I need an alternative to buying an expensive pop up canopy. I'm vending outdoors and must have one, but they're outrageous!
How about an umbrella and stand? Have you tried asking on Freecycle.net about getting what you need? If not familiar with Freecycle, Google it.
Have you considered oil or plastic tablecloths? They are usually inexpensive in dollar stores and if you need a larger one, you can buy two or three of them and sew them together. If you have an army navy surplus store near you, they sometimes carry canvas that it good for stretching across four poles. Buy a grommet tool to make the holes for the sides for your covers so you can tie them on easily. You can even use a sheet if you are just looking for shade and not worried about it being waterproof. Get a dark color like brown, navy or black. It will look fine.
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