Unfortunately, it’s a familiar story: you’re walking in the rain and the wind blows your umbrella inside out. Not only do you get soaking wet, you have to hold a broken umbrella and trudge along grumpily…
But don’t discard that broken umbrella, upcycle it! It might not keep you dry anymore, but it can be transformed into a DIY waterproof tote bag and keep your things dry.
So if you’ve got a broken umbrella laying around begging to be repurposed, this is the DIY project for you!
What you’ll need to make your DIY waterproof tote bag:
- The fabric from your broken umbrella
- Needle and thread or a sewing machine. (You don’t need great sewing skills for this project, but a sewing machine will make it a lot easier.)
- An iron
- A smooth surface to cut on
- A tote bag to use as a template (optional)
How to make it happen:
First, carefully remove the umbrella cloth from it’s metal frame, so you have this:
Carefully remove that little velcro strap and save it for later. Fold the umbrella in half (underneath is a tote bag that’s being used as a template):
Then fold the sides in to make a rectangular type shape:
Iron the creases, and then sew down the creased lines. Cut the extra “wings” off. This is optional, but highly recommended, run a zigzag or second line of stitching along the edges. If you are planning to carry books or anything heavy in the bag, it’s needs to be tough!
Now the body of your bag is done, and it’s time to make straps. The pictures below illustrate how to take those wings and turn them into straps. Basically, sew two rectangles onto each half (for a total of four rectangles), cut them out, turn them right side out, and join them end to end to create two straps:
Or, to avoid that awkward join, just open up the wings and sew two long rectangles and cut them out. Then turn them right side out to get something that looks like this:
Sew the straps on to the top of the bag and ta da! You have a super neat DIY waterproof tote bag, which is very cool. Feel free to play around with the design for different looking bags:
If you want to “take it to the next level” and have a bag that rolls up neatly into a tidy package, there’s one more step. Take that little velcro strap you saved in the beginning, and sew it onto the bottom. In order to figure out the placement of the strap, fold your bag like so:
Mark the placement of the strap with a pin, then sew it on. Roll it back up — it should fit in the palm of your hand!
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