Made in the Shade – a unique planter pot Umbrella Stand

It’s been a busy month (ahem, yeah, my last post was over a month ago), but M and I have finally been getting this house to feel like a home. One of the projects I really wanted to tackle was for our outdoor space  was a stand for my patio umbrella. Here’s how I did it!

DIY Planter Pot Umbrella Stand

I’ve owned this super cute, small canvas patio umbrella for years now, but it’s been in storage for a good 3 years or so because our last apartment didn’t have a space for it. Now that we have a big outdoor area to play with, I really wanted to bust it out!
The problem was, after scouting around to find a nice umbrella stand, I discovered that there are basically two camps: super ugly and cheap OR classy and way too expensive. The other idea was to find a thrifted patio table – the kind with the hole in the middle – but it turned out to be a much more difficult search than expected.

Finally I decided to make my own solution! An umbrella stand that would be unique, changeable, and inexpensive! Here’s what I did:

DIY Umbrella Stand Materials

*Large Planter Pot – proportional to the size of umbrella
*Small Cinder Block (8x8x6)
*Length of PVC tubing – wide enough for umbrella handle

Ceramic planter with drainage hole

Be sure your pot is a good size. Since it will be outside (and have plants that need water), be sure there is a drainage hole in the bottom!

Planter with cinder block

Place your cinder block in the center of your pot. Be sure it’s in a good position to put your PVC tube right over the drainage hole.

PVC tubing - Painted & Holes Drilled

I spray painted the top portion of my tubing a dark gray color, so the white PVC isn’t so noticeable. I also used a drill bit and my hand-held drill to put a few drainage holes in the bottom of the tube.

PVC & Gravel

With the PVC tube centered over the drainage hole, fill in the cinder block space with gravel until the tube is securely lodged in place.

Adding dirt to the planter

At this point, make sure your planter umbrella stand is located where you want it – it’s about to get really heavy! Next step is adding your potting soil.

pack it in there

Pack the soil in really well around the cinder block – you don’t want it to move!

Planter filled with dirt!

Once you’ve got the block hidden and the planter all filled, it’s time for adding pretty things! I had a few marigolds and snap dragons, but it turned out my planter wasn’t that big, so I just did the marigolds. If I were to do this again, I’d probably choose a trailing flower, like petunias or something, but I do think the happy yellow marigolds are cute. 🙂

umbrella stand planter with flowers

So there you have it! Simple yet effective!
Those flowers will fill in a bit, but even sparse as they are, I really like how this project turned out! And what’s great about it is, since I didn’t use cement or something permanent to affix the PVC tubing, if I get tired of this arrangement, I can disassemble the whole thing and I still have a great ceramic pot to use!

And the break down for price is pretty great:
*Ceramic Pot: $16
*Potting Soil (way more than needed for this project, btw): $5
*PVC tube: $1.25
*Spray paint: free (already had it)
*Gravel: free (gathered from the back alley)
*Cinder block: $.95
*Marigolds: $.95
TOTAL: $24.15

So yeah, good luck finding a nice free-standing umbrella stand at the store for under $25!

Outdoor living, here we come!

And now with the summer weather finally arriving in Seattle (we hope!), we’re one step closer to some awesome outdoor living!


Filed under Crafts, DIY, Plants, projects, tutorial

9 responses to “Made in the Shade – a unique planter pot Umbrella Stand

  1. Pingback: Thinking Outside The Pot: DIY Planters That Are Anything But Ordinary | Blossom Design Studio, llc.

  2. Pingback: Thinking Outside The Pot: DIY Planters That Are Anything But Ordinary | Joyful Roots Design - Graphic and Web Design, Branding, Art and More

  3. John Cat

    Wow, great idea!
    I am sure this would work well with market umbrellas. I could make a heavier one for large umbrellas.


  4. Lee

    I also had the idea of doing an umbrella planter, and found your plan by scouting around. I like your ideas, but there’s one problem: nothing to keep the umbrella from slipping out and blowing away. (I found this out the hard way when my unanchored deck umbrella blew down and damaged a friend’s car.) Perhaps a hole drilled through the pvc and umbrella combined with a bolt? But then the pvc might slip out. Hmmm …

  5. Shannon

    Just a thought, but you could also put pot on a rolling base so you can move though-out the day to stay shaded, or out of the way when not in use:) I love this planter idea!!!

  6. Angela Murrah

    That looks amazing. I was trying to think of a way to use an extra umbrella with out a stand. Thanks

  7. Pingback: 6 Sweet Ways to Get Some Shade

  8. nice post! am looking forward to read your future post, great weekend ahead!

  9. Love this project, but along the way I would buy the heavy plastic pot, drill about six weeping holes in the bottom, (set pot on a rolling pot holder so you can move it where the sun is,) then cut a circle of weed preventive cloth to fit over the holes, (note weed preventive cloth to prevent dirt from seeping thru the rocks or gravel) set in the cinder block, and pvc pipe, fill whole bottom of pot around with gravel or heavy river rock, and around pvc in the cinderblock, then another layer of weed preventive cloth, then fill the rest of the pot with the soil and plants

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