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Umbrella Parachutes

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I have been making parachutes from umbrellas for years. The nylon is from an old umbrella and is perfect for them. Now that I have kids I get to use their old ones to make new toys for me and them.

I made this Dora parachute for my daughter. The weight/passenger came from the handle of the umbrella. My four year-old is not big enough to throw high enough, but she does enjoy trying to catch it.
 
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Step 1: Skinning the umbrella

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Start by cutting the fabric from the ribs of the broken umbrella. I use a box cutter or xacto to carefully the threads that the hold the material to the metal ribs. If you can salvage the tip leave them on, you can tie the strings to those.

Here are some that I have some saved up for a rainy day.

Step 3: Measuring the string

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Get some string, nylon cord works best. I use about 1 1/2 the radius of the umbrella. Don't cut yet. Keeping doubling until you have eight strands (depending on the number of seams of the umbrella).

Step 4: Tying it off

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Tie one end into a knotted loop.

Step 5: Now cut

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Cut the end of the other end, leaving eight strands.

Step 7: Adding weight

Make sure the do the strings and order all around the umbrella. Then attach a good weight. Heavier than you think, it will help you throw it further and unroll in the air better.

Step 8: Packing the chute

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Gather the chute together.

Step 9: More packing

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Fold over.

Step 10: Ready to launch

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Fold again, and wrap the strings around. Not too tight. It needs to unravel on the way down.
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