How one can Make Sturdy DIY Patio Mild Planters | Thrifty Decor Chick

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

Putting in these outside string lights was on my record 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 solution to dangle these patio lights in a protected approach 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 particularly. They’re sturdy, commercial-grade strands that maintain as much as the whole lot. We saved them up in rain, wind and snow they usually nonetheless look/work nice immediately. 

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

Understanding we had been going to hold them over the brand new patio, I grabbed a pair packing containers of the lights final 12 months. I used to be actually hoping to get them up final fall, however 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 might be years earlier than they’d be sturdy sufficient to carry the sunshine strands), we had to determine a distinct possibility. 

I have been researching this for a 12 months as a result of it was so essential for this to a.) be practical, b.) look good and c.) not break the bank. I gathered information from a bunch of tutorials I discovered after which we needed to make some extra modifications 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 record 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 want to make use of. 

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

I purchased three plastic planters for this challenge awhile again, however I made a decision they had been too tall and never vast — 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 significantly better!

I initially had three planters, however we ended up utilizing two once we found out 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 very least with plastic planters), so you’ll be able to’t let go simply but — however they do assist! 

I’ve by no means use cement however it was surprisingly straightforward! 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 attainable so there is no 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 nervous 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 degree to verify the 4×4 throughout this course of. It does not need to be completely straight — bear in mind you’ll be able to modify the mulch or grime beneath the planters to assist make the poles straight. 

Inside 15-20 minutes it wasn’t budging: 

Cement planters for outdoor string lights

You possibly can stain or paint the 4×4’s earlier than setting them within the cement, however I am too impatient for that. I wished to get them up! It was straightforward 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 approach simpler than we thought it might be. That’s, till we began pulling on the 4x4s a bit…and we realized there was no approach 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 resolution. 

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

Securing cement planters into ground

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

He connected 4 to every planter and it labored like a appeal!! Good. They do not budge. I am stunned 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 gentle strands, they may most likely 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 edges 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 straightforward to plant! You possibly can both simply lay them down over the grime 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 a lot for the 2 planters. Within the spring I will add petunias that can spill over the edges. 

Step 4: Cling the lights with {hardware}.

Subsequent it was time to get the lights hung! I purchased this light hanging kit final 12 months and it had the whole lot 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’ll be able to simply dangle them by themselves. The model recommends that you simply 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 based mostly in your area and the way lengthy your lights are. I knew the place we wished 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 wished them to drape:

How to hang outdoor string lights
How to hang outdoor lights without trees

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 might 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/twine hanging down. 

It’s SO stunning 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 possibly can string the wire by means of the holes within the lights beforehand, however the zip ties after was simpler. This fashion you’ll be able to safe the wire first after which add the lights after the very fact.

I at all times lean to an easier look so I did not need this to get too busy. We may have added extra planters and lights and had them shuttle many instances…however I favor this! If you need 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 outdated 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 further (additionally as a result of they’re going to final MUCH longer than the incandescent model). The LED model can also be lighter (weight clever) than those we used years in the past. 

I do not at all times love LED lights, particularly exterior. I favor a hotter gentle, however as you’ll be able to 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 swap run down the porch column so we may simply flip these on and off, however our handyman jogged my memory {that a} distant swap would work simply as nicely. We saved SO a lot cash utilizing that as an alternative of getting electrical work carried out.

That is the remote we used — simply plug it into the outlet, then plug the lights into the machine. You possibly can flip the lights on and off from inside or exterior simply. This is a take a look at the lights when it is fully darkish:

DIY cafe lights over patio

Do you have got fairly lights hung exterior? They make the whole lot really feel a little bit extra magical. 🙂 

Listed below are the hyperlinks and merchandise that will probably be useful when you try this challenge!:
String gentle tutorial in case you 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 should use this picture to pin this challenge for later:

DIY cafe lights in cement planters