How you can Make Sturdy DIY Patio Gentle Planters | Thrifty Decor Chick

How you can set up STURDY cafe patio string lights with out timber! 

Putting in these outside string lights was on my checklist for years after we moved into our home! The issue was, we had a brand new yard with no mature timber to connect the lights to. 

I had to determine a approach to dangle these patio lights in a secure means so they might maintain as much as rain, wind and snow. 

Hanging string lights under pergola
How to hang string lights from trees

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We love these outside string lights specifically. They’re sturdy, commercial-grade strands that maintain as much as every thing. We saved them up in rain, wind and snow and so they nonetheless look/work nice in the present day. 

It helped that we had timber sufficiently big to carry the load of those — they’re heavier than your common outside lights, however once more…they final endlessly.

Understanding we had been going to hold them over the brand new patio, I grabbed a pair packing containers of the lights final yr. I used to be actually hoping to get them up final fall, nevertheless it did not occur: 
Long backyard patio with fire pit

As a result of we do not have timber across the patio but (and it will be years earlier than they’d be robust sufficient to carry the sunshine strands), we had to determine a distinct possibility. 

I have been researching this for a yr as a result of it was so necessary for this to a.) be practical, b.) look good and c.) not break the bank. I gathered data from a bunch of tutorials I discovered after which we needed to make some extra adjustments on the finish I will share with you. (Trace: the tutorials we discovered did not work for the heavier lights!) 

Let’s get began! I will checklist ALL of the gadgets you may want on the finish of the put up, however listed here are the step-by-step directions. 

Step 1: Collect the planters you would like to make use of. 

Among the tutorials I discovered used wooden wine barrel planters — however the ones I discovered both had giant holes already drilled into the underside or they weren’t tremendous sturdy. I used to be frightened the concrete would ooze out between the slats of wooden. 

I purchased three plastic planters for this undertaking awhile again, however I made a decision they had been too tall and never extensive — you need one thing that has a large base.  We returned these and obtained these plastic barrel planters as an alternative: 

They nonetheless have that wine barrel look however ought to maintain up a lot better!

I initially had three planters, however we ended up utilizing two after we discovered what number of ft of lights we had. 

Step 2: Safe the poles within the planters.

Subsequent, we grabbed eight foot 4×4’s for every planter. The short set cement set actually quick — however this subsequent step was useful. I put in “L” brackets onto the underside of every 4×4 after which screwed them into the underside of the planters earlier than including the cement: 

Using 4x4s for outdoor lights

This is not going to hold them tremendous safe (at the least with plastic planters), so you possibly can’t let go simply but — however they do assist! 

I’ve by no means use cement nevertheless it was surprisingly simple! We used two 50 pound baggage of Quikrete for every planter:

quick setting concrete for planters

We added and blended one bag at a time — you add the cement after which spray water. You do not want a ton of water — simply combine in addition to doable so there isn’t any dry cement left: 

How to make poles for outdoor lights

For the primary planter it took three of us as a result of I used to be frightened the 4×4 would not maintain at first. However the cement units up so quick, it simply took two of us for the second. 

Use a stage to test the 4×4 throughout this course of. It does not need to be completely straight — bear in mind you possibly can modify the mulch or filth underneath the planters to assist make the poles straight. 

Inside 15-20 minutes it wasn’t budging: 

Cement planters for outdoor string lights

You’ll be able to stain or paint the 4×4’s earlier than setting them within the cement, however I am too impatient for that. I needed to get them up! It was simple to get them stained after the very fact: 

Jacobean stain on outdoor poles

Step three: Safe the planters into the bottom (if wanted).

Soooo this half went rather well and was means simpler than we thought it will be. That’s, till we began pulling on the 4x4s a bit…and we realized there was no means these would not tip over from the load of the lights. (Even with 100 kilos of cement!)

The lights aren’t CRAZY heavy…however we had been draping them throughout the patio, so the space provides some pressure. We had our handyman come out to have a look (he was serving to me dangle the lights anyway) and he got here up with a superb answer. 

He discovered lengthy metallic metal flats on the ironmongery shop that he pounded into the bottom after which secured into the cement portion of the pots: 

Securing cement planters into ground

You may want a stone/cement drill bit to get into the set cement. You can too do that whereas the cement is drying with an everyday drill bit. 

