Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Planter Umbrella Stand

     When we first moved into our house, we bought a cheap dining table and chairs set for our patio. As the years went by, we realized we didn't even eat dinner out there. A couch and chair set would be more comfortable to sit on and we could get a fire pit too. We bought the set last year, and quickly realized that our patio gets no shade! It's on the north side of the house, so it's in full sun all day. We bought a nine foot umbrella that matched our new set and thought the problem was solved. It wasn't. We didn't have a heavy enough umbrella stand to support such a big umbrella. Then we built a wooden box to fit around the existing umbrella stand and put sandbags on top to weigh it down. It worked OK, but it wasn't pretty and it wasn't movable. We needed to be able to move the umbrella since we have sun all day.
     I looked and looked for an affordable umbrella stand, but I couldn't find one that we could afford that would support a nine foot umbrella. So, we had to make one. I found this tutorial on the Internet, and then I got some ideas on how to make it my own. Now, we have a decorative planter umbrella stand that can be moved throughout the day. I estimate it weighs about 200lbs, which is slightly higher than what is recommended for a free-standing nine foot umbrella. The best part is we only paid about $60 for the whole thing...not $150 if we would have bought a premade stand.
Pay no attention to the fact that we need mulch!
What you'll need :
5 gallon bucket
PVC piping - I bought 5 ft and used about half of it
plastic spray paint for your piping if desired (it will be white if you don't paint it)
1 sandwich bag
50# quikcrete bag
plant dolly
big planter pot
Sandbags (we already had these!)
potting soil
plants (I used geraniums and sweet potato vines)

  • Cut the PVC piping to desired length. We cut ours to just under the hole the umbrella pole pops into. It sticks out of the pot about 18 inches. Spray paint if desired.
  • Put a sandwich bag over one end of the PVC pipe to make sure concrete doesn't go into the bottom of the pipe. Put the PVC into the bucket (with the plastic bag to be buried in the bucket)
  • Mix quikcrete as directed. We dumped some in and dumped some water in and mixed, then repeated until the whole bag was in the 5 gallon bucket.
  • Make sure the PVC pipe is level. You don't want your umbrella to be tilted. Hold until starting to set and doesn't move anymore. Let that set overnight.
  • The next morning, put your big planter on the dolly. Put the 5 gallon bucket into the big planter. Be sure it's in the center of the planter.
  • Pour sand around the 5 gallon bucket. Be sure to leave at least 6 inches (depends on the type of plants you are going to use) for your potting soil at the top!
  • Pour potting soil over the sand.
  • Plant your plants and water thoroughly.
Previously posted:


  1. Love this! So pretty too.

  2. Hi!

    You joined My Sweet Party in May and in a few days I’ll feature my top three favourites. So make sure to visit soon to see if your recipe was one of my favourites.

    Today there’s a new month and a new theme. I really hope you’d like to join again!


  3. AnonymousJune 18, 2012

    Do you have any issues with it tipping over due to wind?

    1. No. We estimate it weighs near 200lbs. 150 is recommended for a free standing 9ft umbrella.
      The weight comes from the concrete and nearly 3- 50 lb bags of sand.

  4. I have the same problem in my backyard. Like you, I don't want to spend a lot of money on umbrella stand. This is perfect. Thank you for sharing.


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