Outdoor String Lights DIY materials

To start you'll need the following materials:

  • about 80, 4” Zip ties
  • 150 feet of vinyl coated galvanized steel cable (buy it by the foot in store)
  • 5 Stainless steel eyelets (National Hardware)
  • 4 Ferrule & Stop sets (National Hardware)
  • 4 sets – 24-foot Canopy/String lights (obviously!)
  • 5 Quick links (National Hardware)

You will also need the following Tools:

  • Power Drill
  • Metal cutting snips or bolt cutters
  • Crimping tool (optional – I did not use it)


Outdoor String Lights - Rough Sketch
Tip # 1

Do a little dreaming and sketching

Here’s one of my very rough sketches. The circle in the top left is our tree. The dotted lines are the runs of lights we hoped to put up. The numbers scribbled there are the approximate distances.
Tip #2

Place the Eyelets


Since we were connecting lights from our house to a central location at our lone backyard tree, that was my starting point (not pictured). We measured about 11.5 feet high so the lights would slope up from the house to the tree.

Next up, attaching the eyelets to the fascia on the house. Since we were running four lines from the house to the tree, we repeated this step four times. If you have a setup where you can drill into your house or a stud behind the wall, that’s an even better way to go. We’ll likely go back and reinforce these connections in the near future.

Here we used the power drill and easily screwed in the 2 5/8” Screw Eyelet from National Hardware.

Tip2: Outdoor String lIghts
Tip #3

Set the steel cable


The steel cable is not mandatory for some people, but it absolutely was for us. The biggest benefit is the cable will keep the string light cord from stretching out over time, prolonging the life of the lights.

Loop the cable and feed it through the ferrule. We used metal snips to both cut the cable and crimp the ferrules. Bolt cutters work well for this too. A crimping tool is the official tool for crimping ferrules, but because of the light load on the cable, we felt more than comfortable using the snips.

Step 3- Outdoor String Lights
Tip #4

Connect to your quik links


Connect the Quick Link to the eyelet. Do this on both ends of the line. Here you want to make sure the line has a little give but not too much. You don’t want the lights drooping and swinging too wildly in storms or windy weather.

Step 5
Tip #5

Zip tie the string lights to cable


We placed two zip ties on the first and last lights on each strand for added security. One zip tie was fine for all the rest.

Zip Tie the String Lights
Tip #6

Screw in the bulbs


This is pretty self-explanatory, and when you’re finished, take a deep breath. You are DONE!

Install the Bulbs
Completed String Lights Project
Ashley and Ryan Brooke
Beauty, Lifestyle, & Home Decor Blogger. Lover of all things pretty & witty! Ryan and Ashley are slowly renovating their sunny bungalow in Florida room by room while documenting it all on Ashley's blog ashleybrooke.com! Come on over and take a peek!

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