What better way to prove to your friends, family and neighbors that you have "the most" Christmas spirit than by making your own outdoor decorations?
Anyone can go to Walmart, Target, Kmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby or Kohl’s to get their outdoor decor, but it takes a real Holiday Cheermeister to do it yourself.
How to Make Outdoor Christmas Decorations
First, have an idea of what you want your yard to look like. Are you going over the top? Subtle and classy? By figuring out the style you want to go with, you can decide which materials you’ll need, and whether you can get them cheap and make some yourself, or if you’ll need to make a trip to Home Depot, Lowe’s or your other hardware store of choice. If you have a steady hand and an artistic flair, you can even invest in pyrography tools and make unique decorations that way.
Here are 27 DIY outdoor Christmas decorations and ideas that can put you and your home into the holiday spirit in no time at all.
DIY Outdoor Christmas Decor Things to Remember
- If it rains or snows a lot during the winter in your area, make your outdoor decor from sturdy materials that will last through the season (and longer).
- If using string lights or other lights, be sure to keep in mind how much length you’ll need to place your decor around the house and yard.
- When competing with neighbors, don’t take a “set it and forget it” approach; instead, be sure to watch your neighbor’s outdoor decor updates over time and match accordingly.
- Sometimes, less is more: although we love Christmas decor, often the best outdoor arrangements are those that take fewer elements and make ’em look good. But we still like seeing yards with 10+ Christmas inflatables.
DIY Lighted Christmas Present Box
via trendy tree
We used to say things like “Christmas isn’t about the presents,” but let’s be honest. Presents are important. And they don’t have to be confined to your Christmas tree: with these outdoor lighted Christmas presents, you can bring the fun outside, too.
Trendy tree offers great instructions on how to create your own Christmas presents, and with so many creative options available, you can make a stash of outdoor presents that fits your Christmas style.
Star Shower DIY Lights
Let’s face it: putting up Christmas lights the old fashioned way – with lots of hard work, ladders and potential injuries – might be a thing of the past. With the Star Shower, all you have to do is set it, forget it and let the neighbors oogle your new light setup.
The best part is, taking your “lights” down is a simple unplugging of a cord. No more waiting until February and avoiding your neighbors because you don’t have the time to go outside, take off the ol’ sweatpants and remove your Christmas lights. No. Those things don’t matter anymore. If you’re the first one on your block to use the Star Shower, consider yourself ahead of the game.
Terra Cotta Snowman
via home depot
We live in a place where snowmen are an endangered species, so we love making snowpeople out of things that aren’t snow.
This easy-to-make terra cotta pot snowman can be done in a day and won’t leave a pile of brown slush on your porch when it gets too warm. Check out the step-by-step instructions from Home Depot.
Picket Fence Snow People
via design rulz
We like these for the same reasons we like the terra cotta snowman above. It won’t melt, and it’s something you can reuse each year. We’re historically bad at making real snowmen anyway, so this saves us the time and embarrassment that would come from trying to make the real deal.
DIY Christmas Light Balls
We’re not saying you can see these from space, but they will give your yard a nice neon look for the holidays. It can be difficult to get lights completely over your plants (and animals) in the form of balls, but this tutorial shows you how it can be done on the cheap and easy.
Wooden Christmas Tree Sign
via girl in air
We usually have a pallet or two lying around waiting to be made into something – a boat, crab trap, etc. – so of course we like this project, which can put old wood to good use for the holidays.
Get detailed instructions with the link above, and if you want to get real fancy, consider putting hooks on your finished tree, where you can hang ornaments or lights. Just depends on what you want to do, really. Your life, right?
Giant Christmas Ornaments
For that Dr. Seuss look, check out these big ol’ ornaments that scream “I’m festive in a way that makes other people uncomfortable.” Just kidding.
These ornaments from the Hallmark Channel make a great touch for any porch or patio, or you can hang them alongside your traditional string lights for a perfect DIY outdoor Christmas decoration combo.
