I've got this super-cool umbrella from TheDIYOutlet.com. But as with most patio umbrellas, it didn't come with a stand and I am way too frugal to pay $30 for one! So I made my own on the cheap using what I had on hand. Mine will be mostly covered up with mulch in my courtyard area once the dogs start snuffling around it so I don't mind the gray cement look of it, but you could certainly pretty it up with concrete stain after it sets.
Step 1: What I Used
1 sack of Quickcrete. (I bought a 60 pound bag for under $3 and did not use the entire bag.)
1 planter or very large bowl (Others would probably insist it be clean but the planter I had was used previously and had dirt in it. It did not affect the appearance of the finished product at all.)
1 cardboard mailing tube (I had this on hand but you could also use a piece of PVC pipe if you had that lying around.)
lubricant (Some tutorials say WD-40 but I used what I had which was canola cooking spray.)
a couple of plastic bags or plastic wrap
Step 2: Prepare You Mold
You'll need to center the tube in the planter and secure it. I used some tape. It doesn't need to be super secure because once you add concrete, it will hold itself upright and you can remove the tape.
Spray the interior of the mold and the outside of the tube with cooking spray.
Step 3: Mix Your Concrete
I used a 50 gallon bucket to mix my concrete but a wheelbarrow or large dustbin would also work well. Add water until it is the consistency of loose peanut butter. For this project I used about 2/3 of the 60 pound bag.
Step 4: Fill the Mold and Wait
Scoop concrete into your mold and smooth out, pressing it into the entire area. Once it's full, pick up and drop your mold a very short distance to remove any air bubbles.
Cover the mold with a plastic bag or plastic wrap so it does not dry too fast. Leave it for 4-5 days to cure.
Step 5: Unmold and Use!
Simply tip over your mold and, if you used the right amount of cooking spray, your new umbrella base should pop right out. It is ready to hold you patio umbrella steady!