Inexpensive Outdoor Makeover

Inexpensive Outdoor Makeover


I’m on a mission to make my small back patio welcoming without spending much. We’re sprucing up the front but the back leaves so much to be desired.

I will post this DIY project in sections. The first, is the umbrella with stand. The second, will be how we added a little flair to the chairs and table top.

For $35, you can have an outdoor umbrella and base

that’s ACTUALLY cute!

(compared to a minimum of $110 for both)

When we moved into our house, we didn’t have any patio furniture. The owner offered to leave what she had but it was pretty ratty at the time. It sat for awhile. The lawn was kind of a mess and we have a retaining wall that holds back a weed factory. In a week, you can have a full-blown rainforest on your hands, they grow so fast.

Our summertime project is to completely overhaul the lawn/grass. I’m impatient and don’t want to wait until that project is complete to start on my own “stuff”. That being said, I don’t have an extra $700 lying around for the outdoor set (complete with a screened-in area) that I want. So, to improvise, while mom was in town, the two of us obsessed and DIY’d our way to a “brighter-looking” outdoor area.



We took a ratty-looking outdoor set (which looks really white in the image – it’s not) and added a pop of color for, literally, $35.


1. Market Umbrella for outdoor (found at Dollar General for $20). If you don’t have a Dollar General nearby, search for this brand. It’s not a cheap-o feeling/functioning umbrella, either. SCORE!


2. Head to a hardware store and grab:

  • Quickrete – $3ish
  • PVC pipe – $2ish (make sure you measure the circumference of your umbrella pole. It should fit inside the pipe)
  • Planter – $5ish (we got ours at WalMart)
  • Bucket – $3ish (to stir concrete)

Total: $33ish (including umbrella)



Follow the directions on the concrete for the concrete to water ratio.


Mix the concrete.

We used the handle of a mop and a shovel. We’re super-classy like that.


We put a bit of concrete at the bottom of the pot. Then, we plunked the PVC pipe into the middle-ish part of the bucket and surrounded it with concrete. It’s so freaking hard to mix and sets quickly. We’re talking, like, completely set within 40 minutes.


Obviously, we stood the PVC pipe upright once we put more concrete in the pot. We also should tell you that wearing cropped yoga pants and flip flops is required. OH, and you should start on this project at about 11:30pm.

Or is that just the way we do EVERYTHING?

Pat the concrete a bit so you feel like the project is complete.


Once you’re ready, wait until sunrise because you won’t be able to see anything on your back patio 40 minutes after you started this project.

Simply place the table over the pot and line the PVC pipe up with the hold in the table. Add your inexpensive awesome umbrella and you have this:


We can’t stop there.

The chairs need some love (new ones are around $25 each and pads are anywhere between $12 and $30 each). Now that I’m on a DIY kick, there’s got to be a quick, cheap and easy way to finish this project.

Here’s a little teaser.


Do you have any DIY suggestions on how to make this project possible?

tawsha connell