Our DIY designer patio umbrella with tassels (and a half umbrella table)

Perhaps you’ve seen the beautiful patio umbrellas on Pinterest or while flipping through summer 2017 magazines like Frontgate, Plow & Hearth, Crate and Barrel, etc.  I don’t know about you, but I was instantly in love with all of the beautiful designs and the unique feel of them.

The colors, designs, embellishments and unique style of these umbrellas had me swooning.

Frontgate’s 9-foot Damask umbrella in oyster is made of solution-dyed fabric embellished by hand with all-weather paints. It’s $795 to $895. Photo credit: Frontgate

Frontgate Suzani handpainted umbrella

Market umbrellas from Plow & Hearth come in a variety of fabrics. The 7- and 9-foot umbrellas range from $99.95 to $199.95. Photo credit: Plow & Hearth

And those tassels…..

Frontgate Carousel Umbrella 

While I feel madly in love with so many of these beautiful umbrellas, I wasn’t about to spend anywhere near the asking prices, with some ranging over $1,400!

I decided to design my own umbrella and it was relatively easy and costs next to nothing to achieve a similar look.

The most time-consuming task was making the tassels.  Already made tassels are costly and making them from embroidery thread wouldn’t have been a good idea seeing as this umbrella spends months outdoors in all kinds of weather.  I headed to Ocean State Job Lot and found this poly-nylon twine which stated: “resists rot, mildew, moisture and chemicals”.  Perfect!

The only problem, it was bright white.  I bought the large roll for $5.99 anyway and decided I could figure out a way to make it work.  Here is when this RIT dye comes in to save the day.

It is intended for synthetic materials such as nylon and polypropylene and only cost $2.99 after using my 40% coupon.  I decided on Graphite to compliment our new deck set and to add some pizazz to our boring tan umbrella.  BTW, I recently purchased our 9ft umbrella at Aldi’s for only $26!  

I followed the dying instructions…..

The color came out a little more blue than I expected but I wasn’t too concerned.

I also dyed another smaller nylon twine which came out slightly lighter and grayer?!?  I used this for the wrapped part of the tassels and the colors really compliment each other.

I’m not going to bore you with how I made the tassels, you can find numerous tutorials online.  They are very easy to make, unlike untangling that mess of twine; Ay yi yi !!  

Yes I have a life, and my tassels were a bit time consuming, but it was going on day 4 or 5 of yucky rainy weather so it gave me something to do with my hands while watching yet another movie with the family.   I made a total of 13; 8 for our 9ft umbrella and 5 for our half umbrella.

Time to stencil!  I found the perfect large laser cut stencil at Michaels.  Yes, it was another purchase for this project, but only $8.50 using my 50% coupon and the cost of my supplies pales in comparison to what those high end umbrellas cost.

I used this paint….

Laying my umbrella out in our kitchen, I measured where the center point of each section, placed the stencil where I wanted it, taped, and painted over the stencil with a foam roller until I was happy with the amount of coverage.

This was super fast and easy and almost error proof until our two little ladies decided to walk over the painted areas and leave their tiny paw prints behind.  Thankfully, I caught it in time and was able to remove them using a damp cloth…phew! 

Luckily they are both so cute! { Minnie and Mamacita }

Time to add my tassels.  Again, it was a rainy week and I wanted to be prepared for the nice weather showing in the extended forecast, so I worked diligently in our living room until I was finished. Then I did the same for the half umbrella  we use on our Juliette balcony.

Here are the finished products…

(it’s so hard to get a good picture of the umbrella and table with the shadows and sun but you get the idea)

I added wooden beads to each tassel before hand sewing into place.

And our Juliette balcony which is almost impossible to take a picture of but you’ll get the idea.  This is why I need a drone!!

The design is the same, but the tan is a bit darker on our half umbrella.

Which brings me to the little half table/umbrella stand I made.  I had to think outside the box to find something that I could put up against the house and that could also be used as a small cocktail table.  I won’t go into all of the details, but will show you the process.  It all started with these.  You may remember I’ve used them before here.

So what do you think ??  If you’ve thought about painting or stenciling your new, older or faded umbrella I say GO FOR IT!!  What do you have to lose??

{ Patio set is Malibu Outdoor Living purchased from SUNS, Plymouth, MA. }

Thanks for stopping in.


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