The Guaranteed Way to Light Up Your Patio

Do you have a space outside that seems just ok? Are you looking for a new spot outside to relax in at night?

I’ve got the guaranteed way to light up your patio or small space outside! It literally can be a small corner or entry way.

Anita Yokota method DIY garden pole light

Transforming our dysfunctional side yard into a secret garden was seriously the best idea!


Anita Yokota method secret garden DIY

Let’s dig into the guaranteed way to light up your patio! 

DIY Garden Poles

Materials you will need:

  1. Dowels
  2. Quickrete concrete
  3. Plastic planters
  4. Painter Blue Tape
  5. Olive Oil
  6. Plastic mixing tub
  7. Level
  8. Hoe or rake
  9. Eye hooks
  10. Black paint (if you want black poles) 
  11. Black spray paint for eye hooks (if you want black eye hooks)
  12. Cafe string lights

First you will need to mix the concrete. I developed a helpful technique when we had to re-pour concrete for the fireplace hearth.


You first add the concrete to the top of the tub. Then add water to middle of tub and slowly move the rake or hoe back and forth as you “fold” in the water and concrete. Take a look at the short video.


Next pour the concrete into the 4″ or 6″ planters. We filled it up about 2/3 full. You can wipe some olive oil on the inside so that the concrete doesn’t stick to the plastic. But honestly, concrete doesn’t stick to plastic or melamine. Isn’t that crazy?

Make sure to knock it with a stick and get the bubbles to rise to the top so you eliminate too many air pockets. This is how you see those bubbles and indentations when dry. You want the consistency much like oatmeal.

Travis used blue painter tape to cover up the planter drip holes. And used sticks to keep the pole up straight. He also used the level. Mr. Meticulous at it again! 

It took about 18 hours for the concrete to dry. Then Travis took a box cutter and cut through the plastic planter. 

Voila! You have your DIY Garden Pole. Next up is to paint the poles and eye hooks if you want them white, black or any color really.

Anita Yokota method DIY garden pole light

Travis liked the natural wood color. But I knew there was lots of neutral wood tones already in the garden. I wanted a pop of black to accent. It was definitely a great choice.

Anita Yokota method DIY garden pole light


Anita Yokota method DIY garden pole light

Lastly, we installed the eye hooks to the wood fence and zig zagged the lights from one end of the side yard to the arched trellis. Thankfully the electrical outlet is right by the arch. So that was a no brainer. These cafe lights make such a difference!

Anita Yokota method DIY garden pole light


Last year I added lights to the pergola with those LED battery operated lights. To be transparent it was a big design fail.

Anita Yokota method DIY garden pole light

It wasn’t bright and the illumination was dim at best. Plus, it looked all wimpy hanging over the pergola. No distinct character or wanderlust vibe the cafe lights immediately makes

us feel.


Do you agree?

Side note: Isn’t Natalie’s bob haircut so cute? She wants her hair long and as much as I could squeeze in one more short hair cut. I think she’s old enough to decide. I hope she changes her mind someday, ha!

As a DIY family, we have been really enjoying the time home together. Even though the lack of personal space has really pushed my mental bandwith to its limits, when I see our smiles here, it’s all worth it!

Now look!

Anita Yokota method DIY garden pole light

Here is a round up of the cutest patio lights! Don’t forget to follow me on the Like to Know it app! You can always get my links of all the sources there. 


Wow, this seriously was the easiest DIY ever! I hope you find this helpful in getting your outdoor space ready for summer. 

Happy weekend-ing guys!

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