Looking for a simple way to light up your outdoor patio without electricity? This DIY outdoor string light pole stand is the perfect solution.

disclosure: This post is sponsored by Greenworks.

You’ve seen our outdoor patio before.

We’ve discussed the rock patio and how we stenciled the pavers and how we built a fence and added furniture and pumpkins and pillows and flowers and a firepit.

And of course.

There’s Zack’s bench.

But what if we wanted to use it at night?

The challenge?

It’s in the back part of the yard where there isn’t any electricity and to run a line to the back yard is expensive.

SUPER expensive.

And we have four college educations to pay for.

But what if there was a solution that cost almost nothing that could light up this back yard for a smores party.

In amazing news?

There is.

Here’s our backyard all lit up at night.

The fire is going.

The smores’ makers are about to descend.

And the patio is lit up against the night sky.

The secret?

These portable rechargeable battery packs from Greenworks.

Let me show you how they work and how we built these light poles to frame the back patio with strings of light.

DIY Outdoor String Light Pole Stand

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to build an outdoor string light pole stand for your patio.

After we built them, we added soil and flowers and ivy to the top.

And made a light pole stand with a planter.

Step 1: Create a frame for your outdoor string light pole stand

Cut four 2″ x 4″ x 24″ pine boards.

Lay them in a square and screw them together.

This is the base for your outdoor string light pole stand.

Repeat the same process for the top of the box.

Cut four 2″ x 4″ x 24″ pine boards.

Lay them in a square and screw them together.

This is the top of your outdoor string light pole stand.

Step 2: Add sides

Cut two pieces of treated pine plywood 18″ x 24″.

Attach it to each side of the base you’ve built.

Screw it in place.

Step 3: Cut side pieces for the frame

Cut four 2″ x 4″ x 12″ pine boards.

Screw in boards to the side pieces to finish the sides of the box.

Next, screw in the top piece of the frame to the pine board.

When finished, it should look like this.

Step 4: Attach the bottom

We wanted to have individual boards on the bottom rather than a solid piece of wood to allow for drainage.

Flip the frame over and attach individual pine boards to create the bottom of the outdoor string light pole stand.

Now we just need to attach the final two sides.

Step 5: Attach the remaining two sides

Cut two pieces of treated pine plywood 18″ x 24″.

Attach it to each side of the base you’ve built.

Screw in place.

This is your completed box.

Next, we want to attach the poles.

Step 6: Trim out sides and top

Next, we trimmed out the sides of the box with 1″x 4″ boards.

We cut two boards the width of the top and the bottom and attached them with finish nails.

Next, we cut two other shorter boards the remaining length of the sides and attached them with finish nails.

Lastly, we cut four boards the length of the sides and mitered them at the corners.

We attached these to the top with finish nails.

Step 7: Attach the poles

The final step is to attach the poles.

We used 4″ x 4″ x 8′ tall poles.

Each pole was attached to the bottom of the outdoor string light pole stand with brackets as shown.

Screw brackets into the bottom of the outdoor string light pole stand.

Then we painted the stand and the pole white.

Step 8: Fill with small pebbles

We wanted to use this as a planter, so rather than cement we used small pebbles for drainage.

The planter was filled about 1/3 of the way up with small pebbles.

Then we added dirt on top of the pebbles and planted ivy and flowers.

Here are the four poles around the outdoor patio.

We attached the light strands to the poles with hooks.

And then?

It was time to light it up.

Enter the Greenworks Battery Operated Inverter.

This 60-volt power inverter provides 300 watts of continuous power. It has a 120V power outlet and two USB outlets on the sides. It so simple and easy to use and can power televisions, lights, fans, speakers, coffee makers, small appliances, laptops, tablets, cell phones, headphones, and more.

The battery operated inverter is so lightweight. It works with all Greenworks 60V lithium-ion batteries for convenient, on-the-go power.

We used two battery-operated inverters to power the lights in the backyard.

Each powered two light strings.

All we did was charge the 60-volt battery and it was ready to go.

We slipped the battery into the inverter and turned on the switch.


It was time for smores.

We roasted marshmallows.

And layered in chocolate and graham crackers and laughed and giggled and celebrated the twin’s birthday.

Here’s to a backyard ready for cozy conversations around the fire.

Here’s to a backyard lit up against the night sky.

Here’s to a backyard ready for all the fall that is just around the corner.

Thank you Greenworks for lighting up our backyard.

You are amazing. 🙂

disclosure: This post was sponsored by Greenworks.

All opinions are my own.

