• Hometalker
  • Holly Springs, NC

Multipurpose Patio Posts

7 Materials
2 Hours

I love an old plum tree in my backyard. It offers shade and great bird watching. But it’s dying... So I added some posts to my patio for some feeders, lights, and shade.
multipurpose patio posts
The dying tree... I haven’t quite given up on it, but cut out all those struggling branches to see if I can squeeze some more life out of it.
multipurpose patio posts
It offers such great shade!
multipurpose patio posts
So this winter I added the popular patio posts. I used about 2.5 gallons of gravel (from a 5 gallon bucket) and maybe a bag of quickcrete in each to set the 10’ 4x4 posts in. I then drilled some holes into the barrels above the cement so they could drain. I then added some more gravel and soil to the top.

I screwed a planter bracket on the yard side and a hook on the house side to each post. The feeders are from the Christmas Tree Shop and the lights are off Amazon.
multipurpose patio posts
Isn’t it pretty in the winter?
multipurpose patio posts
Now for that shade... I picked up some outdoor sail cloth at Costco, but it was about 5’ too big. To shorten it and add even more shade, I folded over sections and sewed down each fold.
multipurpose patio posts
Now I’m ready for the summer! The shade is easy to hook on and off in case I want a fire on the colder nights.
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Barb
    on May 3, 2018

    Love your idea and would love to do something similar at my home on the Gulf Coast of Florida. I already have a pergola as my base and I need something easy to take down in case we have a tropical storm. Does anyone know how sail cloth holds up to mildew? I would hate to do all this work and then it look awful after one season because it is a mildewed mess.

    • Bonnie Tyner
      on May 27, 2018

      Coolaroo brand worked great. I live in Florida where it’s very humid! No mold and hit scorching sun didn’t fray it either. Cheaply sold thru Walmart online and came with springs and s hooks etc... to install. Springs are a MUST! Allows it to give in the high winds and we all know about the winds in south Fl!

  • What did you use for the bottom? Is it a bucket? A large planter? And what size is it?

    • Kerry
      on Jun 22, 2018

      Here’s a pic of the barrels with sunflowers growing around the petunias.

  • Annie
    on May 3, 2018

    Why did you drill holes in the concrete are you going to put plants in the top would you have to drill holes if you only put gravel on top of the concrete

Join the conversation

2 of 20 comments
  • Robyn Garner
    on May 4, 2018

    You didn't say what the problem is with your plum tree but take a good look at it. IF it's got big balls of trunk like material on the branches, it has gall. Gall is highly contagious and will spread! Get a sharp blade and cut all the gall out. Immediately put the pieces in a trash bag and wipe your blade with alcohol between each cut. I saved my plum tree!

  • Brenda
    on May 11, 2018

    Thank you so much for the inspiration!! We just moved into a rental that doesn't allow any "permanent structures", so this is a great way to add some much needed definition to our backyard!!

Your comment...