There’s something about the glow of strings lights that can make even the most ordinary space feel magical. Doesn’t it make your heart skip a beat when you see them? Plus the glow is incredibly flattering, so I can’t be held responsible for what magic may happen when you install these outdoor patio and deck lights at home. What? You don’t have enough walls to hang them outdoors? Pshhhh, no worries! Here’s an EASY (duh, it’s me) and CHEAP (of course) way to hang string lights on your deck, patio, balcony, garden, backyard– really, ANYWHERE you’d like a little extra glow in minutes flat. Does this make me the Queen of Cheap and Easy? So be it. Once you see how easy it is to add this magic to YOUR outdoor space you can call me whatever you’d like and I’ll go with it (great, can’t wait to see who finds this page by googling ‘cheap and easy’).
No joking, I feel like I’m on vacation every day. Is there a better feeling in the world? CHECK OUT THIS GLOW, the sun had already set but our deck looked like twilight:
I’m going to show you how to do this when you have a deck, but if you don’t have railings or even walls just stick these poles into a large, sturdy planter filled with large rocks or sink it in a form filled with concrete. Here’s where we started, with a 8 foot long 2X2 from the hardware store. This one cost $4 and was warped, bad choice but we wanted to be sure it would work before ‘investing’ in the $10 pine 2X2s they have that are stick straight. We plan to go back and get the pine 2X2s, but quite frankly the warped one has been through a few summer storms thus far and doesn’t suffered one bit. We only used one pole, but if you really want to light it up or don’t have an opposing wall to hang the lights from then grab a few.
First, screw a cup hook into one end of the 2X2.
Then, screw the pole into the railing. Use sturdy screws and you may need to drill a pilot hole first. We did two screws, one at the bottom of the railing and one at the top of the railing. NOTE that you may need to use a shim to support the bottom screw if the edges of the railing are uneven, this will keep your pole straight.
Take your lights out of the package CAREFULLY. We used these indoor/outdoor globe string lights (similar) but they are fragile! They are perfect, though. Thankfully the box came with perforations for removing the lights without unscrewing the bulbs.
Then, screw a cup hook into the wall where the light will originate. We used an outdoor extension cord from the outdoor plug and up the wall to save the lights for the ‘ceiling’ area. Plug the light set into the extension cord, and string it through the first wall hook and over to the pole. THIS IS A GOOD JOB FOR TWO PEOPLE IN CASE THE LIGHTS DROP. Ask me how I know. Grrrrr.
With that in mind, it’s super important to secure the lights at the plugs! We didn’t tie it tight, but we did make sure they were interlocked at each connection point as well as looped it around the cup hooks to keep it from sliding off.
Swag it back over to the wall, and kablam, MAGIC.
I should note that I painted the pole with the solid deck stain after it was in place. It’s much easier to paint it that way, and now it blends into our deck beautifully.
Pinch me. Is this seriously my home? We’re out here every night that it’s not raining. The glow is unreal and we are spending more time outdoors than ever before. Now we just need to have a party. A party under the stars and string lights. Who’s in?
Here’s the rest of the Deck Diaries series, including the final reveal!
Deck Dreaming (Design Board and Plan)
Part One: Deck Staining 101
Part Two: Vertical Herb Garden
Part Three: How to Hang Outdoor Lights
Part Four: Our Outdoor Living Room (DIY Deck Makeover Reveal!)
SHOP THE LOOK
Here’s the exact lights we used (love them!)
Do you have outdoor lights on your patio, porch or deck? Any upcoming parties to bedazzle? For $35 TOTAL (plus the string light set we smashed, ahem) we feel as if we’re on vacation every night. I can’t believe we waited so long to do such an easy DIY project!