Tips on how to Make Sturdy DIY Patio Mild Planters | Thrifty Decor Chick

Tips on how to set up STURDY cafe patio string lights with out bushes! 

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

I had to determine a solution to hold these patio lights in a secure manner 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 out of doors string lights specifically. They’re sturdy, commercial-grade strands that maintain as much as every thing. We stored them up in rain, wind and snow they usually nonetheless look/work nice at present. 

It helped that we had bushes sufficiently big to carry the burden of those — they’re heavier than your common out of doors lights, however once more…they final perpetually.

Realizing we have 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, but it surely did not occur: 
Long backyard patio with fire pit

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

I have been researching this for a yr as a result of it was so vital for this to a.) be purposeful, 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 listing ALL of the objects you will want on the finish of the submit, however listed here are the step-by-step directions. 

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

A few of 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 apprehensive the concrete would ooze out between the slats of wooden. 

I purchased three plastic planters for this mission awhile again, however I made a decision they have been too tall and never broad — you need one thing that has a large base.  We returned these and bought 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 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 fast 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 won’t preserve them tremendous safe (no less than with plastic planters), so you possibly can’t let go simply but — however they do assist! 

I’ve by no means use cement but it surely was surprisingly straightforward! We used two 50 pound luggage 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 is not 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 apprehensive 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 verify the 4×4 throughout this course of. It would not must be completely straight — keep in mind you possibly can regulate the mulch or dust 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 very well and was manner simpler than we thought it could be. That’s, till we began pulling on the 4x4s a bit…and we realized there was no manner these would not tip over from the burden of the lights. (Even with 100 kilos of cement!)

The lights aren’t CRAZY heavy…however we have 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 hold the lights anyway) and he got here up with a superb answer. 

He discovered lengthy steel 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 may want a stone/cement drill bit to get into the set cement. It’s also possible to do that whereas the cement is drying with a daily drill bit. 

He hooked up 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 inserting them nearer collectively or utilizing light-weight mild 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 would 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 dust 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 loads for the 2 planters. Within the spring I will add petunias that may spill over the edges. 

Step 4: Grasp 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. In case you are draping the lights lower than seven ft, you possibly can simply hold them by themselves. The model recommends that you just use wire for distances longer than that. 

The equipment comes with 150 ft of wire, which was far more than we wanted. The out of doors lights we use are from Feit and are 48 ft every. So you will simply must map out the design you need based mostly in your house and the way lengthy your lights are. I knew the place we wished to begin (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 laborious to find out precisely how a lot you will use, so we knew the position of the final attachment to the again of the home would depend upon how a lot of the lights have been left, if that is smart. We thought it could 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 possibly can 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 all the time 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 travel many instances…however I choose 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 submit, 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 have been glass. These are plastic so that they solely present a number of additional (additionally as a result of they will final MUCH longer than the incandescent model). The LED model can be lighter (weight smart) than those we used years in the past. 

I do not all the time love LED lights, particularly exterior. I choose 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 don’t seem to be working that is often the issue.

We have 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 executed.

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

DIY cafe lights over patio

Do you’ve fairly lights hung exterior? They make every thing really feel just a little extra magical. 🙂 

Listed here are the hyperlinks and merchandise that might be useful when you try this mission!:
String mild tutorial when you have bushes
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 mission for later:

DIY cafe lights in cement planters