Pinterest Fail: PVC Pipe Pergola

What the hell was I thinking? Summer temperatures had hit and I had ants in my pants to create a backyard oasis. I didn’t have any yard furniture, my deck was in shabby shape and desperately needed stain, and my pool was green. As always, I was on Pinterest looking for fun DIY projects that I could do on my own to spiff it all up for as little cash as possible.

I found a ton of pins with PVC used to build pergola-types of enclosures. You use plumbers pipe attachments to screw it down. It all seemed so easy and looked great in the pictures! I’d even found a way to make the PVC look like wood!

I headed to get my materials, in my tiny car. I had the PVC cut at Home Depot because my car can only fit things that are 9 feet long or less from dash to hatch. 😀


The painting and staining was really similar to what I’d already done on my garage door and front door. I literally used the same materials and it turned out okay.

So far, I was still pleased with the project. I got all of the poles up and headed to the fabric store. I sewed a top hem on each of the panels to hang them up. The fabric was WAY more expensive than I had planned at $400.00! The price for the fabric is when I started to realize that I should probably have done something different than this Pinterest PVC Pergola thing, but I was in too far with the project at this point. I got the curtains hung and added string lights.


OMG. What had I built? It wasn’t good. It looked like I was either hosting a wedding or a witch gathering. It was even worse when I’d come home from work after a rainy and windy day and found it had come apart, leaving $400 of wet fabric on the deck, mixed in mud from plants that it had knocked down.

By then I’d also gotten a glimpse of what this looked like from the street as I drove up to my house. This thing was embarrassing from every angle and I had to take it down…kind of.

I really loved the string lights on at night, so I left 3 poles up. They held the string lights up and it didn’t look *that* bad (when it was dark out).

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