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How to Make Planter Posts for String Lights

Extend the party into the night with these wood barrels made into planters with posts that hold string lights.

Tools and Materials

  • planter barrels

  • 4x4 post

  • (4) bags Quikrete

  • water

  • shovel

  • C-hooks

  • string lights

  • flowers

  • potting mix

  • hand trowel

  • scrap wood

  • pneumatic nail gun

  • nails

  • air compressor

  • level

  • drill

  • drill bit

  • zip ties


Step 1: Mix Concrete in Barrel

The concrete should fill about ½ to ¾ of the barrel to provide enough stability for the posts. Set planter barrel in place and mix the concrete in the barrel. We filled the barrel with about 8”-10” of concrete to a make a 16”-18” planter. Mix the concrete with water and shake the planter to ensure air bubbles in the mix rise to the top. If you are using several bags of concrete, it is easier to mix one at a time.


Step 2: Insert Post

Set the 4x4 post in the center of the planter and check the level to make sure the post is not leaning.

Step 3: Support Post

Screw scrap wood to the post to hold it upright while the concrete is setting. Add another bag of concrete if necessary. 

Step 4: Add Drainage Holes to Planter

Use a drill to make drainage holes just above the line of concrete.


Step 5: Fill With Soil and Plants

After the concrete has cured, add a layer of pebbles to help with drainage. Then fill the barrel with potting mix and selected flowers.

Step 6: Add Hooks

At the top of the 4x4 post, pre-drill a hole for the C-hook that will hold the string lights. Insert a C-hook in each of the poles toward the top. Hang string lights from the C-hooks using zip ties to secure the lights to the hooks. Hang the lights around the perimeter of the space, crisscrossing the area if desired.


Step 7: Enjoy!


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