Saturday, October 1, 2011

My Upcycled Parasol!

For those of you who don't know, "upcycling" is kind of like recycling- you have this thing that, instead of throwing it away, you reuse it in a creative way. I tend to do this a lot, especially with broken stuff.

The other day, I went to class and found a broken black umbrella. It was black with a metal spike on the end and a smooth black curve handle. It was so classy looking, but just needed a little love. Rather than letting someone throw the poor fellow away, I took it home.

One of the wires needed some fixing, and that was it. It was perfectly fine! The black fabric part of the umbrella (the part that covers your head) was perfectly fine, no holes or tears, nothing! I was so excited.

Given the umbrellas classic shape, I immediately decided it needed to become a parasol! I've always wanted a parasol, but they're so freggin' expensive! Rather than fork out $50+ for a pretty parasol, I made this sucker myself.

IT'S AWESOME!!! And completely original because I made it myself! This is what it looks like when it's closed.
I LOVE how frothy it looks, even when it's at rest like this.

I made sure it was full of sheer frothy volume when it was closed.
I put a looong black velvet ribbon on it so, when closed, it pull it closed like a shoestring.
This is the bottom, you can see the metal spike sticking out of all that frothy fabric.

This is how it looks when it's opened, squee!

This is the metal spike. I pulled all the fabric over it and made a looong sash out of the same fabric. I tied it around the spike into a bow, and sewed the bow in place so it wouldn't unravel.
I let the sash pieces fall down and spill over the parasol to add some interest to the parasol. And in between them, I sewed the long velvet ribbon (used to tie my parasol shut) onto the parasol, and sewed a black velvet bow on top of it to hide it better.
This parasol is soo pretty. It's very shady and provides instant classy shade whenever I open it. And you want to know my secret? How I made it in less than a day? Well, here it is...

It's a circle skirt! Yup, all that delightful fabric layed directly over onto my umbrella is a black frothy circle skirt that I bought a long time ago and never used.

I opened my umbrella and put the skirt directly over the umbrella. I tugged it over the whole thing so it just kind of laid over the umbrella and started pinning where I wanted it to go. After I did that, I cut off the waistband of the skirt and gathered it around the metal spike, then put a rubberband over it to hold it into place while I sewed it down around the spike.

After that was tacked down, I sewed down the rest of the skirt to my umbrella and added fun little thing-a-mah-bobs (the sash, the ribbons, the bows, etc) and voila! This thing was finished in no time.

I took more photos like the first photo on top of this post when I went to the beach with my family. It was my parasols maiden voyage, so I wanted to properly document it. My next post will be an image heavy post of that trip, hope you like it! <3!


Tenebris In Lux said...

That's really awesome! I would have never thought of that, either. I guess I'm a little scared of tinkering with umbrellas (even if they really aren't complex - but I'm used to them warping and breaking on me). I would mostly be concerned about the lace and whatnot getting caught or worn after opening and closing it after so much. But nope! Looks like that sucker is ready for use.

And yes, parasols can get pretty pricey. :-/ I use a regular small but heavy duty umbrella to double as my "parasol."

Serenity said...

Thank you, Lux! Yeah, I was afraid of that too, but when you have a broken umbrella and an unused skirt handy, you can't help but say "Might as well." :D
I used to use a regular umbrella too, those have saved my life many a time and I owe my life to them. Well, my pallor anyway. <3!