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How to Install a Patio Umbrella Without a Stand

By Bridget Kelly
Standard patio umbrella stands aren't particularly attractive.
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

The heavy, clunky umbrella stand is typically an optional and somewhat pricey purchase when you buy your patio set. It resides under the table and holds the umbrella upright and secures it from flying away during windy weather. For those that don’t want to restrict the use of the umbrella to the patio furniture, there are other, more decorative methods that may replace the umbrella stand. A stunning planter that coordinates with your other outdoor furnishings makes an interesting and decorative umbrella stand.

Choose a planter with a broad base so that it isn’t easily knocked or blown over.

Cut the ABS 8 inches taller than the pot’s depth.

Lay a square of screening material on the bottom of the pot, over the drainage holes.

Add one inch of lava rock to the pot and stick the ABS into it, in the center. Add the remaining lava rock to the pot, spreading it evenly.

Mix the concrete according to package instructions and add three inches of it over the lava rocks in the container. Use a trowel or other flat instrument to slope the concrete slightly away from the ABS. Use a carpenter’s level to check that the container is level and the ABS is perfectly vertical.

Use the saw to cut the dowel into six-inch pieces. Stick them through the concrete, while it is still wet, equally spaced around the pot to create drainage holes. Move the dowels in a circular motion after you’ve placed them in the concrete. This allows for easier removal when the concrete dries. Remove the dowels the next day, after the concrete sets.

Fill the pot to within two inches of the top with potting soil. Plant ornamentals around the ABS and water until the excess drains from the bottom of the pot.


Things You Will Need

  • 15-inch tall, 20-inch wide planting pot or other container
  • Measuring tape
  • 1½-inch ABS pipe, three feet in length
  • Saw
  • Wire or nylon screen
  • 1 cubic foot of lava rock gravel or crushed lava rock
  • Container to mix concrete
  • 50 lb. bag of concrete
  • Trowel
  • Carpenter’s level
  • ¾ inch dowel, 3 ft. in length
  • Dowels
  • Potting soil
  • Plants

About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.