After sharing our DIY natural autumn mobile in the last post here, the weather closed in with days of rain and cold. Mother Nature had sent a reminder that it is in fact winter here in Melbourne. In typical rainy day style, the sky was grey and there was an almost sombre light draped over everything. It seemed like the perfect time to create a rainy day activity that would bring some joyful colour back, so we made these simple paper plate umbrellas. The umbrellas can be used for play but we decided to make some rain too and create a winter wall art installation.
What you’ll need
– paper plates
– wooden sticks (these pictures have straight wooden sticks but there were also a few created with ice cream sticks for handles)
– sticky tape
What you’ll do
There’s a few minutes of prep before sitting the little ones down, which involves cutting each paper plate in half and then cutting out the curved lines along the bottom. Once that’s done, they’re ready to paint.
The top side of paper plates can often have a coating on it that makes them shiny, so we flipped ours over and painted on the other side. To create the splodgy, ‘just came in from the rain’ look, these ones were dotted with paint and then a dripping wet paintbrush was used to smudge the colours into each other. Then we left them to dry.
While the umbrellas were drying…
Because we were creating a wall installation, naturally the umbrellas needed some rain and it’s super simple to make! Simply take a piece a paper and using the same dab and smudge method as the umbrellas, paint blue and silver/grey across your paper and leave to dry.
Once the paper is dry it’s time to cut out the raindrops. A quick way to do this, which has the bonus of resulting in symmetrical raindrops, is to fold your paper in a concertina style and then cut half a raindrop along the folded edges. Once you’ve done that you can flip it over and repeat the cutting down the fold in the centre of the page.
Back to those umbrellas…
Finishing the umbrella construction is as easy as turning them over and taping on the wooden sticks to create the handles.
Now it’s time for to have fun playing with them or attach them to the wall for a pretty reminder of how rainy days inside can be fun. Enjoy!