Condo Blues: How to Make a Fairy Ivy Leaf Parasol

Sunday, August 22, 2021

How to Make a Fairy Ivy Leaf Parasol

I’m performing a fae (a fairy. Well, actually, I’m a gnome) character at an outdoor renaissance festival. True to a gnome’s (and my own) Scandinavian roots, I’m fair skinned and burn easily in the sun. I’m also not fond of standing out in the rain without an umbrella either. 

In the past, I carried a waterproof bamboo parasol but that is not really going to work for the over the top Shakespearean fairy esthetic I need to create. Can we talk about how difficult it is to design a mythical creature described as looking like a human the size of an 8 year old boy and  looks like she belongs with a group of fairies who look like natural elements like this this acorn green man wall decoration (you can buy it here.) (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) Elizabethan fairies look less human and more like trees, flowers, animals with a humanish face. The more human-looking Tinkerbell type of fairy we are more used to came about during the Victorian era.


I figure the best way to do that is make a waterproof canvas bamboo parasol in the shape an ivy leaf.


diy fairy ivy leaf parasol
Save this costume prop idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

How to Make a Waterproof Bamboo Parasol

You will need the following supplies to make this parasol project


Bamboo parasol frame - I bought a cheap Chinese parasol here and removed the top.

Leaf sewing pattern - I couldn't draw one for beans. Instead I bought this exact Leaf Blanket Sewing Pattern from Twig and Tale on Etsy .

Canvas fabric - The amount of fabric you need depends upon the size of your umbrella frame and if you want to make your leaf canopy double sided or not. I used two yards of this exact hunter green cotton canvas fabric for the top of the leaf and 2 yards of this exact steel gray cotton canvas fabric for the underside of the leaf.

Dremel or a small hand hacksaw like this one

Scotchgard Sun and Water Shield

E6000 Fabri- Fuse - E6000 fabric glue is made not to bleed through or dry crunchy like regular E600. You can learn more about E6000 Fabri-Fuse here .Sewing machine

Coordinating thread

Pins or sewing fabric clips like these


Fabric scissors

Pattern tracing wheel and transfer paper - you could try it without but a tracing wheel will make your life much easier. I used this exact pattern tracing kit to transfer the veining from the pattern to my fabric

Iron and ironing board

Step by Step How to Make this project

The pattern I bought is for a quilted child's blanket and has several leaf shapes. I chose an ivy leaf. You can use whatever leaf shape you like.


1. Cut 2 identical leaf shapes from canvas fabric. I chose to use different colors for the top and bottom of my leaf to mimic the colors in the leaves I found in my research


condo blues lacey dog

Hi everyone, Lacey here! Lisa's leaf research was really taking me on long walks and picking up fallen leaves I pointed out to her. She'd be lost without my project management skills.


2.Use the tracing paper and wheel to transfer the leaf veins from the pattern (or you can freehand it with a tailor's chalk pencil like this one) to one cut pattern piece.


3.Use the straight pins or fabric clips to pin right sides (the pretty outside part that will show in the final project) together and sew them in place with the sewing machine and coordinating thread. Make sure you leave a gap in the seam! You will use the gap to turn the sewn leaf right side out.

Note: Do not add the batting layer from the Twig and Tale quilted blanket to your leaf. It will make your parasol too heavy for the umbrella frame.


how to fix a broken chinese parasol 
I reinforced the original thin string by by following the original thread path with heavy leather working thread because my fabric umbrella canopy is heavier than the paper canopy it replaced.

4.Tuck the fabric edges of the gap into the hole use the needle and coordinating thread to hand stitch the gap closed using a ladder stitch.


5.Use the iron and ironing board to press the leaf and seams in place.


6.Use the sewing machine to sew the veins onto the leaf. I used a zig zag stitch adjusted to sew as a satin stitch for the center vein. I used a backstitch to sew the rest of the veining.


how to make a fairy parasol
I used machine embroidery thread to sew the veins because I didn't have the regular green sewing thread I wanted to use and didn't want to run to the store (again) for just one thing during this massive costume and prop making project.

7.Dry fit the fabric leaf on the parasol frame. When you adjust it to your liking it is time to glue it in place! Use scissors to cut a hole in the top of the fabric for the umbrella finial (if needed) and se the Fabri-Fuse to glue the fabric leaf to each umbrella rib and the top finial. To make sure these two kids stick together, I used sewing clips to hold the fabric to each rib and let it dry overnight.


how to make a new umbrella cover top

To keep the open parasol from falling over while the glue dries, I stuck the handle in a clean bucket packed with rolls of fabric from my stash and used the guest room bed to keep it balanced and upright.


8.After the glue is dry, use the hand hacksaw or Dremel to cut the uncovered parasol ribs to shape if needed. Whip stitch around the end of each rib and into the second layer of fabric to secure it into place.


how to replace an umbrella canopy
The original parasol didn't have holes drilled into the end of each rib like a traditional metal umbrella. I didn't want to tempt fate and split the wood with a drill and sewed the rib to the canopy like the original version of the bamboo parasol.

 9. Cover the raw fabric edges at the top of the parasol frame by using Fabri-Fuse to glue twine,ribbon,fake flowers or leaves into place. Allow the glue to dry.


DIY ivy umbrella

10.To make the fabric parasol water and fade resistant, spray an even coat of Scotchguard Sun and Water Shield on the fabric per the directions on the label.


how to use a spray can without finger cramp pain

Tip: This exact spray paint can comfort grip fits on a can Scotchguard  and will help you apply a nice even coat without spray can finger pain!


11.After the leaf parasol is dry, pop the top and fae on! 


Rather buy than DIY a fairy, fantasy, Halloween, renaissance festival umbrella or parasol? Check out the following options - and more! - below!

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Stone Cottage Adventures said...

Oh, wow! What a lovely parasol! Thank you for sharing the tutorial at You're the Star blog hop! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

Oombawka Design said...

What a wonderful Ivy Leaf Parasol! I love that it is waterproof too :) Thank you for linking up at our weekly Link Party! You are being featured at our Wednesday Party #414 this week. Here’s the direct link to the post in case you’d like to share your feature:

Hope to see you again next week! Rhondda

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