Smart Ways To Repurpose That Old Umbrella In Your Home & Garden

Almost everyone owns an umbrella or two and is thankful for their presence during a torrential downpour or overwhelmingly sunny day. But they don't last forever, and that will leave you with an old umbrella that is perfect for upcycling. Save the weather essential from the trash and give it new life around your home or yard. The water-repellent fabric and flexible yet durable rod can be repurposed and turned into a piece of decor, a garden accessory, or a useful item.

It is completely fine if your old umbrella isn't in one piece. These upcycling ideas use individual parts of the rain shield, like its frame, fabric, handle, or shaft. Our hacks use a standard handheld umbrella, but you can apply some of these repurposing tricks to old patio and beach umbrellas, too. Before you get started, make sure to clean the weather tool. Metal, wood, and plastic parts just need a wipe with soapy water. For a dirty canopy, let the partially-open umbrella soak in water with a few drops of laundry detergent for at least five minutes, then scrub and rinse. Once the covering is dry, it's ready to be transformed.

Use the frame as a drying rack

Your old umbrella can be easily repurposed into a new drying rack. Simply remove the fabric and hang the wired framing upside down. Attach the upcycled rack to your clothing line outside or to a bar in the laundry room to air-dry lightweight clothes like socks and underwear. You can even use it in the kitchen to dry herbs and spices. Plus, when it's not in use, the frame folds compactly for easy storage.

Turn handles into a stylish wall hook

For umbrellas with curved handles, you can use the J-shaped grip as a wall hook. First, unscrew the handle from the umbrella, keeping in mind that you may need pliers to pry it off or a saw to cut it. Then, attach the handle to the wall with U-bracket surface mounts and a drill. Place the new hook by the entryway to hang jackets and hats, in the kitchen to hold aprons, or in the bathroom for towels — wherever you need the extra hand.

Create a unique floral bouquet wreath

Faux flowers, ribbons, hot glue, and an umbrella are all you need to complete this DIY. The old rain protector will act as the vase for your flowers and add a nice springtime touch. To DIY the bouquet wreath, gather your fake plants, hot glue them to the interior of the umbrella, tie a ribbon on the outside to finish it off, and hang it to your door. You can also use other materials like leaves, branches, twine, and strips of fabric to personalize this creative way to increase your home's curb appeal.

Style it as a decor skirt

If you remove the fabric from the metal framing, you'll notice the umbrella covering makes a neat textile for decor. Save it for the holiday season and use it as a Christmas tree skirt. Just snip a hole in the center big enough to fit the pine's trunk. It is also stylish as a tablecloth for small side tables, a coaster under centerpieces, or a unique piece that can be hung in your gallery wall. This upcycle is great for umbrellas with patterns, but you can also decorate plain ones with fabric paint to provide them with more interest.

Craft a rain poncho for your little one

The old umbrella can still protect you from the rain, as the waterproof canopy is perfect for fashioning a small raincoat. After removing the fabric from the umbrella's handle, cut a hole in the center to make the opening for your head. Then, attach an old hoodie to the collar with fabric glue. It might be too small for an adult, but it is great for children or even your four-legged friends.

Defend your seedlings

The umbrella's canopy also works to protect your seedlings from harsh winds and frost. Just remove the handle and you're left with an impromptu garden dome. To place the covering over the tiny plants, bury the shaft in the ground, being careful not to puncture any roots. You may need to add a tent stake or rock to help anchor the umbrella so it doesn't blow away in harsh weather.

Protect your backyard BBQ from critters

Whether you're having a picnic or backyard party, guarding your food from the outside elements and pests is crucial. To easily cover your snacks, you can DIY a food cover from an old umbrella. All you need is the umbrella top, so cut the handle and save it for another hack. Then, place the canopy over your delicious treats to stop mosquitoes and ants from getting a taste.

DIY an umbrella planter

Almost anything can be a planter, including that umbrella that was once destined for the trash. However, this makeshift flower pot is best for low-wind areas, as the umbrella can be a flight risk in super-breezy weather. First, open the umbrella and place it upside down in your yard. Next, add drainage holes by poking into the fabric with something small and sharp like the end of a knife. Then, layer in rocks and soil to help weigh the planter down and give the roots a home. Finally, transplant your foliage. Greenery that works well as container plants may be the best option for this homemade planter.

Let it be a stake or trellis for your garden

Another way an umbrella is handy in your garden is as a stake or trellis. Remove the fabric top and plant the open frame near your climbing vines. The fixture will give your foliage ample space to crawl and spread out. Or you can remove the canopy ribs and just use the metal shaft as a stand. Shimmy it into the ground and tie your plants to the impromptu stake with twine. It is perfect for bracing weak stems and supporting seedlings.