15 Festive Outdoor Decorating Ideas to Make Your Home Shine
Deck out your outdoor space with gorgeous greenery, festive colors and cozy accents.
'Tis the season to bring out the tree, garland and wintry wreaths to celebrate the holidays. With the outdoors looking a little less colorful and winter quickly approaching, your yard deserves a dose of festivity.
Take a look at a few of our ideas to get your outdoor spaces looking fresh and ready to greet your family and friends for the season.
Life-Sized Advent Calendar
DIY Outdoor Advent Calendar 02:01
Go big this holiday season. This oversized Advent calendar using a ladder, garland and address numbers would be the perfect addition to your outdoor sitting space.
Chalkboard Reindeer Silhouette
Holiday Chalkboard Buck Head
Display a holiday greeting with this DIY chalkboard reindeer display created by Brian Patrick Flynn. Carved to resemble a reindeer's silhouette this decoration brings holiday cheer while allowing for some creative freedom.
Greet your guests with this cheerful chalkboard sign shaped like a buck’s head. To make, trace a reindeer silhouette onto a piece of plywood, cut out with a jigsaw and apply two coats of chalkboard paint. After it's dry, use chalkboard pens to write a custom holiday message.
Holiday Outdoor Decorations
To create visual interest outside of your home, consider breaking the front yard up into different zones — each with its own holiday-centric feature. Designer Britany Simon and designer Brian Patrick Flynn broke this front yard up into three zones: left, center of yard and entrance. The left side of the house features a 10-foot tall Christmas tree structure made from reclaimed barn siding, the center of the yard is outfitted with an arbor created with vintage ladders and the entrance is decorated with various repurposed items including wine bottle candelabras and rope garland.
Add graphic punch and organic style to your front doors with square moss wreaths. To create these, you'll need square wreath forms, bagged moss, ribbon and approximately three hours of crafting time. In addition to their texture and color, the square shape of the wreaths offers a fresh new take on an old holiday classic.
To add a unique, textural touch to the home's front doors, Dan created one-of-a-kind, farmhouse-inspired garland with lanterns attached to nautical rope. In order to attach the garland to the house, Dan screwed C-hooks directly into the exterior trim on which to lay each section of rope.
Chalkboard Buck Head
Create a festive welcome sign for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's with a chalkboard buck-head silhouette. To make this, trace a reindeer shape onto a 24 x 24 piece of plywood, cut it out with a jigsaw and apply two coats of chalkboard paint. Write messages to coordinate with each holiday.
Although grass tends to dry up during the winter months, you can still add a pop of green to your holiday curb appeal with potted evergreens — particularly juniper and cypress bushes. Dress them up with organic style by planting them in galvanized metal buckets and decorating them with burlap ribbon.
Add holiday flair to basic galvanized metal buckets with perforated snowflake silhouettes. To create the silhouettes, use a black marker to make an outline directly on the surface of the bucket, then punch holes with a Phillips-head screwdriver tapped with a hammer or rubber mallet. For an extra layer of decoration, add a piece of outdoor fabric in holiday colors behind the punched holes.
Wine Bottle Candelabra
Bring a soft glow to any outdoor area with candelabras made from old wine bottles updated with matte black spray paint. To ensure visibility from the sidewalk or street, choose white pillar candles. The high contrast between the white and the black is classic, graphic and easy to read.
Outdoor Sled Vignette
Sometimes the best holiday decorations weren't necessarily meant as decor. Create a personal vignette near your entrance with a collection of objects with winter flair. Upon arrival to this home, guests are greeted with a weathered sled, a pair of ice skates and a bucket filled with faux snowballs.
Over-sized holiday lollipops are both easy and fun to create. Pick up a small rubber bouncy ball from the toy store, colored burlap, twine and PVC pipe. Attach the rubber bouncy ball to the top of the PVC pipe with duct tape, wrap the ball with colored burlap and tie it tightly around the bottom of the ball with twine. Next, stake the PVC into the ground either free-handed or dig a small hole with a trowel.
Snowy Walkway Votives
Illuminate the pathway to your front door with these glowing votives. With only a few supplies needed, these are easy to make and budget-friendly, too.
Make This: Votive Candle Runway for Santa
Letters for Santa
13 Ways to Add Holiday Flair to Your Front Porch in Ten Minutes: Holiday Cards
Keep your outgoing holiday cards ready to go outside your door in a wall mounted mail sorter. Your outgoing cards can double as decor before you drop them off at the local post office. A similar idea can be used for keeping all of your received holiday cards together for personal charm.
An outdoor mail sorter next to the front door is a cute way to display your holiday cards (and letters to the North Pole).
