Colored Light Umbrella

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This colorful faux stained glass parasol may be made at home with a few simple supplies.

Create your own custom umbrella, a great novelty item for parties, parades, festivals, or any sunny day.

Step 1: Video Tutorial

Here's the video.

Step 2: Materials List

Step 3: Sketch Out Your Design

Step 4: Cut Out Your Design

Cut out your design with a craft knife. Use a new blade to avoid tearing the paper.

Only do a few at a time to guard against accidental tears. Note: you may need to prop up the edge of your cutting mat when working closer to the center of the umbrella, to account for the protruding cap (see next image).

Step 5: Select Your Colors

Step 6: Trim Into Shapes

Trim your colored film in shapes similar to your umbrella cutouts, but scale them up so that they overlap your cutouts by about 1/4" all around.

Step 7: Attach Films to Umbrella

Attach your films to the umbrella with a single dot of hot glue, just for placement.

Let cool a minute until set.

Step 8: Secure Films in Place

Go back and tack around the edges a few more times to secure your films.

Step 9: Go Out and Enjoy Your Umbrella!

Step 10: Here's Another Design

CAUTION: NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN THROUGH COLORED GELS

Step 11: Other Options

Your umbrella has an indoor use as well: attach to a tripod or hang from a wall or ceiling.

Then mount a spotlight nearby (not too close) for a colorful effect.

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    24 Discussions

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    HelenaTroy

    3 months ago

    Lovely idea. Would it work if you just stuck the gel on top of the paper, rather than cutting out? would the light still get through enough? [I'm not very good at cutting out proper circles, which is why I ask!]

    2 replies
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    paulmaguireHelenaTroy

    Reply 3 months ago

    No, I'm afraid the light wouldn't get through(I did a test). As far as cutting out circles, you can use any shape.

    I've used irregular trapezoids, triangles, and oblong shapes with rounded corners, all to interesting effect. Good luck!

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    HelenaTroypaulmaguire

    Reply 3 months ago

    Ah, well, it was worth a try! should have known that you would have tried it before working out this method.

    I think straight-line shapes would work better for me; or better still, irregular shapes!

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    MomLovesElectro

    4 months ago

    I adore this! It’s so amazing! One question though...can you fold it after or will the film pop off or get creased or ruined?

    4 replies
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    paulmaguireMomLovesElectro

    Reply 3 months ago

    good question- I've folded them all the way and the film hasn't popped off. I've never folded them up for long periods though, the films might get creased but I doubt that would ruin the effect when the umbrella is opened again. Usually I keep them open at home and use them as decorative lighting shades. When I fold them to transport them usually I close them about 3/4 of the way. Another point: some colored films are thicker than others, so fold easier. As to your other question, where to acquire the films. I get mine from B&H Photo in New York City. You could probably order from them online. Also I would bet Amazon has something on offer as well. Let me know if you need any more clarification or have other questions. Thank you for your comments and questions!

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    MomLovesElectropaulmaguire

    Reply 3 months ago

    Thank you for your response! Yay, That’s all I would need to fold it up for...transportation reasons. I’m excited to try it! I found some of the colored films on Amazon but they’re a lil pricey (is that normal?) maybe I could try a local photo shop?! I will be sure to post photos of my parasol if all goes well and I find the gels!! Much love to you! So creative! Thanks again!

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    paulmaguireMomLovesElectro

    Reply 3 months ago

    I went ahead and folded one up and let it sit for several days, opened it yesterday and it's fine. As for the films, I was using a pack I bought a couple years ago and don't remember the price. Any well-stocked photo shop should have colored films. You can also buy them in larger sheets if you want more of one color. I wonder if craft stores would sell colored celophane, if that would work and be cheaper?

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    Penolopy Bulnick

    4 months ago

    These are so FUN! I love the colors, I would want to walk out in the sun with these all the time :D

    1 reply