How to... Make a bag out of an umbrella

Blog by Farah

Merton resident

Some years ago, I had two umbrellas lose their battles against the breeze in one season. I was annoyed about this anyway. I was also annoyed about their most-likely fate of going to landfill. I googled for repair options (expensive or fiddly). But I also found fun re-craft options (bags, clothes). Bags were easy: just needle, thread and my amateur sewing skills. So, I put the umbrellas aside for future reference where they languished - and multiplied! Meanwhile, reusable bags and repair workshops have become a thing and (thanks to a pandemic) we have all had more time indoors. Time for some re-craft projects! Oh, as well as the old lanyards and umbrella, I used thread from hotel sewing kits. One bag = reuse + practicality + low cost.

Rain is a fact of life in the UK and so are umbrellas. Breezy weather is also a fact of UK life and so are broken umbrellas. We must maximise options for repairing and re-crafting our human-created and non-biodegradable broken stuff. Better, sustainable design is a challenge for manufacturers. But once an item fails those tests, let's choose to up-cycle.

Making your bag

What you'll need...

  • Broken umbrella

  • Scissors

  • Long strips of fabric / old lanyards

  • Safety pins / Regular pins