Shortly after getting engaged, Jeremy and I agreed that we wanted to get married here on the farm. We changed our mind 751+ times about the location, before deciding early in the spring that we would actually have it on the farm. I’m slowly learning to always go with my gut, because I change my mind way too much. I didn’t want to tent the reception area, and that was ultimately a mistake because of very unpredictable May weather in Kentucky (that’s just a friendly word of advice). I didn’t want to have spotlights in the yard, but I knew we would need some type of lighting since we were having an evening reception. We had an abundance of LED string lights that we purchased on clearance after Christmas, and we thought they would look lovely out in the yard. These DIY String Lamp Posts were the easiest solution to our lighting problem. The string lights added a festive touch of ambiance to our Derby Day reception. Honestly out of all the DIY projects I worked on for the wedding, these DIY String Light Posts were the simplest to make.
I want to point out that this post is a little different than usual, I’m using some photography from my wedding photographer Ginger Snaps. I actually put down my own camera on my wedding day and I didn’t take a single photo, not even with my iPhone. I took a few photos the next day after we cleaned up, but it didn’t look the same.
This is my safety briefing, and please read this section in entirety before constructing these DIY String Light Posts.
- Be careful how much pressure that you put on the posts with the lights. You might turn them over and someone could become injured. You can’t, and shouldn’t, put too much space between them or run heavy lines. I don’t want to scare you out of creating this project, but you should always put the safety of your guests and yourself first.
DIY String Light Posts Supplies:
- 8 foot 2×4 lumber (you can also use 4×4 lumber, but at greater cost)
- 2+ gallon pail (larger is better)
- Screw hooks
- Scrap wooden boards (at least long enough to reach across the top of your pail)
- Wood screws
- String lights
- Optional stain
I found galvanized pails at the local feed supply store in assorted sizes. Ideally the pail would be wider than it is tall. You can also use planters or old buckets disguised with spray paint to save money.
DIY String Light Posts Instructions:
- Gather all supplies and an extra pair of hands. This is a two person project.
- Place screw hooks in an upper side of the 2×4 like shown in the photo above.
- Have one person hold the wooden post upright in the bucket/planter.
- Using scrap wooden boards and screws, create a makeshift support to hold the light post upright while the concrete dries. You don’t want to stand around holding the posts until the concrete sets.
- Mix the Quickrete according to the package instructions.
- Pour the concrete around the posts and level.
- Allow them to set completely before securing lights.
- You can stain the wood if desired.
- Arrange in desired position and secure string lights.
Quickrete is nearly fool-proof if you follow the package instructions. It doesn’t require any special tools or skills; just make sure you don’t mix it too loosely by adding too much water.
The posts are very heavy when assembled. We used a dolly to move the light posts into position and to move them back to storage. These are inexpensive enough to create for a party and can be stored until ready to use.
I’ve actually used the posts for parties and applied the same principles to permanently secure some LED string lights around our back deck. It was a fun project and they have provided hours of enjoyment.
You can read more our wedding and other DIY projects in the wedding section of the blog. I don’t have all of the projects loaded, but I hope to finish the posts during the upcoming weeks. If you’re planning wedding, leave a comment and let me know when your big day is.