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Spring One Room Challenge Week 5: DIY String Light Poles

Interested in more outdoor projects? Check out our first few weeks of the ORC here:
Deck Makeover, Privacy Fence DIY, Exterior window & door trim paint, or our entire Moodboard for the outdoor space!

The mood that outdoor lighting brings to a space on a warm summer night are the VIBES I wanted to strive for! I’ve always loved the ambience of outdoor lighting and thought, what better way to amp up our backyard space than to add string lights across our entire deck?! However, we didn’t have anything to attach the string lights to on the opposite side of our house, so we needed to make our own poles! We decided to make 2 poles that we truly believe anyone can DIY! It took us 2 hours in total and was only $60 for both! We ended up finding 48ft string lights at Costco on sale for $38.99 and used 2 packs! Here is a nice beginner friendly step-by-step guide on how to build string light poles yourself:

Materials:

A lot of people use 2×2 posts for this type of project, but I didn’t like the look of how thin they were so we opted for 4×4!

  • 2 – 4×4 Pressure Treated Fence Posts – We used 10 ft tall ones – better to be too tall than too short!
  • 1 – Form Tube cut in half (For holding concrete – $20 at our hardware store)
  • Saw to cut the form tube in half (we used our multi tool, we use it for everything, great investment!)
  • 4-5 bags of quick dry concrete pre-mixed. We bought this one.
  • Stick and bucket to mix the concrete
  • Level

Instructions:

Read the instructions carefully on your specific bag of concrete! Ours hardened within an hour but took 24 hours to fully dry. We also wasted an entire bag because we poured the entire bag into our bucket and then the water mixture on top and it was too hard to mix it all at once, so pour it in increments.

  • Step 1: We cut the form tube we purchased in half with our multi tool so each tube was about 20 inches high.
  • Step 2: We placed each tube on top of a piece of cardboard and taped around the bottom to make a seal so the cement didn’t spill out the bottom.
  • Step 3: We then placed our 4×4 posts in the centre of the tube and made SURE it was level and even. Might be the most important step. I’ll share a photo below but we used clamps with a ladder in between to keep the posts still while we poured the concrete in. You can makeshift anything for this!
  • Step 4: We mixed the concrete bags in increments of 3 which worked out to be about 1 L of water per 1/3 of a bag. It’s just easier to mix in increments! We mixed the water and cement mixture by stirring with a metal pole we had until we reached a good consistency. Then, we poured it into the form tube!
  • Step 5: We repeated this until 2 bags were used and poured into each form tube totalling 4 bags.
    Tip: Tap the outside of the form tube all around to make sure there are no air bubbles that form.
  • Step 6: Let dry 24 hours
  • Step 7: After the concrete is dry, use an utility knife to start ripping the form tube off.
  • Step 8: Finished posts! They’re heavy so get someone to help you move them in place but they should be strong and sturdy enough to withstand winds & other weather conditions and hold your pretty string lights! You’re ready to hang your lights 🙂

For video steps, check out our ORC highlight on Instagram!

Here’s how it turned out! We haven’t hung the string lights up yet but I’ll update the blog with photos when we do 🙂 I liked the look of exposed concrete but you can follow the exact same steps above to fill planters with concrete! It seems to be another popular option as you can fill the top half with soil & plants as a nice decorative option.

Be sure to follow along with us on Instagram for live updates of this beautiful outdoor oasis reno!! Be sure to check out all of the other guest participants & the amazing room transformations to come on the One Room Challenge Blog!

Thanks for following along!

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Emily
    June 3, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    It’s looking so good! We added a string light planter post as well during the one room challenge, it definitely adds ambience!

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