Why do seeds need umbrellas, you say? Seeds that are just getting started can get burned by too much sun. I kept getting fried seedlings from planting things in the window and then underestimating the heat they were experiencing.
Here are some simple seed umbrellas you can make to help them make it past those crucial first weeks.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
some cardboard - an old pizza box works well
some straws rescued from the trash
a means of cutting (scissors, or a craft cutter)
hot melt glue gun
small plastic lid
hot knife for cutting plastic
krylon spray paint
Step 2: Cut Out the Umbrella Pattern
I've attached two different patterns below. One very simple, for cutting out with scissors. Another very complex if you have a craft cutter.
Cut the umbrella shape out of the cardboard.
For the simple shape, just cut around the outside edge. Then score along the inside lines to help with folding.
Step 3: Glue Umbrella Together
Tape or glue together the split end of the umbrella
Invert it and add some hot melt glue in the center.
For the ornate umbrella pattern, it helps to have a little cap on the top to keep the glue from going all over.
Position the straw in the center and hold it there, or lean it up against something till the glue hardens.
Step 4: Paint It and Plant It
Shake up the Krylon and paint it to taste.
I like the blue and green metal finish mixed together..
Step 5: Does It Help?
Here's some photographic evidence that the seeds seem to be happier under the umbrella...