Garden DIY – Make a beautiful chiminea stand

If you’re eagerly anticipating spring, you’re not the only one. All over the nation our customers are emerging, blinking, into the sunshine, admiring the daffs, crocuses, snowdrops and primroses, spotting early green shoots on shrubs, and thinking about getting the chim out for an absolute belter of a party.

We sell a brilliant floor protector to stand your chim on, which protects decking and lawns from the heat. It means you can move your chiminea from place to place, for example when you want to follow the warm spring sunshine around your garden instead of ending up in the shadows. But plenty of us only have a small garden to play with, maybe with just one place where a chiminea can safely stand, and that means you might want to create a good-looking permanent chiminea stand for it. Here are some creative ideas.

Grab a trug and cast a big, gorgeous chiminea stand

You know those big, colourful plastic garden trugs you can pick up at DIY places and garden centres? The straight-sided ones with handles? They make absolutely brilliant moulds for concrete circles, a sort of giant-size circular stepping stone.

All you do is make up some sand and cement, pour it into the trug to a depth of about 10cm then leave it for a couple of days to dry. Because it’s in a plastic pot, the concrete will take a bit longer than usual to dry because the water needs to fully evaporate – it can’t escape into the ground.

It’s easy to tip the hardened stepping stone out since the trug is so flexible, but tip it out onto grass rather than a hard surface or it might crack. Then put it on the grass, draw around it with an old kitchen knife, and cut out a circle out of the turf to drop it into. You might want to put a thick layer of builder’s sand down first to create a really good, flat surface and soak up any excess water underneath when it rains.

If you feel creative, there are some brilliant ways to pimp your chiminea stand and turn it into something really special.

  • Use powdered concrete dyes to colour the concrete – you can mix them to make your own unique colours if you want to
  • Arrange sea shells upside down in the trug before pouring the concrete in, to give a patterned surface. Flatter shells are best or you end up with a wonky surface and a wobbly chim. Mussel shells, in that gorgeous natural blue, do a great job.
  • You can do the same with aggregates, and slate is a brilliant choice because it comes in flat chunks
  • Mosaic the circle once it’s fully dry and set in the ground – you can use bits of ceramic tiles or even broken coloured glass
  • Paint it with masonry paint – there’s every imaginable colour available, specially mixed for you in places like B&Q and Dulux stores
  • Seal it with bitumen paint for a smart, black waterproof surface

Buy a pre-made poured concrete stone circle kit

Have you seen those poured concrete stone circle patio kits? They come in all sorts of sizes, made up of a number of separate pieces that fit together to make a circle. Like the trug idea above, you simply set it into your lawn to make an attractive circular surface to stand your chiminea on. There are plenty of designs available, from simple and cheap poured concrete and reconstituted stone to complicated, costly versions made of genuine stone.

Wood is just as good…

You don’t have to use stone or concrete, of course. How about buying a load of gorgeous old railway sleepers and sinking them into your lawn to make a rugged rectangular or square stand for your chim? Or finding some new, vintage-look sleeper-style chunks of wood, available in many garden centres, which cost less and look just as good? You can even dig a trench and fill it with tightly-packed lengths of eveyday tanalised four by four, then use a colourful or subtle wood dye or stain to give it some oomph. Or leave it to go all silvery on its own – it should only take a year of sun and rain to get rid of that raw, yellowy new wood look.

Chiminea stands and guards

Now you’ve got somewhere both beautiful and safe to stand your chim, you might like to think about adding a chiminea guard to keep your guests and pets extra-safe. If you’re thinking about investing in a chiminea and want to ask questions, that’s fine. We’ll be glad to help you make the perfect decision.