Introduction: How to Make a Paper Umbrella Using Posters and Office Supplies

This is a fun, relatively simple umbrella project that’s great for a rainy day. (Of which there are plenty in Seattle- however, don’t try to use this umbrella in the rain!) Similar to those little paper umbrellas you find in cocktails, these umbrellas open and close! For variety you can use different paper designs and decorate your umbrella however you like. This is a medium-difficulty project that takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Step 1: Materials

Materials:....Posters (or paper), scissors, wooden sticks, glue, duct tape, manilla folders, and pompoms.

Step 2: Base of Umbrella

Cut one large square from poster or cardboard. The square size will determine your umbrella's size

Step 3: Folding the Umbrella Roof

Fold the paper square.  This is going to become the umbrella roof.  The square needs to be folded four times. First, fold the square horizontally in both directions from the inside (so that the two folds are inward.)  Next, fold each diagonal side inversely of the horizontal sides; that is, fold it with an outward-facing crease.

Step 4: Creating Creases

The umbrella roof should fold into a four sided pyramid with inward-facing creases in the middle.  Each of these four inward-facing creases must be folded outward to create another triangle leg in between the main portions.  This is done by pulling out the crease while simultaneously putting together the two sides around it.

Step 5: Scalloping

Cut the edges of the folded umbrella roof. Semi Circles are cut for for the small axis (that is, the smaller triangles you folded in step 3), while the larger (the remaining outside lengths) are cut in broad curves.

Step 6: Now Is Time for the Handle

Poke the stick through the top middle of the umbrella roof, leaving a portion of the stick poking out of the top. Secure the lower and under sides of the roof with thin rolls of tape around the stick.

Step 7: Sliding Mechanism

Cut out a long, thin square of tape. This will become the moving slider of the umbrella mechanism. Fold it over itself to create a non-sticky length of tape, leaving a sticky portion on the very end. Making sure you do not make it too tight around the stick nor too loose, roll the length of tape around the stick body underneath the roof and tape it together with the sticky portion of the rest of the tape.Take off the roller and put it aside.

Step 8: Arms for the Roof!

Cut out eight long, thin strips of manilla folder paper. These pieces will become the arms of the folding mechanism. Tape each strip to the inward facing folds of the bottom end of the umbrella roof, making sure they are secure down part of the length of the umbrella roof.

Step 9: Getting the Umbrella Roof to Move

Bead the roller onto the stick and hold it a short length below the roof. Making sure the heights of the arms are equal and that they are positioned correctly (parallel to their position) against the roller, gather four of the arms (starting with the horizontal set) and tape them to the roller by applying a long strip of tape around it.

Step 10: Making Adjustments

Repeat step 7 with the leftover diagonal set of four arms to complete the folding mechanism. If the mechanism does not close or open correctly, make adjustments by pulling down, folding, and taping the arms to the appropriate length

Step 11: Personalize!!


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