How to Hang Outdoor Patio Lights Without Nails (16 Easy Ways)

by Katie Williams
Patio Lights

Trying to figure out a neat way to put up your outdoor lights? Here are 16 easy recommendations on how to hang outdoor patio lights without nails.

You can never go wrong decorating with patio lights in your outdoor space. Whether it’s the festive season or you are just looking to achieve a relaxing ambiance, patio lights are always the way to go. But, sometimes, hanging these lights can be a hassle.

You have to figure out where exactly to hang them and how to hang them, which in many cases involves a lot of drilling and banging.  The good news is that there are ways you can put your lights up without risking any damage to your walls.

You also don’t have to worry about the painstakingly drilling and banging process. Here are 16 fun, easy, and neat ideas of how to hang outdoor patio lights without nails.

How Do I Hang Outdoor Patio Lights Without Nails?

The easiest way to hang outdoor patio lights without nails is by using adhesive hooks or gutter hooks. However, these are not the only methods for hanging the lights. You can get creative with various other methods, without using nails or drilling.

Many methods for hanging your outdoor patio lights exist depending on where and how you want to hang your lights. We’ve shared a selection of alternatives to nails for hanging outdoor patio lights.

Ways To Hang Outdoor Patio Lights Without Nails

Check out these 16 creative, mess-free methods for hanging outdoor patio lights without using nails;

1. Use Command Adhesive Hooks

Command Adhesive Hooks

Source: Pinterest

When it comes to mess-free work, Command products never disappoint. So, it’s only logical to use Command adhesive hooks for putting up your patio lights. In addition to their no-drill, no-mess design, adhesive hooks are pretty easy to use. It will take you a few minutes to put up your lights using them.

Plus, they are resistant to sunlight, rain, and other elements. All you do is peel out the outer tape covering the adhesive, attach the hooks where you want them, and hang your lights. Command adhesive hooks work great on smooth surfaces, such as wood, painted/smoothened bricks, and plastic siding. But, they may not be the best option for stucco, plaster, weathered wood siding, or tin roofing.

2. Use Gutter Hooks

Gutter Hooks

Source: Pinterest

Gutter hooks feature an S-shaped design that makes it easy to clip them onto the end of your gutters or similar structures. The other end of the S-shaped hook features an upwards-facing structure that holds on to the lights. Like adhesive hooks, they don’t require any complicated work and leave the surface clean when you remove them.

3. Try Suction Cup Hooks

Suction Cup Hooks

Source: Pinterest

Suction cup hooks are also a great idea for hanging your lights. Ideally, these hooks are designed for hanging in your bathroom or kitchen to hold on items, like your towels. However, they are stable and strong enough to support small to medium-sized outdoor patio lights. But, you want to keep them away from extreme elements, making them usable for a covered patio.

4. Attach The Lights Using A Hot Glue

Hot Glue 

Source: Pinterest

For the most part, it is difficult to attach adhesives to materials such as bricks (unpainted). So, if you want a more stable hold on your lights, you can opt for a hot glue. A hot glue works especially well with flat-based patio lights.

Plus, using a hot glue doesn’t risk causing permanent damage to your home’s exterior structure as with drilling and using nails. When ready to remove the lights, simple rubbing alcohol does the trick without leaving any messy residues.

5. Affix Brick Clips

Affix Brick Clips

Source: Pinterest

If you plan on hanging your patio lights on a wall, you can do so using brick clips. As their name suggests, these clips are especially designed to attach to bricks without needing nails. They feature inverted ends with serrations that securely hold on to the bricks. After affixing them to the wall, simply thread your light strings through their hooks to hang the lights.

6. Use Tape

Use Tape

Source: Pinterest

Double-sided tape is also a good way to hang your lights. But, this option is ideally effective on string lights or tube-like patio lights. You also want to ensure your tape is outdoor rated and weatherproof to prevent easy damage.

7. Secure Them With Staples

When we say staples, we are not talking about regular staplers you use to bind your documents. Instead, these are specially staples used to hold and hang items, like outdoor patio lights. A good example is staples and plastic insulators from Surebonder Light Tacker.

These staples can be used for items such as outdoor lighting and decorative garlands. Their plastic insulators allow you to pass through the wires to prevent them from rubbing against the staples and getting damaged.

This staple and insulator design also help maintain a clean and neat look when you hang the lights. Typically, a pack of outdoor staples and insulators can hang about 500 feet of lights.

8. Try Zip Ties

Zip Ties

Source: Pinterest

Thinking of hanging your lights on patio poles, patio curtain poles, or similar? You can zip ties to ensure your lights. In fact, this is amongst the most budget-friendly yet, permanent and secure method for hanging your outdoor patio lights.