Snowman Porch Light Covers
All year, your porch light covers are – let’s be real – boring.
They’re most likely white or black or a silver or gold or brass or whatever.
But that’s where the fun is. They don’t smile. They don’t look seasonally jubilant.
But it’s time to change that. These snowman porch light covers will light up your home and your spirit.
In fact, your Christmas spirit may be likely to rise anywhere from 10 to 16 percent, though this depends on your temperament and general state of mind during the holidays.
If that doesn’t get you hot and bothered and ready for eggnog, we don’t know what will.
A Smorgasbord of Christmas Things
Sometimes the best kind of outdoor Christmas decoration is the one that combines a lot of things into one small or medium-sized contained. Case in point: this delightful looking plant container that appears to contain no plants but instead, contains ornaments, garland, Christmas sticks of some sort, some ribbon and a nice glittery bow.
All these materials can be had at your favorite home goods store, and you can make an arrangement that you think is acceptable for your level of Christmas spirit.
Candy Canes Made from PVC Pipe
via diy show off
This classic DIY outdoor Christmas project comes from DIY show off, and they do a great job of walking you step-by-step through the process of making these PVC pipe candy canes.
These bad boys are a perfect way to frame your doorway or any other part of the yard where you want to give people the impression that they are walking into some sort of candy land, which is what large candy canes generally signal.
Yardstick Christmas Star
via little bit funky
This DIY Christmas star is cute and a perfect project to do with your kids. If you don’t have kids, it’s a perfect project to do by yourself. If you have dogs, it’s still a good project to do by yourself.
If you live with a roommate and aren’t sure how festive they plan on getting for Christmas, this is a great icebreaker to get a feel for what their vibes are going to be like this holiday season!
Wood Clothespin Snowflakes
In regions where it doesn’t snow, you can hang these outside your house and pretend that everything’s still okay. You can paint them, stain them and hang them on fishing line to get a lot of them together at once.
But be warned: clothespins have a nasty habit of finding other ways to enter your DIY life too.
Cement Block Christmas Presents
via chica circle
Maybe you want to make an outdoor Christmas present, but are afraid of the neighborhood tweens wanting to steal it. If that’s the case, consider making a present from a cement block, painted and done up all fancy like so as to not look like a cement block.
Check out instructions from Club Chica Circle for more information.
Joy Nativity Yard Sign
This joy nativity yard sign may look difficult to make, and it might be. But part of us can’t help but think it can be done the DIY way. If you have some scrap wood lying around, you can fashion your own joy sign by doing something like this:
- Trace the large letters on pieces of wood
- Use a jigsaw to cut around the letters
- In the “O” you can add the scene, or leave it blank
- You can also trace the scene separately, then use wood glue or screws (painted over) to join to your letters
It might take a while, but it’ll save you in the long run, and that’s extra money you can spend on Christmas presents. Win-win.
via martha stewart
These are beautiful which means they came from either our grandmother’s homemade DIY book or Martha Stewart. In this case it’s the latter, but we’re doing all we can to check copyrights and relevant dates.
Lighted Christmas Boxes
via diy vintage chic
DIY vintage chic offers her own take on the lighted Christmas box, and we love this one for the detail and “little things” that go into it. Get full, step-by-step instructions over at her blog with the link above.
Lighted Star Nests
If we were nostalgic birds, we’d build nests from twigs and steal stars and other knick knacks from surrounding homes to make something like this. Then we’d wonder why we were building a nest when all the other birds were somewhere resting and staying out of the cold.
But seriously though we love these things.
DIY Christmas Luminaries
The best way to make Christmas luminaries that no one else will have is to get a Christmas cutout or stencil and put a custom shape on the paper bags.
Tell your neighbors, when they ask where the luminaries came from, that it was just something you threw together last minute so as to not seem like the “grumpy house” in the neighborhood. It will make the project seem casual and will make your craftsmanship appear impressive.
