Adding shade to a patio makes it an instant outdoor gathering spot on sunny days.
However, patio umbrellas can be pricey. Also, some are not made for durability and can’t make it through a windstorm, leaving a lopsided umbrella with ripped fabric and a less than perfect appearance.
Making your own patio umbrella can be done by using salvaged pieces from a regular umbrella, or by reusing supplies and constructing your own.
If you have an old umbrella that has seen better days but the frame is still together, it may be able to be repurposed into a bigger patio sized umbrella by making a larger canopy and altering the parts. Old canopies can be used for a template to cut out another pattern to fit a frame, making it smaller or larger depending on the desired size for the new one.
A used one, even if the spokes are broken or the fabric is ripped, can often be salvaged by doing some basic repairs. Even if it will no longer open and close properly, it likely can still be fixed enough to be kept stationary and used for shade. Spokes can often be saved with wire, fishing line or dental floss.
If the bones of your old patio umbrella are still good but the fabric needs repaired, check out this guide with illustrations to learn how to sew your own replacement.
Faded fabric but still usable? Try applying outdoor paint to liven up the look for a fraction of the cost of new fabric.
If you don’t have an old umbrella, you can make one with some framing materials and a recycled parachute or a painter’s drop cloth. This type of fabric is durable and perfect for using outdoors, plus it will be able to withstand a windy day.
Also, dressing it up with some decorative touches like trim, lace or accessories can take a conventional umbrella and give it attitude or create a match for an existing patio set.
Need a steady stand?
Use this idea to make your own umbrella stand. This one has rope details, but seashells, tiles, rocks or any other decoration can be applied to the mold. Also, notice the clever hole drilled into the table below, creating an instant deck worthy surface.
Or if you have a Bundt cake pan or Jell-O mold just sitting around in the kitchen, put it to use outdoors for the season. Steal this creative idea that can also be topped off with a live plant.
Sometimes you don’t need to buy a completely new item, you just need to see the old one differently.
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