About: I am an artist living and teaching ART in NYC for over 30 years, and I am a CZT, Certified Zentangle Teacher. I love to explore all sorts of art making both in my teaching and in my own work...check out my s...

I cant think of anyone that wouldn't enjoy a  hand painted umbrella! My instructable displays easy and fun steps to create your own umbrella to keep or to give as a gift!

Step 1: Supplies

an umbrella blank
acrylic paint
Chromacryl textile medium
sharpie markers, and/or sakura markers (waterproof)
brushes, hair and bristle 
masking tape

Step 2: Design

With a pencil draw your image on the umbrella. Sometimes holding a piece of cardboard  behind the panel  helps support the fabric. 

Step 3: Tracing

Trace all pencil images with waterproof marker, again holding the cardboard behind makes it easier to support the surface. 

Step 4: Painting

Mix Chromacryl with the acrylic paint according to directions. I wanted transparency, therefore, I added extra medium to my acrylic. Apply a very small amount of paint using a bristol brush and scrub the paint into the fabric. 

Step 5: Heat Setting

Use the hottest temperature possible for the fabric type to heat set the paint. 

Step 6: Other Designs

The flower umbrella was painted on a tan umbrella with the transparent paint application.
The lizards and the houses were painted with the acrylic and textile medium mixed according to the directions. 



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I love this!!! I recently decorated a paper umbrella and took it to the zoo for shade. I had so many people wanting one but I was worried about waterproofing it. Would any of this work for that?

Does this work with painting the entire top of the umbrella?

When you heat set, do you iron the non-painted side? Or the painted side?

Hi! I tried acrylic on nylon once and it has a problem of "sticking" when the umbrella is closed/wrapped. It's fine, i just worry I would open it too fast one day and rip the fabric or lift the paint. I didn't heat set. Would this solve it? Does it need a fixative? If so what kind? Thank you.

1 reply

Hi Dyscea,
I have never used just acrylic paint on umbrellas. I always add Chromacryl textile medium to the paint. If I use fabric paint I heat set. But you should always leave the umbrella open to dry.
When I've used the acrylic paint with textile medium added i have left umbrellas closed for over a year and they open fine.
Hope this helps


I'm also attempting to add art to a nylon fabric umbrella. My question "Is the heat source applied to the fabric or close to help in the drying process?

1 reply

No It is meant to help "Heat set" the paint into the fabric. Don't set the iron too hot.
Good Luck and Have fun

I'm worried that after time with opening and closing the umbrella the paint will start to chip, have you had any problems with this?

1 reply

No...mine is fine, always let the umbrella dry in the open position.

Do you know where I can purchase these types of umbrellas? So far all I can find are the nylon ones...

1 reply

I'm sorry to say I don't know...I used to be able to get them for a reasonable price but over the years they aren't distributed any more and you can only g them retail and they can be as much as $40-$60. Thats why I switched to the nylon umbrellas.

I see, yes you do use a fixative. Looking at solid colours, not translucent. If you have any text ideas on application, I would love the hints. Thanks so much!!


oh, sorry, should have read more! I was thinking of a liquid masking for accurate lettering.... Was the brown umbrella totally painted? Anyway, thank you for doing this...please email me any tips if possible. I would be grateful:)



1 reply

the brown umbrella was actually not nylon, It was a thicker fabric, some kind of cotton or were the houses and lizards. The one with the tan surface was that color umbrella, not white...Have fun!

Hey there, I need to know a couple of things I can't find on the web...and I need to do umbrella painting for a set design on Bumblebees. Do the sharpie pens run when you draw with them on the nylon at all? How can you do great lettering on the surface, will vinyl lettering stick at all? do you need a fixative for the paints, and can you mask off areas so there is no running into other areas when painting? I would love to know, as I hope to do the project soon, as I had an idea of hanging up signs with umbrella flower artwork and titles.

Thanks for your help!



Nature Centre Artist.

1 reply

I have not had a problem with sharpies running on the nylon. or bleeding. The paint I use is actual fabric paint and that doesn't run either...I have also used Acrylic with chromacryl textile medium added to it . Hope this helps