To create a simple beach shelter canopy, you need cord or rope, a sheet or blanket, plastic beach buckets and a scoop, and a prop. For a larger, more rigid structure, build legs and a frame from PVC pipe. Then, cover the frame with a tarp with holes at the corners, and tie it down to tent stakes with cord.
To create a beach canopy, stick two to four old broom handles, baseball bats or pieces of board into the sand. If your props are on the short side, scoop out a hollow to sit in before you put on the canopy. Re-purpose a sheet, canvas drop cloth, tarp or blanket for the canopy, and spread it over the props. Then, use a spool of cord to tie it to the props. If the edges of the canopy puddle on the ground around the props, fill the beach buckets with sand, and use them as weights to keep the canopy from coming loose in the wind. This also shields you from blowing sand.
According to “Easy Portable Beach Shelter,” you can build a beach canopy with a more rigid structure that fits into a backpack when broken down. Use 1-inch PVC pipe (four 36-inch pieces and four 24-inch pieces) to make poles. To connect the poles, you need four 1-inch PVC male adapters, four 1-inch PVC female adapters and eight 1-inch PVC end caps. Secure the canopy (an 8-by-10-foot tarp) to the frame using a power drill and 10 to 24 1 1/2-inch machine bolts with nuts and #10 washers (two for each bolt) and cord. Then, tie the canopy down with tent spikes.