Patio furniture is a big investment and you certainly want to make sure it's there for you to enjoy year in and year out. If you have a protected backyard area, you probably do not worry too much about holding down patio furniture so that it does not wander away in a strong wind or a tempest.
But battling the elements is a way of life for those who live on the coast or in areas where the trade winds seem to always be blowing. Often, a strong wind can come out of nowhere, sending all your furniture, food and beverages flying. This is especially true if you have a patio filled with plastic patio furniture.
As you know, these inexpensive pieces can come in real handy at a party, supplementing your permanent patio furniture so everyone can gather, enjoy a drink and have a bite to eat on a hot summer's day. Not only are they inexpensive, but they are easy to move around, especially when compared to a quality piece of furniture, which is made to last and is far more substantial.
To keep your party from becoming an unintentional whirlwind of excuse, you'll want to take some precautions when preparing your party if there is wind in the forecast. With just a few precautions, you can be assured that your party will be a hit, even if it's hit with a sudden gust of wind.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to weight your furniture down with an unsightly red brick. You can, however, weight a small patio table down with a glass brick that is filled with colorful sand or other heavy objects, such as glass beads. This not only adds weight, but beauty to these tables.
If your party is going to last into the evening, you can use a similar trick, but create lighting instead. You can use the decorative glass bricks to hold a single candle or push several tapered candles down into a base of sand or aquarium rocks. This can create an elegant decoration as well as hold down the table.
Plastic patio chairs are a little more difficult to work with. That said, you can create a simple weight with lead sinkers. If you're anywhere near a lake, river or ocean, chances are good that you have a fishing tackle store nearby. Sometimes Wal-Mart will have a good selection as well of lead fishing weights.
Get a good commercial grade lead sinker, one that is heavy enough to keep your chairs in place without adding so much weight to the chair that it's difficult to move around. You can mount these weights one of two ways. If you want them out of sight and out of mind, you can add them to the base of the legs where they curve together. You can glue them in there permanently or use some decorative duct tape (it comes in many colors these days) to hold them in. Alternately, you can hang the weight from the center of the chair. Just drill two holes in the center of the chair (usually there's already one there for a drain) and tie the sinker to it with fishing line. Be sure that you leave enough line so the sinker touches the patio or deck. You do not want it swinging around and potentially hitting the guest sitting in the chair.
Larger dining room tables will not move as read, but if you have an umbrella you'll want to make sure it has a weighted base to add heft to the table. Otherwise, your umbrella can catch a sudden gust and send your table flying. The decorative glass bricks mentioned above can also help keep the table weighed enough to resist a brisk breeze. These bricks are available at almost any home improvement store, as they are a popular item homes where they are used to create translucent walls in the bathroom or between rooms. To add a decorative touch, insert a string of colored lights into the opening and plug them in when darkness falls.
Obviously, wood, wrought iron and steel patio furniture will not wander off as easily as the plastic variety. But with just a little bit of creativity and some planning, you can host an outdoor party with confidence, even if the weather calls for a bit of a bluster.