Willy Wonka-Inspired Mushroom Umbrella

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MushroomBrellas-UmbrellainRain-eHow
Roald Dahl‘s Birthday is Sept 13 and one of my all-time favorite, make-you-feel-like-a-kid-again movies is the Gene Wilder version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. With just a stencil and a bit of waterproof paint, you can craft yourself  (oh, um… I mean, your child can craft) a mushroom umbrella that will almost make you believe that an Oompa Loompa could appear around the next corner.

MushroomBrellas-Materials-eHowMaterials:

Red umbrella(s)
Pencil
Round things to use as stencils (cups, plates, tape rolls)
White multi-surface acrylic or fabric paint
Paint brushes
Optional:
Mushroom and Caramel colored acrylic or fabric paint MushroomBrellas-Trace-eHowMushroomBrellas-TraceCircles-eHowUse your assorted “round things” and pencil to make a variety of circles all over your umbrella. MushroomBrellas-PaintedFirstLayer-eHowPaint a thin coat of white paint inside the pencil circles. MushroomBrellas-FadedFirstLayer-eHowAllow the first layer of paint to dry completely. It will most likely fade, as the canvas umbrella soaks up the paint. MushroomBrellas-PaintedSecondLayer-eHowApply a second coat of white paint and allow that to dry completely.MushroomBrellas-BoyOpeningUmbrella-eHowGive your child the mushroom umbrella and wait for rain!MushroomBrellas-MomnSon-eHow
If you live in California, you may be waiting for quite a while, so wear comfortable shoes, and maybe have Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory queued up on your iPad to pass the time. MushroomBrellas-UmbrellainRain2-eHowGive up on rain and spray your yard and the umbrella with the hose. (Only do this on a city-approved watering day. We are in a drought people!)

Oh, and remember how I listed some optional paint colors in the materials list? You could stop here and have a darling umbrella. I decided that our umbrella could use a little surprise on the inside, so I grabbed the additional paint to give the mushroom gills.MushroomBrellas-GillUmbrellaonWhite-eHowWhen I started this project, I wasn’t sure if gills would be possible, but since the paint from the white circles didn’t seep through to the inside, I went ahead and painted the entire underside of the open umbrella with the mushroom colored acrylic paint. MushroomBrellas-paintedinsidemush-eHowAfter I let the base layer dry, I used a small-medium sized paint brush and made freehand lines with the caramel colored paint that mimicked the look of gills. MushroomBrellas-TanStripesInside-eHow
I was super happy with the effect, but my toddler could not have cared less about the gills, so it’s completely up to you whether you find this step necessary. MushroomBrellas-UmbrellawithGills-eHowWe’ll be ready to use our Amanita muscaria mushroom umbrella as soon as it rains, for some Roald Dahl-inspired play, or for an easy Halloween costume- whichever comes first!

All photos by: Megan Andersen

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