Multipurpose Summer Umbrella

Introduction: Multipurpose Summer Umbrella

About: Professional work in various electrical and mechanical fields, obscure sense of humour and typically willing to help... Currently under contract designing environmental monitoring equipment.

The material from my old umbrella has deteriorated from constant exposure to the sun. It definitely needed to be replaced.

Keeping in mind that this is an ideal camping accessory and space is limited on those trips, the reasons for choice of material may surprise you...

You will need an old summer umbrella, several meters of your choice of material, about 3 feet of thin wide webbing( 1.5 to 2 inch wide) and some Velcro and heavy duty thread.

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Step 1: Assess the Mess

The old is worn and must be measured...

Take care to remove the old cover, most umbrellas have a simple slip on design for ease of manufacture.

My old one has a great wooden frame which is getting harder to find these days.

Once the old one is off you will need to count and measure the panels.

I find it helpful to make a template from a light paper that way you are able to pattern identical pieces.

I needed 8 in total.

The pattern is made exactly 1 inch wider and 1 inch longer than the measured panels to accommodate for a 1/2 inch seam.

Step 2: Choose and Cut the Material

Choice of material is up to you. Keep in mind that my umbrella will not protect very well against rain but I had other uses in mind...

Begin by cutting out the required pieces of material.

You will also need a circle of material that it approximately 20 inches in diameter.

Step 3: Sew the Canopy

Sew one edge of 2 pieces together. You will repeat this until all of the pieces are joined together.

Be sure to use a strong thread, I used a white nylon heavy duty upholstery type.

Once you have the octagon (8 panel style for this umbrella) shape sewn together you will need to create a 1/2 inch hem at the perimeter and the inner edges of the canopy.

The inner hole of the umbrella needs to be around 12 inches in diameter for the multipurpose function.

Step 4: Make the Frame Attachment

The pockets for the frame are made from a thin 1 and a half inch wide webbing material. It is cut into 4 inch pieces, folded and sewn to create a small loop.

These loops are sewn the the outer corner hem seam junction. You will need as many as there are panels in your umbrella.

I needed 8 for this umbrella.

They are attached with secure stitching on 3 sides only and the side facing the center of the canopy is left un-stitched to create the pocket.

Step 5: Attach the Peak

The center of the canopy has a large hole in it which will be covered with the round piece cut out at the beginning.

You should hem the round piece then cut a small hole in the center for the peak cap.

To cut the hole you can fold the circle piece in half several times then cut off the point created by the folds.

Assemble the canopy and frame then pin the round piece to the top of the canopy in 4 places.

You will sew the round piece to the canopy in 2 adjacent places and mark the other 2 adjacent places.

You will secure the remaining 2 places with Velcro. You will need to use hook on one place on the canopy and loop on the other and  the mating on the round piece to correspond, the reason for this will be revealed shortly.

Step 6: Assemble and Enjoy

The umbrella now has its original purpose along with some that you will now see.

The material?

My umbrella is a peach fleece type of material which will come in handy on those cold late August nights camping in the Nevada desert. It was also only a buck a meter on sale locally.

Those other purposes are as follows.

By removing the frame you have a fleece blanket (not shown) and a super warm fleece pullover with a different looking type of hood.

Enjoy the desert with one piece that has 3 uses...

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    3 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 3

    don't mean to sound like an ..., but you can buy replacement canopy for like 25 bucks


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Yes you can. However, the options for fabric, color, and pattern are often quite limited.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    and the multi use idea is REALLY neat !