Can any body give me tips on how to make a peacock tail out of an umbrella?

This is going to be part of a steampunk robotic peacock outfit and I'd like to be able to open and close the tail.  

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Like others have said, a large folding fan design may be easier to work with. However, I think the umbrella idea sounds like it will be awesome.

I know in the past, I have had umbrellas break in various ways. I remember once I had two arms that broke on the same side. The other arms still worked fine and it made a sort of semicircle shape when opened.

Maybe you could buy some little cheap one to play with first to get the mechanics of your peacock tail working. Disabling a few arms to get the shape you want should be easy. I would think about breaking off the center pole/handle and having it open towards you.

Once you figure out how to make the cheap umbrella work, then you could get one of those giant golf umbrellas and rig it up to work. Then you could decorate it as needed.

I would consider using a pull string of some kind so you can open and close it as needed. Maybe you could have it on a hinge of some kind so when it is closed it would kind of wag behind you like a tail.

Until trying to make things, I can never tell if my ideas will actually work, but this does sound feasable to me. Good luck and if you get it working, be sure to publish an instructable about it.
orksecurity7 years ago
BTW, folks in the Costumers' Guild can probably provide fairly detailed advice on what has and hasn't worked in the past. I've mostly run into Guild members at SF conventions that have a costume competition, but I'd be willing to best that there are now websites which cater specifically to that audience.
craftyv7 years ago
Try using a portion of the umbrella with the spokes and fabric but without the central pole opening slide mechanism, just like a fan. The spokes held together at the bottom and attached to the lower back of a suit, possibly made from a stretch fabric, pea-cock-blue of course. Attach handles to the top edge of the outer section which you can open as you open your arms wide. The top edge could have feathers, from a $2 shop, stuck on and the actual (umrella) painted al-la peacock. I realise that this is not very steam-punk or mechanical but this is how I would approach it.
Best of luck. I hope we get to see a picture of your effort.
orksecurity7 years ago
I think you'd do better designing it around a folding-fan concept rather than an umbrella. The umbrella mechanism isn't well suited to operating in that orientation.
Yep, that's what I was going to say. Probably easier to make an umbrella out of peacock feathers.