will be more durable against the elements. There are also fabrics designed for outdoor use, such as dense mesh.
You can choose any pattern or style, allowing you to customize your screen to your tastes. And it’s easy to change the fabric if you want a new look.
To create a privacy screen using thick fabric, you have a couple of options. First, you could attach the top side of the material to a structure and smooth it out. Then attach the bottom sides to something sturdy.
You can also attach a thick fabric to a large screen, which gives the fabric more structure, meaning less chance of the fabric tearing or coming loose due to high winds.
Thin fabric can also be a suitable outdoor privacy screen that will give you plenty of fresh air while blocking your area from prying eyes.
You can hang it in multiple ways for this type of privacy screen, similar to thicker fabrics. Due to the thinner construction and flimsiness, the best method for making a DIY outdoor privacy screen using light fabrics would be to use a sturdy frame.
You can build a stand for under $100 (depending on material price) using a few pieces of wood for your frame (two long for the sides, two short for the top and bottom). You can use staples, nails, or screws to attach your fabric. Or use tacks if you want to change the material out to match the seasons effortlessly.
A fun twist is building multiple frames and connecting them using hinges to create a large privacy screen that you can fold up for easy storage and transport to different areas of your yard.
You can also use fabric curtains connected to curtain rods to provide privacy on your pergola, deck, patio, or porch.
Metal is another material you can use to DIY build an outdoor privacy screen. And due to its durability, metal is low maintenance and suitable for exposure to outdoor elements.
While metal looks best with rustic, country, farmhouse, or modern style homes, it also blends well with many other architectural styles.
You have a wide range of options when using metal for your privacy screen. You could use plain corrugated silver panels that you can paint any color. Black goes great with modern themes, while raw metal goes well with farmhouse and rustic themes.
Or you could go with more detailed metal designs. You can easily find metal panels with design cut-outs, which allow for light and visibility while still providing shade and privacy. These secure to a sturdy frame, like your porch, pergolas, or decks.
|Pro tip: Want to add a touch of whimsy to your outdoor area? Secure long pieces of ribbon to the top of your metal structure. When the wind blows, the ribbons flutter gently. Adding a windchime ensures you get music with your show.|
You can also use frosted glass for a privacy screen. Frosted glass allows light to filter in without being transparent enough for people to see your business. You can add frosted glass panes to a frame you build or get creative and frost the glass in some old doors.
While you can buy glass that’s been frosted using a sandblaster done by professionals, you can also DIY fog glass yourself. There are three different methods.
The first way to fog glass is to use a product made by Rust-Oleum. This oil and acrylic semi-transparent paint produce an etched glass effect on your glass. It’s cheap to buy and easy to use.
Another option is to use window film – a non-adhesive material that adheres to glass with static electricity. This method is easy for beginners because you can remove it and reapply if you mess up.
The final method is an etching, which is a permanent transformation of your glass. You can use a glass-etching cream to frost your glass. But it can be tricky to use for newbies.
Lattice is a material that you either love or hate. This material is wood or plastic pieces laid over each other to create small diamond pattern holes.
This type of privacy screen won’t give you total privacy since you can see through it. But there are plenty of ways to add elements to provide more seclusion.
You can plant climbing rose bushes, vines, or even fruits like blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries. If you’re good with the openness but want to give your trellis more character, attach some pots filled with fragrant, pretty flowers. Or you could build planters on the sides or in front.
And you can stain or paint the wood to match any color scheme or personal taste. You can find lattice material pre-assembled at any home supply store in various sizes. Installation is as simple as nailing the material to structure posts.
Using wood slats is another easy, affordable DIY way to create a privacy fence. You can use new wood or reclaimed wood, which gives your fence character.
To create a privacy screen using wood slats, you build a sturdy wood frame (if you don’t have posts where your fence can secure) and nail the planks horizontally across the space.
You can control how much privacy and light you have by increasing or decreasing the space between each plank. Attaching potted flowers to the planks is a great accessory.
And you can get creative by building wood screens with various accessories like storage, seating, plant holders, lights, or curtains.