Please see my disclosure page for more information.

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  1. Image for marilyn ackerman marilyn ackerman

    I am so in awe of this project.. Absolutely amazing. Can you even begim to imagine how much a contractor would bill you for this? Beautiful

  2. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    I love this!! I'll have to check this out for my far in the corner of the woods fire pit area!! Genius, my friend!! I'm still crushing on the Zach bench!! Pat him on the back and give him accolades from me, please.

  3. Image for Debbie Debbie

    So, did you use two batteries and two inverters? Then, plugged the lights into the inverters? So the batteries are the actual power source? Does the inverter also charge the batteries? Sorry for the brain fog. The patio is beautiful. Looks like a fun evening.

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Debbie, Yes! We used two batteries and two inverters! Then we plugged the lights into the inverter and yes! The batteries are the actual power source. No. The inverter doesn't charge the batteries. You have to plug-in the batteries to charge them (you can see the charger in the pictures)! Let me know if you have any other questions! happy day!KariAnne

  4. Image for Lens Lens

    I Love it! Been wanting to light up my patio but have nowhere to hang the lights from. But I do have electricity. Now I need a good handyman. By the way, those are 2 x 4's.

  5. Image for Calypso in the Country Calypso in the Country

    This is awesome, KariAnne! First of all, your backyard is gorgeous and now you can enjoy it any time of day. Enjoy those smores! Shelley

  6. Image for Jenn Jenn

    Love love love!! The planters are far more stylish than the cinder blocks I have seen people use! The patio looks so inviting! I am sure you all just love it!

  7. Image for JC JC

    Lights in a pation setting are so magical! I love them and the fact these don't need an electric source is such a win!! Your backyard is the perfect gathering place for smores and more! Enjoy!

  8. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    WOW!!!!!! Now that is a perfect party spot now! It all looks AMAZING! Your s'mores eater is a cutie, too. ♥ Thanks for this GREAT idea!!!!!

  9. Image for Brenda Brenda

    I love it! Your neighbors are really going to complain. They are green with envy. Your backyard is so inviting, enjoy it! All you need is a mini put put course....Oh wait thats my dream. Have a great day!

  10. Image for jan g jan g

    I wanted an outdoor patio with firepit - we are VERY rural... we were in the process of tearing down a hog shed and my hubby made the firepit and the patio floor by cutting it from the concrete walls; also using the concrete slats to line the walkways. We used crushed concrete, which was ohsocheap for the walkways, covered with crushed rock. Then I wanted lights! So he put in four post and strung the best, cheapest patio lights from a national tool/garden/whatever shop that were $20/strand, and ran heavy duty extension cords to outside plugs at the house and put on a timer so they come on a dusk and stay on for 4 hours. Even though i don't get out there as much as i should = i see those lights from my living room chair, and in the winter - it's magic!!!

  11. Image for laura laura

    Okay Jan's comment above stopped me at hog shed. Love it! Love this. I have seen the planters with concrete, but the pebbles make it so much easier to construct. Pinning for my husband's board ;0) laura

  12. Image for Kris Kris

    Magical! Is that your niece in the picture? She's growing up too quickly. Looks like a fun place to meet up with your family. Enjoy!

  13. Image for Chas Greener Chas Greener

    So beautiful friend! I love how inviting it is, and I just love creating fun atmospheres like this for families to spend time and create memories. Thanks for sharing.


    What a fabulous idea! I am all about battery operated anything....hate electrical cords. I keep hoping we have wireless electricity some day. :) Your outdoor gathering area is beautiful!

  15. Image for April Saylor April Saylor

    Hi KA! We are planning these for our outside deck area! Can you give a explanation of how the framed finish was completed? I love the look! Thank you!

    1. Image for Joanne Joanne

      Yes, I agree with April! Please give us the rest of the steps for making the boxes look so great. There is clearly more detailing on your planters than where your directions leave off. They appear to have a frame around each side and another horizontal frame attached at the top that add so much style to what would otherwise be a flat wooden box with an open top. We would love to make these look like yours do!

  16. Image for normajean normajean

    We did something similar with lights on our far rear patio. Fortunately, we had a power source handy, but what an awesome idea if you don't. Our poles are cemeted into the planters, which are covered with black river rock. We have hanging baskets on two sides of each post. It is magical at night, just like yours!!

  17. Image for Nancy Nancy

    Excellent directions! You will enjoy that backyard for years. Your “young adults” will keep flocking there as well as the grownups! I’d join the flock if I weren’t so far away!

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