Shield Yourself From the Elements With Gum Wrappers




Introduction: Shield Yourself From the Elements With Gum Wrappers

How to make an umbrella out of gum wrappers. It will be a little small, so you may not want to depend on this unless you're less than six inches tall

I know from the title you probably thought there'd be a helmut that protects you from martian death rays. That is another project that you'll just have to wait to see. That's an advanced topic reserved for those without alien implants. For now, you can just use some Reynold's wrap like I do and hope they don't abduct us again and plant little chips in our brains that make us create weird things and make 'ibles of them. But I digress...

I think this is a nice miniature umbrella you could possibly use for a decoration of some type. Again, it could be suitable for a dollhouse.

Let's get started on this project.
You'll need:
13 gum wrappers (14 if you're superstitious)
2 of them of a different color than the others (try your own color scheme - maybe pick your favorite team's colors).
I got the green ones from Wrigley's 5 gum.
Optional equipment:
I don't think a protractor is going to help with this (can't find the darn thing anyways)

Here is a 360o view of the umbrella

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Step 1: Make 9 Sticks

If you've read any of my other posts, you know the drill.
You will need nine (9) sticks to complete this project. Eight (8) of them will be part of the finished Umbrella. The other one is just for use in shaping the other sticks.

Get busy - you have nine(9) sticks to roll and you'll need four flat wrappers for the umbrella top. You'll want to use the best looking ones you can find for the top since a lot of the surface area will be visible on those wrappers. If any of the wrappers have little nicks or scratches, these are fine for the sticks.

Here's a video of me making a stick. (if you like my slippers - they're on sale on ebay;-)

Here are more instructables that have detailed steps on creating a stick.
swing set

Step 2: Make the Sections for the Top

Unfold each of four wrappers all the way out. Place them flat with the paper side facing up.
Fold each of them in half end-to-end bringing the smooth edges together, then unfold so they're flat again.
This makes a crease in the exact center.
Fold each side bringing the serrated long edge to the middle of the wrapper. This will create a triangle of each piece. Make sure you make each one the same size. When you are done folding, you should be able to line them up together in a square.
Unfold the sides of each wrapper to that the side sticks straight up in the air. These vertical pieces will be the connections to each other forming the top of the umbrella.

Step 3: Connect the Sections Into to Halves

Make two half pieces for the top

In this step you'll connect the four sections together to form two halves of the top of the umbrella.
This is the tough part of the project.
Take two of the sections and bring them together at the point. Make sure they are of differing colors so you'll have alternating colors on the finished top.
Make sure the vertical sides line up with each other exactly. Keep them in line with each other as much as possible during the following process to ensure the umbrella has a symetric appearance.

Roll the connection

Take a stick and place it at the top of the vertical sides where they meet. The stick needs to remain parallel to the fold at the bottom as you roll the combined sides around the stick. Roll the stick all the way down to the crease, keeping it as tight as possible. This can be frustrating because the vertical pieces slide around and slip when trying to get a tight roll. Keep after it and eventually you'll get the hang of it and have a good rolled connection between the sections. If you rip the paper or get everything bent out of shape like I did, don't be discouraged. They're just gum-wrappers that you were going to throw away anyways. You can always get fresh ones and try again!

Once you have the first pair connected properly, do the same for the second pair.

Step 4: Connect the Two Top Halves

Bring the two halves together so the remaing connectors are aligned with each other. This should form a square with a small hole in the middle where they all meet.
Roll one of the two remaining connectors just like when you were joining the halves. Don't roll the 4th connector until after the next step.

Bend the spines

The sticks you've used to roll the connectors are should still be in each of the 3 rolled connectors. You need to form the middle of the umbrella which connects the handle to the top. We will use these sticks that serve as the spines holding the top upright to make that connection. Half of the length of each stick will be used for the spine, the other for the connection to the handle.

Take a flat gum wrapper and fold it in half end-to-end bringing the short straight sides together. This will give you the measure of how much of each spine to fold for the handle connector.
Pull each stick out from the center of the umbrella, making sure the stick only comes out about half-way. Also, make sure the stick is on the paper side (underside) of the wrappers that form the top. Bend each of the three (3) sticks straight up at that halfway point in each stick. Position the vertical pieces of the sticks as close together as possible in the exact center of the underside of the umbrella.

Roll the 4th connector

You know when I said that rolling the connectors for the top pieces was tough, well this is the toughest one of all. Bring the last two vertical sides together and line them up at the top and at the bottom creases. This will make the top form a cone shape and you want the paper side to be on the concave portion of this cone. Take a stick and roll the final connector. What makes this so tough is that you don't have the room for your fingers that you had on the other three connectors. Make the best and tightest roll possible. When you're done rolling, pull the stick out from the edge so that only a very small length is left sticking out into the middle.

Insert last spine

There isn't enough room to pull the last stick into the center like the others. Take another stick and fold it in half. Thread one of the legs of that stick through the hole in the center of the umbrella from above. Take the other end and slide it down the 4th connector pushing out that straight stick. Once it is all the way in, pull the straight stick all the way out from the edge.

Step 5: Connect the Handle

Make a couple of spiral connectors about the diameter of a pencil. Wrap a stick around a pencil in a spiral until you run out of stick. Pull the spiral off the pencil and repeat for the 2nd one.

Put a stick in the middle of the 4 half sticks that are protuding from the underside of the umbrella. Slide a spiral connector down the stick and around the four half sticks until the spiral is around all 5 sticks. Tighten the sprial connector by twisting it around the sticks making the spiral's circumference smaller. Gently slide the spiral down to the point where the sticks meet in the little hole in the top. Repeat with a second spiral, but don't push this one down. Leave it at the other end of the short sticks.

Add the final piece of the Handle

Take one stick and wrap it around another one in a tight spiral until you run out of stick. Slide the spiral off. Thread this spiral onto the end of the full length piece of the umbella handle. Push it on about half of the spiral's length. Take the half of the spiral that is not connected to the stick and bend it in a semi-circle to complete the handle.

You be done!
...or maybe not...

Step 6: Modification Afterthought

After making this umbrella I was admiring my handiwork and it got me to thinking. Umbrellas always have those supports underneath, usually near the top. The connectors to the handle looked longer they needed to be and could be used to provide the look of supports.

All I did for the modification was to slide the lower spiral connector off the handle and bent the sticks out from the center just above the upper spiral connector. This does provide a the look of supports usually associated with umbrellas. It also makes the handle skinnier for a longer distance.

The supports really don't hold the top out or up. The bending of the sticks also loosed the connection to the handle. There always seems to be something...I'll keep looking for ways to make it better

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    10 Discussions


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I made one!! :D It was hard, so I used some tape


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I just saw your pics - nice work. If you're going to use an adhesive to make things work - use super glue. It's strong and no one can see it;-)


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Although it probably won't hurt you to eat paper in general, I don't think the gum wrapper paper is any tastier than any other paper. I know there are rice candies that have edible wrappers that would be far more nutritious and delicious.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    im pretty sure it's like rice/sugar paper. you can't even taste it after 5 seconds. for me, it makes the gum stiffer and last longer...


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Your stuff are amazing... but I'm scared! Do I have enough gum wrappers?! JK xD Those are my gum wrappers though....


    12 years ago on Introduction

    man this is cool, but alas i have something in my mouth so i can not chew gun. darn.

    Mr. Rig It
    Mr. Rig It

    12 years ago on Introduction

    Wow you must chew a lot of gum, for all of those gumwrapper projects. Very cool, with lots of detail.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks. I usually run out of wrappers (and time) long before I run out of ideas.