Skip to main content
Hardware store chic? It's true! You can make stylish accessories for the home using materials from your local hardware store. DIY site Curbly breaks 12 DIY projects down to the nuts and bolts in this new release-- and they shared one of the book's best projects with us: The light-up LED umbrella stand -- made with PVC pipe!

Make It! Hardware Store DecorCurbly's new book features unique projects for the modern DIYer Photo: Curbly

One of our favorite DIY community websites, Curbly, has just released an exciting new book, Make It! Hardware Store Decor -- and we're loving what we see!

The 78-page tome offers step-by-step instructions (along with stunning visuals!) for 12 stylish and inspired household accessories -- each of which uses parts, tools, and materials that can all be found in the aisles of your local hardware store! Sound iffy? Trust us: Beyond the wrenches, screwdrivers and light bulbs lie some majorly stylish pieces that your friends will surely assume you bought at HomeGoods. Best of all, each of these projects can be finished in a day or a weekend -- and for a lot less than you'd pay for store-bought versions.

The book is available now for $9.99 as a high-quality PDF download or a gift-worthy printed copy for $22. Curbly gave DIY Life a sneak peek into one of the projects from the book.

Make It! Hardware Store DecorOther projects from the book include a bookshelf and lighted letter wall decor. Photo: Curbly

Have you ever been standing in the plumbing aisle of your home improvement store and thought, "Wow, this pipe would make a great umbrella stand!"? Yeah, me neither. But the Curbly editors have that special ability to see great potential in raw materials. They came up with this light-up, plumbing-pipe umbrella stand-- one of our favorite projects in the book. In just 10 easy steps you can have a brand new foyer accessory -- perfect for those rainy autumn days.

umbrella stand from plumbing pipesPlumbing pipe umbrella stand. Photo: Curbly

- A length of PVC pipe, 6" x 24"
- Spray paint for the inside of the pipe
- Spray primer
- Fabric of your choice, 3/4 yard (for the outside of the pipe)
- A jar of matte ModPodge
- Clear Plexiglas material, 8"x10" x 1/4"
- Two pieces of Masonite, 8"x10" x 1/4"
- One tube of clear silicone adhesive
- Galvanized steel corrugated furnace round end cap, 6" diameter X 2 1/2"
- LED light rope (used in this project) or battery-operated LED lights, 6' length

- Scissors
- Drill and 1/4" drill bit
- Utility knife
- Jigsaw
- Metal snips
- #18 fine jigsaw blades
- Three small clamps
- One large set of pipe clamps (or something to stabilize the pipe while drilling holes)
- Plastic container to soak fabric in Mod Podge
- Clean rags
- Foam brush
- Fine-grit sandpaper


1. Clean and prime the pipe.
Clean off the PVC pipe with soap and water. Cover any printing on the outside of the pipe with spray paint primer. Spray paint the inside of the pipe with a color that coordinates with the fabric that you've chosen for the outside. Let the paint and primer dry.

2. Cut the fabric to size.
Measure the circumference of the pipe and cut a piece of fabric that will wrap around the pipe with an overlap of 2". The length of the fabric will be 27", so there's a little extra at the top and bottom for adjustments.

make an umbrella stand from pipesSteps 1 through 3. Photo: Curbly

3. Prepare and wrap the fabric around the pipe.
Soak the fabric in a container of Mod Podge. Gently squeeze out the excess glue. Wrap the fabric around the pipe, smoothing out any wrinkles and bubbles. Make sure the fabric's pattern and weave (the direction of the thread pattern) stay straight and don't stretch on the diagonal. Align the design all the way around the pipe. One cut side of the fabric will adhere to the pipe. Fold the other cut edge over one inch, forming a fold in the fabric. Wrap that folded edge on top of the cut edge that has already been adhered to the pipe. The folded edge covers the cut edge and forms the seam at the very back of the umbrella stand. Let the wrapped fabric dry completely around the pipe before proceeding to step 4.

4. Drill holes into the pipe.
You want to drill holes into the pipe to let the light shine through. Determine where you'll drill the holes (mark the spots with pencil) and re-apply a coat of ModPodge to those areas. Let it dry. Stabilize the round pipe by attaching pipe clamps or attaching it to the workbench with C-clamps so it doesn't roll during the drilling. Use the 1⁄4" or larger drill bit to drill symmetrical holes all around the pipe.

plumbing umbrella standStep 5. Photo: Curbly

5. Clean the drilled holes.
Use the blunt end of a round handle or another tool to push the drilled-through fabric back inside each hole, twisting it a little bit to get it to stay. If the fabric around the hole is frayed or shredded, add some Mod Podge keep it in place.

6. Trim the excess fabric.
Use a utility knife to cut off the excess fabric at the top and bottom of the pipe. The fabric should cover the edge of the pipe without folding over inside it. Draw a 1" square on the back side of the bottom portion of the pipe. Cut the square out with a jigsaw and a #18 blade. This square hole will allow the LED wire to pass through.

7. Measure and cut Plexiglas and Masonite.

Trace one end of the pipe onto one piece of the Masonite. Measure in 3/8" from that line to make a pattern. Sandwich the Plexiglas between two pieces of Masonite and attach three small clamps. Cut out the circle with the jigsaw. The Masonite stabilizes the Plexiglas so it won't crack. File down the edges of the circle with a sander or sandpaper so that it will just fit inside the bottom of the pipe.

8. Waterproof the LED lights.
To ensure the LED lights will remain dry, attach the Plexiglas inside the bottom of the pipe with silicone adhesive. Measure and mark 3" from the bottom of the pipe. Run a small bead of silicone adhesive all the way around the inside at that 3" mark. Gently place the Plexiglas up against the silicone and let it dry. Run another bead of silicone up against the bottom of the Plexiglas and let that dry.

plumbing pipe umbrella standSteps 8 through 10. Photo: Curbly

9. Create a channel to house the LED cord.
Cut two lines into the the corrugated edge of the furnace cap, stopping 1/2" before the bottom lip. Use the needle nose pliers to roll the cut end over towards the outside. This opening will align with the groove in the pipe bottom to accommodate the electrical cord.

10. Fit the end-cap into the pipe.

Place the coiled LED light rope into the steel end-cap and gently bend the corrugated rim so it will fit inside the bottom of the pipe. It doesn't have to fit all the way down into the pipe. Gently tap the cap into the end of the pipe as far as it will go.

For the rest of the instructional photos and 11 other exciting DIY projects, get your copy of
Make It! Hardware Store Decor.

DIY: Make Your Own Room Divider
Paint: Turn a Dingy Kitchen into a Dream

  • Casey @ Tin years

    I live your DIY hardware stuff... really great. i especially like the light bulb chandelier... do you have more pics of that posted? I too am into the slightly rough and industrial arts...

    my tools of the trade are tin snips, a rubber mallet, and a 40 lb dumbbell as an anvil. :)

    Casey @ Tin Years

  • 1 Comments / 1 Pages

Follow Us

  • No features currently available.

  • More Hot Topics The Daily Fix  •  DIY Warrior  •  Home Ec  •  Handmade
    DIY Disaster Doctor  •  In the Workshop  •  Product Picks

    Home Improvement Videos