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How to Build an Umbrella Stand Side Table

This Old House DIY Expert and House One Editor Jenn Largesse demonstrates how to make a simple outdoor side table that holds an umbrella and has a hideaway to keep drinks cool.

This project is full of cool features, including a beveled detail that makes the horizontal boards look like one continuous layer, a holder for a removable umbrella, and a hinged top that opens to reveal containers for keeping drinks cool. Read on to learn about the tools and materials needed for this project, as well as the step-by-step directions.

Steps for Building an Umbrella Stand Side Table

Side table that keeps drinks cool Jenn Largesse

1. Bevel the Edges

Using a router fitted with a Chamfer Bit, bevel the face edges of four 1 x 6 boards.

2. Cut the Pieces to Length

Using our cut list, size all the parts. Set up a stop block to ensure all the boards are cut evenly.

3. Prep the Front and Back Boards

To prep the longer pieces, clip the corners at 45-degrees so that the miter meets the beveled edges.

4. Prep the Side Boards

To prep the shorter boards, drill two pocket holes in each end of the beveled boards and in the ends of one of the lid pieces.

5. Assemble the “Levels”

Position the side boards between the front and back boards.

Screw pocket hole screws through the pocket holes in the short boards and into the long boards. Repeat to create the four “levels” of the table.

6. Join the Levels

Lay the levels on their side. Place 2x2’s cut to length along their inside corners. Position the 2x2’s flush with the top edge, and then slide them down ¾-inch to allow space for the inset lid. This will create a short “foot” on the bottom of the table to raise the boards off the ground and allow moisture to escape.

Now drive deck screws through the 2x2’s and into each adjoining side until all four 2x2’s are secured.

7. Add the Lid Supports

Add two horizontal 2x2’s ¾-inch below the top edge and along the sides to act as a stop for the hinged top pieces.

8. Prep and Install the Lid

Attach two hinges to the edge of two lid boards. Rest the boards on the 2x2’s inside the table so that the hinged edge of the boards sets along the front and back of the table’s opening.

Rotate the boards “open” and then attach the hinges to the inside edge of the table. Using a drill/driver fitted with a hole saw attachment, create a hole in the center of the remaining lid piece.

Secure the board in place between the hinged pieces using pocket hole screws.

9. Attach the Inside boards

Finish the inside of the table by attaching two shelf pieces, placed at a height that allows for your containers to fit while holding ice and tall drink bottles.

Drill a hole in the center of the remaining board, and then install it centered inside the table and flush with the bottom edge to hold the base of the pipe.

10. Prep the Pipe

To prep the pipe, drill a small hole in the base of the pipe to allow water to escape.

Drill a second hole five inches from the top of the pipe to accept a thumbscrew, which can twist into the hole to hold the umbrella pole.

Insert the pipe into the bottom hole, and then tilt the table to allow it to pass under the lid, and then rise up through the opening.

11. Add the Finishing Touches

Add a small knob or finger hole to each of the hinged lid pieces for easy access to the drink bins.

If you’re working with pressure-treated wood like me, allow the wood to fully dry before applying a finish.

Apply a bead of clear silicone caulk (optional) around the pipe to hold it in position within the opening.

What You Need:


Cut List

  • 1 x 6 Front and Back boards – 8 @ 19½ inches (Bevel edges and clip corners at 45-degrees)
  • 1 x 6 Side Boards – 8 @ 18 inches (Bevel edges)
  • 1 x 6 Inside Shelf and Base Boards – 3 @ 18 inches (Bevel edges)
  • 1 x 6 Lid Boards – 3 @ 18 inches (Trim two of these a bit short so they open and close more easily)
  • 2 x 2 Uprights – 4 @ 21¾ inches
  • 2 x 2 Lid Supports – 2 @ 15 inches