Rustic Star Garland
Twig Star Garland
Garlands can really enhance your holiday décor adding that extra layer that brings everything together. This handmade version is stunning on its own or against a backdrop of evergreens indoors or out!
Using twigs from your backyard, make a charming garland for the porch or mantel. String together with jute twine for an all-natural aesthetic.
Make This: Twig Star Garland
Festive Mailbox Decor
Holiday House Garland Mailbox Decor
To turn this basic mailbox into a showstopping focal point, it was surrounded with giant candy canes made from plywood and burlap. Simple holiday lollipop decorations complete the festive display.
Giant candy canes made from plywood and wrapped with burlap add fun holiday flair to an ordinary mailbox. Pretty garland, red ribbon and faux lollipops made with bouncy balls, colored burlap, PVC pipe and twine tie the merry theme together.
Ornaments are not just for decorating the tree. Hang them from the porch, put them in planters and use them to craft a wreath. Choose a color palette that complements your exterior, like this home's classic red-and-silver color combo.
Charming Wooden Trees
Outdoor Silhouette Christmas Trees Add Charm to Your Holiday Decor
Add some rustic charm to your yard with tree silhouettes made from plywood and nail heads. These attractive trees, designed by Brian Patrick Flynn, are fun in the daytime but look breathtaking when silhouetted at night by outside lighting.
Brian Patrick Flynn
You don't have to be an expert woodworker to master this trio of wooden tree silhouettes. Made from plywood and nail heads, you can easily tackle this project in a day or two. Display them in the front yard for your neighbors to admire.
Make This: Rustic Nail-Head Christmas Trees
Seasonal Throw Pillows
13 Ways to Add Holiday Flair to Your Front Porch in Ten Minutes: Floor Cushions
Impromptu guests are always fun to have around the holidays, but supplying enough seating to accommodate them can be a stressor. Make it easy by keeping oversized pillows and floor cushions around, then stack them in your covered porch for no-fuss lounging.
Outdoor pillows paired with cozy blankets create an inviting place to relax on the porch. For those chilly evenings, keep guests extra warm and comfy with a nearby portable fire pit.
Decorative Pallet Sled
Flynnside Out Productions
Add vintage style to your exterior with a fun DIY sled made from an old wooden pallet. Paint it red or choose a color that coordinates with your exterior and other holiday decor.
Make This: DIY Pallet Sled
Chic Outdoor Dining
12 Ways to Add Warm and Cozy Vintage Style for the Winter
Keep your table scape budget-friendly and classic with a mix of vintage objects, cut greenery and pine cones. Here an outdoor dining area is packed with texture, shape and contrast with a mix of organic touches found in the yard paired with a clear glass cake stand and masculine black drink ware and dinner ware.
Brian Patrick Flynn
Dress up your outdoor tablescape for the season with fresh greenery, pinecones and vintage decor. Black dinnerware adds an elegant touch that can be used throughout the season.
Perfectly Purple Wreath
Outdoor Holiday Front Yard Decor
Get creative with your front door decor by making wreaths from repurposed or upcycled materials. For an industrial touch that carries on throughout the interior of the 2014 HGTV.com Holiday House, its front doors are dressed with a pair of wreaths made from PVC pipe. For a decorative update, PVC pipes in different diameters were cut to size with a hack saw. Next, the pieces were secured together with hot glue, then hung with decorative ribbon inserted along the top after drilling a hole with a drill bit.
Holiday decorations can certainly be different colors other than red and green. Construct this fabulous purple wreath for your front door out of PVC pipe and purple ornaments.
Tools + Materials
You'll need: PVC pipe in assorted sizes; 14 inches of rope or twine; spray paint; hot glue gun; hot glue sticks; ball ornaments; hack saw; drill; 1/4-inch drill bit; measuring tape; marker; door hanger.
Add Spray Paint
For a more unfinished, utilitarian look, the wreath can be left as is. But for a more personalized approach, add color and uniformity with spray paint. To spray paint evenly, hold the can 8 inches from the surface of the pipe, moving back and forth in slow, controlled spurts. Let dry.
13 Ways to Add Holiday Flair to Your Front Porch in Ten Minutes: All About the Kids
A day or two before Christmas, create a reindeer feeder to get kids excited about Santa. This can be as simple as finding an old rustic bucket or basket and leaving carrots or fresh root vegetables out along with a cute sign.
Leading up to Christmas, put together a basket of reindeer treats on the porch to get the kids excited for Santa's arrival.
Elegant Window Decor
13 Ways to Add Holiday Flair to Your Front Porch in Ten Minutes: Window Layers
Elaborate window decor is often dreamy but can also take a lot of time to complete. Keep it simple with an extra long strand of garland draped from the top of your windows along with a bare wreath in the center. To keep it all lit up, stick with a strand of frosted globe lights tacked up around the outside edge of the window trim.
