Decorating the Front of the House/Outdoor Lighting

The front of the house sets the tone. Is your holiday entry festive? Here are a few ideas to make a great first impression! Also includes step-by-step instructions.

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You can't have the holidays without lighting and that can be spotlights, holiday light strands or candles such as these wooden twig star candles, which softly illuminate the entry for guests.

Materials and Tools:

12 pieces of 14" long willow rods approximately 3/8" or 1/2" in diameter (available at landscape supply stores)
hot glue gun
raffia
pencil
18-gauge copper wire
wire cutters
needlenose pliers
half-pint jelly jars
votive candle
shepherd's hook

Steps:

1. Glue three rods together to form a triangle. One rod will overlap another about 3/4 of an inch from the end all the way around the triangle. Wrap all three connections with raffia and trim the ends.
2. Repeat to form a second triangle.
3. Lay the first triangle on top of the second to form a six-pointed star. Mark the six points where the top triangle touches the bottom one. Remove the top triangle and put hot glue on the marks. Put the top triangle back into position and tie all six connections with raffia as above.
4. Make two more triangles as above but only glue and wrap two ends so the third is left open. Insert one open-ended triangle into the center of the six-sided star so they're perpendicular.
5. Glue the ends of the open triangle to the bottom of the six-sided star (figure B). Mark, glue and wrap all new connections. Repeat with the other open-ended triangle, but insert it in the opposite direction so it's also perpendicular to the six-sided star and secure it at the top. Mark, glue and wrap all new connections.
6. Braid three pieces of 16-inch raffia together. Form a 2-1/2-inch loop from the braid and tie to the top of the star as a hanger.
7. Cut two 12-inch pieces of wire and use pliers to form a half-inch loop at one end of each. Place one end of a wire in the loop of the second wire, and then put the end of the second wire into the loop of the first to form a circle.
8. Place the circle of wire around the mouth of the jelly jar and pull the wires tight. Bend the wires straight up and form loops at the ends to hang on the center cross piece of the twig star. Make sure both hooks are even so the jar hangs level.
9. Place votive into jar. Hang star from shepherd's hook and light the candle.

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