frankie exclusive diy: rain rain go away umbrella

Stand out from the crowd with this cheerful umbrella DIY: the super-easy project will make even the coldest and greyest of winter days instantly more colourful.

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solid colour umbrella made from nylon – I bought mine for a few dollars from a variety store
acrylic paint
textile medium
paint palette or containers

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1 In order to make the acrylic paint waterproof and permanent, you will need to mix in a substance called ‘textile medium’ according to the instructions on the bottle. Mix up your colours in a paint palette or container first.

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2. Now it’s time to get painting! As my umbrella had eight panels, I decided to paint two different patterns and alternate them around the umbrella starting with wavy blue stripes. By using a wide bristled brush you can maintain a very neat and consistent striped pattern. Paint one whole panel, then continue on to paint every second panel with the same pattern.

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3. For the second pattern I chose to use a contrasting pink and white dashed pattern. Begin by painting the pink dashes all over the remaining four panels. After this is dry, you can go back and paint the white dashes randomly over the top.

4. After all the paint has completely dried, go back and touch up any area that may need it. Depending on the type of paint you use and the colour of your umbrella, you may want to go over some areas to make the colour more opaque.

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5. Before you start using your umbrella in the rain you will need to heat set the paint – otherwise it will not be permanent and you could wind up in a colourful puddle! Open the umbrella up and, using a piece of scrap fabric as protection, iron it on the inside using the lowest synthetic setting. Be very careful, as your umbrella fabric could melt if the iron is too hot or left on for too long! Follow the instructions on your textile medium bottle for accurate heat setting times. This step is a bit fiddly, but it is important to make sure all areas have been heat set. You can always test that you have set the fabric properly by wetting a test area and making sure that the paint has adhered properly.

6. Voila, you are finished and ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at you!

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Photos and words by Esther Sandler, the clever lady behind Togetherness Design.

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