Create a beautiful vignette with garland, an evergreen wreath and white bulb lights to decorate your exterior windows. You can create this same effect indoors with an old window frame.
Here Comes Santa Claus
Set the Scene
Since the holidays are all about entertaining friends and family, set the scene on your front porch with weather-resistant furnishings. From the bean bag chairs to the rich, wooden bar cart, all of these pieces are easy to move around and can be easily stored out of sight in the winter months.
Elaborate window decor is dreamy but can take a lot of time to set up. Keep it simple with a long strand of garland draped from the top of your windows along with a bare wreath in the center. Light it up with a strand of frosted globe lights tacked up around the outside edge of the window trim.
If you want to add live greenery on your porch but want little upkeep, try arborvitae in ceramic pots. As long as your porch receives direct sunlight most of the day, the trees will thrive for at least a month leading up to the end of the holiday season. After that, it’s best to plant them outside in full sunlight.
All About the Kids
White Traditional Porch With Rocking Chairs and Holiday Decor
This porch is sparkling with the holiday spirit. A chandelier made from mason jars, basic lumber and tree trimmings adds rustic ambience to the space. By changing year-round bulbs with low-wattage bulbs, twinkle lights will overpower the yearlong fixtures and create a soft glow.
Twinkling lights, a pair of rocking chairs and a joyful color palette of red, white and green creates an ideal outdoor space that sparkles with holiday cheer.
Holiday guests are greeted with a square tree-cutting wreath hung on the front door. To make your own, clip Christmas tree branches using floral shears, then wrap the cuttings around a square foam wreath form and attach with twine. To create the heart, spray-paint twigs red and attach to the wreath form with twine.
Add Splashes of Color
To add graphic shapes as well as color and texture to the entry, lanyards were made using felt, strands of burlap and thick card stock. First, make a template by tracing the shape of a silhouette to acetate or thick paper, then cut out with a utility knife. Next, trace the template directly to sheets of felt, then cut out with scissors. To add structure and keep the felt snowflakes from curling up, cut card stock with the template, then add to the back of each felt snowflake using a hot glue gun. Lastly, cut strips of burlap and attach snowflakes with glue.
Create an All-Natural Ambiance
To add a twinkling light effect around the entry, a birch log was cut down into groupings of luminaries. First, cut a birch log into five different lengths with a circular saw. Next, drill holes inside the tops of each log and place battery-operated votives inside. At night, the votives will cast a twinkling glow into the logs.
Make Everyday Items Seasonal
One of the easiest and most effective ways to add holiday charm to any furnished space is with throw pillows and blankets. By simply adding red linen pillows and red-and-white striped fleece blankets to the year-round rocking chairs, they instantly take on a seasonal vibe.
Insert Holiday Flair
This year-round dining set was updated with holiday style thanks to comfy throw pillows and table settings featuring red and neutral tones. To add a touch of holiday flair overhead, a do-it-yourself chandelier was made from rustic wood, rope and Mason jars. Get step-by-step instructions.
A side door off the porch is dressed with a wreath alternative made from rope, ribbon and wire. To create this, shape the rope into letters spelling out "Fa La La," then intertwine bailing wire between each strand of rope to structure the letters. Next, tie ribbon to each rope letter and suspend over the door top.
Create Rustic Decor
Add wow factor with rustic flair by making a North Star from yardsticks and twine. This star was made by spray-painting five wooden yardsticks matte black, then attaching to one another in a star formation. Shaped twigs and twinkle lights add layers of texture and whimsy. Get step-by-step instructions.
Light the Way for Holiday Guests
For a safer alternative to the traditional paper-bag-style Santa's runway, add a layer of rock salt or Epsom salt to glass vases or mason jars then nestle a glass votive candle in the center of each. Depending on the size votive you use, the candles will safely provide hours of illumination. When one burns low, simply replace with a fresh candle.
Festive Up Your Front Porch
In place of a standard topiary, bring a bit of your indoor decorations out with a mini fresh or faux Christmas tree. To create a sturdy, weather-proof base, skip a fabric tree skirt and instead place the tree in a wicker basket weighted down with a few rocks. Burlap garland, shatterproof ornaments, pinecones and a few handmade twig stars wired onto the branches are sturdy enough to stand up to the elements.
Add an Orb
Our how-to explains the steps for creating these illuminated grapevine sphere topiaries for your front porch. The waterproof lights ensure they'll brighten up your entry even during stormy winter weather.
