I'm new, so I hope I'm doing this right!
I've been meaning to post this here for months, but I'm unfortunately also lazy! Last fall I made a poncho for my son out of an old umbrella, and I wanted to share!
Remove the metal frame and lay the umbrella out "flat". Oh, and save the strap that goes around the closed umbrella for later! (Okay, it won't be completely flat because it's wasn't designed to be.) Oh, and save the strap that goes around the closed umbrella for later! Measure your kid's neck and cut out a comfortably large neck hole. (I screwed up and made this one too big--you can't tell in the picture of him walking because it's pulled back--but you don't want water to soak the neck of her/his shirt!)
Then open one of the seams coming out from the neck hole several inches, so that it will easily fit over your child's head, even after s/he grows another year or two. Finish the edges of the neck hole and the placket so they won't unravel.
I chose to add a lining because I thought it would be more comfortable--this is a remnant of that mesh material they use to make football jerseys. Cool, but would keep the nylon off his arms.
[For those who would go this route: It was a bit tricky to sew on because (1) the umbrella doesn't exactly lay flat, so the mesh didn't exactly fit, but I didn't want to spend too much time making it just right and (2) I wanted to sew it properly, with the seams inside, so I sewed the outside ring with "right sides facing". Then I sewed the inside ring. (Leaving a few inches unsewn to turn it rightside out.) Then I realized it's impossible to turn a donut rightside out. So I took out all the stiches on the inside ring and sewed that by hand.]
This picture shows three things. The ducks are the more obvious one. They were appliques I had purchased previously. The more important one is the placket. Hopefully you saved the strap that goes around the umbrella. Stitch the ends of the strap at the top of the placket such that you will be able to snap (or velcro) the placket closed. The third thing is that you can see the athletic t-shirt lining that I added, peeking out the placket. Again, that was optional.
Last thing, and this is quick: Have your kid try on the poncho, and measure her/his arms. Fold the sides under so the poncho will be long enough in the front and back but not get in the way of the hands on the side, and pin it. Take the poncho off and tack the corners in place on the underside of the poncho. (By "tack", I mean just a few hand-stiches, just enough to keep it in place. Don't make it perfect, because your kid's arms will be longer in no time, and a poncho should work for a few seasons. In this picture, I am showing how you could tack it really short if needed but I ended up not doing it anywhere near that extreme.
Hope you like it and it gets your juices flowing too. I've already been making plans to remove one or two panels and form a hood next time.