Using fake greenery is a fantastic way to get the coverage of plants without maintenance. There are a wide variety of options when it comes to artificial plants.
You can use fake vines, shrubs, bushes, or even flowers to give your area privacy and beauty. But be sure to pay attention to the material to ensure it’s safe for outdoor use.
There are limitless ways to connect fake greenery to your area. You can put them in attractive pots, flower boxes, or buy a system that’s already got the plants attached to a frame.
Fake plants are great for low maintenance situations. If you won’t be using your outdoor area very often or you don’t have the time to devote to pruning, watering, and maintaining your outdoor area, fake is the way to go.
Growing plants provide incredible privacy while also providing a gorgeous view. Whether you want to use hedges along your property line, trees, or flowers, there’s a way to create a privacy fence.
If you don’t want to put your plants in the ground, you can build stands that hold pots. Some of these are portable, allowing you to move them around to wherever you’re sitting. Others are permanent structures, such as chain links or chicken wire fences.
The main thing to consider when using live plants for your privacy screen is maintenance. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time keeping your plants healthy, look for low-care plants like hedges, succulents (cactuses), or small evergreen trees (no leaves to clean up in the fall).
We provide more information on using different types of plants to make privacy fences in the following sections.
|Pro tip: Need help picking out the suitable hedges for your privacy fence? Check out this link to learn about 27 types of shrubs.|
Design Elements to Consider for Your DIY Outdoor Privacy Screens
When deciding on what type of outdoor privacy screen you want to build, you’ll need to consider the size of the area you wish to seclude.
You’ll also want to think about your home’s design to ensure you pick a privacy screen that blends well with your environment. Next, consider the following design elements.
Choose a Frame
When planning your DIY outdoor privacy screen design, the first element to consider is the frame. Your frame needs to be sturdy enough to support the weight of your materials while being resistant to outdoor use, including the sun and weather.
Wood is a cheap, durable solution for a frame for outdoor privacy screens. Anyone can build a frame made from wood, no matter the experience level. And wood is available at many locations and in a wide range of species and colors.
You can use wood to design a wide range of frames, from slats run horizontally or vertically to frames with built-in flower boxes or benches. There’s no limit to what you can design using wood, whether it’s new lumber or reclaimed pieces painted or stained.
Metal is another material that works great for DIY outdoor privacy screens. You can buy metal pieces already assembled that you screw into your desired structure. Or, if you know how to weld, you can design a metal frame of your own.
Metal is great for modern or industrial themes and is easy to incorporate into any space, no matter how big. If you have an apartment or small patio,
Plastic is another material that you can use to make frames for a privacy screen. Plastic is an excellent material for the outdoors because it’s impervious to weather. And it’s a cheap material, so it’s great for those with a limited budget.
The downside of plastic is that you’re stuck with the shape. Unlike metal or wood, you won’t be able to do much with it to get creative with your design.
Using natural elements is a great way to create a zen retreat. Surrounding yourself with nature is an excellent way to improve your area’s air quality while improving your mood and reducing stress.
You can also build a partial privacy screen using thin tree branches. This design is quite simple and won’t cost much.
To make a privacy screen of branches, all you’ll need to do is round up enough branches for the height you prefer and nail each branch horizontally to sturdy crossbeams.
This style of privacy screen allows some light in due to the small gaps between each branch. You can control the spacing by nailing the components closer together or spaced apart. Leave them in their natural state for a rustic look.
Vines are an easy and attractive way to create a privacy screen that will still allow light to shine. You can use climbing vines anywhere there’s a structure for them to grow up.
You can use vines to block the sides of your porch, provide coverage of fences with open spaces, or get privacy in a pergola. Suitable species include Ivy and Chocolate vines.
But you’re not limited to just these examples. This option is great for apartments, condos, and other places with a need for privacy, but there’s limited space.
If you want to use vines but don’t have a suitable place, you can build a simple structure using wood and some cheap chicken wire. The great thing about making a stand-up frame is that you can move it around.
|Pro tip: It’s important to remember that it may take some time for your vine screen to be thick enough to provide complete privacy. Vine types grow at different rates, depending on the species.|
If you want to enjoy being surrounded by bright blooms and rich fragrances, consider using flowers and plants to create an eye-catching privacy screen.
