How to Build a Planter with String Light Pole

Plants and string lights add festivity to your porch or deck .

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Time

A few hours

Complexity

Beginner

Cost

$51–100

Introduction

The common problem with string lights is finding a place to hang them. You can buy string light poles, but most are plain and expensive. Our light pole features a planter as its base, which stabilizes the post and adds the beauty of flowers to dress up your entertainment area. Each planter costs around $60 to build and is customizable to suit your needs.

Tools Required

  • Clamps
  • Drill
  • Miter saw
  • Nail gun
  • Pocket hole jig
  • Putty knife

Materials Required

  • 1-1/2” double-wide corner brace
  • 1-1/2” trim-head screws
  • 1x2 pine
  • 1x4 pine
  • 2-1/2” exterior pocket hole screws
  • 2” brad nails
  • 2x2 pine
  • 2x3 pine
  • Exterior wood glue
  • Single wall clothes hook
  • Wood filler

Cutting List

planter with string light pole cutting listFamily Handyman

Project Plans

planter with string light pole project plansFamily Handyman

Project step-by-step (6)

Step 1

Build the interior frame

planter with string light pole build the inner framingFamily Handyman

Drill pocket holes into the short rail (A) and long rail (B) ends. Mark 1 in. from one end of the legs (C) and 4-1/4 in. from the other end. Glue and clamp the short rails to the legs at both marks and one end, fastening them with 2-1/2 in. exterior pocket hole screws. Connect the two assemblies by gluing and clamping the long rails and fastening with 2-1/2 in. exterior pocket hole screws.

Step 2

Attach the platform and alignment boards

planter with string light pole attach platform and alignment boardsFamily Handyman

Glue and clamp the platform boards (D) to the middle short rails (B), leaving a 1-1/2 in. gap for the post (H) in the center. Drill pilot holes and fasten with 1-1/2 in. trim-head screws. Drill pocket holes into the alignment board (E) ends. Glue and clamp the parts to the center of the long rails (B), again leaving a 1-1/2 in. gap for the post in the center. Fasten with 1-1/2 in. exterior pocket hole screws.

Step 3

Fasten the slats

planter with string light pole attach the slatsFamily Handyman

Flip the interior frame upside down. Glue and clamp the slats (F) to the interior frame, against the work surface. Fasten the slats with 2 in. brad nails, using a 1/2-in. spacer between the slats.

Step 4

Attach the top frame

planter with string light pole attach top frameFamily Handyman

Glue and clamp the top frame (G) parts to the top of the assembly and secure them with 2-in. brad nails.

Step 5

Attach the post

planter with string light pole attach light postFamily Handyman

Fasten the clothes hook 1-in. from the end of the post (H) with the included screws. Mark the center of the alignment boards (E) and the end of the post, and set the post in place. Set the corner braces in place and mark their position on the post. Remove the post, and then fasten the corner braces to it on the marks you made. Set the post back in place and tip the assembly on its side. Align the marks on the alignment boards with the marks on the pole end. Drill pilot holes and fasten the post to the alignment boards with 1-1/2 in. screws. Stand the assembly upright and clamp the post so that it’s plumb, and then fasten the corner braces to the platform boards (D).

Next, check out 10 more cool planters you can DIY.

Step 6

Finish the project

planter with string light pole finish projectFamily Handyman

Fill all the nail holes with wood putty, and then sand the planter and pole to 180-grit before painting. We painted the post black, so it’s less visible, using Behr Semi-Gloss Exterior Paint and Primer in One.