Instructables

Don't chuck that broken umbrella!

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With winter fast approaching there are often blustery showers. With high winds you will, more often than not, see broken umbrellas discarded in bins or on the roadside. There is no need to throw away a broken umbrella because it is easy to fix.

The most common failure points on an umbrella are the little rivets holding the component parts of the stretchers together. All you need, to fix the stretchers, is some wire, a pair of scissors and a sailing knot.

This is my second mend it instructable. As last time, I mended something and then thought, 'I should make that into an instructable.' So, here is a retrospective look at what I did...

You can see other green things I do at http://www.ecopunk.org.uk

 
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Step 1: "Ingredients"

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You will need a 6-inch piece of enamelled wire, enamelled so that it doesn't rust in the wet. Not too thick a piece of wire that you can't get enough wraps from it and not too thin that it is too weak to hold the stretcher together in a wind. Now, don't go buying wire, we are meant to be recycling and reusing. Open up the mains cable in some old appliance you no longer use and look for some free wire in there.

You will also need a pair of scissors.

Step 2: Mend it

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To fix a damaged stretcher match up the rivet holes of the two pieces of broken stretcher and pass the wire through the holes. Wrap the wire around and thread through again.

Step 3: "Just singin' in the rain"

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Keep wrapping wire until there is no more room for any more wire. Do two half-hitch knots (look the knot up here) with the wire. Trim the two ends of the wire to about half an inch in length. Twist the ends of the wire together and then tuck them away. Job done!

Now go outside and rejoice by imitating Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain.

James @ http://www.ecopunk.org.uk

One of my tip ends broke on my favorite umbrella! I have looked everywhere for a fix and can't find one! I have fixed my ribs before, but no one carries the replacement tips for the ribs that I can find.

bythepiece4 years ago
This is a GREAT idea to fix your broken umbrella and another idea is to donate the metal supports to a Rosary Making Group.  There are ladies who make knots by forming the yarn (twine, cord ?) around the metal that is like a tunnel and then make the knotted cords into rosaries. Often they are sent to our Military overseas.  Or you can make your own knotted cord to use as trellises or other gardening projects, I did not search where to send them because I have no brioken umbrellas.  (And don't want any). 
hello bythepiece, I am a designer who works exclusively with broken umbrellas, and I do not use the metal parts at all, only the fabric to create functional, stylish softgoods, you can see them on my website www.recyclingzychal.etsy.com.
anyway, I would love to help the Rosary Making Group by sending them some of my umbrella skeletons. please email me at recyclingzychal@gmail.com
Thank you!

TheGoodLife (author)  bythepiece4 years ago
A good idea and for a worthy cause.
chiok4 years ago
This is an easy fix, I use staples sometimes to bend through the rivet.

When the stitching on the tip breaks from the fabric, I use a staple again to stick it back on.  Though to be honest, more often than not, the umbrella failure is when one of the arms snaps due to the very brittle steel.  I find this is a more irrepriable injury.
lemonie4 years ago
Where I live high-winds do more than this... I's such an easy fix, nice job.

L