We’ve been working hard on sprucing up our backyard this summer. I got a sweet deal on this cute striped patio umbrella for $35 from Walmart that I knew would jive with our style perrrfectly. I was super excited about it until…well, I had never bought a patio umbrella before, so I had no idea that a. it wouldn’t come with a stand (duh Delia) and that b. sturdy, high quality stands are $$$. I know rookie mistake.
I scoured the internet and local stores and came up with essentially two options: either inexpensive stands you fill with sand that many people didn’t recommend, especially for the windy area we live in; or, really nice, really expensive stands for over $100. There were some in between options, but they came with really bad online reviews. I didn’t feel like dropping $65 on something that could turn into a shipping/returns headache. My budget friendly deal on a new umbrella wasn’t looking so budget friendly anymore.
Then, I totally had a duh moment and remembered option c. DIY it of course!
And I’m happy to say that it turned out so much better than anything I could have bought. I’m really, really happy with it and I know it will last a really long time.
Plus, did I mention that I made this super, duper sturdy stand for under $20? Yesssss.
And when I say sturdy, I MEAN it. It probably weighs over 50 lbs. Seriously. It’s small but mighty. 🙂 Which is what you want. You don’t want it to take up all your legroom under the table, but you want it to be able to hold it’s ground, literally, when necessary.
I know that this is already a fairly popular project on Pinterest, but I tried my best to design something that was easy to make (no mixing concrete! yay!), ultra durable and near unbreakable, and inexpensive. This base checks all those boxes.
Black PVC pipe (2 inches by 2 feet)
Quick set concrete
Safety equipment (gloves, goggles, mask)
Optional: River rocks, soil, or other filler
-I bought my concrete planter at Walmart for $9. They are normally $15 but they are on sale right now.
-Home Depot sells smaller 2 foot sections of PVC pipe in white and black, in varying widths for around $3. You can buy the white and spray paint it to the color you need. Luckily I needed black, so I saved myself a step and just bought the black PVC pipe. Try to get a PVC pipe that is as close to the size of your umbrella pole as possible, so that it doesn’t rattle back and forth.
-Make sure to get quick set concrete so that you don’t have to stir it. Trust me, it makes this project SOOOO much easier.
-Don’t skip the safety equipment. You DO NOT want to get any dry concrete in your eyes or lungs as it can cause severe injury and it WILL kick up like dust when you pour it.
Concrete planter ($9) + PVC pipe ($3) + Concrete ($3/bag) = $15 plus tax!
STEP ONE: Prep your materials.
Gather your materials and protect your work area. This thing is SO heavy that I didn’t want to make it in our garage and then have to move it all the way to our patio. So, I set up shop on our patio and protected our patio surface with a nice big, thick cardboard box.
STEP TWO: Prepare PVC pipe.
If desired, use some nail polish remover to remove the printed numbers on the PVC pipe. Place the pipe in the center of the pot and make sure it’s level. Get a second person to hold it in place for you if you can (make sure to give them a mask and goggles too!)
STEP THREE: Pour dry concrete.
Add the dry concrete to the pot and fill it just over halfway.
STEP FOUR: ADD WATER
Add the amount of water recommended on the bag of concrete, and check to make sure the pipe is still level. You don’t need to mix it! Just let it seep in. If you see little bubbles pop up, you know it’s doing it’s job. You will want to hold your pipe in place for a little bit, until the water has seeped in enough to keep the pipe stable.
- You don’t need to worry about the holes at the bottom of the pot or the pipe because they should line up and keep the pipe from floating out of place.
- Our bag only gave a recipe for the whole bag and we were using about 1/3 of the bag, so we totally winged it and just guesstimated. For a project like this, you don’t have to be exact. Try to get close and you’ll be fine.
STEP FIVE: Let it dry.
The water will continue to seep into the dry concrete until it is saturated. Then you need to let it dry. I think our concrete bag said 4 hours. We live in a humid place, so we let it set overnight. By morning, it was ready to rock and roll.
That’s it! Soooo easy right?
At this point you can leave it or add some pizzazz. Add some soil and flowers if you aren’t going to hide it under a table, or add some pea gravel or rocks. We had some extra river rocks so we tossed those in.
I have to say, this is probably one of my favorite summer projects to date. I love it when a little DIY-ing saves the day. 🙂
We’ve already had a few meals al fresco and I am totally digging it. This is our first time having a yard to truly make our own, so it feels pretty awesome! Sources: Table and two white reclining chairs are from IKEA (the table comes with add on leaves so it can seat 10+ , we love it!), black metal indoor/outdoor chairs are from Walmart.com, patio umbrella is from Walmart.com (and I am sad to say it looks like they have sold out of this print).