I have to make Robert's/Burt's chimney sweep and I need a black umbrella.
I was promised at one blog that the chimney sweep was easy peasy. Just buy a broom at the dollar store, deconstruct it and spray paint the handle black and use the broom bristles and some floral foam (also available at the dollar store) to make the "sweep" part.
Good fortune has been with me during the costume element gathering and I found a broom AND floral foam at the dollar store. In fact, I found a circular, disk shaped piece of foam at the dollar store. What could be better?
I had black spray paint here at home and quickly got to work deconstructing the broom into its chimney sweep parts.
The handle came apart easily enough and I sprayed it black. However, the bristles were firmly stuck in their broom-head assembly. They were NOT coming out. I tried to think of a way to cut them at the base to remove them, but I couldn't slash didn't want to spend time trying to figure it out. Also, the bristles are short and I figured would not make an impressive sweep.
So I went to Michaels, which is honestly a true sign of insanity, for pipe cleaners. As I walked in the store there was one check stand open and about 40 people in line. The line snaked back and forth and I tried to find the pipe cleaners as quickly as possible as more people queued up. I located the pipe cleaners, but guess what? No black. So I grabbed a couple multi packs and figured I'd use my handy can of spray paint to achieve the correct color.
Here's a couple pictures of the sweep before and after the spray paint. Looks like I'm going to need a few more coats.
Now about that umbrella.
I've been to five stores and not found the right umbrella. All I want is a regular, black umbrella.
Target and Ross had plenty of mini umbrellas that pop out with the touch of a button.
Fred Meyer had a $20 sport umbrella, which was huge.
Goodwill had lots of umbrellas to choose from, the day before I got there.
And Nordstrom Rack had a patterned, regular umbrella which I was just about to purchase and attack with my can of spray paint when I noticed it was $51.
T minus four hours until the trunk or treat and I am a umbrellaless Mary Poppins.