How to Make a Patio Umbrella Out of PVC


Patio umbrellas provide shade from the sun and protection from the rain. You can make your own patio umbrella out of PVC pipe, which is found in the plumbing section of your local hardware store. This unique do-it-yourself project is sure to be a talking point when guests visit. You will use 1-inch diameter pipes and joints to build your umbrella, along with waterproof fabric in any design or color that you want.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper
  • PVC glue
  • 6-way PVC joint
  • 1-inch section of PVC pipe
  • Paper towels
  • 5-way PVC joint
  • 6-foot section of PVC pipe
  • 2-foot sections of PVC pipe (8)
  • 45-degree PVC elbow joints (8)
  • 1-foot sections of PVC pipe (8)
  • PVC end caps (8)
  • Waterproof fabric
  • Scissors
  • Epoxy
  • Sand the ends of all PVC pipe pieces with 120-grit sandpaper to prepare them for glue.

  • Apply a bead of PVC glue into one flange of a 6-way PVC joint.

  • Press a 1-inch section of PVC pipe into the glued flange. Wipe away any glue that oozes out with a paper towel.

  • Glue the lower flange of a 5-way joint onto the PVC pipe section. The other four flanges should be twisted so they face the corners of the flanges on the first joint.

  • Glue a 6-foot PVC pipe in the lower flange of the 6-way joint. This will be the umbrella's base, and leaves only the eight sideways flanges open.

  • Glue a 2-foot PVC pipe into each remaining flange.

  • Glue a 45-degree elbow joint onto the end of each 2-foot pipe, each one angled down.

  • Glue a 1-foot PVC pipe into each elbow joint.

  • Glue an end cap onto the other ends of each 1-foot pipe.

  • Allow the glue to dry for the time recommended on the container. This completes the umbrella's frame.

  • Cut a 7-foot diameter circle of waterproof fabric.

  • Drape the fabric circle onto the umbrella frame, with an equal amount hanging over all edges.

  • Glue the fabric to the eight arms of the umbrella with epoxy. Allow the epoxy to dry for the time recommended on the container.

  • Cut 5-inch slits around the perimeter of the fabric, from the edge inward. These should be positioned every 12 inches and will allow the excess fabric to hang down more easily.

Tips & Warnings

  • All pipes and joints should have a 1-inch diameter.
  • Stand the umbrella in an patio umbrella base. You can also place it in a bucket, then fill the bucket with cement to create a permanent base.

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  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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