He connected 4 to every planter and it labored like a attraction!! Sensible. They do not budge. I am shocked the planters within the tutorials I discovered keep upright — however as I discussed, in case you are putting them nearer collectively or utilizing light-weight mild strands, they may in all probability work. (Our lights are strung 20+ ft over the patio.)

As a result of I used to be filling the remaining a part of every planter with soil and crops, I drilled a number of holes into the perimeters of the planters so water does not pool up inside: 

Drainage holes for planters

I discovered a flat of those succulents at Lowe’s — it was SO simple to plant! You’ll be able to both simply lay them down over the filth or tear them into items like I did: 

DIY poles in planters for lights

Hopefully they do nicely on the market! One flat was $21 and I had lots for the 2 planters. Within the spring I will add petunias that can spill over the perimeters. 

Step 4: Cling the lights with {hardware}.

Subsequent it was time to get the lights hung! I purchased this light hanging kit final yr and it had every thing we wanted:
Outdoor light hanging kit

We had loads of {hardware} and wire leftover. If you’re draping the lights lower than seven ft, you possibly can simply dangle them by themselves. The model recommends that you just use wire for distances longer than that. 

The package comes with 150 ft of wire, which was far more than we wanted. The outside lights we use are from Feit and are 48 ft every. So you may simply need to map out the design you need primarily based in your house and the way lengthy your lights are. I knew the place we needed to start out (the nook of the patio so we may entry a plug), and I positioned the planters (earlier than we added cement) the place we needed them to drape:

How to hang outdoor string lights
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It is arduous to find out precisely how a lot you may use, so we knew the position of the final attachment to the again of the home would rely upon how a lot of the lights had been left, if that is smart. We thought it will attain to the nook of the home, however as an alternative we needed to transfer it in a bit. This made it so we did not have any extra lights/wire hanging down. 

It’s SO lovely and even higher than I imagined!:

DIY string light cement planters tutorial

We hung the wire after which used small zip ties to connect the lights. You’ll be able to string the wire via the holes within the lights beforehand, however the zip ties after was simpler. This manner you possibly can safe the wire first after which add the lights after the very fact.

I at all times lean to a less complicated look so I did not need this to get too busy. We may have added extra planters and lights and had them shuttle many occasions…however I favor this! In order for you extra, go for it!: 

Patio with DIY outdoor lights in planters
I shared all about these superior industrial cafe lights right here — within the few years since that put up, they now make them in LED as an alternative. This can save on electrical energy — every bulb is just one watt. 

The previous units got here with a ton of additional bulbs as a result of they had been glass. These are plastic in order that they solely present a number of additional (additionally as a result of they’re going to final MUCH longer than the incandescent model). The LED model can be lighter (weight sensible) than those we used years in the past. 

I do not at all times love LED lights, particularly outdoors. I favor a hotter mild, however as you possibly can see, these aren’t stark in any respect. Very heat and welcoming: 

How to hang heavy outdoor string lights
covered porch and patio with lighting

DIY planters for heavy string lights

Be sure you tighten the bulbs nicely — if they are not working that is normally the issue.

We had been going to have a change run down the porch column so we may simply flip these on and off, however our handyman jogged my memory {that a} distant change would work simply as nicely. We saved SO a lot cash utilizing that as an alternative of getting electrical work performed.

That is the remote we used — simply plug it into the outlet, then plug the lights into the system. You’ll be able to flip the lights on and off from inside or outdoors simply. This is a take a look at the lights when it is fully darkish:

DIY cafe lights over patio

Do you’ve gotten fairly lights hung outdoors? They make every thing really feel a bit extra magical. 🙂 

Listed below are the hyperlinks and merchandise that shall be useful when you try this undertaking!:
String mild tutorial you probably have timber
Business grade string lights
Plastic barrel planters (or a smaller version here)
Three foot steel flats for securing the planters
Light hanging hardware kit
Quikrete fast setting cement
Remote control outdoor plug/switch

You need to use this picture to pin this undertaking for later:

DIY cafe lights in cement planters