Patio Umbrella Makeover, From a TableCloth

5 Materials
2 Hours

Our patio umbrella from Aldi's was such a bargain and it served us well. It outlasted our teak and canvas umbrella which snapped in the wind. It showed wear and tear from mildew, but I soon learned that if I sprayed it with foaming bleach, I could have it looking new in no time. Then I painted it with polk dots just for fun. Now, in its latest incarnation it's been covered with a vinyl tablecloth and it's ready for yet another summer.

The original umbrella is shown on the left, and the last two makeovers on the right. The white dots took about an hour to paint with acrylic, using a 1/2" round brush.

And … here it is now with a tablecloth glued on top. This was no whim of a project. The umbrella had survived a long time until a hail storm battered it mercilessly.

It was in tatters! But I'd alway wanted to try customizing a patio umbrella with a round tablecloth.

I used a 70" round vinyl tablecloth for about seven dollars, similar to the one shown by the violet arrow.

What I used: 

• 70 inch tablecloth, in a pattern that will not show wrinkles too much

• 1-inch and 1/4-inch paint brushes 

• ModPodge (or white glue) 

• matching acrylic paint

• scissors  

• stapler and staples 

I also had on hand some disposable plates and baby wipes to catch drips.  

I propped the umbrella over an armchair indoors, and went to work.

First, I cut a small opening in the center of the tablecloth to fit over the finial at the top center of the umbrella. Folding the tablecloth into quarters made it easy to cut a smooth circle shape in the center of the tablecloth. Don't worry if the hole is a bit too large. We'll seal this later with a bit of matching paint. 

Fit the tablecloth over the umbrella, smoothing it into place. Fold back the tablecloth one section at a time. Brush on ModPodge with a 1-inch brush, then smooth the tablecloth against the umbrella from above and below. I made a small slit for the closing strap and pulled it through to the surface.

After gluing, I attached the edge of the tablecloth to the umbrella with staples every few inches. I trimmed off a bit  of the edging of the umbrella here and there so that edges were even. Don't cut the channels that hold the ribs of the umbrella, just the edging. Trim off the tablecloth tag if you have one.

I dabbed a bit paint over each staple with a small paint brush to waterproof and protect from rust. A little more glue, and a lick of matching paint around the finial seals the top from rain. I also touched up the staples and rips inside the umbrella by brushing on ModPodge with the 1-inch brush. (Remember I was coping with hail damage).

Now it's ready for another season and it's a one-of-a-kind umbrella! Take a look at some of my other projects at my blog archives here.

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Stephie McCarthy
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