How to make a small paper umbrella
Make a small paper umbrella to give dolls or your cocktails the ultimate accessory! Our small paper umbrella can open and close, too.
Have you ever been playing with a tissue paper cocktail umbrella and wondered if it were possible to make your own version? Thanks to top papercraft designer Angela Dodson, it is now possible as she walks you through the process in our guide to how to make a small paper umbrella. And, like the cocktail version, these small paper umbrella more up and down too, using a clever sliding mechanism of rolled paper secured with decorative washi tape.
Angela tested various weights of paper and found that a weight of 120gsm to 150gsm paper works best at this size, to give a balance of ease of folding and strength for the moving parts. The papers used throughout are from various ranges across the Simply Creative brand, but any pattern or plain paper will work as long as it’s similar weight. Angela has cut and scored the paper shapes you need for your paper umbrella with the help of her Brother Scfan N Cut, but you could easily cut and score these by hand too, using our small paper umbrella template. But if you do have an electronic cutting machine, we’re including the small paper umbrella SVG files for you to download to get you going straight away!
These templates have been designed to be cut at 100%. However the shapes can easily be resized to suit your requirements. If making them much larger then you may find that a heavier weight of paper is better suited. Experiment with different coloured or patterned papers, for classy designs or more fun and bright pops of colour.
You Will Need
- Patterned papers, 120gsm to 150gsm
- Washi tape
- Paper umbrella templates
- Double sided tape
Print off your small paper umbrella templates on to patterned paper and cut out using scissors. Alternatively download the cutting files or scan the templates into your Scan N Cut machine onto your machine.
Cut out the following pieces from your choice of coloured patterned papers with an ideal weight of 120gsm to 150gsm:
1 x upper canopy piece
1 x lower mechanism piece
1 x stem piece
1 x slider piece
Take the rectangle stem piece and roll it to form the umbrella stem. It is easier to roll if you use a wooden barbecue skewer stick or cocktail stick. Roll tightly and add double sided tape or glue to seal the roll before sipping it off the forming stick.
Take the top canopy piece and begin folding at the score lines. Fold by alternating mountain and valley folds, burnishing to reinforce the folds.
Squeeze the folds together and your top canopy piece will now look like this. Set aside.
Take the lower mechanism piece and begin to ease the folds at the tips of the inner petals.
Turn over and find the score lines that go down the points, gently ease the folds on the inner petals alternating the valley and mountain folds. Fold paper in half to help with folding inner section only for now.
Pinch the centre score line down the back of each of the 8 petals to help, viewed from the back it will be a mountain fold and creating a mountain fold either side.
Turn over and begin folding the outer section on the mechanism, this will fold in the opposite way to the inner fold, but still alternate mountain & valley folds (as we did for the top canopy). Viewed from the side it will look like this.
Squeeze the folds together more firmly to reinforce them. It will look like this on the right side.
Gently push in the outer folds towards the centre and allow the centre petals to pop up, you may need to tease them into place, and then it should look like this. Now you can squeeze the folds together more firmly to reinforce them into place.
Take the stem piece and wrap thin adhesive tape around the top section, leaving some space at the top, as shown.
Push the tip of the stem through the centre hole in the canopy piece, ease it down until the centre tabs are on the adhesive, press them firmly to adhere, this will hold it in place for now.
Take the square slider piece of paper and wrap it tightly around the stem, secure with tape at the end, tightly but ensuring the piece can still move freely up and down the stem.
Next wrap thin adhesive tape around the top of the slider piece as shown.
Apply glue around inside top edge of upper canopy as shown. Raise lower mechanism to meet the canopy, line up and press to adhere the folds together
Wrap washi tape tightly around the top of the stem, over the tabs to secure them in place. If the tabs had come away from the adhesive tape, simply add tape over the top of the tabs and then continue with the washi tape. You can easily trim off the top of the stem with scissors to the desired size. Add a little metallic adhesive gem to top of stem if desired – use glue to ensure a good bond.