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A Fairy Umbrella that Actually Works – DIY

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Have you ever tried making an umbrella? The mechanism that opens and closes the canopy is ingenious. It’s so simple and yet so functional. I was really keen to try and make a fairy umbrella to go with our little picnic table.

A beautiful addition to any fairy garden. A fairy umbrella that actually works. Full tutorial with loads of pictures #fairygarden #DIYHomedecor

Hummph, easier said than done. I dismantled lots of tiny cocktail umbrellas, drew tons of pictures, bent a whole bunch of wires and finally came up with this.

The plan

The plan

I know, it looks a bit odd, but stay with me because that piece of cardboard becomes this.

A beautiful addition to any fairy garden. A fairy umbrella that actually works. Full tutorial with loads of pictures #fairygarden #DIYHomedecor

View of the mechanism from the bottom

So to save you the trouble of trying to figure this one out and wasting loads of cocktail umbrellas, I thought I’d share the tutorial with you.

What You Need to Make a Fairy Umbrella

To make the umbrella you need:

  • 12 toothpicks,
  • a wooden skewer,
  • sellotape,
  • card stock and
  • pretty fabric

Making a Fairy Umbrella Mechanism That Works

To make the mechanism or frame, measure and cut the card stock as shown below, you’ll need two of these.

Note: The measurements are based on a skewer with a diameter of 18 mm, so if yours is thinner or thicker you need to adjust the top (18 mm)  and bottom (30 mm) measurements as follows:

  • Add 12 mm to the diameter to get a new bottom measurement
  • Divide the diameter of your skewer by 6 to find out how to create spokes that are equally thick (those are the little lines that run vertically down the card stock in the first picture)
  • To convert mm to inches you can use this handy converter.

Take one of the cut outs and fold the top most edge over by 10 mm (second picture below). These card stock cut outs will form the basic frame for the umbrella.

Making the mechanism

Making the mechanism

Assembling the Fairy Umbrella

To assemble, wrap the card stock cut out, with the bent edges, tightly around the skewer and use sellotape around the bottom to secure (pics 1 and 2 below).  Trim off any excess sellotape. Wrap the second card stock cut out around the skewer in the same way, but make sure the spokes are pointing towards the already wrapped card stock (pics 3 and 4 below). It’s easier than it sounds, I promise.

Assembling the umbrella mechanism

Assembling the umbrella mechanism

Open up the top and bottom frames by bending the spokes outward from the skewer. Attached the bottom spokes to the top spokes, one at a time using sellotaped. Test to see if your frame works by holding the top bit firmly and sliding the bottom bit up and down.

Joining the bits

Joining the bits

I wanted our fairy umbrella to last and I wasn’t sure if card stock would withstand the test of time so I glued toothpicks cut to size over each spoke on the bottom mechanism and used longer toothpicks to cover the spokes of the top mechanism.

Cover the mechanism with tooth picks

Cover the mechanism with tooth picks

It starting to look like an umbrella. Slide the frame off of the skewer and spray them both with Rust-Oleum® Metallic Spray Paint (we used Aged Copper). Allow to dry completely. Then give the frame and the skewer a coat of Rust-Oleum® NeverWet® Liquid Repelling Treatment. This stuff is awesome, it creates a moisture repelling barrier on any surfaces and is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

Making the Canopy For The Fairy Umbrella

To make the canopy, take your piece of material and  cut a circle wide enough to completely cover the top bit of the umbrella frame. Fold the circle in half, and then in half again and make a small slit at the top.

Cut out a circle and make a tiny hole

Cut out a circle and make a tiny hole

Unfold the circle and push the top bit of the frame into the slit. Gently push the frame so that it’s completely open and then glue each of the top spokes of the frame to the canopy.

Use fabric glue to stick the umbrella top down

Use fabric glue to stick the umbrella top down

I used fabric glue, which was probably not a good idea because it didn’t dry clear as promised 🙁 or maybe I didn’t read the instructions properly.

Fixing up the glue stain

Plan B to try and fix the fabric glue boo-boo

Eeeew, no self-respecting fairy would ever sit under an umbrella that looks like that. So onto plan  B. I cut a second canopy out of a piece of lace and attached it over the original canopy using my glue gun. Much better.

