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Master the Skill: How to Make Little Umbrellas for Drinks

by | Dec 3, 2023 | How To

To make your own little umbrellas for drinks, you don’t need to be a crafting expert. With a few simple materials and some creativity, you can easily create unique and personalized drink garnishes. Whether you’re hosting a party or just want to add a fun touch to your beverages, crafting drink accessories like umbrellas is a great way to elevate your drinks to the next level. In this article, we’ll walk you through two different methods of making little umbrellas for drinks, providing step-by-step instructions along the way. Get ready to impress your guests with your creative cocktail decorations!

Key Takeaways

  • Learn how to make little umbrellas for drinks with simple materials and creativity.
  • Elevate your beverages and impress your guests with unique and personalized drink garnishes.
  • Discover two different methods of making little umbrellas for drinks with step-by-step instructions.
  • Add a fun and festive touch to your cocktails with DIY drink decorations.
  • Create a personalized and visually appealing aesthetic to enhance your favorite drinks.

Method 1 – Cupcake Liner Umbrellas

One easy and accessible method for making little umbrellas for drinks is using cupcake liners. This method is perfect for those who prefer a simpler craft project, and it’s also a great option for involving young children in the process. To make cupcake liner umbrellas, you will need basic materials like cupcake liners, pipe cleaners, craft glue, and scissors.

You can choose to either use plain cupcake liners and decorate them yourself, or use pre-decorated ones. Simply fold the cupcake liners, create pipe cleaner handles, insert the handles into the umbrellas, glue the pieces together, and let them dry. Once the glue has set, you’ll have adorable DIY drink embellishments ready to adorn your cocktails!

cupcake liner umbrellas

  1. Choose your cupcake liners – either plain or pre-decorated.
  2. Fold the cupcake liners in half.
  3. Create pipe cleaner handles by bending them into a U shape.
  4. Insert the pipe cleaner handles into the folded cupcake liners.
  5. Apply craft glue to the folded edges of the cupcake liners and press them together.
  6. Let the umbrellas dry completely before using them to garnish your drinks.

With this simple method, you can quickly and easily create charming cupcake liner umbrellas to add a touch of whimsy to your beverages. Whether it’s a tropical-themed cocktail or a refreshing mocktail, these DIY drink garnishes will definitely make your drinks stand out.

Method 2 – Paper Umbrellas

If you’re looking for a slightly more advanced method of making little umbrellas for drinks, consider using sturdy paper and wooden skewers. This method allows for more customization and creativity, as you can decorate the paper with various designs or patterns. To create paper umbrellas, you’ll need materials like sturdy paper, wooden skewers, clear tape, scissors, and a writing utensil.

Start by decorating the paper if desired, then trace and cut out circles to serve as the umbrella tops. Fold the circles and create creases to form the umbrella shape, then scallop the edges to mimic the panels of a real umbrella. Cut a slit in one crease, fold one panel under the other, and secure with tape. Finally, insert a wooden skewer through the umbrella and use it to garnish your drinks. These paper umbrellas are not only functional, but they also add a unique and festive touch to any cocktail.

paper umbrellas

Cultural Significance of Oil-Paper Umbrellas

Oil-paper umbrellas hold a deep cultural significance in various East, South, and Southeast Asian countries, particularly in Chinese culture. These traditional umbrellas are not only functional items but also cherished as symbols of tradition and heritage. In Chinese and Japanese weddings, the bride is often covered with a red oil-paper umbrella, which is believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to the marriage. Purple umbrellas are associated with longevity and are used to honor the elderly, while white umbrellas are reserved for funerals. These umbrellas also play a role in religious celebrations, where they can be seen on sacred sedan chairs, offering protection from rain and sunlight.

Oil-paper umbrellas are not just utilitarian objects; they are also considered works of art. The craftsmanship involved in creating these umbrellas is highly revered, with intricate designs and patterns adorning their canopies. In Japanese traditional dances and tea ceremonies, oil-paper umbrellas are used as props, adding an elegant touch to the performances. Today, these umbrellas are not only cherished for their cultural significance but also as popular souvenirs for tourists visiting Asian countries.

Oil-paper umbrellas are not just utilitarian objects; they are also considered works of art.

The cultural significance of oil-paper umbrellas extends beyond their use in celebrations and ceremonies. These umbrellas are an embodiment of the rich history, traditions, and craftsmanship of the Asian cultures they originate from. They serve as a reminder of the importance of preserving cultural heritage and passing down traditions to future generations.

