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Gum Wrapper Origami Fun by Tom Hall
Gum Wrapper Origami Umbrella Project : Page 2 of 2

Origami Umbrella Project

continued from page 1

Step 4: Connect the two top halves.

Bring the two halves together so the remaining connectors are aligned with each other. This should form a square with a small hole in the middle where they all meet.

Roll one of the two remaining connectors just like when you were joining the halves. Don't roll the 4th connector until after the next step.

Step 4Bend the spines
The sticks you've used to roll the connectors should still be in each of the 3 rolled connectors. You need to form the middle of the umbrella which connects the handle to the top. We will use these sticks that serve as the spines holding the top upright to make that connection. Half of the length of each stick will be used for the spine, the other for the connection to the handle.

Step 4Take a flat gum wrapper and fold it in half end-to-end bringing the short straight sides together. This will give you the measure of how much of each spine to fold for the handle connector.

Pull each stick out from the center of the umbrella, making sure the stick only comes out about half-way. Also, make sure the stick is on the paper side (underside) of the wrappers that form the top. Bend each of the three (3) sticks straight up at that halfway point in each stick. Position the vertical pieces of the sticks as close together as possible in the exact center of the underside of the umbrella.

Step 4Roll the 4th connector
You know when I said that rolling the connectors for the top pieces was tough, well this is the toughest one of all. Bring the last two vertical sides together and line them up at the top and at the bottom creases. This will make the top form a cone shape and you want the paper side to be on the concave portion of this cone. Take a stick and roll the final connector. What makes this so tough is that you don't have the room for your fingers that you had on the other three connectors. Make the best and tightest roll possible. When you're done rolling, pull the stick out from the edge so that only a very small length is left sticking out into the middle.

Step 4Insert last spine
There isn't enough room to pull the last stick into the center like the others. Take another stick and fold it in half. Thread one of the legs of that stick through the hole in the center of the umbrella from above. Take the other end and slide it down the 4th connector pushing out that straight stick. Once it is all the way in, pull the straight stick all the way out from the edge.

Step 5Step 5

Step 5: Connect the Handle.

Make a couple of spiral connectors about the diameter of a pencil. Wrap a stick around a pencil in a spiral until you run out of stick. Pull the spiral off the pencil and repeat for the 2nd one.

Step 5Put a stick in the middle of the 4 half sticks that are protruding from the underside of the umbrella. Slide a spiral connector down the stick and around the four half sticks until the spiral is around all 5 sticks. Tighten the spiral connector by twisting it around the sticks making the spiral's circumference smaller. Gently slide the spiral down to the point where the sticks meet in the little hole in the top. Repeat with a second spiral, but don't push this one down. Leave it at the other end of the short sticks.

Finished Gum Wrapper UmbrellaAdd the final piece of the Handle
Take one stick and wrap it around another one in a tight spiral until you run out of stick. Slide the spiral off. Thread this spiral onto the end of the full length piece of the umbrella handle. Push it on about half of the spiral's length. Take the half of the spiral that is not connected to the stick and bend it in a semi-circle to complete the handle.

You be done! ...or maybe not...

Step 6: Modification afterthought.

Step 6After making this umbrella I was admiring my handiwork and it got me to thinking. Umbrellas always have those supports underneath, usually near the top. The connectors to the handle looked longer they needed to be and could be used to provide the look of supports.

Step 6All I did for the modification was to slide the lower spiral connector off the handle and bent the sticks out from the center just above the upper spiral connector. This does provide the look of supports usually associated with umbrellas. It also makes the handle skinnier for a longer distance.

The supports really don't hold the top out or up. The bending of the sticks also loosened the connection to the handle. There always seems to be something when I make a modification that is a tradeoff ...I'll keep looking for ways to make it better. •

© 2008 Tom Hall. All rights reserved.

Tom HallTom is an artist expressing himself through gum wrapper origami. Tom is also an IT project manager so is looking for ways to incorporate innovation techniques to the many project processes used for work. More »

5/28/08