1. a light, small, portable tote bag made out of abandon umbrellas found on the streets of Brooklyn.

When the wind and rain start to pick up; those are the days to hunt abandon umbrellas. The umbrella fabric has so much potential for repurposing/upcycling and is eco-friendly. The material is sturdy, waterproof and even fashionable. Umbrella’s come in all sizes from golf to child offering flexibility to the scale and style of bag you can create.

Not only are you repurposing fabric but minimizing your use of plastic bags once your Totella (tote bag out of an umbrella) is complete.

Below please find a few easy steps to create your own, if you’re strapped for time here’s a link to buy them online: Etsy

What you’ll need to begin:
– Abandon umbrella
– Sewing scissors or cutting wheel
– Pins
– Ruler or tape measure
– Cutting mat
– Sewing machine
– Thread
– Iron


Step 1:
Carefully snip the umbrella fabric free from the skeleton of the umbrella. Unscrew the button at the top of the umbrella and wash the fabric.

Step 2:
Turn the umbrella fabric inside out. Fold it in half and pin the two sides together along the edges.

Step 3:
With a yardstick or tape measure, measure out the width you want for your bag plus one inch for the seams. (In the photo below, I measured 17 inches across, so the finished bag is 16 inches wide). Next iron your seams, pin and sew.

Step 4:
To make the handles, cut pieces of the excess umbrella fabric by measuring about 2½ wide and 15 inches long. If you don’t have enough material, make your strip smaller. Fold each piece in half lengthwise and pin (the material should be inside out). Sew a seam on one piece and then turn right side out. Repeat with the second piece.

Step 5:
Determine where you want to attach the handles to the bag. Tuck the edges of the fabric under and pin the ends on the inside of the bag. I like to use the extra fabric to cover the handle seams offering additional support.

Step 6:
Roll it up and now do some shopping!