I know umbrellas aren’t the main staple of Seattle natives, but I personally like to have them on hand for times when I’m dressing up and the rain will ruin my hair. Unfortunately, if you’re not using your umbrella on a daily basis, storage can be challenging. Usually, I’ll get out my umbrella for one reason or another and then leave it in my entryway to remind myself to use it. Inevitably, though, it makes my entryway look messy, so I shove it in the closet somewhere where it gets lost—and, of course, the next time my hair is curled and I’m looking for my umbrella, I can’t find it and simply give up. That’s usually how the cycle goes.
This umbrella stand is a solve for that cycle. Your umbrella can be on hand without creating clutter. This design is simple, slim, and has that Scandinavian minimalist look I’ve always loved. You can easily customize this umbrella stand by changing the number of umbrellas it holds or switching out the one-by-four lumber for one-by-eight and changing it into a square stand. Not to mention, adding some stain or paint is the perfect way to make any wood project coordinate seamlessly with your home. Let's get to it!
Step 1: Cut one-by-four
Using a handsaw and a miter box (or a circular saw), cut the one-by-four into three 16 1/4” lengths for the top and bottom and two 8 3/4” lengths for the sides.
Step 2: Measure and mark holes
Measure down the length of one of the 16 1/4” pieces. Mark at 2 1/2”, 6 1/4”, 10”, and 13 3/4”. Use a square as an easy way to center each mark side-to-side. Repeat with another of the 16 1/4” lengths.
Step 3: Drill holes
On one of the boards you just marked, drill holes at each marking with a 2 1/2” hole saw. This piece will be the top. On the other marked board, drill holes at each mark with a 1 1/2” spade bit. This piece will be the bottom.
If you’re not familiar with using a hole saw, it can be tricky at first. There’s a lot more contact than a regular drill bit, which means it’s more likely for the drill to catch and give you some kickback. A clamp is definitely a necessity here, as you'll want both hands free to guide the drill. I like to point my elbow away from the drill, creating a right angle with the drill and my arm. This is a great way to protect your wrist from getting tweaked.
To begin, first get the drill bit started in the center, then release any vertical pressure you’re putting on the drill and turn the speed up to high. High speed, light pressure—that’s the trick. Once the hole saw starts cutting, you can apply more pressure. (And you may need to in order to continue making progress.) Just continue to be careful of kickback, and relieve pressure if the saw seems to be getting stuck. Depending on your specific board—and the newness of your hole saw—it may be fairly smooth cutting through, or you may hit a lot of snags. It just takes some practice to know whether a snag can be fixed with more or less pressure, or by removing the drill altogether and then beginning again. With this specific board, I found I often had to remove sawdust that was building up on the blade of the hole saw, and every so often, my drill would overheat and the battery would shut down. This isn’t a big deal—just wait it out for a minute or two until the drill resets.
Step 4: Sand
Sand cut ends and the drilled holes. I like to use a fine or medium sanding sponge for most of my sanding, but for the inside of the holes you really need a piece of sandpaper. I recommend 150-grit for this.
Step 5: Assemble stand
Position the top piece (the one with the bigger holes) on top of side pieces. Attach with glue and 1 1/4” screws. Pre-drill before adding screws to prevent the ends from splitting. Attach the bottom (the one with the smaller holes) to the sides in the same manner.
Step 6: Add base
Add the remaining 16 1/4” length onto the bottom of the stand. This will add more weight to the base so the stand isn’t easily tipped over and will allow the rainwater to catch in the stand and not pool on your floor. Secure piece to stand with glue and 1 1/4” screws.
Step 7: Finish umbrella stand
Coat stand with a polyurethane finish to protect the wood from the wet umbrellas.To apply, follow the directions on the side of the can. Our water-based polyurethane finish recommended wiping off any dust from sanding with a rag dampened with mineral spirits. I skipped staining because I like the color of the wood, but you can definitely stain before adding a top coat—just make sure to follow the directions and allow the stain to set before applying a finish.
I applied the finish with a 2” angled brush, but I found applying finish to the insides of the holes was much easier with a large artist’s paintbrush.
This project is not only cute—it's so functional! Feel free to paint or customize this project to match your home's aesthetic, and finish up your DIY entryway with some of our other rain-ready projects. Organize your shoes with our copper boot tray and our shoe rack bench, and get your coats in order with our personalized coat rack!