35 Crafty Outdoor Holiday Decorating Ideas

From front-door wreaths to traffic-stopping displays, give your front porch or yard a holiday makeover with one of our 35 do-it-yourself outdoor Christmas decorations.

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Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Picasa ©ten22 studio | Rennai Hoefer

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Melissa Caughey

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

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.

Get the How-To: How to Make Illuminated Grapevine Spheres

Make a Fabric and Evergreen Swag

For a trendy twist on a standard holiday wreath, dress up your front door with a holiday swag made from fresh greenery, fabric branches and glittering pinecones.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Fabric and Evergreen Holiday Swag

Make Ice Lanterns

Get an assist from Mother Nature (or your freezer) to turn plastic cartons filled with water into magical ice lanterns to display either indoors or out.

Get the How-To: How to Make an Ice Lantern

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.

Get the How-To: How to Make Rustic Nail-Head Christmas Trees

Go Big With Ornaments

Light up the night with these ginormous Christmas tree ornaments. A few supplies from the hardware and craft store are all you need.

Get the How-To: How to Make Giant Christmas Ornaments

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.

Get the How-To: Make a Monogrammed Holiday Doormat

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.

Get the How-To: Easy Upcycle: Turn a Dated Floral Wreath Into a Snowy Winter Wreath

Add Some Sparkle

These gorgeous, glittering votives only look expensive. Using glitter, glue and an empty jar, you can easily craft them yourself on the cheap.

Get the How-To: How to Make Glittered Mason Jar Lanterns

Treat Forest Friends

Delight wildlife with frozen fruit ornaments that are both beautiful and beneficial.

Get the How-To: Make Outdoor Ornaments for the Holidays

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 the How-To: How to Make a Life-Sized Wreath Snowman

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.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Moss and Cranberry Holiday Wreath

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.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Whimsical Bottle Brush Tree Wreath

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.

Get the How-To: Easily Make Your Own Mercury Glass Votives

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.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Wooden Christmas Tree

Holiday Up Your Outdoor Rug

Does your outdoor living space need a holiday update? It's a snap to add a festive touch to a plain sisal rug with a basic tree-shaped stamp made from a baking potato.

Get the How-To: Make a Festive Potato-Stamped 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 the How-To: Holiday Craft: DIY String Ornaments

Craft Woodsy Stars

Get the kids to help you out with this easy project for turning inexpensive yardsticks and backyard twigs into large, rustic stars.

Get the How-To: Create a North Star Wall Hanging With Yardsticks

Spell It Out

Try this playful twist on a standard holiday wreath. Just wrap sections of rope with fine-gauge wire, working it between the rope's twists, then shape into letters to spell out a favorite holiday sentiment.

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.

Easy Holiday Update for Planters

Galvanized metal buckets are handy for oh-so many reasons -- and here's one more: they make a great cover-up for plain pots. To add a wintry touch, first add a punched snowflake design using a hammer and nail.

Turn Craft Store Supplies Into a Snowman

Small, medium and large grapevine wreaths stacked, then held together with twine or wire form a woodsy snowman you can make in a jiffy to add holiday cheer -- indoors or out.

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.

Light Up the Night

Turn hardware store wire mesh and vellum into these high-end looking luminaries to light the way to your front door for holiday guests.

Get the How-To: How to Make Wire Mesh Luminaries

Whip Up an Outdoor Pillow

Cozy up a front porch chair or bench with this adorable reindeer pillow. With a few basic supplies and our free printable template, you can stitch up one of your own in just a few steps.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Reindeer Pillow for the Holidays

Craft a Colorful Tree Silhouette

Painted wooden dowels and a bit of wire or twine are all you need to make this minimalist Christmas tree that can withstand winter's wet weather.

Get the How-To: Make Christmas Tree-Shaped Window Dowels

Give Topiaries a Holiday Makeover

Festive up your front porch by flanking the door with a pair of faux or fresh boxwood topiaries embellished with wired burlap ribbon and garlands of fresh or faux berries.

Make It Personal

For a twist on a standard front-door wreath, layer fresh greenery with a pair of vintage children's ice skates.

Rethink Wreaths

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 the How-To: Festive Front Porch

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