April 15, 2007

Parasols on the Wall

We moved into our apartment at the beginning of the new year and we are just now decorating the walls. Last month I bought two parasols from Pearl River Mart, one made of fabric with an indigo print ($14.50) and one made of white paper ($10.50). At first we were going to hang them from the ceiling, but after we bought a headboard, I decided it would look even better above it. But to do this was more complicated than hanging a simple picture frame.

I bought a bottle of Duco Cement and a hobby saw at Rainbow/ACE Hardware (I don't remember the cost, but less than $10 total). First, we poured the Duco around the area that slides the parasol open and closed. After letting it set for 24 hours, it was easy to hack off the stick completely and have the umbrella part remain open.

Then came the tricky part. The parasols cannot simply be hung by a nail. They can't even be hung by a looped string attached to a nail, unless you want the top of the umbrella to lean against the wall and have the bottom sticking out. No, I wanted them to appear like they were floating, all edges equidistant from the wall. I proposed anchoring them to the wall using fishing line and two nails per parasol, but my boyfriend created a much better alternative after I mentioned using coat hangers. The hangers bent just so around the umbrella proped it away from the wall. Once this was configured (two other hangers were destroyed in the process), then they could be hung from one single nail each. Voila.

Some day I will post a better picture of the wall, (as well as of the entire apartment!) but unfortunately that's the best it is going to get for now. We need new bedding, first of all, but more importantly, I thought that the wall would be complete with just the parasols, but it needs more. At least this is a step towards a prettier bedroom!


  1. I saw your post on apartment therapy. I'm in love with this idea, and would love to copy it. A few questions before I do so, though. 1). Do you have noisy neighbors? I fear that mine get a little loud some time, and I do not want parasols falling on my head as I sleep. Is this a concern?
    2). How, precisely, does the coathanger work? Would you be willing to post additional pictures?

    Thanks so much!

  2. Hi, Anonymous,

    1) No, I don't have noisy neighbors, but even so, as long as your nail is sticking out from the wall far enough so that the parasols are stable on it (or if you have a picture frame hook setup) it won't be an issue at all. Plus parasols are not heavy, it would be more damaging to it than to you!

    2) The thing about the coathangers is that my boyfriend arbitrarily bent them around the handle so that it balanced when hung. I think what he did (and I do not have the strength to do such a thing) was twist the two ends opposite each other around the handle, and then he continued to bend the ends, each time hanging it up on the wall to see how unbalanced it is. It's trial and error, really, and you don't have to use the coathanger at all, you could repurpose anything.

    Yep I could repost photos, but I no longer have the parasols hanging on my wall, they are instead above a dresser, but I could try to take some better ones, perhaps.