DIY Wedding

DIY Wedding

How to Brighten a Rainy Day Brunch

comments (29) March 21st, 2012     

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Jeff_Rudell Jeffery Rudell, contributor
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The complexity and structure of these paper parasols disguise how simple this project actually is. Your table will look sophisticated but it wont cost you much and it wont take long to create.
This paper topiary injects a welcome sense of fun into an otherwise formal setting and adds a nice dash of color to the setting.
A simple handful of rice holds my standards in place in their pots and does double duty by echoing the theme of my party.
The complexity and structure of these paper parasols disguise how simple this project actually is. Your table will look sophisticated but it wont cost you much and it wont take long to create.

The complexity and structure of these paper parasols disguise how simple this project actually is. Your table will look sophisticated but it won't cost you much and it won't take long to create.

Photo: Jeff Rudell

We had all the ingredients for a perfect weekend away near the shore: a brunch to introduce new friends to old, a menu of Asian-inspired cuisine, a selection of exotic imported teas...and a nor'easter that nearly blew the house off its foundations. It could have been a disaster (and it very nearly was) had my friends and I not taken it as an opportunity to slip off our wet shoes, run around in our socks, drink cups of hot tea, and enjoy the warmth of being inside while the weather raged outside.

We had originally intended to cut a handful of tulips from the garden to use on the table, but the high winds and pelting rain all but destroyed them before we got a chance to gather them. With very little time to make other plans (and no flowershop within easy reach of where we were), we headed to the grocery store to see what we could find that would suffice as table decor. On a low, dusty shelf in the paper products aisle, we found a box colorful cocktail parasols. On the way home, we stopped at a tiny local craft and fabric store where we were lucky to find two styrofoam standards (on sale!). With these goodies in hand, we headed back home. A neighbor offered us two clay flowerpots to complete the project.

All told, I spent about 25 minutes making these cheery centerpieces (and 10 of those minutes were spent photographing the process for this post). Those few hurried minutes brightened the entire day for us and our guests. Again, paper came to my rescue and, unlike fresh flowers, these lovely creations won't disintegrate into a pile of wilted petals, so I plan on using them again in the future.

So, unlike some of my previous posts (many of which take hours and hours and hours of time and effort to complete), today I offer a down-and-dirty, quick-and-easy project that you can use all summer long.

Craft on!

Two styrofoam standards (overall height 18 inches with 6-inch-diameter globes) and a box of paper parasols are all I needed to begin my project.


It proved difficullt to keep each of the parasols fully open, so I decided to insert them all in a partially open postion, which made the finished piece look wonderfully textured and dimensional.


I inserted all of the orange, pink, and yellow parasols first and then "covered up" the areas between them (where the globe showed through) with green parasols.

Did you make this?
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery

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Comments (29)

EchoLin writes: i'm subdued by the power of imagination, great idea can always tell us how lovely life is.
Posted: 3:53 am on April 18th
michkelly writes: Great information on History of Arts and Handicrafts, Great tips. The content of your blog is exactly what I needed. Thanks for creating to increase a marketing of handicrafts.
handicraft items
Posted: 2:15 am on March 19th
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Posted: 12:29 pm on August 20th
craftyjs writes: You are brilliant! Thank you for sharing, I read you may come out with a book? Please, we need a fresh ideas like yours here in the crafting world. Thank you again, it made me smile for sure.
Posted: 6:06 am on May 31st
klacrafts writes: I consider myself to be quite crafty and have completed many projects more difficult than this one, but I can't get this to work. I've broken a dozen or more parasols trying to push them in the ball. When I reached the bottom portion, I can't push any more in because there's no way to hold the ball and not crush the already inserted parasols. The last straw was being stabbed by the top of one of the picks when the parasol slipped down all of the sudden. I just threw the stupid thing in the floor and I'm done! I was a great idea, I just don't know how it can be called quick and easy. Any other tall centerpiece ideas for my son's beach themed party?
Posted: 10:05 pm on April 16th
Sunshine43 writes: I thought you left Jeff. Are you back on here? Or am I seeing you anyway?
Glad to have you back.
You are a very creative man=WOW!

