String Light Solution: Hang Patio Lights Using Planters and Wood Posts

Café lights add a gorgeous glow to an outdoor living space, but they can be tricky to hang if you don’t have trees or other tall objects to string them from. Here’s a freestanding solution for hanging lights that uses planters and wood posts. It’s totally temporary, so it’s perfect for renters.

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts

Café lights add a gorgeous glow to an outdoor living space, but they can be tricky to hang if you don’t have trees or other tall objects to string them from. Here’s a freestanding solution for hanging lights that uses planters and wood posts. It’s totally temporary, so it’s perfect for renters.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Materials Needed

  • 6 tall planters
  • spray paint in desired color
  • drop cloth
  • (6) 2” x 2” x 8’ posts
  • coordinating paint color, if desired
  • painter's tape
  • 6 cup hooks
  • (4) 50 lb. bags of quick concrete mix
  • water
  • stir stick
  • level
  • gravel or other drainage material
  • potting soil
  • plants
  • 100 feet of patio string lights

Paint Planters and Posts

Wipe planters clean with a damp cloth. Place planters upside down on a drop cloth and cover completely with spray paint. Apply additional coats as necessary for full coverage. Turn planters over and paint the rim and inside the rim.

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts: Paint Planters

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts: Paint Planters

Wipe planters clean with a damp cloth. Place planters upside down on a drop cloth and cover completely with spray paint. Apply additional coats as necessary for full coverage. Turn planters over and paint the rim and inside the rim.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

If desired, paint one end of the 2” x 2” x 8’ posts with the same paint by masking off the last 5-6” with painter’s tape. Allow to dry completely before masking again at the end of the painted portion and 1” below that, leaving a 1” band to be painted.

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts

If desired, paint one end of the 2” x 2” x 8’ posts with the same paint by masking off the last 5-6” with painter’s tape. Allow to dry completely before masking again at the end of the painted portion and 1” below that, leaving a 1” band to be painted. Paint the band with a coordinating color and allow to dry completely before removing tape.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Paint the band with a coordinating color and allow to dry completely before removing tape. On one side of each post, add a cup hook in the center where the two paint colors meet.

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts: Add Cup Hook

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts: Add Cup Hook

On one side of each post, add a cup hook in the center where the two paint colors meet.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Fill Planter With Concrete

Place the unpainted end of a 2” x 2” x 8’ post in each of the planters. Divide the dry concrete mix evenly over the planters. Add water to the concrete mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions and stir with a stick until well combined.

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts: Fill Planter With Concrete

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts: Fill Planter With Concrete

Place the unpainted end of a 2” x 2” x 8’ post in each of the planters. Divide the dry concrete mix evenly over the planters. Add water to the concrete mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions and stir with a stick until well combined.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Place the planter on level ground and use a level on one side to make the post plumb. Add painter's tape across the planter on all four sides of the post to hold it in position. Allow the concrete to harden according to the manufacturer’s instructions before proceeding.

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts: Secure Post With Tape

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts: Secure Post With Tape

Place the planter on level ground and use a level on one side to make the post plumb. Add painter's tape across the planter on all four sides of the post to hold it in position. Allow the concrete to harden according to the manufacturer’s instructions before proceeding.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Add Plants to Planter

When the concrete has cured, add about 3” of gravel or other drainage material. Add potting soil to fill the planter, lightly packing it down.

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts: Add Potting Soil

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts: Add Potting Soil

When the concrete has cured, add about 3” of gravel or other drainage material. Add potting soil to fill the planter, lightly packing it down. Finally, add plants to fill the planter and water as needed.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Finally, add plants to fill the planter and water as needed.

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts: Add Plants

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts: Add Plants

When the concrete has cured, add about 3” of gravel or other drainage material. Add potting soil to fill the planter, lightly packing it down. Finally, add plants to fill the planter and water as needed.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

String the Lights

Arrange the planters in a rectangle no more than 10' apart.

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts

Café lights add a gorgeous glow to an outdoor living space, but they can be tricky to hang if you don’t have trees or other tall objects to string them from. Here’s a freestanding solution for hanging lights that uses planters and wood posts. It’s totally temporary, so it’s perfect for renters.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Secure one end of the string lights to one of the cup hooks with the hook attached to the light, or with cable ties or twist ties if no hook exists. Continue stringing the lights, making an outline of the planters.

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts: Add Lights

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts: Add Lights

Arrange the planters in a rectangle no more than 10’ apart. Secure one end of the string lights to one of the cup hooks with the hook attached to the light, or with cable ties or twist ties if no hook exists. Continue stringing the lights, making an outline of the planters. When you have reached the first planter and have formed a rectangular outline of lights, begin zigzagging the lights from one side of the outline to the other, spacing the passes of string far enough apart so that they will be evenly distributed to the end. Secure the end to a cup hook as you did the beginning of the string. Attach an outdoor-safe extension cord and plug into an outlet.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

When you have reached the first planter and have formed a rectangular outline of lights, begin zigzagging the lights from one side of the outline to the other, spacing the passes of string far enough apart so that they will be evenly distributed to the end. Secure the end to a cup hook as you did the beginning of the string. Attach an outdoor-safe extension cord and plug into an outlet.

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts

Café lights add a gorgeous glow to an outdoor living space, but they can be tricky to hang if you don’t have trees or other tall objects to string them from. Here’s a freestanding solution for hanging lights that uses planters and wood posts. It’s totally temporary, so it’s perfect for renters.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts

Café lights add a gorgeous glow to an outdoor living space, but they can be tricky to hang if you don’t have trees or other tall objects to string them from. Here’s a freestanding solution for hanging lights that uses planters and wood posts. It’s totally temporary, so it’s perfect for renters.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

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