diy blue sky umbrella

How to make some sunshine on even the rainiest days!

DIY a little rainy season sunshine!

Obviously if you live in Toronto you’ve noticed that “summer” (what? summer? when?) has made way for a pretty rainy fall. It SNOWED in places in Canada last week. SNOWED. And I mean like Canadian metropolises, not some obscure Arctic village in the territories, an URBAN CITY woke up to enough snow to break out the shovels. In September. It’s enough to break your heart – unless, of course you love fall. Which, full confession, I do.

Fall is my favourite season. I love everything about fall, the leaves, the outfits, the comfortable knits and the spicy candles at the store again, the baristas don’t judge you for ordering hot drinks, you aren’t too hot to make real meals anymore, the list goes on.

And I love rain. When I’m inside and reading a book and listening to 8tracks and burning a candle and rain is hitting the window it’s amazing. When I’m outside in what is essentially a hurricane and my ballet flats are ruined and I have to go to the mall for an emergency shopping spree to buy an entire new outfit because my clothes are soaked through and I have to work? Yeah, not so much.

That’s why we came up with this project to bring a little of that summer sunshine to those gray rainy days! Give that boring black umbrella a makeover so you can enjoy some blue sky – even when the rain gets you down.

diy blue sky umbrella and hunter boots graphic

Materials

  • blue paint
  • white paint
  • sponge brush
  • painting brush
  • umbrella (we got ours at Target for about $10 – it’s huge and inexpensive, perfect for crafting!)

The Process

There are a few different ways to go about this project, and we tried a couple different techniques. Using the trial and error method, we can narrow it down to two options:

1) Fabric paint – this is completed valid, but it didn’t have very good coverage on the vinyl black of the umbrella

2) Craft paint – amazing coverage, but doesn’t dry very flexibly which creates problems when you want to open and close the umbrella.

We settled for a combination of the two. We used the fabric paint first and realized it wasn’t going to cover the black solidly enough.

diy blue sky umbrella fabric paint

However it did create a flexible base that we could put craft paint on top of. I don’t know if the makers of fabric paint meant for it to act that way, but it totally works. Using white craft paint we “primed” the sections of the umbrella.

diy blue sky umbrella primer

After the white dried, we used the blue paint. It only took two coats to get this gorgeous sky blue.

diy blue sky umbrella sky blue paint

I think when you’re crafting you should always use the antique dining set your grandmother gave you. It’s a great size and clearly versatile for all kinds of projects. She maybe wouldn’t agree.

After your blue is dry, use the sponge brush to sponge on white clouds. I made some pretty big abstract clouds, but you could also do a bunch of small ones or go for a more patterned look with a stenciled pattern approach. I think it’s pretty no matter what you do (but maybe I’m biased).

Once everything is dry, give the whole thing a coat of waterproof clear spray paint. I don’t remember what mine was called, but it’s just from the hardware store. I’m sure craft stores have them too. Don’t underestimate this step: I’ve taken my umbrella out in some torrential downpours (see the header for this post, where I drag Justin and Tucker to the beach for what can only be described as “swimming in air – next level rain”) and I’ve never had an issue with the paint coming off. It cracks a little here and there (because of the craft paint) but nothing that noticeable, especially if you aren’t up super close. If you know of a high quality fabric paint then go ahead and use that instead!

umbrella diy final

I actually love the way it turned out. I’m so happy with it, and it definitely makes me smile every time I look up in the rain and see my own patch of blue sky!

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