How to Make DIY String-Light Planters to Brighten Any Spot in Your Yard

String up lights anywhere in your yard with these container gardens that double as sturdy hanging posts.

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 2 days
  • Skill Level: Beginner

String lights bring a warm, inviting glow to outdoor spaces, but figuring out how to hang them securely can be tricky. If you're decorating an attached deck or porch, you can typically install the lights to the structure's support beams, posts, or railing. But if you want to hang string lights farther out in your yard, such as a firepit area or a freestanding deck or patio, you might need to create your own supports for stringing lights.

This simple outdoor project lets you easily assemble sturdy posts for string lights without digging holes in your yard. Container gardens filled with a foundation of concrete serve as the base for the wood posts, and cup hooks hold the strands of lights in place. Because they're not set into the ground, you can easily reposition as needed or take them down at the end of the season. The string-light planters also provide an opportunity to add color to your yard with pretty flowers or lush greenery.

Determine how many planters you plan to make and gather your materials before you begin. You'll need one 4x4 wood post, one wood barrel planter, one cup hook, and at least two corner braces for each one. Learn how to make these DIY string-light planters to brighten up any area of your backyard.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Cordless drill
  • Level
  • Hand trowel
  • Protective eye gear and gloves

Materials

  • 4x4 treated lumber posts
  • Wood barrel planters
  • 2 corner braces
  • Screws
  • Fast-drying concrete
  • Rocks
  • Potting soil
  • Plants
  • Cup hooks
  • String lights

Instructions

  1. Place Wood Posts in Planters

    Set the planters in your desired locations before you begin. Place one 4x4 post into a planter. Use a level to ensure it's straight, and have a helper hold the post in place. Use corner braces to fasten the post to the bottom of the planter. Attach braces to the post first and center it inside the planter before screwing the braces into the bottom. These will keep the post steady as you pour the concrete. Make sure your screws are short enough that they won't poke through the bottom of the planter.

  2. sitting area black chairs posts lights deck
    Adam Albright

    Set with Concrete

    Pour fast-setting concrete mix into the planter. Following the package instructions, add water and stir to mix. Make sure the concrete is several inches below the top of the planter to leave room for potting. Repeat these steps with additional planters. Allow the concrete to cure overnight.

  3. modern patio succulents planter deck post
    Adam Albright

    Plant Container Gardens

    Once the concrete is set, drill drainage holes through the sides of each planter above the concrete line. Pour a layer of rock on top of the concrete to help with drainage. Top with potting soil and add your desired plants to the containers.

  4. detail vertical garden post lights soft focus
    Adam Albright

    Attach String Lights

    At the top of each post, drill a pilot hole and insert a cup hook for hanging lights. String the lights through each hook and secure with zip ties if desired. Plug in the lights to illuminate your outdoor space.

Updated by
Joseph Wanek
joseph wanek headshot

Joseph Wanek is a senior stylist and producer with more than a decade of experience in the business of publishing and commercial photography. His area of expertise is prop styling for home and garden photo shoots. Wanek's work has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Do It Yourself, Design Sponge, DSM Magazine, and more. He has styled photography and video for major brands such as Walmart, Lowe's, Proctor and Gamble, and 3M.

Wanek started his career in newspaper journalism and photography but after working with magazine publications, his passion for home design evolved into his current profession as a prop stylist. His love of gardening, plants, and all things outdoor living has been featured in newspapers, magazines, and digital publications.

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