How to Make Planter Posts for String Lights

Extend the party into the night with these wooden whiskey barrels made into planters with posts that hold string lights.

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Illuminate your outdoor living space with these easy-to-make planter posts for string lghts. You can make them in one day — including drying time for the concrete — and each planter cost less than $100 to make.

Tools + Materials

These materials are for one barrel.

1. Mix Concrete in Barrel

The concrete should fill about 1/2 to 3/4 of the barrel to provide enough stability for the posts. Set the barrel in place; you don't want to have to move it after you add the concrete. Mix the concrete in the barrel. We filled our barrel with about 8 - 10 inches of concrete leaving about 10 inches for the plants.

Mix the concrete with water and shake the planter to ensure air bubbles in the mix rise to the top. If you are using several bags of concrete, it is easier to mix one at a time.

2. Insert and Support Post

Set the 4x4 post in the center of the barrel and check the level to make sure the post is not leaning. Screw scrap wood to the post to hold it upright while the concrete is setting. Add another bag of concrete if necessary.

3. Add Drainage Holes to Planter

After the concrete has set, use a drill to make drainage holes in the barrel just above the line of concrete.

4. Fill With Gravel, Soil + Plants

After the concrete has cured, add a layer of pebbles to help with drainage. Then fill the barrel with potting mix and selected plants.

5. Add Hooks

At the top of the 4x4 post, pre-drill a hole for the C-hook that will hold the string lights. Insert the C-hook. Hang string lights from the C-hook using a zip tie. Hang the lights around the perimeter of the space, crisscrossing the area if desired.

6. Enjoy

Turn on the lights and enjoy the night.

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Next Up

How to Make a Raised Planter With a Trellis

Learn how to build a mobile planter box with a built-in trellis. It's perfect for a small deck or patio, and once your plants grow big and tall, the trellis can also serve as a privacy screen.

How to Make a Raised-Bed Planter With a Built-in Bench

Add a garden to your deck or patio with this combination raised planter box and bench.

Outdoor Lighting Options and Design Ideas for Your Backyard

Looking to light up your outdoor living spaces like a deck, patio or porch? Discover backyard lighting ideas that will transform your space. Plus, find clever DIY ideas, the newest lighting trends and product suggestions.

How to Design a Container Garden

Follow this simple design concept and boost the impact of your container gardens with plants of various sizes, textures and color combinations.

How to Hang a Shade Sail Over a Patio

Add instant shade for not a lot of money and just a little bit of elbow grease by hanging a triangular shade cover over your patio or deck.

Ideas for Outdoor Christmas Container Gardens

Deck your container gardens with evergreen boughs and ornaments that hold their own well into the New Year.

All About Square Foot Gardening

Learn the pros, cons and tips for exploring this beginner-friendly gardening method.

How to Build a Raised Planter Box With Legs

This simple-to-build, waist-high planter makes gardening easy — no more bending over or sitting on the ground to tend to your garden.

Lavender Trees

Set your sights on growing a lavender tree or topiary.

How to Plant and Grow Chinese Evergreen

Caring for Chinese evergreens is easy, and these pretty houseplants brighten rooms with low light, or even no natural light, with their leaves of pink, green, creamy white and red.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.