Wood Log Luminaries
If you know where to cut down a good aspen, don’t do it. But if you have Aspen (or other tree) logs laying around, you can use them for a nice arrangement like this. Perfect for your cabin, cottage, ranch, house, condo, apartment or flat. Perfect for any place you call home.
DIY Outdoor Christmas Sign
via finding home
We love this project from finding home, and aside from the creative sign itself, we think this whole setup is neat. It makes us want to make a fresh batch of hot cocoa and retell stories on the front porch.
We’d tell the one about the time we got lost in the forest and had to live off a small bottle of nail polish for the better part of three days. Actually sometimes it’s better to not relive some memories.
Lighted Christmas Boxes, Round 3
via martha stewart
Because Christianity teaches us that the best things come in threes, here’s another version of lighted Christmas presents that you can display in your yard. These are neat because the presents are different sizes and shapes and that seems pretty realistic to us, if we’re to be honest.
Old Fashioned Christmas Lanterns
Perfect for Christmas, but really great for any time of the year if you’re into country chic stuff, these lanterns are a fun DIY project that will add a unique touch to your Christmas decor this year.
Picture Frame Wreath
via buckets of grace
We’re big fans of wreaths, and anything that pushes today’s wreath boundaries is a win in our book. You can find an old frame at a thrift store, paint it and decorate as you please. You can also get different shaped frames – circular and such – for a more traditional wreath look.
DIY Christmas Tree Stands
via shanty 2 chic
Perhaps our favorite DIY outdoor Christmas decor comes from shanty 2 chic, who made these two custom tree stands for her front door. They seem easy to make, and you can customize yours to fit the size and shape of your entryway and Christmas trees.
Check out the awesome detailed instructions by shanty 2 chic with the link above.
Mason Jar Lights
If there’s something you can’t do with mason jars, it’s your fault, not the jar’s. Just kidding. But really, there’s so much you can do with those little shabby chic staples that it’d be ludicrous to not include some kind of Christmas decor without them.
This arrangement is a perfect fall or winter decoration, and you can throw in a few red and green accents to make it even more Christmas-inspired.
Tomato Cage Christmas Trees
These Christmas trees were made from tomato cages, and they are the perfect alternative to buying the pre-made little Christmas trees that look just the same. Put on some ornaments, ribbon or lights and you’re good to go.
You can also find a Martha Stewart tomato cage Christmas tree idea here.
Lighted Grapevine Balls
via lynne knowlton
These make wonderful year-round decorations, but you can customize them with some holiday ribbons, lights or other accents to make them even more festive. With these detailed instructions from Lynne Knowlton, you can see how easy it is to make grapevine balls yourself. Martha Stewart also offers some great lighted grapevine ball ideas.
Reclaimed Wood Reindeer Friend
via finding home
Check out finding home for this awesome reclaimed wood reindeer tutorial. You can use just about anything to make this little guy, so get creative and let your conscience be your guide.
DIY Joy Sign
via fynes designs
This wood sign is easy to make, but makes a great impression. Combine it with some size 7 ice skates and a bucket-o-garland like you see here, and you have a whole Christmas corner that cannot be ignored by solicitors or other people knocking on your door.
Wood Slice Snowpeople (Woodpeople?)
From grandparentsplus.com comes these adorable wood snowpeople – we can’t tell if they are male or female, and in this day and age you can never be too careful.
With a few cuts and some practical ribbon work you can make yourself a family of wood snowpeople and even decorate them with unique features so that it’s easily to tell them apart and eventually name them. The ball’s in your court.
What are Your Favorite DIY Outdoor Christmas Decorations?
We personally like wood things. And grapevine. And anything with lights. We’re really not picky at all actually so anything having to do with Christmas is fine by us.
What are your favorite DIY outdoor Christmas decoration projects?
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