10 Ways To Hang Patio Lights Without Nails

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Many homeowners enjoy the look of patio lights for their homes, but they may not know how to hang them securely without nails.

Fortunately, there are many ways that you can hang these lights so that they will be safe and secure.

Image of barbeque area with patio lights hanging

How to Hang Patio Lights Without Nails? 

There are many reasons to hang your patio lights without nails. You may want to preserve the surfaces of your home, be in a rental unit, or you may just want an easier solution.

Here are our suggestions for how to hang outdoor lights without nails for all types of homes:

1. Wrap Your Lights Around Objects in Your Patio

One of the best ways to place lights around your patio is by using the objects that are already there.

Not only does this keep things simpler for you since you don’t need to buy any equipment, but it’s also a great way to accentuate the structure and décor you’ve already set up.

Some popular objects to wrap your lights around include any posts on your patio, side rails, large pieces of patio furniture, and even small decor items such as planters and statues.

The best thing you can do when hanging your lights this way is to make sure that the object holds the weight of all your string lights, so be careful about how many bulbs are included in each strand.

2. Get Adhesive-Backed Hooks

Adhesive-backed hooks for outdoor string lights come in many different shapes and styles so that they blend seamlessly into the surrounding décor.

Make sure to look for industrial or outdoor use hooks so that they can stand up to the elements over time.

These hooks are great because they attach to your patio structure and hold the weight of your light strands, but you can also take them down as needed without causing any damage (they make a great alternative to command strips).

They’re a much better option than nails if you want something that is easy to remove from time to time.

3. Use Tape

Remember when your father used to use duct tape to fix everything? He was certainly onto something! And these days, tapes are made even stronger and are more useful for outdoor decorating projects.

When you’re thinking of how to hang string lights on balcony surfaces, using tape is a surprisingly handy tool.

Waterproof tape is going to be your best bet when it comes to hanging lights without nails. You can use this tape for the same type of projects as above, but you’ll have a much easier time working with it because it won’t be so sticky.

Tapes come in white, black, clear, and wood, so you should be able to find a variety that will blend in well with your patio.

4. Use Gutter Hooks

Gutter hooks are perfect for hanging outdoor lights. They’re made to hold a lot of weight, and they attach securely enough that you won’t have any reason to worry about them coming loose over time.

You’ll need at least five gutter hooks per strand of patio light bulbs if you want the full support from these hooks.

Just make sure that your gutter is sturdy enough to support the weight of your light strands.

Gutter hooks come in a variety of finishes so that they’ll blend seamlessly into your decor scheme, including metallic gold and silver, galvanized steel, copper-plated, plastic, and even wood.

5. Use Alumahangers

Alumahangers are perfect for hanging both lights and planters, which is great if you want a uniform look.

These hooks can be placed on ceilings or structures above your patio where they will hold the weight of multiple strands of light bulbs without any problems at all.

They come in many shapes and sizes so that you can place them anywhere on your patio that you need them.

And they’re also easy to remove when you want to change things up or get rid of the lights altogether, which makes this type of hook a great temporary option for decorating purposes.

6. String Them Through Your Bushes

What better way to decorate your patio than by adding a lush and natural feel? Hanging string lights on your bushes can create an excellent ambiance and can also provide an aesthetically pleasing shape to your lights.

You can string lights in your bushes similarly to how you would when stringing a Christmas tree. Simply thread the lights through the branches and evenly distribute the weight.

You can also purchase net lights that will allow you to lay a sheet of lights over your bushes. This way, they won’t be as heavy on any single branch.

7. Wrap Lights Around a Tree

Another way you can use nature to your advantage is by wrapping your lights around any trees in or near your patio.

You can create beautiful patterns by overlapping the light bulbs, or you can go a more uniform route and string your lights from one branch to another.

You can also wrap the lights around the trunk of the tree. This will create an interesting look but can be difficult to do, so you’ll need someone else there with you.

8. Use Zip Ties & Twist Ties

Zip ties are perfect for hanging patio lights because you don’t need any other supplies to get them onto your structure. You can use zip ties on posts, beams, branches, or even fencing in order to secure the light bulbs at their bases.

Twist ties are great for hanging lights on fences, but you can also use them to attach the bulbs’ bases directly onto posts.

This is a super simple option that will allow your light strands to hang down in whatever fashion you like without any difficulty at all.

These options both work great if you need a custom size since both are highly adjustable. You can always use zip ties and twist ties in combination with each other for added stability.

These options both work great if you need a custom size since both are highly adjustable. You can always use zip ties and twist ties in combination with each other.

9. Get Shingle Tabs

Shingle tabs work by clipping onto shingles, allowing you to hang lights on any roof that has them.

Shingle tabs are super easy to install, making them a great option for people who need temporary lights without having the hassle of dealing with nails or screws.

They are also very affordable, which makes them great if you only need the lights for a short time.

These are good options to have on hand, but it’s important to note that they can’t hold much weight at all. They work best when you’re hanging lightweight light strands, like icicle lights or Christmas tree lights.

10. Use a Hot Glue Gun

Hot glue guns are great for attaching light bulbs to posts or fences, as well as other surfaces that you want to decorate with lights. Simply place a glob of hot glue on the light string and press it against whatever surface you have in mind.

This is a more permanent option than others on this list, which may be its downside for those who are looking for easily movable options. But for those who are looking for the strength of nails, this option will work well.

You’ll have to wait for the hot glue to dry by holding the light in place by hand or with another object. This project would work best with at least two people working on it.

Final Thoughts

Hanging patio lights can be a breeze for every type of space, budget, and design. When choosing one of the above methods for nail-free hanging, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you need temporary or permanent lighting? What is your time frame? What’s your budget? What is your design goal?

Once you’ve determined your needs and goals, you can easily find the best way to hang lights without nails.


About Emma

Hey there! I'm Emma. When I'm not wrangling kids I like to walk aimlessly around hardware stores and watch HGTV for hours on end.

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