Spray with Rust-Oleum® NeverWet®. Did I mention that this stuff is awesome? It dries crystal clear and it doesn’t change the feel of the material at all. To finish off, glue the top of the mechanism to the skewer and wrap some wire around it to hide the card stock.

A beautiful addition to any fairy garden. A fairy umbrella that actually works. Full tutorial with loads of pictures #fairygarden #DIYHomedecor

Hubby made me a little umbrella stand by drilling a hole into a flat rock and the fairy umbrella fits perfectly with the little picnic table we made a few weeks ago.

A beautiful addition to any fairy garden. A fairy umbrella that actually works. Full tutorial with loads of pictures #fairygarden #DIYHomedecor

If you like the idea and want to make your own fairy umbrella don’t forget to pin it for later.
A beautiful addition to any fairy garden. A fairy umbrella that actually works. Full tutorial with loads of pictures #fairygarden #DIYHomedecor #miniatureUmbrella #FairyUmbrella

Pinny Please

A beautiful addition to any fairy garden. A fairy umbrella that actually works. Full tutorial with loads of pictures #fairygarden #DIYHomedecor #miniatureUmbrella #FairyUmbrella

I would love to know what you think of the fairy umbrella. Is it something you would make for your garden? For your convenience I’ve added some links so you don’t have to struggle to find some of the goodies we used. Disclosure: If you click on the links below, we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry, it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us create more fairy magic 😉

 

Sale Rust-Oleum 239121 Multi-Color Textured Spray Paint, 12 oz, Caribbean Sand
Sale Rust-Oleum 278146 NeverWet 11-Ounce Outdoor Fabric Spray, Clear
Vogue Premium Quality 2' White Porcelain Square Mosaic Tile Shiny Look Designed In Italy (12x12)

And as always wishing you a beautiful week filled with love and fairy dust

Made with love by a Crafty Mix

 

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Categories:   DIY Tutorials, Fairy Garden Crafts, Home Decor Crafts

Comments

  • Posted: March 11, 2017 21:44

    Tonja J Durbin

    Love this one too! You could also put a small hole in the middle of the table and glue it in too :) .
    • Posted: March 12, 2017 05:15

      acraftymix

      Yay, I like your thinking Tonja, that would work perfectly
  • Posted: October 4, 2016 10:52

    Sarah - Craft Invaders

    Adorable! I've been thinking I should come and live at your house Michelle, we could play with your fairy houses all day!
    • Posted: October 4, 2016 11:19

      acraftymix

      Oh yes please Sarah, bring your mushroom ;-)
  • Posted: October 3, 2016 22:41

    Linda at Mixed Kreations

    The little umbrella is adorable. Sounds like lots of time and work, but so cute. I bet the little fairies are pleased with their little umbrella. You are very creative and talented!
    • Posted: October 4, 2016 06:22

      acraftymix

      Awwww Linda, thank you.
  • Posted: October 3, 2016 15:01

    Celeste | The Whole Serving

    So cute. You did a great job on creating this umbrella. What a task.
    • Posted: October 4, 2016 06:21

      acraftymix

      Thanks Celeste. At one stage I really thought I wasn't going to get it right
  • Posted: May 7, 2016 17:52

    Marcie in Montana

    I love it! What's the scale?
    • Posted: May 8, 2016 04:26

      acraftymix

      Thank you Marcie, glad you like it. The finished umbrella is 24 cm (9.5 inches) high and when the canopy is open it's 21.5 cm (8.5 inches) wide.
  • Posted: April 23, 2016 13:33

    Debi

    Wow! How awesome! That's a lot of work to put into a project! It looks great, and you did a great job with instructions and pics, too! You are very creative and talented! Keep up the good work!
    • Posted: April 24, 2016 06:36

      acraftymix

      Thank you Debi :-) We really enjoy making miniature fairy garden accessories.
  • Posted: March 30, 2016 12:08

    Anonymous

    I'm amazed at the time and effort you put into making the umbrella. It turned out beautifully. The fairies must love your garden
    • Posted: June 5, 2016 15:58

      acraftymix

      Some how I missed your beautiful comment Anon - sorry about that. I think the reason everything grows so well in our garden is because of those fairies - they are always welcome.

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