Outdoor String Lights Project

4 Materials
3 Days

This outdoor string lights project was a spontaneous DIY patio project that we tackled during Thanksgiving break. It was affordable, under $500, and not permanent so perfect for renters or short-term updates.

Our Current Backyard

Most of the reason why we bought this house was because of the yard. Large lot, mature landscape with trees that change with the seasons and remind me of my childhood in the midwest. We have big plans for the yard but we also have to take some time and save the money for the dream renovation. In the meantime, I wanted to update the patio area with some string lights to not only add some much-needed lighting but also make it cozier. So like all of my grand ideas, I headed to Lowes to tackle this outdoor string lights project.

Supplies Needed

You don’t need a lot for this DIY outdoor string light project and the most expensive item is going to be the string lights. Download the supply list for free on our site so you can bring it to your favorite hardware store.

How to hang outdoor string lights

Since this isn’t our forever patio, I didn’t want to create a permanent structure, which makes this outdoor string lights project perfect for people who are renting or not in a home long term.

  1. Measure your space both for the number of lights you’ll need and the space you have for the planters that will hold the outdoor string lights pole.
  2. Head to Lowes and get the supplies.
  3. Sand, stain, and seal the poles.
  4. Attach the hooks – make sure to do this at the same spot on each pole so that when you hang your outdoor string lights they are even.
  5. Set your planters in place – it’s easier to fill them where you want them vs trying to lug heavy pots into place.
  6. Mix the concrete – I used a quick mix that didn’t need much stirring. Make sure to leave the room if you are planning to plant on the top.
  7. Set the poles in place and make sure they are level.
  8. Wait. Give the concrete a day to fully dry before you cover it or hang your lights.
  9. Cover it to give it a finished look. I drilled holes at the fill line, put in a layer of rocks, and filled it with soil.
  10. Hang your lights.

Mid-stain. I did a few coats of this gray color.

Ready to mix the concrete.

Concrete in and light pole level.

Drilled some drainage holes before I filled them with soil and plants.

Best outdoor string lights

Once you have your poles in place, there are a ton of options for the actual lights. Since we did this project on Thanksgiving weekend, I used some round colorful lights that we didn’t use on the house. Once the holidays are over, I’ll switch them out to white string lights. The outdoor string light options seem to be endless, LED, solar, Edison bulbs, or round. Here are a few of my favorites:

Portfolio 24-ft 12-Light Shade Plug-in Bulbs LED String Lights at Lowes.

Amazon Outdoor String Lights 25 Feet G40 Globe Patio Lights

Magictec LED Shatterproof String Lights Commercial Grade

Enbrighten Vintage Seasons LED Warm White & Color Changing Café String Lights

Solar String Lights Outdoor 60 Led 35.6 Feet Crystal Globe Lights

Looking for more outdoor inspiration? Download our free garden plan or see our window transformation.

Resources for this project:
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Alice Faggi
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • Susie Susie on Mar 29, 2021

    Great idea!!

  • Susan Susan on Mar 29, 2021

    I'd love to see it lit at night.

    • Randy Randy on Mar 28, 2022

      I would to with color lights and again with her just white lights. Hard to give her the Clap by not seeing her completed project Right ?? I did she did write it out okay.