Wednesday, August 2, 2017

DIY Cinder Block Umbrella Stand

I've been slowly but surely updating my patio and making it more kid friendly.  When I created the Kids Rock Garden, I knew it would needed to be shaded.  Adding an umbrella next to that area would certainly provide shade and since we already have an umbrella at our patio table, I just bought the same color for the kids play area.   Next up was to find just the right umbrella stand. I wanted it sturdy but didn't want to pay the $50+ price tags for the options out there.  That lead me to see if there was a cheaper yet sturdier DIY option.  Of course there was and it only cost $6.21!

In the past,we've had a couple of those offset cantilever umbrellas.  Below is a picture of one from amazon for a really good price, but I wouldn't buy one again because we haven't had much luck with them.
I like them because they are out of the way and the kids can have shade without running into an umbrella.  Over the past 10 years we've lived here I think we've gotten three because they keep braking due to the wind.  So, I knew I didn't want one of those again.  Since this umbrella would be in the flower bed I wouldn't have to worry about kids running into it, but I still needed to make sure it would withstand the winds that blow across the fields behind our house.  

I got my inspiration from Sara over at Pot Belly Bird HERE.  She lives in Chicago and has a rooftop patio so she needed an umbrella stand that could stand up to the windy city.  She went the extra step and added flowers to her cinder block umbrella stand.  One of these days I might get around to doing that.

This set up seemed like the perfect thing for my area and oh so easy to make.  I couldn't wait to get started but first I had to find the cinder blocks.  I thought I could just get them from Lowes or Home Depot.  And while they both had the regular 8x8x16 hollow cinder blocks, they did not have any 8x8x8 hollow cinder blocks.  They wouldn't do site to store with free shipping and I didn't feel like driving two hours to the nearest store which had them in stock.  I almost thought about abandoning this DIY project, but then I remembered we have a local building supply company about 20 minutes away.  I called and yes, they had exactly what I needed and better yet, it was cheaper than the other stores.  I purchased 2 of the 8x8x16 hollow cinder blocks and 3 of the 8x8x8 hollow cinder blocks for a grand total of $6.21.   

First up was to make a level base for the cinder blocks to set on.  I just used one of the concrete pavers that was used to weigh down the base of our old cantilever umbrella.

I layed down the 8x8x16 cinder block first, then added the 8x8x8 cinder block next to it.  I added the other 8x8x16 cinder block on top of the 8x8x8 block and half of the 8x8x16 block.

Then I added the remaining two 8x8x8 blocks on top of that, making sure they all lined up.

Then I placed my umbrella pole inside and filled around it with some rocks I had left over from the Kids Rock Garden project.

I wiggled the umbrella pole and everything felt nice and sturdy.  No fear of this thing getting blown over.

What a cute shady spot for my son to play in.

 And if I wanted to fancy up those plain ol' cinder blocks, I could always paint them like Bethany from Reality Day Dream did HERE.  The colors she used would even match my umbrella.

Be sure to check out my other patio updates:

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