DIY SKILLZ: Making Kaylee’s Parasol

Hello all!

First off, I’d like to wish the entire hive a belated Happy New Year! It’s now 2014. The Bighorns are counting down the days to the wedding!

Over the Chrissy break, I decided to start (and finish) a DIY project I’ve been dying to do since Mr. Big showed me a particular parasol. This particular project is very much connected to the “geeky” aspect of the wedding.

I documented it in the last post, but just as a reminder—folks, I wanted to make Kaylee’s parasol:


Kaylee, the mechanic from the cult TV show Firefly, and her colourful parasol / Image via The Verse ”“ The Firefly/Serenity Costuming Club

For those who aren’t in the know, Kaylee is a character from Mr. Big’s favourite.TV show.EVER. This TV show is called Firefly and was actually written by Joss Whedon, the guy who made the biggest superhero film of all time, The Avengers.

As documented in my last post, I could not find anyone who sold Kaylee’s parasol in Australia or was willing to ship it over from America for cheapsies. And so, with that, I turned to the DIY route. Before I begin, let me all just refresh your memories.

The parasol looked like this:


Taken from When Geeks Wed

First off, I purchased a relatively cheap plain white paper parasol.


A plain white paper parasol purchased from Lantern Shop

After I received it, I didn’t do anything with it for a little bit because I was scared I would fail and ruin it. During the Xmas break (NB: Merry belated Xmas from the Bighorns!), I sat down and began planning out what to do.

I won’t lie. I didn’t do this project on my own (everyone knows how much I fail at arts and crafts, right?). I got most of my advice from When Geeks Wed, but adjusted it to suit what I needed.

For example, I found that overlaying construction or scrap paper over the parasol and fastening it with Scotch tape was much easier than putting it underneath the parasol. I would then trace around the paper to make the swirl needed.

I didn’t take pictures of this part of the DIY process because I had to adjust the swirl a lot before I was happy with it. I found it easier to do the swirl roughly and then just eyeball it until it looked just right.


The crafting corner I had set up! At this point, I was ready to start painting. Unfortunately, I did the swirl lightly with a blunt pencil, so you can’t really see it unless you look closely.

I then began painting!

I started off as the tutorial instructed—the green swirl.


As you can see in the picture, it looked rough! I had only put on one coat of green paint by that point. If you do intend on doing this project, I highly recommend a few coats of paint. After I was relatively happy with the green swirl, I moved on to the yellow one:


Can you see the thickened green paint? Also, you can see the beginnings of the final red swirl!

I forgot to take a picture of the yellow swirl being painted, but it’s all the same anyway! After the yellow one was done, I started with the red (as you can see above).

Like I said before, a few coats of paint really do wonders!

Once I was happy enough with the coats of paint, I went over the edges with an angular shader brush (basically, a brush with angled bristles). You could probably do the edges with a fine-tipped brush, but I highly recommend the angular shader if you want a smooth finish.

This is what I ended up with:


The finished product!

I’m quite proud of it! I’ve been getting tonnes of compliments on it, and I can’t wait to use it on the day. Mr. Big says that I did a very, very good job on it too. So smiles all around!

One thing to note, though: when I closed the parasol I had to be careful to make sure it folded properly (don’t worry, guys, it did!). The paint makes it a little bit bigger than it was originally when folded but, overall, not much change (other than the nice coat of paint, of course).

What do you guys think? Does anyone else intend on DIY’ing some of their own painted parasols?

(All images personal unless otherwise stated)


Mrs. Bighorn Sheep

Sydney, NSW, Australia
Wedding Date:
February 2014
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  1. Member
    mrscam24 114 posts, Blushing bee @ 8:52 am

    Impressive! So much like the real one 🙂

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Elaine Kendall, Guest @ 11:07 am

    Very creative 🙂 Love it!

  3. Member
    beenumberbea 118 posts, Blushing bee @ 11:26 am

    You did an awesome job! You’re craftier than you thought 😉

  4. wellies Bee
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:30 am

    It looks amazing! Great job! 🙂

  5. candy apple Bee
    candy apple 1877 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:50 pm

    I am obsessed with Firefly. This is awesome.

  6. Member
    Miss Circe 2968 posts, Sugar bee @ 1:10 pm

    Great job!

  7. gondola Bee
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:34 am

    It came out great!

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