Posted: 10:38 pm on March 25th
Bea_DaydreamBeliever writes: Thanks for sharing! I made two of these topiaries for a beach-bridal shower I co-hosted this past weekend. They are spectacular in person! I posted pictures on my blog
Thanks again!
Posted: 10:59 am on July 20th
zeshuregi writes: really supurb one,so nice

Posted: 9:03 am on March 30th
Jeff_Rudell writes: Dear ObjectTrouves: The teapot you see in the photographs is a reproduction of a "SYP" (Simply...Yet Perfect") teapot invented in 1905 in Scotland by the Earl of Dundonald. More information about this object (and information on where to order one) can be found here:
Posted: 2:11 pm on March 15th
ObjetsTrouves writes: I've been saving some umbrellas for a long time, this is a spectacular inspiration! What is the teapot-like object on the cake stand??? Most unusual and interesting.
Posted: 11:04 pm on March 3rd
Nannysc writes: What an inspriring idea! I think it's time to schedule a party so I can use this and soon... Thanks for sharing the idea and detailed instructions!
Posted: 6:42 pm on March 3rd
Stile writes: lively bright fun...thanks for posting.
Posted: 1:11 pm on January 17th
Rafikinhos writes: What a great idea for a baby shower or wedding shower.

The umbrella's can be sprayed gold or silver and the trunk covered with satin ribbon for a wedding decoration. I definately will be using this idea for one of my social events.

Thank you!
Posted: 9:29 am on August 13th
smita writes: Beautiful n easy DIY idea, will surely make it for my next party .....
Posted: 9:56 am on August 8th
smita writes: Beautiful n easy DIY idea, will surely make it for my next party .....
Posted: 9:55 am on August 8th
Preeti writes: Really Really very great home decoration idea. Very creative, easy to make and inexpencive too.
Thanks for sharing
Posted: 6:12 am on June 22nd
lling writes: Wow! what a great idea !
Posted: 11:01 pm on May 6th
hemidemisemiquaver writes: REALLY? You slay me. ***Bowing to you like you are Mecca.*** ('s better than Buddha)
Posted: 8:23 pm on May 5th
Diannpcw writes: Awesome!
Posted: 2:41 pm on May 5th
sarahjames writes: This is great!
Would you consider posting this over at
We're the largest DIY website on the net, and it would be a great way to drive traffic back to your site.
Since the pictures and copy are already perfect, it would be a snap to post on instructables. Once you do, let me know and I'll make sure you get featured on the front page!

[email protected]
Posted: 2:16 pm on May 5th
jeannearis writes: Absolutely perfect!
Posted: 7:56 am on May 5th
Jen_W writes: I love this so, so much for its simplicity and genius. Yay!
Posted: 3:52 pm on May 4th
AWilcox writes: Very cool and colorful. My sister-in-law is party planner for the family and well, she is always the one chosen to decorate for all parties. I have passed this onto her and she loves it so much, that she will has decided to create these as table center pieces at her next event. Thanks again for your inspiring work, its always amazing.
Posted: 2:15 pm on May 4th
elbowyoyo writes: Fabulous. Just Fabulous!

Sometimes "happy accidents" far outpace planned designs . . . and this is a classic example! Bravo!
Posted: 1:27 pm on May 4th
Sister_Diane writes: Ah, a classically genius Jeff Rudell project! Simple, gorgeous, attainable. You are amazing.
Posted: 11:49 am on May 4th
Maureclaire writes:
Jeffery, you are the God of Paper ! I've been telling ALL my friends that, too !!!
Posted: 11:25 am on May 4th
swinginmartinis writes: These are great! I'm going to have to throw another party soon!
Posted: 10:55 am on May 4th
EEQamouse writes: This is fantastic. Your ability to look at something and see it as something else entirely is amazing.
Posted: 9:41 am on May 4th
Fiberfads writes: This is delightful! I host a hospitality club for girls 10-13 years old and we just planned an outdoor tea for their mothers. Indeed I had to explain that on the intended date it may very well rain and we will need a set of indoor plans just in case. I talked to them about flexibility. This post and table decor is a perfect example of my lesson!
Posted: 7:55 am on May 4th
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