Rainy days are miserable if you don't have a functional umbrella. If you need a new umbrella, why not make one using trash? You get to keep yourself warm and dry, and all the material you reuse means less garbage entering the landfills.
Let's make America green again, one umbrella at a time!
Step 1: Gather Materials
-trash bags (at least two)
-small scissors (for cutting thread)
-big scissors (for cutting trash bags and water bottles)
-water bottles (at least two)
-Sharpie marker (optional)
Step 2: Remove the Fabric From the Old Umbrella
Open the umbrella and unscrew the ferrule. Take a picture of the inside of the umbrella so you remember where the fabric is attached to the ribs and the ball tips. Snip the threads connecting the ribs. Remove the fabric so only the umbrella frame is present.
Step 3: Cut Out New Umbrella Canopy
Cut one triangle out of the original fabric--you will use this as your pattern for the new umbrella. Trace around the pattern on the trash bag; leave about 1/4'' as a seam for sewing. It is difficult to mark a trash bag visibly, but as long as you know where you marked, you are fine. Cut out the pattern pieces.
Step 4: Stitch Segments Together
Align two umbrella pieces at the edges and stitch the pieces together. Repeat this process until the first and last segments join together to form a large circle.
Step 5: Attach Trash Bag Umbrella to Frame
Line up the seams of the trash bag fabric over the ribs. Stitch the ball tips to the fabric. Next, stitch the new fabric to the ribs in the same places where the old fabric was attached.
Step 6: Duct Tape Frenzy
If you used a children's umbrella, the grip may be stylized in a way that is simply unusable for larger hands (I used a Power Rangers umbrella, where the grip was a lightning bolt. Not fun to hold.). In that case, lay down a large strip of duct tape until the entire handle is covered.
Next, cut off multiple small strips of duct tape using the large scissors. Roll them from top to bottom so that all edges of the newly-made "pockets" are sticky. Create a line of duct tape pockets parallel to the umbrella handle on both sides of the handle.
Step 7: Water Bottle Grip
Grab at least two empty water bottles. Using the Sharpie marker, draw rings around the bottle. You will need approximately ten rings, so don't be afraid to use another bottle. Bottles manufactured with ridges (e.g. Arrowhead) are especially helpful. Using the big scissors, cut out the rings. Here's where the duct tape "pockets" we made last step come in handy. Once you have finished cutting out the rings, wrap each ring around the duct tape grip, using the pockets on each side as adhesives. When you have securely fastened all the rings, link them using one long strip of duct tape as another security measure.
Congratulations! With the help of a little duct tape, you have successfully reused a couple water bottles!