Tuesday, May 1, 2012



Whether you call them parasols, bumbershoots, sun or rain shades, and etc. umbrellas are personal, hand-held canopies used to protect us from rain or sunshine.  They come in different styles, sizes, fabrics and colors.  There was a time when they were a integral part of the fashionable woman’s dress.  Umbrellas can usually find a place in just about any miniature setting, adding a touch of elegance, helping to determine a season or simply helping to fill a corner. 

Mix and match the styles given here with different fabrics and colors for a fun and different, and individualized DIY project.

Browsing through http://pinterest.com/  I found this inspirational idea to repurpose in miniature.  Even after doing a search I am not sure who to credit for the original idea but whomever was the designer, kudos!  

General Directions for Umbrellas

-You may choose to print out the umbrella patterns, as are, onto printer fabric sheets (I use cotton lawn sheets from the Electric Quilt Co.for all of my projects because of the fine weave and the sharpness of the print  http://www.amazon.com/EQ-Printables-Inkjet-Fabric-Sheets) . 

Use your best printer settings and follow package directions.
You may decide to change the color of the umbrella pattern using your graphics program to do so.
You can also print out the umbrella onto cardstock and use it as a pattern to cut an umbrella from lightweight fabric.
You may choose to cut the umbrella from paper, with a bit of care this can work well.
The colors and patterns you choose are up to you.

-If you are using fabric sheets do not remove the backing until after folding.
Fold the umbrella inwardly, across its surface from point to point, creasing sharply.  If you are using un-fused fabric you may choose to iron the folds.
Fold the umbrella outwardly across its surface between each inward fold.

-Add desired trim to umbrella edges (see individual instructions) using craft or fabric glue sparingly…Crafter’s Pick Ultimate Glue used here.

-Poke a hole in the center of the umbrella.

-Prepare shaft according to individual instructions.

-Insert umbrella onto shaft thru hole in center and use a tiny bit of glue to hold.

-On inside of umbrella run a thin line of glue along inward fold and press to shaft.  Repeat for opposite fold.  Do the same with remaining inward folds, working with opposites.  As you work around the umbrella and it closes up, you will have to reach inside to add the glue.  Make sure all is even and neat and tidy, making any adjustments necessary to achieve this look
-A tie-closure may be added around the upper third of the umbrella for a closed look.


                                     Set to print at actual/exact size or 5.04"W x 5.41"H
                          If using printer fabric follow package directions for settings etc.

Prepare & fold the umbrella following general directions. 

After folding, add a narrow lace trim, cut from the very edge of a full-sized length of lace trim, around outside edge of umbrella..  Fabric stores offer inexpensive, narrow lace trim yardage in a variety of colors…there are even some pre-packaged in the notion department.  If you don’t find the color you desire, simply tint a light color with a Sharpie Permanent Marker pen…it works great.

After poking a hole in the umbrella’s center, insert with glue a 1/16” brass eyelet/grommet into the hole, from the outside in.

For the shaft cut a 2-5/8” to 2-7/8” length of 3/32” thick bamboo skewer.  Sand the skewer shaft smooth, removing a bit of its thickness.  Mark up 1/8” from one end (the bottom) of the shaft and carve/sand this 1/8” section to a sharp point at one end tapering to 1/16” at the marked spot.

Use needle nose files, or what-have-you, to carve a design such as found on the ends of turned toothpicks into the top 3/8” of the shaft…or, if desired, simply sand the top rounded.  You may also choose to use a carved top toothpick…the wood will not be as strong as bamboo but it will work.  Paint the shaft a brassy gold, or as desired.

Insert the tip of the shaft into the eyelet so the point of the shaft protrudes out the end of the eyelet/umbrella.  Hold with a bit of glue.

Follow the general directions for adhering the umbrella to the shaft.

At this point you may leave the umbrella as is or add a tie-closure of lace trim around the top 1/3 for a closed look, catching the umbrella in a swirl. 

