DIY Patio Umbrella Holders - Tutorial with Pics

I want to place 2 patio umbrellas on our driveway patio because, unfortunately, it is like the surface of the sun out there. No relief from the sun, and past about 10AM in the summer, the concrete is like walking on hot coals! Below is the picture of what I really wanted...

These HEAVY umbrella bases weigh in at 110 pounds each PLUS they have wheels so one could move them around as needed. BUT good gawd! They are $70 alone!!! Plus, I would need 2 of them... That just was NOT going to happen. So I decided to make my own! This project cost me about $13.

Here is what you will need. Keep in mind, I made 2 bases.
~2  (60 lb) bags of ready to to go Quickrete
~2 large flower pots (I used ones I had purchased years ago at Ikea, bonus - they have wheels
~2 (2ft) long sections of PVC pipe. The pipe I used was 1 1/4 in which fit my umbrella poles perfectly
~tape - really effing strong tape



STEP ONE - drill a hole in the very center and and bottom of your flower pot to allow water to drain out of your pipe. This hole should be much smaller than your PVC pipe, obviously so the pipe doesn't fall through the pot. 

STEP 2 - This part sucks... you will need to stand up your PVC pipe and tape it into place. I used painters tape. I DO NOT recommend this. Use MUCH stronger tape PLUS another pair of hands for filling the flower pot. Make sure your pipe is centered over the drainage hole. 

Step 2 (part 2) you want to make sure your PVC pipe is standing up nice and level in all directions so that your umbrella later on will not be cock-eyed. I taped my mini level to my pipe and did it that way. 

STEP 3 - mix up your quickrete with water until it is the consistency of peanut butter. Use a LITTLE water at a time... It can turn into concrete soup with only a few too many drops of water. 

STEP 4 - Fill your pots around the pole. This is where the extra set of hands and really effing strong tape will come into play. I did not have extra hands, nor really effing strong tape, so my pipes moved as soon as I piled in the concrete. I had to reestablish the level and plumb of the pipes. Not fun. 

STEP 5 - smooth out your concrete and allow the flower pots to set for a few days. Then, just plop in your umbrella, and there you have it! Also, make sure to clean up your mess so your wonderful, loving, supportive husband doesn't get mad at you for playing in concrete when you really have no idea what you are doing :)

Step 6 - after your concrete has set up and hardened, make sure to drill some drainage holes in the PVC or in the side of your pot, especially if the concrete doesn't reach the top of the pot.
All there is left to do is put in your umbrella!

My concrete does not reach the top of the pot, so I plan on filling them with potting soil and flowers. 

So for $13, I got gorgeous, mobile, 65 lb umbrella stands. That makes for a happy yardener. 


  1. Great idea! I thought maybe you'd use weights from a weight bench...

    1. OH MY GOSH! If I had some weights sitting around gathering dust I TOTALLY would have put them in there with the concrete. Great idea!!!

  2. That is so completely, creatively, wonderful! Now all I have to do is find a pot with wheels. Again - amazing.

    1. I know that at the local garden center there are iron tray with castors on them... I am not sure of how much they cost, but maybe around $25? You could also make your own wheely stand with plywood and castors purchased at the hardware store (just make sure to anchor your pot onto the plywood)

  3. I have just compleated this project However can I pass on atip
    When you get your plant pot drill a hole in the centre of the base. Then get an old veg tin and drill a hole in the centre of the bottom of the tin. Get a suitable bolt with wide washers and nut and attach the tin to the inside of the plant pot using the washers on the inside of the tin and the bottom outside of the plant pot. Drill holes for drainage and insert dowels in the holes
    Put your upright in the tin and with wetted newspaper pack around the upright inside the tin. This will keep it steady
    Using offcuts of wood make a H frame across the top of the plant pot to hold your upright in position whilst you pour in the post mix cement
    Before you pour in the cement make sure that you have raised the plant pot over a container to catch any drainage of cement fron the drainage holes
    After pouring in the cement keep turning the dowels to maintain drainage The post mix should be set enough in about 15mins to remove the dowels
    I left mine overnight to make sure it was fully set
    I placed old broken plant pot pieces over the drainage holes and then small stones over that
    The plant pot was then fitted onto a metal frame with castors filled with potting compost and flowers of choise
    Well pleased