String Light Posts at night

DIY Planter Barrel Posts For Outdoor String Lights

How to build post planter buckets for your string lights

Tools I used:
Jig Saw/Hand Saw
Finish Nailer/Hammer
Air Compressor
Drill/Screwdriver

Products like those used in this project:
Plastic Whiskey Barrel
LED String Lights
LED Post Cap Lights
Eye Hooks
Spring Snaps
Outdoor Extension Cord
Outdoor WIFI Smart Plug

The first step is to cut out some crosses that will be the same size as the bottom of your barrel from a piece of scrap wood.  You could cut these into any shape, but crosses worked best for me. I used my jigsaw and 1/2-inch OSB.

Shape of cross to use as base to support the 4x4 post to stand in the barrel
Cross to support the 4×4 post for standing in the barrel

I attached these crosses to the bottom of 8-foot 4×4 posts with a nail gun, but you could use a hammer and nails or a drill and screws.  These crosses are the same size as the bottom diameter of the planter bucket, or barrels.

Attaching a cross to the end of one of the 4x4 posts to allow the post to stand on it's own
Attaching cross to the end of a post

Here’s a look at the empty plastic barrel we picked up from Lowes, they call it an “Oak Resin Planter”.

Empty resin whiskey barrel to use as flower planter
Empty Barrel to use as planter

I stood the posts up inside the barrels then mixed four batches of a bag and a half of Quikrete Fast Setting Concrete mix and poured it into each barrel.  This stuff hardened very quickly.

Setting a 4x4 post in a whiskey barrel with concrete
Post standing in the barrel supported by concrete

I used eye hooks and interlocking spring snaps as the hardware to attach the string lights to the posts.

Eye Hooks to hang String Lights
Eye Hooks to hang String Lights
Spring Snaps for hanging String Lights
Spring Snaps for hanging String Lights

I drilled a pilot hole 2 inches from the top of each post for an eye hook and twisted them into the post until only the round eye was showing.

Drilling Pilot Hole for Eye Hooks
Drilling Pilot Hole for Eye Hooks

Here I’m drilling some small holes through the barrels at the top of the concrete to allow excess water to drain out.

Drilling Drain Hole
Drilling Drain Hole

We added a couple inches of this marble tock for extra weight and to improve drainage then filled the barrels with potting soil and a variety of flowers.

Adding Rock for Drainage
Adding Rock for Drainage

I set the post planters in a square pattern on our patio and attached the string lights to the eye hooks with the interlocking spring snaps.

Attaching String Lights to the Post
Attaching String Lights to the Post

I also added these inexpensive dusk til dawn LED Post Cap Lights to provide a nice, finished look.

Adding Post Cap Lights
Adding Post Cap Lights

To provide power to the LED String Lights, I ran an extension cord down the side of post closest to an outlet.

The final step was to add this Outdoor WiFi smart plug to the outlet so that we could program the string lights to a schedule and power them on and off from our phone.

Outdoor WIFI Smart Plug
Outdoor WIFI Smart Plug

Here is what those post lights look like during the day…

String Light Posts during the day
String Light Posts during the day

And here is how the lights look at night!

String Light Posts at night
String Light Posts at night

https://youtu.be/bddSRDHw0Gs

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