Behind-the-scenes at The Bureau: Umbrella display tutorial

Our little downtown Bellingham shop space has the loveliest window displays, more like glass cubbies flanking the entryway than just an open window area. They're charming and bright... And a little bit intimidating! 

I've never made any window displays before owning this shop, so the idea of filling this much visible space was a little scary at first. I mean: What do you do in a space like that? 

But the more I started thinking of it like our own street side shadow boxes, the less scared I was to tackle the space. I'm admittedly bad at the product placement part of the window displays, however. I like pretty things to be able to just exist being pretty! Hopefully I'll improve on that as we go. 

This month, at the urging of Good Time Girl Hayley, I decided to go with a playful April Showers display to be (you guessed it!) followed-up with a May Flowers display next month. But let's not get too hasty! I figured I'd take a few moments to explain how I made this display so that it can be replicated elsewhere. 

Our little shop at 217 W. Holly, in downtown Bellingham, Washington!

Our little shop at 217 W. Holly, in downtown Bellingham, Washington!

This display involves:

  • Lots of umbrellas

  • Lots of fishing line

  • A little bit of tape

  • Some old book pages (or other paper you'd like to use for rain drops)

  • And a few tissue paper pom-poms. We had some leftover from Marissa's wedding, but the internet is lousy with tutorials if you want to make them yourself (here's one).


Raindrops and clouds!

  1. Cut out desired number of raindrops from whatever paper you prefer. I used old book pages here, and cut probably 15-20 drops altogether.

  2. Cut a piece of fishing line (3-5 feet long) for each strand of raindrops. Using clear or invisible tape, tape the fishing line to the back of the drops, spacing them about 6-9" apart on the fishing line.

  3. Hang pom-poms in desired location. Ours are suspended from fishing line that's been strung from wall-to-wall.

  4. Use a small piece of tape to tape the raindrop strands from the underside of pom-poms, simulating the look of rain coming from clouds.

Umbrellas-ellas-ellas (eh eh.. eh?)

his process is going to be really dependent on your own situation. I was able to make use of existing nails to make loops of fishing line: one side looped around the inner metal or wood ribs (or the handle/handle strap), and the other looped around the nail. Each of our suspended umbrellas have hung soundly with this technique, but you may need to adjust depending on what you're working with. 

As you can see, I also left a few umbrellas on the floor of the display areas. I thought they looked cute being in different configurations, and wanted to be able to see the various designs from different angles. 

You'll also notice our pretty little strings of lights hanging here. Those are just up because, well, we love them and don't feel like taking them down. I think it adds a little something special, but they're certainly not required to get the full effect!