Table: Symbolism of Oil-Paper Umbrella Colors

Color Symbolism
Red Good luck, protection from evil spirits
Purple Longevity, honor for the elderly
White Funerals, mourning

The History of Oil-Paper Umbrellas

The history of oil-paper umbrellas dates back to ancient China, making them a remarkable Chinese invention that has spread across Asia. While the exact time of their creation remains unknown, they are believed to have originated during the Tang dynasty and later gained popularity in other Asian countries such as Korea and Japan. Initially, oil-paper umbrellas were made using feathers or silk, but over time, paper became the material of choice.

During the Song dynasty, oil-paper umbrellas were commonly referred to as “green oil-paper umbrellas,” and by the Ming dynasty, they had become widely popular and were even mentioned in Chinese literature. Today, oil-paper umbrellas are produced using a variety of materials, with different regions specializing in specific styles and techniques.

oil-paper umbrella

Key Points: Details:
Origin: The exact time of their invention is unknown, but they are believed to have originated in ancient China.
Spread: During the Tang dynasty, oil-paper umbrellas spread to other Asian countries such as Korea and Japan.
Material: Feathers and silk were initially used, but they were later replaced by paper.
Popularity: By the Ming dynasty, oil-paper umbrellas had gained widespread popularity and were frequently mentioned in Chinese literature.

Chinese Invention with Asian Influence

The invention of oil-paper umbrellas in China has had a significant impact across Asia. These umbrellas have not only served functional purposes but have also become cultural symbols in many East, South, and Southeast Asian countries. Each region has developed its own unique variations and uses for oil-paper umbrellas, reflecting the diversity and cultural significance of this invention.

From being a traditional wedding item in China and Japan to being used as props in traditional dances and religious celebrations, oil-paper umbrellas hold deep cultural meaning. The umbrellas provide cover and protection from rain and sunlight and have even become cherished works of art and popular souvenirs.

Oil-paper umbrellas have become an integral part of Asian cultural heritage, representing craftsmanship, beauty, and tradition.

Paper Umbrella Materials

The use of paper as a material for oil-paper umbrellas allowed for greater customization and creativity. Today, various types of paper are used in the production of these umbrellas, with different regions having their preferred choices. Washi paper, a traditional Japanese paper made from the bark of the gampi tree, is often used in Japan, while regions in China may use bamboo pulp paper, rice paper, or other locally sourced papers.

The choice of paper affects the durability, weight, and visual appearance of the umbrella. Thicker papers provide sturdiness, while thinner papers create a delicate and ethereal look. The selection of paper is an essential aspect of the oil-paper umbrella production process, contributing to the overall quality and uniqueness of each umbrella.

In Summary

The history of oil-paper umbrellas traces back to ancient China and their invention remains a remarkable achievement. From their origins during the Tang dynasty to becoming popular throughout Asia by the Ming dynasty, oil-paper umbrellas have had a lasting impact on culture, art, and craftsmanship. The use of paper as the main material has allowed for diverse creative expressions and customization, with different regions developing their unique styles and techniques. Today, oil-paper umbrellas continue to be treasured as cultural symbols, representing the rich heritage and traditions of Asian countries.

Production Process of Oil-Paper Umbrellas

The production process of oil-paper umbrellas is a fascinating and intricate craft that requires skill and attention to detail. Each step of the process contributes to the creation of a well-crafted and visually stunning umbrella. From the selection of bamboo to the painting of intricate patterns, artisans pour their expertise into every aspect of the production.

oil-paper umbrellas

One of the first steps in the production process is the careful selection of bamboo. Bamboo is chosen for its strength and flexibility, which are essential qualities for the skeleton of the umbrella. Skilled artisans then craft the bamboo to form the framework that will support the canopy of the umbrella.

Once the bamboo skeleton is complete, the next step is the application of the washi paper. Washi paper, known for its durability and lightness, is cut and glued onto the framework, forming the canopy of the umbrella. The paper is carefully trimmed to ensure a precise fit and then exposed to sunlight and oiled to enhance its durability.

The final step in the production process is the painting of patterns and designs onto the umbrella. This step requires precision and artistic skill, as intricate details are added to the umbrella’s surface. The patterns can range from traditional motifs to modern designs, each adding a unique and decorative touch to the finished product.

Yuhang, Zhejiang – A Hub for Oil-Paper Umbrellas

When it comes to the production of high-quality oil-paper umbrellas, Yuhang in Zhejiang province stands out as a renowned hub for this traditional craft. With a history dating back to the Qianlong Emperor era, Yuhang has become synonymous with excellence in craftsmanship and durability. The umbrellas made in this region are highly sought after, attracting both locals and tourists who appreciate the cultural significance and artistry behind these creations.

