How to Hang Patio Lights Without Nails

Believe it or not, there are numerous ways to get some trendy and stylish patio lights up without having to use damaging nails, or permanent fixtures of any kind! The fact of the matter is, some of us aren’t able to do all that much customization thanks to the fact that we’re renting property, or just don’t want to deal with the hassle of moving fixtures once they’re up. Here we’re going to explain how to hang patio lights without nails. I’ll even include instructions for different types of surfaces around your patio, such as brick, wood, metal and even plastic siding. Check out these easy to follow tips, and recommendations for hanging patio lights without using nails or screws. 

How to Hang Patio Lights Without Nails Step-By-Step 

Patio lights bring ambiance and style to your home’s outdoor space. This brings with it some curb appeal, but also an inviting space to host guests or even just a place to enjoy a glass of wine in the evening, or coffee in the morning. There’s unlimited possibilities for you to put your design skills to the test! Give your patio a much needed makeover with a fresh and trendy set of patio lights to really brighten up your outdoor space. 

Regardless of what type of surface you’re dealing with, we’ll help you find the best ways to hang your patio lights. Just to let you know, these instructions are mainly concerned with patio string lights, since they’re probably more than likely the one’s you’re looking at hanging up. 

Whether you’re hanging your patio lights on a covered patio, or exterior wall, we’ve got you covered with some helpful tips below! 

What to Look out for When Hanging Patio Lights

First of all, there are a few things you should be aware of before you go to hang up your first set of lights. When you’re looking at the area on your patio you want to decorate with lights, the first thing you should do is figure out how much you need. By that I mean the length of lights. I’ll give you an easy way to measure how long of a strand of decorative patio lights you should buy in the first place. 

First, decide which area you’re going to decorate with patio lights. Say for instance the space you’re looking at is a rectangular front patio ceiling. What you should do is measure the distance between the two shortest parts of the space. Or, how ‘wide’ it is between the door and front steps, for example. 

Once you have that measurement, multiply it by how many ‘lines’ you’d like to cross your patio ceiling with. If you want them to hang ‘criss-cross’ style, make sure you’re measuring for them to hang in that direction, otherwise you won’t end up with long enough lights. 

Lastly, be sure the lights you’re buying are capable of being hung outdoors. If you end up buying lights for your patio that aren’tweather-proof, you’ll soon regret your purchase. 

Use Gutter Hooks to Hang Patio Lights 

These fantastic little things come in a really easy to apply ‘S’ shape that hangs on the end of your gutter, (or anything else on the outside of your house), and has an upwards-facing hook on the bottom to hold onto the strand of lights. 

By hanging these on a gutter or something else, you can have one side of your light strand already taken care of without the need for nails or screws! 

Use Adhesive Hooks to Hang Patio Lights

These hooks are incredibly useful for mounting patio lights, since they’re often made to be removable without leaving a mark or residue. They’re an ideal solution if the surface allows it, since they’re so versatile. Look for a brand of adhesive hooks that can stand up to outdoor weather, like water and direct sunlight. Often times they’ll simply have a tab that will release the adhesive and allow for simple removal once you’re finished with them. 

Where you Should Use Adhesive Hooks 

  • Brick
  • Wood
  • Plastic Siding 

Where you Should Not use Adhesive Hooks

  • Weathered wood siding
  • Tin siding or roofing 
  • Stucco 
  • Plaster

How to Hang Patio Lights on Brick Without Nails 

If there’s any good reason to avoid using fasteners like nails or screws on brick to hang your patio lights, it’s that they can cause permanent damage to these surfaces. Brick, as well as the mortar that holds it together, is known for being solid but incredibly brittle. Simply driving nails or screws into it haphazardly, or by someone with relatively no experience, will cause the brick to crack and become permanently damaged. This invites water and weather, therefore weakening your home’s exterior. 

Instead, opt for adhesives and other non-permanent solutions to get the perfect hold without causing any damage to your brick surface. 

Use These Methods to Hang Patio Lights on Brick

  • Hot glue gun works surprisingly well on string lights with a flat base. (Use rubbing alcohol to remove with ease)
  • Use brick clips to safely secure strands of light to brick without concern
  • Use adhesive backed strips that are made for outdoor use, (and can be removed cleanly)

How to Hang Patio Lights on Plastic Siding Without Nails

Siding is a different beast, and if you’re trying to hang your patio lights from it there’s a few things you should be aware of. First off, never attempt to use nails or screws in siding on the inside of your patio. It’s incredibly easy to crack, break and need to be replaced. Siding that gets a lot of exposure to wind and sun is even more susceptible to snapping and breaking, too. There’s a couple of ways you can hang patio lights from it, though. 

Here’s What to Use to Hang Patio Lights From Plastic Siding 

  • Adhesive hooks (ones that are suitable for plastic/polymer surfaces)
  • Gutter hooks (if there’s a groove to hang it from) 
  • All weather tape that’s removable

6 More Ways to Hang Patio Lights Without Using Nails or Screws 

Hopefully you’ve found a handy method for hanging up your brand new patio lights! If they’re not quite to your liking, or don’t fit the surface of your patio, we’ve got some additional tips for hanging those lights without much fuss. 

  • Use poles/posts in or around your patio to hang a strand of lights from 
  • Use staples on wood surfaces to position strands of light exactly where you want them 
  • Use trees or bushes next to your patio for a place to hang lights from 
  • Use outdoor tape with a strong hold to apply lights to surfaces on your patio
  • Hang them from the railing of your patio 
  • Hang them on a privacy fence attached to your patio