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DIY String Light Poles

These mobile string light poles are the perfect easy DIY for spring.

They can really be used anywhere. They would be great on a patio or around the pool, but, at the farm, I love using them to light up outdoor living spaces under the trees and around the garden.

Shopping List
  • 6 gallon galvanized buckets 2 @ $15 each
  • Quikrete 2 @ $3 per 60# bag
  • 2″ diameter 10-foot long gray electrical conduit tubes 2 @ $7 each
  • PVC caps 2 @ $2 each
+paint to match conduit tubes if needed
Assembly (Requires 2 people)
  • Find a level area to assemble the light poles
  • Fill bucket 3/4 full with water
  • Stand conduit on end and hold in place
  • Pour bag of Quikrete into bucket and stir with a stick – Don’t move the conduit
  • It should set up enough to let go of the conduit within a couple minutes
  • Leave it on level ground for 48 hours

Once the Quikrete is set up, lay the pole over on its side to place the PVC cap over the open end at the top. This will prevent rain water from filling your PVC pipe. I did have to paint my PVC caps with gray paint to make them match. I already had some, but a can of gray spray paint is all you would need.
These string light poles were so easy and turned out looking great. The best thing is that they are mobile, and we can use it anywhere on the farm with these great solar lights. It’s not like they lit up the farm, but they allowed for ambient lighting outside for guests to gather.

We hung the lights by wrapping them and using zip ties. We always have a set of  zip ties around the farm.

They can be dressed up with more lights, plants or even fabric for fancy parties and left as is for more a casual get-together.

Materials I used for this project:

  • Galvanized Buckets
  • Quikrete
  • Electrical conduit
See all materials

To see more: http://youshouldgrow.com/mobile-string-light-poles/

Ask the creator about this project

  • Brenda  S.
    Brenda S. North Brunswick, NJ
    on Mar 7, 2017

    So pretty!

  • Argress Polite
    Argress Polite Rural Hall, NC
    on Mar 7, 2017

    Nice! Could PVC pipe be used instead so that you can use a piece across the top and use it to hang fabric and/or lights for a backdrop?

    • Laura.YSG
      Laura.YSG Hartwell, GA
      on Mar 7, 2017

      I don't see why not! I would check that the pipe is UV rated if it's going to stay outdoors.

  • Love it! I was just looking for a way to light up the balcony!

  • Christina Kamp
    Christina Kamp Tonkawa, OK
    on Mar 21, 2017

    What a clever idea. I love it and so cute!

  • Diane S
    Diane S Wantagh, NY
    on Mar 21, 2017

    You can put some silk flowers in the bucket to dress it up and run floral garland up the pole.

    • Laura.YSG
      Laura.YSG Hartwell, GA
      on Mar 30, 2017

      Yes! Or even small potted plants. And wrap more lights up the pole! I love the way they can be adapted to match the decor of different events.

  • Chrisstjean06
    on Mar 27, 2017

    This is soooo neat. Love how the other readers were coming up with decorating ideas instantly. That is home talkers for you.

  • Sam
    Sam Middleton, WI
    on Mar 27, 2017

    clever idea!

  • Jeannie.mcquaid
    Jeannie.mcquaid Canada
    on Mar 27, 2017

    You could stick solar stakes in the cement before it hardens to keep people from accidentally "kicking the bucket" in the dark.

  • Jennifer Thompson
    Jennifer Thompson Barre, MA
    on Mar 27, 2017

    Super cute and useful all year long! Thanks for sharing!

  • None
    on Mar 27, 2017

    I just bought that same size and brand bucket from Menards last night and it was under $8.00.

  • Lynne
    Lynne Detroit, MI
    on Mar 27, 2017

    this is an excellent idea, and it also come in handy for christmas. thanks so much for the idea

  • Maude  LaFountain
    Maude LaFountain Kopperl, TX
    on Mar 27, 2017

    Love this idea how cool is that .....thanks for posting

  • Marilyn
    Marilyn Jacksonville, FL
    on Mar 27, 2017

    Instead of pvc caps, affix the solar lights to the top of each pole for additional lighting. 👍

  • Annie
    Annie Canada
    on Mar 27, 2017

    What a great idea, thanks for sharing!

  • Beverlyburk364
    on Mar 27, 2017

    Cool, one could get one of the tall white dry-wall mud buckets and leave enough space at the top and plant some flowers. Instead of electrical lights solar lights could also be used. For extra support the pole could go through the bucket into the ground. Just thinking!

    • Laura.YSG
      Laura.YSG Hartwell, GA
      on Mar 30, 2017

      Hey, Beverly! Thanks for your ideas! We do use solar lights for these, and they work great!

  • Jeanne Martin
    Jeanne Martin Catawba, NC
    on Mar 27, 2017

    Love this idea! Saved.

  • Naomie Moore aka baileyanddaisey
    Naomie Moore aka baileyanddaisey Castaic, CA
    on Mar 27, 2017

    Great idea! And I found amazing great quality galvanized buckets like this at the 99 Cent store too. Bought a bunch of them for future projects, use as planters . . . Thanks for the inspiration! 👍

    • Naomie Moore aka baileyanddaisey
      Naomie Moore aka baileyanddaisey Castaic, CA
      on Mar 30, 2017

      Yes I was very surprised at the quality too, did not leak and it took a bit of pounding to nail holes in the botom for drainage . . . I am going to go back and pick up a few more, always a great "basket" for gifts too, at a dollar, so worth it!

  • Debbielillooet
    on Mar 27, 2017

    Good idea!

  • Debbielillooet
    on Mar 27, 2017

    My husband made a shorter version. We slide our patio umbrella into the conduit pipe and can move it around our patio as needed. He used a five gallon bucket. Our umbrella no longer blows over in the wind.

  • Annbpierce
    Annbpierce Lees Summit, MO
    on Mar 27, 2017

    To make them more portable and easier to move, you could use a 5 gallon paint bucket with a lid, drill a round hole in the lid to accommodate the conduit or PVC pipe, fill the bucket with water, and insert the pole with lights attached. This way, when you are finished using the lights you can dump out the water and store them away until your next event.

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!