Friday, 17 July 2009

How to Recycle a broken Umbrella!

Broken umbrellas are the pits- but this is a way of reusing the fabric to make a useful grocery bag. I haven't had any ideas for the metal, yet.
Here is the fabric of the umbrella cut carefully off the metal spokes. This umbrella had 6 section joins, If yours has more then please alter the numbers below.

Use 30" of matching bias binding, or make your own, and fold it in half lengthwise, raw edges inwards. Iron flat to assist even sewing.

Do a running stitch the whole length, ending up with a norrow 'string'.
Cut the 'String' into 6 x 5" pieces. These are the makings for the little loops you will attach at the section joins.
I sewed backwards and forwards several times across the loop ends. You can see I have attached it with one end either side of the section seam. Attach all six loops the same way.
The very center where the sections join will have a hole from detaching it from the spokes. Sew a small patch over it. I did a very rudimentary one and went round the edges with running stitch twice.The Handle: If you have nice cord to use for the handle then skip this part. Otherwise, cut a wider length of fabric- I cut a strip 2" wide and 48" long, prepare it in the same way as bias binding, ironing in the raw edges, folding in half, and stitching along the length.The wider fabric will be more comfortable on the hands when carrying things in the bag, so make it as wide as you want. Thread this strip through all six loops, then firmly stitch the two ends together flat.
This is the handle threaded though the loops...
...and voila! the finished bag- whoops! forgot to swivel it round.
One very light, fit in your handbag, shopper! If your umbrella had a fastener, you can use it to keep the bag shut, or fold the bag small and use the fastener to keep it tidy.


Diana said...

Pretty cool, I'll remember the next time I break another unbrella, thanks

Micki said...

Very neat tutorial! Thanks so much!

Kath said...

Hello! I just came over from Mickis Blog. I just love to recycle and this is a fabulous idea. Next stormy day we have, I shall be looking for discarded blown-inside-out wishes Kath in England

Anne said...

I've been looking for something exactly like this! I have a Vera Bradley umbrella that broke about a year ago and I just can't bring myself to throw it away because I love the fabric so much! Now I'm going to turn it into a cute bag - thanks!

tarynpaper said...

Hello, I love this tutorial! What a cute design! I am a designer who works exclusively with broken umbrellas and their materials. My company Recycling Zychal is a Philadelphia based green softgoods company and we make functional and stylish product from broken umbrellas that I rescue and repurpose. Our current line includes custom made upcycled umbrella dog rain coats and winter coats, modern day babushkas called the HOOD and cat toys but we are expanding into making products for mom baby and home! if you would like to send a broken umbrella to me to make something for you, or just to donate, or if you would like to purchase a broken umbrella product, please go to my website,
thank you!

(PS: for every broken umbrella donated to Recycling Zychal, I will donate $1 to the ASPCA and if your broken umbrella is purchased for a custom made dog coat, I will donate $5!! Help animals, help the earth!)


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