In this instructable I will show you how to build an umbrella stand built in to a plant pot, all the excess rain water left on your umbrellas will be used for watering the plant. This serves both as a nice design for an umbrella stand as well as way to collect and re-purpose all that rain water without any effort.
I will present my design and methods but you can always make your own in different shapes, sizes and materials using the same concept.
You will need:
-Pencil, eraser, ruler and string (something thick to be used to draw circles)
-Paper (to make models) and some tape
-Scissors and box cutter
-Polypropylene sheets ( I used a portfolio bag I had )
-Dirt and plants
Step 1: Sketching
I tried to make my design in a way that will have the least amount of part with the minimum amount of connections. In or order to achieve that I made two cones, one tall and thin without a tip (for the umbrellas) and one short and wide with an inverted tip (for the plant).
In addition to the picture of my sketch and the comments I attached a solidworks file with all the measurements in detail (you must have solidworks to view this file).
I recommend building a paper model first, it helps to practice the sketching properly and will let you see the size of your final product so you can make adjustment if you want to.
The umbrella stand:
Draw an arc with a 60 cm radius at 33 degrees (if you dont have a goniometer you can just measure the distance between the ends of the arc which should be 34.1 cm). From the same center of the first arc draw another arc with a 100 cm radius at 33 degrees lining it up with the first arc (distance between the end of this arc should be 56.8 cm). connect the ends of both arcs and make sure the distance between them is 40 cm at any given point. On one side of the shape you have created draw a lip 2 cm wide with diagonal end. On the other side draw 3 tabs 2X2 cm spread evenly along the line, these tabs will go in to the line on the first side so at the same places you drew the tabs cut slits in to the side with the lip. these tabs will align the two sides of your shape when you close turn it to a cone.
Draw and arc with a 25 cm radius at 216 degrees (distance between end of arc should be 47.5 cm). Add lines from the center point to the ends of the arc. Draw an additional arc from the same center with a 10 cm radius, this arc will be folded in to create the inverted tip (lightly go over it with a box cutter making sure you don't pierce through it and fold it in before closing the cone). Add lips and tabs like the first time for each part separately, one tab for the inner part and two for the outer one (the lips should be separate too).
-An easy way to make a perfect arc is using a string. Make a loop at the end of a 100+ cm piece of string, mark a center point, at the distance of the wanted radius mark you starting point. Place the loop of the string on your starting point, place the pencil through the loop exactly on that point and hold it there. Stretch the string to the center point and hold it down, now move the pencil around the center point while keeping the string stretched.
-The angles I chose are not set in stone, it won't matter much if you miss by a degree or two.
-The end of the lip near the center of the base should have a very sharp angle, that center will become the tip of the cone.
-Don't be lazy, make as many paper models as you need until your happy with the results, it's much easier and cheaper than making multiple models from polypropylene.
Step 2: Assembly
Once you have your final paper model and your sure about your layout, cut your shapes out of polypropylene sheets and put the together.
Roll the polypropylene up and insert the tabs in to their designated slit (make sure the tabs and lip end up on the inside of the cone). Even though it should be pretty stable, add some tape to hold it place while you glue it down. Start by gluing the tabs and once that glue dries, glue the lips as well (you can use magnets to press the polypropylene together while the glue dries, kind of like a clamp). Add some glue to the point where the base bends and to the tip of the inner cone to seal it off.
When all the glue finally dries cut little triangles at the bottom of the umbrella stand for the water to easily pour out, I made 8 cut evenly spread around.
Put some glue at the bottom of the umbrella stand and place on the base to dry, make sure it sits straight because once it dries its gonna stay that way.
Step 3: Add the Plants
You can choose to plant anything you want but take in to consideration that whatever you plant won't get much sunlight and won't be watered on a regular schedule. Ask someone at the place you purchase your plants what he recommends.
Fill the pot with dirt until about 3-4 cm from the top. Dig holes where you want to add your plants, put the plants in, cover with more dirt almost to the rim and tighten the dirt gently (if you tighten it too much you can hurt the plant).
Water the plants to help them settle in. During rainy months the rain water might be enough for the plant but you always have to make sure and not count on it, give the plant some extra water once in a while if you think its not getting enough.
As I mentioned earlier you can customize this project to fit you needs. Make to bigger to hold more umbrellas, use different materials that you like working with and compliment you home, place the whole thing in a ceramic pot and change the plants to your liking (flowers, cacti or some type of vine).
Most importantly, don't forger to share your projects with us.
Participated in the
MAKE ENERGY: A US-Mexico Innovation Challenge
Participated in the
Small Spaces Contest
Participated in the
On a Budget Contest