It’s Day 1 of March Break and you’ve already reached for the Advil and your wine. Spring is supposedly coming in 2 weeks and there is still 3 feet of snow in your backyard. Operation “Occupy Your Kids with Crafts Week” is running out of ideas and your kids are bored and getting louder. It’s time for a DIY – Decorate your own Umbrella!
DIY – Decorate your own Umbrella
This all started when my daughter brought home her umbrella from school in pieces.
She got it last year for her birthday from one of my best friends (it’s the Alex Color A Yumbrella umbrella for kids) and she loved it to death. The markers faded and bled in the rain but she didn’t care and basically wore it down.
When it died an untimely death I thought surely we can do this on our own somehow no? I just really didn’t want to resort to fabric paint and stenciling. Most of the fabric markers tend to bleed and well, water + rain = not a great idea.
I wanted something kid friendly and easy that they could do themselves. Again, without the clean up factor of paint. You really have to be in the mood to deal with paint.
So you know when you get a craft idea that’s so simple that you can’t believe it never occurred to you to do it before. What is waterproof, easy to use, kid friendly, flexible and probably in every household craft box across the country?
This is just Walmart. Never mind the dollar stores across the world.
So I got some of these…
If you’re trapped inside, Amazon has them too:
Then got my daughter to pick out whatever shapes she wanted. Butterflies won that round. We also picked up two blue child sized umbrellas at the Dollar Tree.
This is the story DIY Umbrella # 1.
Got out the Fabri-Tac. This is a fabric glue. Very easy to use.
If you don’t have Fabri-Tac use any waterproof glue / permanent adhesive like E6000.
In fact I would recommend using a stronger adhesive for longevity, but it really depends on the ages of your kids. The original E6000 is NOT meant for children’s use and has a strong chemical scent to it.
However, the brand does have a Fabric style glue which gets excellent reviews on Amazon. Again, use your discretion based on the ages of your children.
The most important step is to pay special attention to the edges of the foam shapes when you’re placing the glue on the backs of the foam shapes to avoid any curling up of the foam.
Foam will curl when wet as I learned via my bat display on Halloween.
And this is the story of DIY Umbrella # 2.
Here are some tricks and lessons I learned to help you:
- Press down firmly when you place the foam shapes on the umbrella to secure them to the nylon or else it will peel off.
- Let it dry 24 hours before getting wet or as per curing and drying times on the instructions of the adhesive glue you used.
- Choose thinner foam shapes vs thicker ones. Thicker ones are harder to mold. In fact, small shapes work way better.
- We had these umbrellas for quite some time after and I was even surprised at how well they lasted. That is, the foam shapes lasted longer than the actual dollar store umbrellas.
Can you fold the umbrella?
If you’re wondering how the umbrella folds with the shapes glued on it, it does so very easily. Foam is thin and flexible and will conform to any shape you mold it too.
This is why, again, it’s important to get the edges of the shapes glued down so the edges of the shapes don’t peel off.
I think this would make an awesome craft for an older child’s birthday party or even a loot bag treat to take home. It’s a great idea for an event decoration where you want personalize a slogan or saying.
The possibilities are endless because foam shapes come in just about everything from footballs and dinosaurs to fairies and stars.