Then this summer, something came over me, and it wasn't a rain cloud...it was an idea! Woot!
Backstory: when I first moved here I was flea market obsessed, country crazy (in a good way) and looking for some deals. I found a cool, rusty old milk can made of heavy metal with a lid. I was actually thinking of using it as a barstool, but then nixed that idea when I knew my kids would fall off. So the milk can sat here and there, getting a little rusty as a plant stand for my ferns. Then one day this summer it finally hit me! Make my own umbrella stand with the milk can and some rocks. Does this sound odd? Yes, it does, but it worked for me!
Easy How To:
I spent one morning on the patio with my four year old moving gravel (leftover from another project)...all we did was place the umbrella in the milk can and then fill it up with the gravel. I went back later and inserted a piece of PVC piping to slip the umbrella into, that way you can remove the umbrella any time and not lose your place in the gravel. We also drilled holes in the bottom to allow water to escape. It also weighs about 50 pounds so it won't blow over!
That's it! You could paint the can, or rough it up some more, whatever matches your decor. If you don't have gravel you could use sand or regular old dirt. I added silk/plastic flowers around the top, but I think I'm going to add ivy next spring.
Let me know what you think!