How to Make a Beach Umbrella

Written by elyse twist
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How to Make a Beach Umbrella
Beach umbrellas are a great way to stay out of the sun's strong rays. (ombra image by from

While having fun at the beach or by the pool, it is always handy to have a beach umbrella. This helps to protect you from harmful UV rays from the sun. An umbrella also serves as a source of shade, which gives you a break from the heat. Beach umbrellas can be made in all sorts of shapes and sizes, using various types of fabrics in an assortment of colours. These materials can be purchased at your local hardware store. Make an umbrella that suits your outdoor needs.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 7-foot bamboo pole
  • Hacksaw
  • 9 wooden dowels, 4 feet long
  • 12 eye hooks
  • Sturdy thin wire
  • 4- to 5-inch-long bolt or screw
  • Screw with washer
  • 5 or 6 yards of fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing needle
  • Sewing machine
  • Power drill
  • PVC coupling that can easily slide over the bamboo, 1 1/4 inch by 2 inch

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  1. 1

    Cut the thick end of the bamboo at an angle just above a joint with the hacksaw. This will be the main mast. Cut three of the nine dowels in half, leaving six 4-foot spokes and six 2-foot spokes.

  2. 2

    Make a hole with the power drill into the ends of each of the 2-foot poles. Screw an eye hook into each end of the 2-foot poles. Drill another hole in the centre of the bamboo mast's flat end to secure the top screw. For the umbrella's slider, make twelve small holes in the circle at the top of the PVC coupling. Drill a bigger hole, the size of the bolt, through the front and back of the centre of the PVC coupling.

  3. 3

    Cut the fabric into six triangles at 50- and 65-degree angles. The two sides of the triangle should be 4 feet long and the base should be 3.4 feet wide. Sew the long edges of the fabric together on both sides to make sheaths for the umbrella spokes. Leave a couple inches at the top open when sewing the edges together--there should be a hole at the top. This will create a circle, giving your umbrella a cone shape.

  4. 4

    Attach the fabric to the main bamboo pole using the screw with the washer. Slide the 4-foot dowels into each sheath. Cut eight small holes in the PVC coupling to allow wire to pass through. At the top of the umbrella cut 15 small holes 2 feet from the top between the seams of the fabric and the spokes. Do not cut the seams open.

  5. 5

    Thread wire through the holes in the PVC coupling and through the eye hooks at one end of each of the short poles. Slide the PVC coupling onto the main umbrella pole. Connect the free ends of the short poles to the fabric holes at the top of the umbrella, twisting loops of wire through the holes and around the 4-foot spokes for stability.

  6. 6

    Fully open the umbrella and mark the location of the bolt holes you drilled in the centre of the PVC coupling. Move the slider down and drill a hole through the main shaft that is the same size as the bolt. The umbrella can now be locked into place by sliding the bold through the coupling and the mast. Sew the sheaths closed and trim the edges of the umbrella if necessary.

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