Seriously, this was one of the coolest things I’ve done in a while. I saw this beautiful huge umbrella and thought, what if I lettered it? So I set out to find out how I could do so. In this tutorial I’ll show you how I did some fun calligraphy on an umbrella. Let’s dive in!
LETTERING AN UMBRELLA
Here is what I’ve used for this project:
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- Umbrella. I got mine at IKEA (I do love IKEA)
- Screen Print Paint. I’m using white, but use whatever color you want!
- Soft Pencil.
- Paintbrushes. I found that flat brushes are the best for this!
- Mod Podge for Fabric.
- (Not pictured) Krylon Matte Finishing Spray
There are so many possibilities for quotes – “Rain Rain, Go away,” “You are my sunshine,” and more, but for this I wanted to kind of take the approach that honors the necessity of rain and chose the quote, “No rain, no flowers.” I did this rough sketch to see whereabouts I wanted the letters to hit.
Using these umbrella section lines, I used the same soft pencil to sketch some guidelines for the letters onto the umbrella itself.
This is the tricky part! I used a medium sized flat brush to dip into the screen-print paint. The folks at Michael’s seemed confident this is the paint I’d want – since it is used on shirts and other fabric, I figured it would give me the opacity I wanted. It’s super thick, so be careful. Be sure your paintbrush is clean of any ink – it might transfer to the paint.
Go back and get the coverage and opacity you want right away, going one or two strokes at a time. Because it’s so thick, you’ll want to get at it before it dries – it gets cakey before too long.
You’ll notice that you’ll get fuzzy edges due to the thickness, so I borrowed a page out of my husband’s book and pressed my flat brush down to edge the letters more solidly.
The letters took me about 2 hours to complete – and then I had to stay patient and let the paint dry overnight.
Obviously we can’t let the paint run off at first rain, so upon recommendation I used the Mod Podge for fabric to seal the paint. At first I thought I’d have to paint over the WHOLE umbrella but instead I just sealed immediately around the letters.
As you can see, I coated the letters just a centimeter or so around the letters. It looks creamy but will dry clear – really push the Mod Podge into the umbrella to make sure it seals. I found that I needed to use a completely pigment-free brush because it was dying my paint blue because it was the last thing I used. So make sure it’s super clean!
ADD SOME FLOURISH
For fun, I took some of the Mod Podge and added some extra flair by adding rain drops all over the umbrella. You could do sunshine, flowers, polka dots – whatever!
Now it’s the important lesson I learned – LET IT DRY! You need to let it completely dry for a few days in cool temperatures with the umbrella completely open. The Mod Podge sticks to itself if you close the umbrella (which I found out in haste to show my in-laws my latest project!)
To reduce the stickiness, I sprayed the whole umbrella with the Krylon Matte Finishing spray. Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated space and can let it dry off to set.
Here’s the final product!
I’m a little afraid to take it out, but I certainly hope the sealing does its job!! I’ll report back on how it does!
What’s the most unique thing you’ve lettered? I’d love to give it a try!