Some roses grow upwards along with structures, making them great for trellises, lattices, or ironwork. Clematis vines grow large blossoms in the spring and come in a range of colors.
The sound of flowing water can give your space peace and tranquility while drowning out nearby noises from neighbors or busy roads. There are plenty of ways you can DIY a privacy screen with flowing water for patios, decks, balconies, or porches.
You can create a stand-alone water-screen using this guide. And then decorate the space according to your tastes.
Using recycled materials is a great way to create a privacy screen while saving money and doing your part to keep reusable materials out of our landfills.
Old shutters are an excellent way to create a privacy screen around your outdoor area. If you don’t have any lying around, search Facebook marketplace or search at antique shops.
You can use as many shutters as you want to create a custom size screen. Attaching them with hinges makes it easier to open and close so you can move around.
You can create a unique privacy screen using recycled bottles like wine glasses. Choosing bottles in different colors and sizes allows you to enjoy dancing colors from the different angles of the sun.
While affordable and fantastic for the Earth, this option can be tricky to DIY. Some designs require you to drill holes through the bottles, which is challenging. Here’s a guide that teaches you the steps to create your bottle privacy screen.
Chicken wire is a cheap material made of lightweight metal, designed with large holes. This material is excellent for attaching to the sides of porches, pergolas, gazebos, or decks.
However, due to the many holes, this material won’t provide much privacy alone. You can make the material offer more security by adding flowers, artificial greenery, fabrics, or other accessories.
If you have some old curtains stuffed in the back of your linen closet, pull them out and give them a new purpose as an outdoor privacy screen.
There are many ways you can use curtains for privacy. You can hang them on curtain rods, attach them to posts using screws or nails or other secured methods.
Old doors are a great way to create a privacy screen. There’s no right or wrong way to do this design. You can choose doors that match or doors that are opposite.
Flea markets, antique shops, and online are great places to find used doors that won’t cost much money.
Mirrors are excellent for reflecting your garden’s view and for creating faux doors while giving privacy. This article provides multiple ideas for how to use mirrors in your outdoor area for style and seclusion.
Another advantage of mirrors is the various ways the sun will play off the surface, creating neat light effects. If you don’t want to use real mirrors, shower doors are a suitable choice that’s great for weather resistance.
Fixed vs. Freestanding
When deciding on how you want to design your outdoor privacy screen, you’ll need to pick whether you want your screen fixed or freestanding.
Fixed screens are a permanent structure that stays secured in place. These screens can go on porches, decks, patios, pergolas, or gazebos. Wood and metal are excellent materials to use for fixed privacy screens.
Freestanding screens have a frame that secures the privacy screen. Due to the support of the frame, you don’t have to attach the screen to a permanent structure. The benefit of this style is that you can relocate your privacy screen to a new area, as needed, reducing the need for multiple screens.
DIY Outdoor Privacy Screens FAQ
We’ll wrap up this article by covering a few frequently asked questions people have about using DIY outdoor privacy screens.
How do you make an easy patio privacy screen?
A large number of our suggestions for outdoor privacy screens are simple to DIY, with minimal experience, materials, or effort. The easiest way to create an outdoor privacy screen is to hang curtains. This option gives you privacy as needed.
How can I make a cheap privacy screen?
Many of our suggestions are also cheap to make. Again, curtains are the most affordable solution. But you can also create a primary wood privacy screen for a low amount of money. And many of our suggestions using repurposed materials are not only cheap but also a great way to recycle.
How do I block neighbors’ view of my yard?
Privacy screens are an easy, effective way to shield your yard from the view of neighbors, roads, passersby and create separation between different areas of your yard. You can use materials to build a privacy screen or use natural elements like flowers, shrubs, or trees.
Outdoor privacy screens are the easiest way to give your home and yard privacy. There are multiple ways to create a privacy screen using various types of materials. We’ve given you numerous ideas for how to DIY an outdoor privacy screen.