When we got our old black and white striped outdoor market umbrella out of the attic this year, I noticed that the patio umbrella canopy had seen better days. It was moldy, stained, and even had several holes. We’ve owned it for a long time and not even washing it made it look better this time. So I knew it was time to replace it. Since the umbrella frame was in good condition, I started to look for a replacement umbrella canopy to breathe new life into it. But first I had to learn how to measure a patio umbrella replacement canopy to ensure it would fit on our umbrella frame.
How to measure a patio umbrella replacement canopy
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Our umbrella has 8 ribs but the process of measuring is the same no matter what type you have. Whether you have a cantilever umbrella or even a square umbrella. For a round umbrella, you need to measure the diameter of the umbrella and also count the umbrella ribs.
Our umbrella has a tilt but that didn’t matter for the size of the canopy.
Step 1: Count the number of ribs
First thing, no matter what type of patio umbrella you have, it is important to count the ribs. You definitely can’t use an umbrella cover that was made for a different amount of ribs.
Step 2: Slightly crank in your umbrella
I don’t like completely closing the umbrella. Instead, crank it in about halfway. If it is closed completely the ribs get kind of lost in all the folds of the umbrella fabric.
Step 3: Measure the length of an umbrella rib arm to determine the umbrella size
Next, measure the rib length. Rest your measuring tape on a rib starting at the top finial of the umbrella to the bottom of the rib which is the outside edge of the umbrella.
And here is how you determine the right size of your umbrella.
- If the rib measures around 54 inches: 54″ times two equals 108″ which is 9 feet
- If your rib measures around 48 inches: 48″ times two equals 96″ which is 8 feet
- If your rib measures around 42 inches: 42″ times two equals 84″ which is 7 feet
- If your rib measures around 36 inches: 36″ times two equals 72″ which is 6 feet
So my rib measured 54″ inches and I could determine this way that I have a 9-foot umbrella with 8 ribs that I counted earlier.
Step 4: Order a new umbrella canopy
Now you can order the right replacement canopy according to the size that you just determined. The good thing is that the umbrella manufacturing companies will tell you exactly which size they are selling, so you will be sure it fits. Make sure to read some reviews ahead of time because some of the cheaper replacements tend to be a little off. Sometimes that’s barely visible though.
My favorite umbrella canopy replacements for a 9-foot patio umbrella with 8 ribs
While you can’t go wrong with a standard ivory umbrella (don’t get me wrong, I love them), I feel like you can add some extra interest or texture with something patterned or fringed. When you buy a plain umbrella, you can add some detail yourself as I did previously. Check out my DIY tassel umbrella. I really liked that look.
(different black and white striped cover)
I also found these two really unique handmade 9-foot umbrella canopy replacement covers on Etsy that I just had to share. (The image will take you to the actual shop!)
How to install your new umbrella canopy
- Take down the old canopy
Usually, you have to unscrew the top umbrella finial first to be able to remove the entire canopy. I found it helpful to also lift the fabric off of each rib first to be able to just drag the canopy off the frame. My umbrella also had velcro straps on each rib that needed to be removed.
- Slide the new canopy over the frame
Drag the new canopy from one side over the umbrella frame until the center hole is lined up with the top hole of the umbrella frame.
- Attach the new canopy to the old patio umbrella frame
Screw the finial onto the top of the umbrella frame to keep the new canopy in place and slide the ribs into the corner pockets at the end of the umbrella cover’s fabric.
- Test the new umbrella set-up
Open and close your umbrella several times to make sure everything works and looks properly.
Below is a super quick 54-second time-lapse to show you how easy it was to add the new canopy. This shows you how easy it also is to take it off so you can wash it. You don’t even need to remove the umbrella pole from the center of the table!
Our new patio umbrella cover
As I said earlier, our black and white striped cover was in bad shape. I love black and white prints so much (see my favorite black and white swimming pool accessories) but I was ready for a change, especially since we have so much going on in our tiny backyard.
Here you can see how bad our umbrella cover actually was.
So let me introduce you to my new and improved patio umbrella in our outdoor area. I chose number 4 in the color of number 5 which is taupe. The new fabric is polyester, the capri color version of this canopy is made of premium Olefin fabric.
I just fell in love with the tassel valance fringe and it has the perfect fit. The taupe color tones everything down a bit and I love how it looks from inside our house when looking out from the living room.
We’ve had some windy conditions lately with the smoke coming in from Canada and the new outdoor umbrella held up great!
Do you see the seashell windchime inside the umbrella? I added some solar fairy lights to it and it looks magical at night. You can slightly see the solar panel resting on top of the umbrella to the left. (check out my favorite decorative outdoor solar lights)
The planter is a coconut shell cut in half with Creeping Jenny inside. If there is a storm I can crank the umbrella in with the seashells and coconut planter still inside. You can see that I’m telling the truth in my super short video.
Also, check out my blog post about how to mix and match patio furniture to get some outdoor decorating ideas.
Replacing the canopy is a fraction of the cost of buying an entirely new umbrella. I love to not throw out everything right away. This is also why I decided to revive our old sun lounge chairs and metal table.
If you are new to my blog, then check out our stock tank swimming pool that we built in 2019 and love so much.
That’s it for today. We just love our outdoor space and garden and spent as much time out here as possible.