How to build post planter buckets for your string lights
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.
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.
Here’s a look at the empty plastic barrel we picked up from Lowes, they call it an “Oak Resin 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.
I used eye hooks and interlocking spring snaps as the hardware to attach the string lights to the posts.
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.
Here I’m drilling some small holes through the barrels at the top of the concrete to allow excess water to drain out.
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.
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.
I also added these inexpensive dusk til dawn LED Post Cap Lights to provide a nice, finished look.
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.
Here is what those post lights look like during the day…
And here is how the lights look at night!