Hanging Umbrella Lights

There are so many cute cafés with umbrella lights I decided it was about time to get some for myself. It seemed a relatively easy project—and it is! Keep reading to see how simple it is to hang umbrella lights.

Hanging umbrella lights Materials:
Globe light strand
Globe light bulbs
Twine or String 
Extension cord

Time: about an hour (this included finding string and an extension cord)

(NOTE: There are umbrella light clips that easily hang globe lights to umbrellas. But if you're in a bind and need your bistro lights up quickly, keep on reading.)


I thought about measuring the circumference of the umbrella before starting, but the umbrella was at my house and I was not. Instead, I did a rough estimate and turned out lucky, but measuring first will help make sure you have the right strand length. 

The first order of business was to assemble the globe strand. (For a quick cheat-sheet on which strands go with which bulbs, go HERE.) This took place indoors, since accidentally dropping a glass bulb on a metal table wouldn’t be the best situation. 

The vision I had involved clipping the strand directly to the umbrella, but the clips were situated so the bulbs shone into the umbrella. Hm. This meant a little ingenuity. 

Enter, string (we were out of twine). Girl Scouts was a while ago, but I still remembered basic knot-tying and tied square knots (right over left, left over right) around each of the umbrella arms, making sure the line was taut between each one (you can kind of see it here). 

I then hung the lights from the string. Voilà! Second time is a charm. The lights clipped to the string and the bulbs hung just how I wanted. They were still a little bunched up from packaging, but they started to loosen by the time I was finished hanging them. Give ‘em some time and they’ll loosen up and hang without bunching. 

Since the lights run on electricity, this meant an extension cord was necessary, and in my excitement I forgot that little detail. After rummaging around in the garage I found one. Plug it in and bingo bango! Cute umbrella bistro lights ready for summer. Now all that’s left is the Eiffel Tower in the background (I wish). 

What are some of your favorite ways to hang globe lights? Share some pictures with us on our Facebook page! 

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