Securing a Market Umbrella at an Outdoor Craft Show

Hi Folks,

My first set up at OBAM- w/ no shade.....
Today's post discusses one of my many experimental schemes when it comes to doing outdoor craft shows.

I am a recent convert to a local outdoor market held in Virginia Beach, VA on Saturday mornings.
The Old Beach Art Market has been a great experience for me and some very nice sales too.

My set up at this venue is extremely simple and old school with two low tables and a long cloth. Wind is also a big factor as we are just a couple blocks from the ocean. 
 The only downside of this lovely event is the extremely short set up and even shorter tear down times @ about 45 & 30 minutes respectively. 

I tried this gadget to help me in saving time while still giving me some shade.

A picture I pinned from the article referenced in this post
I Google searched keywords like "clamping an umbrella to a table" , "outdoor show shade ideas", etc. and finally came across this article by a radio operator.

I gave the clamp idea a go. 
I didn't have a way to drill the C clamp so I did the second best thing by using a screw clamp and securing it as tightly as I could. 

I used a $7 plastic umbrella base you fill with water or sand. 
I purchased a 7.5 foot, two part, beach umbrella from Walmart  for $25.99
The C clamp came from Home Depot $4 and the screw clamp came from Taylor's Do-it Center [a local hardware chain] $3.50. 

The set up- outside my garage...
So, of course I forgot to get a shot of my booth. But I suppose it's just as well... as we were told that day that vendors MUST use a canopy style tent and not umbrellas from now on.

So, How would I grade my little jury-rigged set up? A solid C average. 

Here's what would make it a B+ or A- :
1. Actually having a bigger C clamp- I shouldn't have cheaped out!
2. Actually drilling the C clamp hole and securing it with a bolt like the article tells you to. It would have involved buying a drill bit that I wasn't ready to commit to, but you may have one on hand.
3. Having the umbrella pole fit the base just a bit better. There was a small gap, that if filled, would have helped it a lot in being more secure.  

I don't think it was a bad plan, if I had followed the articles directions exactly I think it would have been pretty good. Also we were on asphalt, hence the umbrella base, but if you where on grass and could put the spike of the umbrella in the ground that would have also helped quite a bit too.

The good news is that it's not a total waste. We are headed to Topsail Island, NC for vacation in July and I am certain that the

umbrella will get daily use when I am here ---->>

Thanks for stopping by,
Warm Regards,


  1. Great idea! I have a tent, but I don't want the hassle of setting it up. This looks like an easy alternative!


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