Illuminate Your Outdoor Space Easily With These DIY String Light Poles

Want to spruce up your yard or deck with some string lights this summer? Let us show you the ultimate DIY string light pole setup.

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With summer here and many folks spending quality time with family and friends on decks and in backyards, it’s a great time to think about spicing up your outdoor decor. With a few smart design and layout tricks and features, you can create an outdoor space with indoor-level comfort. One of these design features is the tasteful use of outdoor string lights to transform your deck or yard into a space exuding modern elegance.

Does setting up string lights in your outdoor space sound complicated? It doesn’t have to be. Here we review and explain a popular TikTok post showing how to elegantly light up your deck or yard without investing much time or trouble. The best part? It’s renter-friendly!

How to Set Up String Light Poles

@from_the_heart_decor How to make a decorative string light poles! Budget friendly 😀 #string #lightpole #backyard #diy #diyproject #backyardvibes #homedecor #backyardtransformation #diyhomedecor #diyprojectsideas #ideas #decoraciondepatio #decoracion #patio #outdoors ♬ original sound – Dianne Hernandez

What You’ll Need


  • Decide where you’d like to set up your string lights (i.e. across your deck, yard, or patio)
  • Place a heavy-duty plastic planter and string light pole in each spot where you intend the pole to be set up. Alternatively, you can use 10-foot lengths of 1 1/2-inch PVC pipe, or 10-foot 4×4 wooden posts, as long as they’re pressure treated to prevent rot. Keep in mind that metal poles may be a lightning risk.
  • Mix some quick-set cement in the first planter. Make enough to fill the planter three-quarters full.
  • Stick the light pole (or PVC or wooden post) into the cement until the bottom end contacts the bottom of your planter. Tip: dedicated string light poles often come with spikes on the ends to stick into the ground. Use these as intended if you like, or consider them extra anchoring material as you set them into the cement.
  • Use a 6-inch magnetic level to ensure the pole or post is perfectly plumb as the cement begins to set. You can use some temporary 2×2 wooden braces clamped diagonally to your pole or post, and pressed into the ground to keep the arrangement plumb without having to hold it.
  • Repeat the process with more poles/posts and planters until you have enough set up across your yard or deck to support all the string lights you want.
  • Follow the instructions on the quick-dry cement packaging concerning wait time for things to fully harden.
  • Use a painter’s ladder to string the lights along the top of the poles or posts. These factory-designed poles have metal loops on top meant for holding string lights. If you’re using PVC or wood, secure the lights with screw hooks.
  • Cover the exposed cement on the tops of your planters with decorative river rock.

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Robert Maxwell
Robert Maxwell is a writer, videographer, photographer and online strength coach based in Northern Ontario, Canada. He grew up on a rural self-sufficient homestead property where he learned the skills to build his own home from the ground up, do all his own vehicle repairs, and work with wood, stone and metal to find practical DIY solutions to many everyday problems.