How To Hang String Lights In The Backyard Without Trees

Hanging string lights (also known as bistro or cafe lights) are a huge trend in backyard living. 

They can give your backyard a whole new look and feel, except there’s one problem- you don’t have any trees to hang them from. That’s okay! 

There are several ways to accomplish this without needing trees. You don’t even need any fence or posts.

 Look around at your yard and use what you have. There are plenty of DIY options as well, if you are crafty or on a budget. 

Where Can You Hang Lights In Your Backyard When You Have No Trees

Your Fence

The easiest way to hang street lights in your backyard is along a fence. This method works best if you have a wooden or metal fence, but can also work with vinyl. 

If you are attaching the lights to a wooden fence, you can use a staple gun with sturdy, long staples to go into the wood. 

For a metal fence, use zip ties for a neat look that leaves no marks or holes.

Vinyl fences would require an option that doesn’t crack or damage the fence. Command outdoor hooks are the best choice for this type of fence.

Before you hang your lights, take the lights you want to use and lay them on the ground by the fence to get an idea of length and what they will look like in the area.

Next, secure the light string onto the fence using the nails, hooks, or drape them over the fence posts. Make sure that the string lights are close to an outlet or purchase an extension cord. 

Your Roof

This is a popular place to hang Christmas lights. It works especially well if you have exposed rafters or wooden beams. 

You can use a staple gun with staples that are long enough to go into the wood securely. If you don’t have a staple gun, Command Hooks are a good option and won’t leave any holes behind. 

Around Your Deck/Patio

Putting up lights around your deck or patio adds ambiance and some extra light to the area. Once you have decided on a location, lay the lights out to get an idea of how they will look. 

You can either drape them around the posts, or use metal hooks or screws. 

On Existing Structures

Look around your yard. You can hang string lights on a shed, gazebo, existing poles or even the side of your house. 

The best way to secure the lights is to use metal hooks or screws. 

If you have any shrubs, planters, or bushes, string lights can make a pretty addition.

Build Or Buy Your Own Supports

If you are into DIY projects, you can build your own supports. This is the most time consuming option, but you can customize it to your preferences.  A simple way to do this without putting in holes or damage to any structures in your backyard is to use buckets and poles.  You will need the following supplies: 

  • Bucket or large planter pot: Find a large planter pot that is at least 18 inches to 2 feet deep. It should be safe for use outdoors and be sturdy enough to hold concrete. Placing the posts in a bucket makes them portable so you can change the location easily and won’t damage the lawn. 
  • Posts: You can use wood, hollow metal or PVC pipe. Make sure that the posts are tall enough, or at least 6 feet high is recommended.
  • Metal hooks, screws and nails: You will need these to secure and hang the lights to your posts. 
  • Hammer and drill: A hammer for the nails and drill for hooks and screws. You will also need the drill for making drainage holes in your bucket or planter pot. Make sure that the bucket or planter you purchase allows for easy drilling. 

If you are not the crafty type or don’t have time, you can purchase a string light base stand. These stands are a simple support and pole that can be filled with water or sand. 

These are good options for people who are renting and do not want to make holes in their yard. You can even top off the bucket with some gravel or plants as a decoration. 

Purchasing Outdoor Lights

There are so many kinds of string lights available for your backyard. You will need lights that are waterproof, not just water-resistant. 

String lights also come in many lengths and bulb types and colors. Make sure you have a rough estimate of the length of string lights you need beforehand. 

When buying your lights, you will also need to know if it is necessary to buy an extension cord. Your string lights will need to be plugged into an outlet which may be too far from the location.


How can I hang string lights in my backyard without trees?

You can use other structures such as fences, house siding, roofs, sheds, or create or buy your own posts.

How high should string lights be?

It depends on the structure you are hanging the string lights from. If they need to be walked under, you should hang them a little over 6 feet high. Otherwise, it is up to your preference. 

Can you hang outdoor lights without damaging your yard or surface?

Yes. You can buy Command hooks which leave no holes and are removable. You can also buy or make your own outdoor posts that won’t leave holes or dig into the lawn. 


There are many options for people who want to give their backyards some light and create a welcoming environment. With just a little planning, you can create the outdoor space of your dreams using string lights. Even if you are renting, there are options that leave no holes or damage to your backyard. Enjoy your backyard after the sun goes down with your string lights!

Leave a Comment