Local artisans in Yuhang have dedicated themselves to preserving this important cultural tradition. Through training apprentices and passing down their skills, they ensure that the craft of making oil-paper umbrellas continues to thrive. The meticulous attention to detail and the use of traditional techniques result in umbrellas of exceptional quality that showcase the rich heritage of Yuhang.

As efforts to revive and promote the art of oil-paper umbrella production in Yuhang intensify, the region reaffirms its standing as a hub for this revered craft. The combination of age-old traditions and a renewed focus on preserving this cultural heritage creates a vibrant atmosphere where creativity and tradition come together to produce the finest oil-paper umbrellas.

Key Highlights: Cultural Significance Traditional Craft Excellence in Craftsmanship Durability
Location: Yuhang, Zhejiang
Artisans: Local craftsmen in Yuhang

oil-paper umbrellas in Yuhang, Zhejiang

“Yuhang’s oil-paper umbrellas are not just functional items but also a testament to the rich cultural heritage and artistic prowess of the region. Each umbrella tells a story, reflecting the traditions and skills that have been passed down through generations.” – Local artisan

Preserving Tradition, Inspiring Creativity

The production of oil-paper umbrellas in Yuhang is not simply a craft but a way of life. Local artisans take immense pride in their work, combining traditional techniques with innovative designs to create pieces that are both authentic and visually captivating. The cultural significance of these umbrellas is deeply ingrained in the community, fostering a sense of connection to the past and inspiring creativity for the future.

Today, visitors to Yuhang can witness the intricate process of making oil-paper umbrellas firsthand. The workshops and studios offer a glimpse into the artistry and dedication that goes into every creation. From the careful selection of materials to the delicate brushstrokes that adorn the umbrellas, every step is executed with precision and passion.

Yuhang’s commitment to preserving the tradition of oil-paper umbrella making highlights the importance of cultural heritage and the value of artisanal craftsmanship. By supporting the artisans in Yuhang, visitors and enthusiasts alike contribute to the continuation of this cherished craft, ensuring that future generations will be able to appreciate the beauty and cultural significance of oil-paper umbrellas.

Sichuan – Exquisite Oil-Paper Umbrellas

Sichuan is renowned for its exquisite oil-paper umbrellas, which are characterized by their fine paintings, abundant colors, and ability to withstand strong winds. The craftsmanship and artistry of these umbrellas are highly regarded, making them a cultural heritage of the region. Despite the rise of Western-style umbrellas in recent times, the art of making oil-paper umbrellas in Sichuan has experienced a resurgence, thanks to efforts to preserve and promote this traditional craft.

Oil-paper umbrellas from Sichuan are known for their exceptional quality and durability. They are meticulously crafted by skilled artisans who have mastered the techniques passed down through generations. Each umbrella is treated with care and attention to detail, ensuring that it will withstand the test of time.

The fine paintings on Sichuan oil-paper umbrellas are a testament to the artistry of the region. These intricate designs showcase the rich cultural heritage of Sichuan and often depict traditional motifs, landscapes, and scenes from everyday life. The vibrant colors used in the paintings add to the visual appeal of the umbrellas, making them true works of art.

One of the unique features of Sichuan oil-paper umbrellas is their ability to withstand strong winds. The combination of sturdy materials and expert craftsmanship ensures that these umbrellas can endure even the harshest weather conditions. This makes them a practical choice for those living in regions with unpredictable climates.

The Artistry of Sichuan Oil-Paper Umbrellas

The artistry involved in creating Sichuan oil-paper umbrellas is truly remarkable. The process begins with the selection of high-quality materials, including bamboo for the frame and specially treated paper for the canopy. Skilled artisans then meticulously handcraft each umbrella, paying close attention to every detail. From shaping and assembling the frame to applying layers of oil and paint, every step requires precision and expertise.

The paintings on Sichuan oil-paper umbrellas are often inspired by traditional Chinese art forms, such as calligraphy, landscape painting, and folk motifs. The artists use a combination of brushwork techniques and vibrant pigments to bring these designs to life. Each painting is a unique expression of the artist’s creativity and offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Sichuan.

