I’ve been wanting outdoor string lights for our deck for a looooong time – well, I guess no more than three years since we’ve only lived here that long. Well folks, today is the day my outdoor-string-globe-light-dreams become a reality – I created some DIY posts for hanging outdoor string lights on my main deck, which rock.
What I ended up doing was quite simple and super cheap: attach a couple of 8′ posts to my deck rails and hang lights from them. But I only got to that point after coming up with a bunch of convoluted pole options (hmm, that sounded wrong), and even attempting and failing at one of them (again, sounding wrong). My failure was not so much with the pole itself but with my method of attachment whereby I hung over the rail, split my wood not one not two but three times, and stripped all my screws in the process (is it just me, or are these words sounding really awkward?). But let’s not dwell on those low moments (or strip club talk) any longer. Instead, here’s how to do your own DIY posts so you, too, can have outdoor string lights.
For each post you want, buy 2x2s in 8′ lengths, which should be pre-cut to that size and only about $2 per board. I bought 4 boards, used 3 of them, and destroyed one of them in a prior pole attempt.
Buy little hooks to go on top of each pole and also wherever else you want to attach lights. Note, the hooks look very tiny in this picture – that’s because they are. You don’t need big hooks. You can also paint your poles to match your deck rails if you want. I painted mine because the dark color makes the poles fade away more so you look beyond the poles at the view, instead of at the poles only.
Attach your poles to the deck rails with super-long screws. I used 4″ screws to make sure those suckers stayed put.
Put one screw at the bottom of your deck rails and another at the top, to prevent wiggling. I limited myself to those two screws, so the posts would be easy to remove in the off-season.
You may need a shim piece for the bottom – I just used a 4″ length of an extra 2×2, also painted the same color as the deck rails.
Hang your lights, and you’re golden. Literally.
You’ve already seen how we prepped our deck, but these outdoor string lights really took the deck to a new level of awesome. Every summer night I hate to leave the deck to head inside for bed, and now I may just consider sleeping out here.
Anyone else whip up some posts to hang outdoor string lights over your deck? Or plan a mini-campout under your freshie lights? Off to get my sleeping bag and bug repellent…