9. Use The Patio Ceiling or Cover

Patio Ceiling or Cover

Source: Pinterest

This design is ideal for more creatively designed patios. If your patio is covered, you can take advantage of the ceiling to hang the lights. Many modern patios are covered with woodworking screens that allow you to hang the lights without having to secure them with nails or other tools.

After all, both the ceiling and lights give each other complementary benefits. The lighting helps to illuminate the ceiling design even better while adding to the patio’s aesthetics while the ceiling supports the lighting.

10. Decorate Them Over A Plant Stand

Do you have a plant stand on your patio? You can use your plant stand to hang your lights. However, this method only works if you have a large plant stand. Smaller stands or benches may not be ideal due to their limited size. Larger plant stands let you drape the lights across a more extensive space and allows the lighting to stand out even better.

11. Use Props

If you can figure out where to hang your lights on the patio, you can take advantage of various props lying around or invest in one. Different people take varying design approaches when it comes to setting up their patio. So, you can always find a prop to add your lights, whether a cabinet or a decorative ladder.

Our personal favorite is a wooden step ladder. Simply position it on a wall in your patio, drape over your patio lights, and enjoy the extra decorative piece in your outdoor space. You can even take it a step further and turn it into a decorative utility tray for your refreshments when lounging out with family and friends.

12. Drape Them Over A Tree

Drape Them Over A Tree

Source: Pinterest

A tree near your patio can do more than provide shade and attract beautiful and musical birds. You can also use a tree set nearby your patio to showcase your backyard décor. This includes draping your outdoor patio lights on it. Like many other structures that allow you to hang your lights on the patio, you don’t need any extra tools or items to secure your lights. The branches will do the work for you.

13. Drape Them Over Your Curtain Rods

Drape Them Over Your Curtain Rods

Source: Pinterest

Some patios are designed with luxurious, outdoor curtains. Now, like regular indoor curtains, these outdoor drapes are held by curtain rods or railing. You can use these rods to drape over the lights. Your lighting will appear even better if your rods are designed to cover the entire perimeter of the patio.

Additionally, the way you drape the lights entirely depends on your preferences. You can pair the lighting with white or light colored sheer curtains for a soft light ambiance. Alternatively, you can remove the curtains entirely and simply drape over the lights for a more magical, lively ambiance.

14. Hang them On Your Patio Décor

Hang them On Your Patio Décor

Source: Pinterest

If your patio is decorated with woodwork, like a lattice screen, you can take advantage of it. Hang some crawling plants and finish off the screen’s look with the lights. The best part of taking this direction is you really don’t need any extra tools to hang the lights. You use every wood detail and crevices to hold the lights in place.

15. Try A More Sophisticated Approach with Mason Jars

Yes, you read right – you can use mason jars to hang your outdoor patio lights! But, this method only works for large mason jars (at least 15 ounces) and outdoor lights with tiny bulbs (like Christmas tree lights).

Stuff the lights inside a mason jar (poke a hole at the lid to allow the wires to roll out or go for wireless battery operated alternatives). Then, hang the jar on tree branches, adhesive hooks, or gutter hooks, and watch your patio light up magically. The lights inside a jar look like a family of fireflies in the dark.

16. Get Creative With Plant Poles

Creative With Plant Poles

Source: Pinterest

If you have the time, you can put your DIY skills to use and get more creative with hanging your lights. You can use existing or add newly potted plants on your patio to serve as a base for where you will hang your lights. But, you have to ensure you have large plant pots for this task.

You can fill up the pots with only dirt alone or grow your plants. But, before you set your plants, insert large metal poles, fill up the pot with dirt and add your plants. Next spread the pots around the patio in the direction you want your lights to be, whether straight, zigzag or in a rectangular shape (you will need a minimum of four large pots for this) around the perimeter of the patio.

Next, drape over your lights depending on the design of the rods. So, rods are hooked at the top so you can directly hang the lights. Alternatively, you can attach adhesive hooks and hang the lights.


How Do You Hang Outdoor String Lights On A Patio Cover?

You can hang your outdoor string lights on a patio cover by simply draping them if the cover is built with spaced out panels. Alternatively, you can use adhesive hooks, gutter hooks, or double-sided tapes to secure the string lights.


With the myriad of options available to try out, there’s no need for you to drill or nail your outdoor patio. On the other hand, if you are a renter, you can still decorate your home the way you want without risking that security deposit’s forfeiture.

So, take your time to try out any of the top 16 recommended ideas above on how to hang outdoor patio lights without nails to transform your exterior home space.

You may also like