Features Benefits
Fine paintings Adds a touch of artistry and elegance to any setting
Strong winds resistance Ensures durability and reliability in adverse weather conditions
Durable materials Guarantees longevity and functionality
Cultural heritage Preserves the traditional craft and showcases the region’s cultural identity

“Sichuan oil-paper umbrellas are not just functional objects but also treasured works of art that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the region.” – Local Artisan

Jiangxi – Orthodox and Beautiful Oil-Paper Umbrellas

In the province of Jiangxi, particularly in Wuyuan County, there is a longstanding tradition of creating exquisite oil-paper umbrellas known as “Jīnxī dǒulì Jiǎlù sǎn.” These umbrellas are highly regarded for their orthodox craftsmanship and exceptional beauty, reflecting the cultural history of the region. The art of making oil-paper umbrellas in Jiangxi dates back to the Song dynasty and has been passed down through generations, resulting in a cherished heritage that continues to thrive today.

The Jīnxī dǒulì Jiǎlù sǎn umbrellas are renowned for their artistic designs and durability. Skilled artisans meticulously paint intricate patterns on the umbrellas, creating visually stunning works of art. The umbrellas are made using a combination of bamboo and washi paper, ensuring their structural integrity and resistance to the elements. The craftsmanship and attention to detail demonstrated in the creation of these umbrellas are testaments to the rich cultural history of Jiangxi.

“Jīnxī dǒulì Jiǎlù sǎn” umbrellas represent more than just functional objects; they symbolize the artistic talent and cultural identity of the region. Their exquisite designs and traditional production techniques make them highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike.

The tradition of making oil-paper umbrellas in Jiangxi is not only a testament to the region’s cultural heritage but also a thriving industry that supports local artisans and their families. These umbrellas serve as powerful symbols of Jiangxi’s rich history and continue to capture the hearts of people around the world with their beauty and cultural significance.

Key Features of Jiangxi Oil-Paper Umbrellas
Orthodox craftsmanship
Intricate and artistic designs
Durable construction using bamboo and washi paper
Symbolic representation of Jiangxi’s cultural history
Supports local artisans and their families

The beauty and significance of Jiangxi’s oil-paper umbrellas make them a true treasure and a unique representation of the region’s cultural identity. Whether admired for their artistic designs or cherished as functional accessories, these umbrellas continue to captivate and inspire individuals worldwide with their timeless elegance and cultural legacy.


Creating your own little umbrellas for drinks is a fantastic way to add a personalized touch and creative flair to your cocktails. Whether you opt for cupcake liner umbrellas or paper umbrellas, these DIY drink decorations serve as both functional garnishes and eye-catching accessories. By crafting your own cocktail embellishments, you can impress your guests and elevate the overall presentation of your beverages.

With simple materials and easy-to-follow instructions, making little umbrellas for drinks is an accessible craft suitable for all ages. The process allows you to unleash your creativity and experiment with different designs and patterns. From hosting parties to enjoying a casual drink, incorporating these personalized drink decorations will undoubtedly enhance the experience and make your beverages more visually appealing.

So, why settle for ordinary cocktail garnishes when you can create your own? Explore the world of DIY drink decorations and experience the joy of crafting unique accessories that reflect your style. With just a few simple steps, you can transform a regular drink into an extraordinary creation. Cheers to adding a personalized touch to your favorite beverages!


What materials do I need to make cupcake liner umbrellas?

You will need cupcake liners, pipe cleaners, craft glue, and scissors.

Can I decorate plain cupcake liners myself?

Yes, you can decorate plain cupcake liners or use pre-decorated ones.

What materials do I need to make paper umbrellas?

You will need sturdy paper, wooden skewers, clear tape, scissors, and a writing utensil.

Are oil-paper umbrellas used in any cultural ceremonies?

Yes, oil-paper umbrellas have cultural significance in traditional weddings, religious celebrations, and Japanese dances and tea ceremonies.

Where did oil-paper umbrellas originate?

Oil-paper umbrellas originated in China and spread to other Asian countries during the Tang dynasty.

What is the production process of oil-paper umbrellas?

The production process involves selecting and crafting bamboo for the skeleton, cutting and gluing washi paper onto the skeleton, trimming and oiling the umbrella, and painting intricate patterns on it.

Which region in China is known for producing high-quality oil-paper umbrellas?

Yuhang in Zhejiang province is renowned for its production of high-quality oil-paper umbrellas.

What makes the oil-paper umbrellas in Sichuan unique?

The oil-paper umbrellas in Sichuan are known for their fine paintings, abundant colors, and ability to withstand strong winds.

Are there any traditional oil-paper umbrella production centers in Jiangxi?

Yes, Wuyuan County in Jiangxi province has a tradition of making orthodox and beautiful oil-paper umbrellas.