Make a Fabric and Evergreen Swag
Turn Lumber Into Hip Trees
Basic woodworking skills, plywood and nails are all you need to create modern Christmas tree silhouettes that you can display year after year. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.
Craft a Monogrammed Doormat
Spruce up your entryway with this personalized budget-friendly doormat that looks like a pricey catalog find but is actually an easy DIY project. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.
Craft a Snowy Wreath
Add faux greenery, flowers, berry sprigs and glittered pinecones to a grapevine wreath then cover with faux snow to give your front door a cheery update during winter months. Learn how to make your own.
Make a Melt-Proof Snowman
A sturdy wooden support + 3 faux evergreen wreaths = a friendly outdoor snowman who won't melt, making him the perfect decoration for snow-free climates. Plus, using faux wreaths, rather than fresh, means you can display him year after year. Get started with our tips and step-by-step instructions.
Craft Woodsy Luminaries
Add a woodsy glow to your entryway with a grouping of birch log luminaries. To create them, cut the branches into varying heights with a circular saw. Next, drill holes into the top of each log using a 1-1/2" paddle or spade bit just deep enough to accommodate a votive. For kid- or pet-proof illumination, pop a battery-operated votive into each.
Freshen Up Your Wreath
Cover a straw wreath form with moss and garlands of fresh cranberries for a colorful holiday decoration that can be used as either a traditional front door wreath or, laid flat on the table, as the base for a Christmas centerpiece. Learn how to make your own.
Make a Twig Garland
Give a real or faux evergreen garland a rustic, woodsy touch by layering on a twig garland. Making one is easy, just gather small branches from your yard, use clippers to cut them into sections that are approximately the same length, then knot the twigs together with jute twine or yarn.
Craft This Cute Wreath
Create a wintry forest scene for your front door by adding bottlebrush trees and mini ice-skating figures to a foam wreath that's been wrapped in holiday fabric. Our step-by-step instructions will make crafting this cute wreath a snap.
Repurpose Old Jars
Expecting guests? Use assorted glass jars to give your front porch banister a festive glow. For an opaque, frosty look, add a mercury-glass effect by first misting the jars' interiors with water then immediately spraying on looking-glass paint. Check out these step-by-step instructions to learn more about this faux-painting technique.
Upcycle Your Way to a Funky Front Yard Sculpture
If you have a stack of old lumber or shipping pallets hanging around, this project is a clever way to upcycle them into a modern take on an illuminated tree. Use paint in assorted colors or just one color but various patterns to make your tree truly one-of-a-kind. Check out our step-by-step instructions for tips on achieving the staggered look.
Glitz Up a Wreath
Add sparkle to a foam or straw wreath form with an assortment of glass ornaments in various sizes. To attach them, remove any hanging hooks then hot-glue them to the surface, starting with the largest ornaments then filling in any gaps with the smallest. Photo by HGTV fan Laura Bruen.
Holiday Up Your Outdoor Rug
Deck Out the Landscape
Craft these oversized twine ornaments to brighten up your evergreens. Made from inexpensive materials, it's easy to make a whole bunch while binge-watching your favorite show. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.
Turn Summer Souvenirs Into a Wreath
Tired of traditional holiday decorations? Go coastal and embellish a fresh evergreen wreath with shells gathered at the shore. To attach them, add a short length of wire to each shell with quick-dry epoxy then just wire them on. Instead of a ribbon bow, wrap the bottom of the wreath with textural yarn or rope and top with a few starfish.
Wrap It Up
Craft a colorful holiday decoration by painting lightweight wooden boxes (available at your local craft store) in assorted colors with acrylic paint. Once they've dried, top with ribbon bows then secure in a grouping with metal L- or flat braces and add a sawtooth or D-ring hook for hanging.
Turn Every Day Into Holiday
Designer Erinn Valencich gives her front porch lanterns a wintry update with artificial sprigs of berries and snowflakes she applied using a craft-store stencil and spray snow.
Craft a Chalkboard Silhouette
Welcome holiday guests with this trendy chalkboard sign. To make it, trace a reindeer silhouette onto a 24" x 24" piece of plywood, cut it out with a jigsaw and apply two coats of chalkboard paint. Add screw eyes and a wire to the back so you can display your finished sign either indoors or out.
Evergreen wreaths aren't just for your front door. A small wreath laid flat is a great way to add more holiday color around the base of a small outdoor planter or lantern. This trick also works indoors, where a wreath around the base of a pillar candle or centerpiece adds a festive touch.
Give It a Quick Holiday Fix
Blogger Jo-Anna Rooney proves that just a few colorful updates are all you need to make-over your entryway for the season. Using bare branches painted red and items available at her local craft store, she created a warm holiday welcome in just a few hours. Get her tips for choosing a color palette and more.