If you have outlived the old patio umbrella, look again before you ditch it in the dumpster.
A patio umbrella is a fairly, rather boring, simple piece of furniture. Looking at it quickly makes you realize there’s nothing much you can do to jazz it up. After all, it’s an umbrella. However, channel in the true creative genius and budding do-it-yourselfer in you and you have a winner-there is simply nothing in this world you cannot make more special with some creativity.
To successfully reincarnate an out-of-date patio umbrella, you must adhere to one simple rule: spend no more than the cost of a new one. It may sound simple but patio umbrellas these days use mass-produced materials; their prices have gone down significantly over the past couple of years.
Really cheap add-ons
Paint. Forget about powder coating. Powder coating is expensive and most patio umbrella frames come finished with it begin with. Powder coat is tough and chances are it still adequately protects the metal from rust. Go with simple spray paint and paint over the existing finish. A simple change in the color of the frame is already like buying a new one. If you know a little advanced painting, you can go with rustic colors or stain effects.
Paint. Yes, paint again-this time for the fabric. Textile paint or fabric-friendly spray paint can be used to change the color or re-design the look of the cover. You can learn textile printing techniques to add prints to existing plain-colored covers.
Tassels. You can add dangling ornaments at the edge of the fabric. Ornaments can be made from any recycled materials like old clothing or light collectibles. Tassels can also be hanged from inside the cover on the frame itself.
Lights. New patio umbrellas come pre-installed with cool-looking LED lights. If you can outsource your own LED, installing them on the frame can be an easy and cheap project. Christmas-style lights can also be used in a wrap-around layout around the main pole.
Holders. There is a market for patio umbrella holders like those for plants and candles. These are also bought but they are definitely cheaper than a whole new unit. A patio umbrella candle holder or plant holder is available in many different styles which in itself can change the whole theme of your umbrella.
If the above suggestions fail, you can always buy (if you don’t already have one) a matching table. The main pole of the umbrella is usually planted in the middle of the table which makes them look like one, hence making it look like a new umbrella.