What to do with a broken umbrella

I’m always watching for fun, easy, and inexpensive ideas that will help me to build awesome memories with my kids, so I’m excited to be back, as a new part of HowDoesShe, to share some of these ideas with you & I hope you’ll be inspired to make some great memories with your kids, too!

Today I’m going to show you how I took a big, broken umbrella (Do you have one of those sitting around after all of these rainy May days?) and made it into something really fun for my kids to play with!

Honestly, I was ready to put it in the trash but my hubby saw more in it and after some thought, we decided it could be turned into a parachute! (Not the jump-off-a-roof-and-hope-for-the-best kind of parachute, but the hold-onto-the-edges-and-shake-it-like-crazy kind of parachute).
What to do with a broken umbrella


Here’s What You’ll Need:

1. A broken umbrella
2. Some fabric scraps & a sewing machine
3. A small, lightweight ball

(or you could make it really simple on yourself & sew some old straps from a broken bag on for handles, or even some ribbon or something like that)

Here’s What You Do:

1. Take the fabric part of the umbrella off of the metal part (dispose of the metal part)

2. My umbrella had 8 points & I wanted 4 people to be able to use it at once, so I needed 8 handles. (We tried playing with it without handles & I determined that the handles would help my 2 year old keep her grip, and make the parachute seem bigger- the umbrella I used was 4.5 feet in diameter)

3. Cut 8 strips of fabric- mine were 4.5” x 12.5” 4.

4. For each strip, fold in half & pin if you like (shown below)
What to do with a broken umbrella

5. Sew the open side closed (shown below)
What to do with a broken umbrella

6. Turn each strip inside out & iron it flat (shown below)
What to do with a broken umbrella

7. Fold each strip in half, making a loop. Then fold the ends in, to make a point, and iron. (shown below).
What to do with a broken umbrella

8. Sew the ends down so that you have a permanent loop (you can see how I did it above, but I am no expert, so do it however you want!) Do this for each loop.

9. Remove the little knobby things from the points of your umbrella if you haven’t already.

10. Sew the end of each loop (soon to be a handle) onto one of the points of your umbrella. I drew purple arrows to show you where my new stitching is (shown below).
What to do with a broken umbrella
Now you have a parachute! Go find some kids and a lightweight ball & have some fun!
What to do with a broken umbrella
(This was the best photo I could get you of my kids playing with it- it was such a windy day!)
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If you’d like to get to know me better or see some of the other fun things we’re doing,
come on over to the Raising Memories Blog- I’d love to see you there, too!

What to do with a broken umbrella

Heather Lynne
30 Comments
COMMENTS
  1. June 2nd, 2011 at 7:47 am
    Emily Hamson says:
    What a fun idea! I have a few umbrellas lying around!
  2. June 2nd, 2011 at 8:31 am
    Shelley says:
    Mine broke yesterday when the kids were playing in the house with it. ;) Perfect timing. Fun idea!
  3. June 2nd, 2011 at 9:50 am
    brenda says:
    I am totally LOVING this! I don't have any umbrellas, but I am thinking I will be making a trip to Goodwill soon for one:)
  4. June 2nd, 2011 at 10:21 am
    Alyssa says:
    So clever! I think we have a broken umbrella around... :)
  5. June 2nd, 2011 at 6:02 pm
    Alison says:
    Heather this is a great idea! Thanks for the fun post!!
    • June 2nd, 2011 at 7:12 pm
      Heather says:
      Thanks Alison :) I'm glad you liked it!
  6. June 2nd, 2011 at 6:59 pm
    Tracy says:
    I have been following Heather's Blog for some time now and she is amazing. This is such a great idea Heather. Congrats on officially becoming a part of the How Does She team.
    • June 2nd, 2011 at 7:11 pm
      Heather says:
      Thank you so much, Tracy! I'm so excited to be a part of such a great blog! :)
  7. June 2nd, 2011 at 9:39 pm
    Chrystal says:
    This is awesome! To make it even easier, you could just use some 1.5" - 2" ribbon. :)
    • June 3rd, 2011 at 7:26 am
      Heather says:
      I agree! Or like I mentioned in the post, I think it would be ideal if you had an old backpack or bag that you could use the straps from- that would be nice & strong! :)
  8. June 3rd, 2011 at 4:23 am
    Melissah says:
    I just discovered your lovely blog. I'm just new into blogging this year & have just finished off my own blog on fashion, food, travel & interior design.
    scrapbook-melissah.blogspot.com/
    I had a lot of fun putting it together maybe you would like to check it out if you have a spare minute.
    x
    Melissah
  9. June 3rd, 2011 at 10:10 am
    Hilary says:
    So creative! I never would have thought of that! Im sure the girls love it. Also, you are getting some mad sewing skills! I need more practice! Congrats on becoming part of the team! Thats awesome:)
    • June 3rd, 2011 at 11:37 am
      Heather says:
      Thanks Hilary! :) I wish you lived closer & we could work on our projects together!
  10. June 3rd, 2011 at 12:21 pm
    Amber says:
    This is fantastic! I am a teacher and the kiddies always get so excited to play with the parachute in Phys. Ed. Creating a mini version to entertain them at home is a perfect idea! Congratulations on becoming part of the team, you have so many great ideas and I can't wait to read more of them!
  11. June 8th, 2011 at 8:04 am
    Emily says:
    Love this!!! My Layla just broke hers so we are going to make it today!
    • June 8th, 2011 at 11:42 am
      Heather says:
      Awesome- good luck & have fun! :)
  12. June 8th, 2011 at 4:14 pm
    Victoria says:
    So smart! What a great idea!! Thanks for sharing.
  13. June 8th, 2011 at 4:49 pm
    Marisa says:
    That might just be the coolest thing I've ever seen. I'm going to go break my umbrella. ;)
  14. June 8th, 2011 at 11:01 pm
    jessica says:
    shoot, I threw away an old broken umbrella a couple weeks back...too bad!
  15. November 28th, 2011 at 9:41 pm
    Jan says:
    Awesome! Can't wait to use my daughter's pretty one that broke. Thanks
    • November 30th, 2011 at 5:38 pm
      Heather says:
      Good idea- now she won't have to be sad to loose it!
  16. December 1st, 2011 at 12:58 pm
    Larni says:
    Great instructions!
  17. November 26th, 2012 at 11:08 am
    Crystal says:
    What a great idea!! Kids love those parachute things and making one yourself is cheaper or more personal!! Love it!!
  18. January 7th, 2013 at 11:24 am
    Amanda K. says:
    What a fabulous idea, thanks for sharing!! I cannot seem to keep a working umbrella...I have prob 3 that are broken + 3 kids= a parachute for each!! ;p lol
  19. February 5th, 2014 at 5:38 am
    architects says:
    I rеɑlly prize your good article, Great post.
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