Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How to Add String Lights to Your Patio

 This spring we did a little makeover on our deck area.  It's a very small deck so it didn't take much.  As an anniversary gift to each other we purchased a new set of deck furniture, added in some small accessories and then finally added in some string lights for ambiance - and now it's our favorite summer spot to hang out! 

 The deck is always my absolute favorite room in the house in the spring and summer time! I just love having flowers surrounding me!

 Every morning I have my cup of hot tea out here while listening to the birds sing - it's my happy place. 

 I went very budget friendly and found all of these blue decor items in the Target dollar spot!  The little blue jars are citronella candles that are perfect to use on summer evenings. 

 I kept one chair and table from our old set to mix in with the new set so we have plenty of seating out here now.  Our old patio set - which is falling apart just a bit - is now being used underneath the deck. 
 This little bubble fountain creates a wonderful trickle sound that makes sitting on the deck so relaxing. 
 Okay - on to how to hang those lights! After we began enjoying our deck so much I decided we needed to figure out a way to get some lights hung.  At the end of summer last year I scored these string lights at Target on clearance for around $3 per set, they are normally around $15 per set.  I had no idea how I would use them at the time but I knew I could figure out a way.   There was a bit of trial and error.  At first we had installed some simple 2x4 type of wood as a post, but it didn't take long for them to start bending under the tension of the lights.  We also had attached the lights to the house with outdoor command hooks but after a week or so those pulled off the house as well.  Now we have it set up nice and secure, yet easy to take down when the season is over. 

 After our bending wood post fail - I went to Home Depot in search of some really large 8 foot wooden dowels instead.  When I saw how much they cost I kept looking for a less expensive option.  It was then I stumbled upon the closet area and found these 8 foot closet rods for only $10 each!  They even had the little decorative caps for the top of the pole to keep any little critters out of there.  We went with white poles since our deck rails are white - but I think using something darker would blend in even better.  If our rails weren't white I would have probably used wooden dowels and stained them a natural wood color, or even painted a metal pole a brown color.  Another option to a closet rod is to use electrical conduit. 
 Then I found these heavy duty closet pole sockets that I thought we could just screw into the decking to hold the pole in place, yet still be able to remove quite easily once summer was over.  I will leave the socket in place and just simply remove the poles. 
 Then some simple S shaped curly screw things - I have no idea what they are called but I found them in the screw area. They are easy to wrap the lights around with no worry of them slipping off.  My hubby just drilled a small hole in the pole and screwed in the curly screw thingy :)
We also used simple zip ties higher up on the pole for added security to keep the poles in place during those summer thunder storms. 
We used the same kind of screws placed into the siding at three different points on the house.  This picture above shows where our electrical outlet is just behind the fern.  We have two sets of lights to plug in so that we didn't string too many sets together.

 When those summer afternoons start to fade into twilight, the family slowly trickles out to the deck to unwind from our day.  The lights make such a fun setting and add just the right ambiance.  Soon the summer bugs start to drive us back indoors and we say good-bye until morning when we are out once again for breakfast and tea! 

 In the picture above you can see the large deck box where we keep all the cushions protected when it rains or even from the overnight dew.  The shade umbrella still works even with the lights up.  We can just open it right up and it goes under the lights and lifts them just a bit.  

Happy Summer Evenings! 


Elaine said...

That's a beautiful space! I can see why it's your favorite! I might look for those lights on clearance this year! :)