Or to turn the umbrella into the door decoration as seen:

Using the same lace trim as for umbrella edging, Tie a length around the umbrella approx. 5/8” up from point of shaft.  End with a bow with tails; or do as I did and end the trim with a knot and then make a separate bow with tails from trim and glue over the knot. 
Fill about 2/3” of the front five sections of the umbrella with cotton to “puff” them out a bit.
Make 15 or so pink tulips ( please see my April 2011 BASKETS & BUNNIES, AN EASTER PEDDLER’S CART for a tulip tutorial) and glue into the center and 2 left sections of the umbrella, tucking in tulip leaves and bits of fern-like dried foliage in and around tulip, for a pleasing arrangement.

Fill the two right sections, brimming over, with bits of bits of greenish-brown sphagnum moss (hobby/craft store purchase) to give a nest-like appearance.  To hold moss in place it works to roll a bit of the moss in the palm of your hand with a bit of glue and then add it to the umbrella as a bundle.
Top the moss with 4-5 simple, baby blue Fimo egg shapes….from robin to chicken size, your choice.



If you use the printie as seen on printer fabric after folding & removing backing, use a black permanent marker pen to color the back of the fabric.

                                     Set to print at exact/actual size or 6.04"w x 6.32" h
                                          If using printer fabric, follow package directions.


To make the shaft, cut a 2 ½” length of 1/6” thick bamboo skewer (you may have to sand a slightly thicker skewer to 1/16” thickness).  Measure and mark a line ¼” in from each end.  Using a sharp blade, roll over the marked lines several times to score them.  From the bottom edges of the shaft, slice up to the scored lines, removing excess wood from the marked areas until they are approx. 1/32” thick.  Sand a bit for smoothness.  On what will be the bottom of the shaft round off the tip.  On what will be the top, sand the tip to a point. 

Knead a small piece of Classic Black Fimo until it is workable.  Working on a small piece of glass or tile, roll it into until it is a 1/16” thick cane.  Lay the shaft on the glass and insert the pointed end into the center of the Fimo cane without lifting it.  Using pattern as a guide, form the extending Fimo cane into a crook and sharply cut off excess. Bake piece, shaft & all, according to Fimo package directions. 

Paint whole shaft black.  Insert pointed end of shaft into hole in the middle of the umbrella.  Glue umbrella to shaft following general directions.
Use 1/16” wide (or 1/8” glued in half lengthwise) black silk ribbon for the tie closure.



The parasol can be made of silk or other fine, natural material with an iron-on fusible backing.

  There are also interesting scrapbooking papers that look like fine fabrics to explore. As seen I a used a piece of off-white, silk-like wallpaper from a sample book (got to love these sample books, to be had for free or a few dollars when they are discontinued…so many uses mini-wise). 

Prepare the umbrella following general directions.  Glue lace trim around outside of umbrella, along top edge and another row, approx. ½” from the top edge.

For the shaft cut a thin bamboo skewer 2-1/4” long.  Sand it smooth to a 1/16” thickness, bringing one end to a find point.  Glue the sharpened tip of the shaft into the hole in the center of the umbrella with 3/16” of the shaft extending beyond the hole; hold with a bit of glue.
Glue the umbrella to shaft as described in the general directions. 

With glue, wrap lace trim around the umbrella where the shaft pokes out the bottom.
Cut a 3/8” length of bamboo skewer and round off both ends.  Glue this piece centered on top of the shaft for a hand grip. Using a tiny dab of cyanoacrylate (Super/Krazy, etc.) glue along with your craft glue will add strength to the join.  Ribbon and lace trim may be added just below the handle.  
So, that is it for now...  sorry it has been so long between projects here. but I have been very busy with visiting family including my 3 year old granddaughter Malene, who loves grandma's minis just a little too much, sigh.... I am so terrible at saying "no".   But I will try to squeeze in a little something for Mother's Day.  So hopefully I will see you soon.

Do let me know if you enjoy the umbrellas and how you plan to use them in a project. 

Hope you will be prepared should anything "rain on your parade",