DIY Umbrella Stand – Upcycle An Antique Milk Can

diy unbrella stand

Why spend the money on an umbrella stand with no character?  Here’s an easy DIY for the perfect umbrella stand WITH character!

The conversation began like this, “I am going to buy an umbrella stand today.”  My husband followed with, “We don’t need an umbrella stand.”  My eyebrows went up and I said, “YOU may not need an umbrella stand, but I do.” ~ you know, for the moments when I want to sit and look at the garden or watch the chickens frolicking out in Poultry Land, things like that.  He then said, “Why do you really want to waste money on that?  Honey, we can make one.”  So, I retracted  (somewhat retracted) my claws (they were out because he told me I didn’t need one, yeah, that didn’t fly) and I listened to his proposal….with my arms crossed.

He proposed that I used one of the many milk cans that I had collected over the years, and not only could he turn the milk can into an umbrella stand, he could also turn it into a planter as well.  At that moment I completely retracted my claws and the little angry hairs on my arms went down…my husband was brilliant!  He was brilliant because normally I am the one who thinks of ideas like this, but this time he beat me to it!  As homesteaders our goal it to recycle materials on hand verses buying new, apparently my brain was not functioning that day.  Yes, I am human, he proved that. 

diy umbrella stand

The first thing you want to do is find your vessel, the item in which you are going to upcycle.  It can be a milk can, a galvanized bucket, a galvanized milking bucket, a plastic bucket, anything that you have on hand.  You will need to pick up some quick set concrete ($3 a bag), how much you will need is based on your vessel size; for our small milk can we used 1 bag of concrete (60 lbs).

diy umbrella stand

You will also need a PVC pipe ($4 for 2 feet) which can be found in the plumbing section of any hardware store.  Make sure to measure the pole of your umbrella, this will determine the PVC size you will need; ours was 1 1/2 inches wide.

diy umbrella stand

Cut the PVC pipe level to the top of your vessel, and start filling in with the mixed concrete.  Once you have the PVC pipe in its desired spot (it will move when you start putting in the cement) place a weight on it to keep from moving as the concrete firms up.  Check on it often while the cement is wet and realign it if you need to.

diy umbrella stand

Once the concrete has set, fill with flowers or herbs of your choice!  Here we have a confetti blend flower mix and Indian mint (which is a trailing perennial and part of the mint family….and boy is the mint tasty!)  There you have it, a beautiful unique umbrella stand which makes for a great conversation piece!  Oh, be warned….the stand weighs a ton, be careful when moving it.  The umbrella can be removed at the end of each summer and honestly, I couldn’t be any more happier with how it turned out!

diy umbrella stand

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