privacy screen for decks

12 DIY Outdoor Privacy Screen Ideas

Originally contributed by • last updated 5/14/2021

Crafted by the Hunts

Privacy screens aren’t for the indoors only. Maybe you share a patio at a townhouse or you’d like to create a private sitting area in a large backyard. You get a little more creative license outside.

Old doors, concrete, plants, and a whole lot more can block your yard from prying eyes. We’ve put together some DIY outdoor privacy screen ideas that use materials and designs that might not fly inside. But in the outdoors, they’re quirky, fun, and (mostly) affordable. 


DIY Outdoor Privacy Screen Ideas With Vines


Nature makes a pretty great barrier and crawling ivy looks natural and pretty amazing. Here’s the thing with vines though, you might need some patience. It’s not like they’ll provide the cover you’re after in a single season.

First, you’ll have to create or buy a lattice for the ivy to cover. From there, you’ve got to get your vine starts. For the best success, look for a plant that's native to your area.

It might take a year or two (or more) to grow and prune them into the configuration you want. However, when you’re done, you’ll have one gorgeous green wall. 


Potted Plants As Outdoor Privacy Screen Panels

Daria Shevtsova

Never underestimate the power of a potted plant. They’re another natural way to give yourself some cover. Potted plants also give you some flexibility in your privacy screen. Simply move the pot to change the location when needed.

Get yourself a few different plants or stick to a single type, and plant them in several large pots. For the most privacy, look for pants that grow fairly tall and bushy. Again if you stick with native plants, they’ll be easier to care for. 


Freestanding Outdoor Privacy Screen

Diana Wearing

This example image is actually a fence made of old shutters. However, you don’t have to do an entire fence to get the look that shutters offer.

First, you’ll need to build a frame to hold a shutter panel or two. From there, you’ve got to find the shutters. Although, that’s not too hard if you’re willing to do the footwork, and hit a few garage sales.

You can paint them to match or keep them eclectic, putting together a privacy screen found nowhere else but your backyard. 


Traditional Outdoor Privacy Screen Panels

Brittney Strange

Traditional outdoor privacy screens usually start with a lattice. We already mentioned using ivy, but don’t underestimate a wide range of other plants. Grape vines, roses, and morning glory climb well, too.

Use the lattice’s color to your advantage. White will give the yard a cottage feel, while natural stains feel more rustic. Match the plant to the look and your climate for a unified look that’s easy to care for. 


DIY Outdoor Privacy Screen For Decks

Crafted by the Hunts

A deck gives you extra structure onto which you can build a privacy screen. This gorgeous example leaves room for rays of light to peak their way through wood slats of different widths.

The effect looks beautiful and natural. You can also decorate this kind of barrier with plants or other outdoor decor. It’s a wall on which to create a focal point for evenings relaxing outside. 


DIY Freestanding Outdoor Privacy Screen

From House to Home

Privacy doesn’t have to mean a solid wall. Sometimes a screen with a unique pattern like this one hides just enough to build separation into a yard. This is actually a frame built around three panels.

Its freestanding structure allows it to be moved as needed around the space. That way, if you decide to change your landscaping or adjust the patio furniture for a party, it isn’t in the way. 


Bamboo DIY Outdoor Privacy Screen Ideas

Archie Binamira

Bamboo is a versatile grass that can be used as a privacy screen in a couple of different ways. You can grow it in a few pots, moving them around the yard for coverage as needed. Or you can create a bamboo screen much like this one.

We highly suggest planting bamboo in pots rather than directly into the soil of your backyard. It’s an incredibly hardy plant that’s difficult to eradicate should you decide you want to take it out. Also, it easily spreads. While it can spread outside a pot, it’s easier to keep it contained.


PVC Freestanding Outdoor Privacy Screen

Mother Daughter Projects

Oh, the many uses of PVC. This time, the narrow cuts of PVC tube are glued together to make a fun privacy screen. We can’t decide if it’s a '60s or modern vibe that we’re getting from this one.

Whatever it is, we like it. It’s also mounted within a PVC frame, making it lightweight and super portable. You could spray paint it black or another color to pop, or make it in a much larger frame for a bigger statement. 


Seating And DIY Outdoor Privacy Screen Ideas

DIY for Homeowners

A bench and privacy screen in one — yes, please. Everything from the lattice to the light gray bench feels calm and peaceful with this combo. The cover it offers makes it even more lovable.

Benches are a great addition to a shady corner, creating an intimate spot for conversation (for adults) and play (for kids). Add a couple of cozy outdoor pillows, and it becomes everyone’s favorite sitting spot. You might like it so much that you have to make a matching pair. 


Old Door DIY Outdoor Privacy Screen Ideas

Stacy Risenmay

Shutters already made the list, but we had to include doors, too. These cheerful doors might have been a little ordinary in a past life, but a new purpose and coat of paint transformed them into a personality-filled privacy screen.

We especially like the idea of using doors with windows (minus the actual glass). You can add chicken wire to the openings, and use it to hang plants or other fun display pieces.


Hedge As An Outdoor Privacy Screen

Jerry Wang

Hedges offer a more permanent solution to privacy issues. Plant wisely and choose plant varieties that thrive in your climate. They’ll also take a little extra maintenance like watering and yearly trimming.

However, is there anything classier than a hedge? Your backyard turns into an English garden or at least a well-manicured oasis. 


Outdoor Patio Privacy Screens With Curtains


If your need for privacy is seasonal, curtains might be an economical option. Porches, decks, and lanais often have a basic structure that lends itself to easy curtain hanging. They also give you easy options for opening or closing off a space.

This backyard’s open design doesn’t leave much for the neighbors to wonder about. However, all it takes is one closed drape to have a private party. Keep things neutral or spice it up with colorful fabrics. You can always take them down and replace them if your tastes change or the curtains wear out.