Introduction: DIY Landscaping-Outdoor Barrel Posts

The wife saw these somewhere and just had to have them. The goal was to have something to hang lights up in the back yard. So, I found the materials and made them myself. You need some supplies but the most expensive will be the 1/2 barrels. I found mine at a local grocery store for $39.99.

Step 1: Tools Needed

Tape measure (if you can't measure with your level )
Wood Glue / outdoor rated adhesive

Step 2: Materials ( to Make One Stand, Multiply Your Materials Based on How Many You Are Going to Make)

1/2 whiskey barrel ( the ones I found were official Jack Daniels Distillery barrels! Adds +3 to the cool factor!)
8 ft 4x4- treated ( be picky, try and find a straight one)
Shepard hook / plant hanger
4x4 decorative topper ( copper cap, solar light cap combo, your choice )
2 bags of sacrete. ( at least 50 lb bags, I like the 80 lb bags best )
Boards to secure post ( I used wood slats from pallets)
Nails - to secure boards to barrel
Wood screws (for Shepard hook)
Something to stir Sacrete.

Step 3: Prep Barrel

Find a flat spot to work. Measure barrel and find what you think is the center. I used measuring and estimation. If you have help, it's easier.
I also lined my barrels with some plastic to hold in the water when mixing the Sacrete. (Optional)

Step 4: Secure Post

If it's centered where you want it, temporarily secure it using 4 boards, one on on each side. Tack two (one one each side of the post) to the barrel ( smaller nails so you don't mess up the barrel). Tack the other two to the first two boards. Now your post should stand upright without having to be held in place.

Step 5: Add Sacrete

So now, pour in the sacrete (dry). Pour in one bag and move the sacrete around so it's evenly distributed around base of post. ( take a minute and read the instructions on the sacrete bag)
Take your hose, add some water , stir in water to the Sacrete. Don't overwater.
Once you have a good mix of water and sacrete, add second bag and repeat the beginning of this step.

Step 6: Let Sacrete Cure

Let the sacrete cure. Don't move the barrel and post until it has cured completely.
•••I made three of these. For the first two, I used whatever Sacrete the guys at the lumber warehouse loaded for me. They were 80 lb bags. The last one I made, I went to Home Depot and found sacrete specifically for securing post and they were only 50 lb bags and "fast curing". I actually preferred the way the sacrete I used with first two post worked. And the bases were 60 lbs heavier so they aren't going anywhere! •••

Step 7: Is It Dry? Then Remove Supports

Once the sacrete is fully cured, remove the supports ( gently, don't mess up wood where you tacked onto the barrel)
If you put in a liner, cut away excess plastic.

Step 8: Add Your Top

Grab a ladder and add your 4x4 decorative cover. The bare minimum cover will at least keep water from soaking into the top of your post giving it longer life. I used copper tops for two and a solar light/copper top for another.
The plain copper top will need an adhesive to hold in place. The solar cap came with mounting screws

Step 9: Add Hanging Hardware.

So now, add whatever your going to use to hang things from the post. Lots of options, it's up to you!

Step 10: Your Finished! What's Left?

So my barrel posts are done. I made three. I am now going to add potting soil rIght on top of the sacrete. My wife will get to pick the flowers we plant inside the barrel.
Hope it works for you! Thanks for reading!

Step 11: Consider Adding Water Release Options...

This step was added after I built the stands and have had them out in the back yard a while. I had to drill holes in the sides of the barrel to allow water to drain out. Consider drilling a couple holes in floor of barrel before pouring the sacrete. Take PVC pipes and fit them in the holes and then pour the sacrete. Once it’s cured, cut the pipes at the sacrete line so you’ve made a couple water drains.
I am currently retrofitting my barrels with pvc lines to create vents to dry out the soil to prevent it staying supersaturated.

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