Disclosure: This post is in partnership with True Value.
UPDATE: I HAVE SINCE TRIED A NEW WAY TO HANG STRING LIGHTS THAT WORKS EVEN BETTER! YOU CAN SEE THE NEW LIGHT TUTORIAL HERE!
One of the things I’ve dreamt about since we moved into this home is to host a big outdoor party with twinkle lights, a pretty table and a home full of friends and family. Last weekend that dream came true as we hosted my grandparent’s 70th wedding anniversary party! It was such a special celebration and it was really fun putting it on with all the other women in my family. In preparation for the party, we put up twinkle lights in our backyard. Today, I’m going to give you some Tips for How to Hang String Lights in Backyard and also what NOT to do. We definitely had a few learning moments!
How to Hang String Lights in Backyard
Backyard String Light Supplies:
- 50ft Outdoor Twinkle Lights
- Post Digger
- 18″ PVC Pipes
- 10ft Metal Poles*
- Power Drill
- Metal Hooks
- Post Toppers
- Elmer’s ProBond Advanced Glue
- Black Outdoor Spray Paint
- 3 Prong Extension Cord
* We used hollow aluminum poles and I don’t recommend them. We thought they would absorb wind better than PVC Pipe, but instead they just snap in half when too much pressure is put on them (we learned the hard way). We’ve now decided to replace all the poles with actual metal poles. It will cost more but they will last longer in the future.
I started by cutting the 2 1/2″ PVC Pipe down to 18″ pieces. We figured 18″ below ground would be a pretty good base.
The next bit of prep work was spray painting the poles and toppers. Instead of just having plain metal poles sticking out in our backyard, I wanted to add a decorative topper to really finish them off. These hexagon fence post toppers were the perfect solution.
I gave both the poles and the toppers a coat of Black Rust Protector Spray Paint. Whatever spray paint you buy you want to make sure it works on metal. Before you dig your post holes, you want to plan and measure and measure and measure. There are several different ways we could have hung the lights. We went back and forth on a couple of different looks but ended up doing three posts that all connect to a high point on the back of the house (scroll for pic). They create a little bit of a waterfall effect.
I can’t stress enough, measure, measure, measure. We marked where we thought all the posts should go, then held the lights up and had to remeasure. It can be a little tricky when hanging lights on a slope.
You will want to dig an 18″ hole and then place a PVC Pipe into it. Just make sure it goes below the grass line. We installed our posts this way with the intention that we could insert metal poles into the PVC pipe and then take them out (and the lights down) during the winter months. We also wanted to be able to ride our lawn mower over the post holes.
Then, we put the main poles in and poured Quickrete into the hole. We used a level to help guide the pole around and make sure it was straight up and down.
I used my power drill to make two holes at the top of the poles, about 2 1/2″ down. Then inserted a screw hook with a nut. To secure the wood topper to the metal pole I used Elmer’s ProBond Advanced. It’s my favorite glue to use because it secures wood and metal together.
Then, we strung the lights! Our poles did arch a bit due to the pressure on them. This is one of the reasons why we will eventually switch them out.
And here is how they connected to the back of our house. We used a 3 prong extension cord to connect the lights. Now that we know how good the lights look in our back yard, I’d love to have an actual outlet installed up there!
The lights were the perfect addition to the party and I can’t wait to have more events back here! More details on the party coming soon.
Image Source: Initial Photography
I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.
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Great work! I am impressed with your work and got some great ideas to hang string lights in the backyard. Thanks for sharing the wonderful article.
Do you remember what the diameter of the poles you used were?
Make sure to take the poles down if there’s a storm on the way! ZAP!!!