13 DIY Outdoor Christmas Decorations to Make Your Home Festive and Bright

Oversized Candy Ribbon

One of the most exciting parts of preparing for Christmas is transforming the exterior of your home into a winter wonderland. Icicle lights, inflatables, and glowing holiday motifs like reindeer and angels are all used to dress up yards in anticipation of Santa's arrival.

Whether you're looking to add subtle cheer or go all out, you'll be pleased to know that many DIY outdoor Christmas decorations can seamlessly blend into any existing landscape or stand all on their own. From handmade wreaths to extravagant light displays, there are plenty of ways to make your house the best-dressed one on the block this holiday season.

01 of 13

Ribbon-Candy Decorations

Ribbon Candy Details
Ryan Liebe

Inspired by ribbon candy, a trio of larger-than-life ornaments sets a sweet holiday tone. Strips of silver-and gold-toned flashing are drilled through and then woven back and forth along threaded rods, with painted wooden beads as separators. Hang them outdoors, where the sculptural beauties will withstand even the snowiest of winters.

02 of 13

Ice-Mushroom Lights

Ice Mushrooms on Display
Ryan Liebe

Sprouting from the snow-covered ground like magic, these sculptures are made entirely from ice.

1. Start by filling bowls and cups with water, leaving an inch of room at the top of each to give water enough room to expand; let freeze completely.

2. Run hot water over the bottom of vessels until the ice pops out; then, place the bowl-shaped ice flat-side down on scrap wood. Wearing gloves, hold ice securely. Drill all the way through the center of the ice with a 1 1/2-inch boring bit, being careful not to let the ice slip away. Note: If the top or bottom of the cup-shaped ice is uneven, use the shaver to flatten.

3. Set cup-shaped ice outdoors, wide-side down. Set bowl-shaped ice "tops" flat-side down on "stems."

4. Place tea lights inside bored holes for omniscient shine all evening long.

03 of 13

Metallic Bow Decoration

Metallic Christmas Bow
Ryan Liebe

Aluminum flashing, which is sold in 6-inch-wide rolls, is a natural choice for outdoor decorations, as it can stand up to the elements. Arrange loops of it together and screw them to a wooden base, creating a gleaming bow that looks uncannily like the stick-on ones sold by the bag. At 2 feet across, this one would have to go on one giant gift—or, more likely, on your front door.

1. With scissors, cut five 32-inch and five 28-inch pieces of flashing. Roll each piece so the edge of the short horizontal side aligns with the vertical edge at the opposite end; line up two corners. Snip off excess at an angle where the two ends overlap. Roll flashing into a cone shape and secure its seam with tape.

2. Position the larger loops on a wooden disk, spacing them evenly, with inner points facing the center of the disk. Pre-drill a hole into the inner point of each loop, then drill a 3/4-inch screw into each hole.

3. Place smaller loops into the center of the disk. Drill a pilot hole at the inner point of each loop, then drill a 3/4-inch screw into each hole. With scissors, cut a 22-inch-long piece of flashing.

4. Roll into a loop and secure with tape. Center that loop on a wooden cube and drill a 1 1/2-inch screw through the back of the disk into the cube.

04 of 13

Ombré Bells Swag

Christmas Door Bell
Michael Mundy

New York City floral-design team Putnam & Putnam turned what's essentially throwaway material—a clipping from the base of a Christmas tree—into this modern masterpiece. They inverted the triangular branch and wired on clusters of jingle bells in muted shades of green, gold, and red. Top your mini tree with a broad satin bow; its wide tails will protect your door from any possible scratches.

05 of 13

Evergreen Stars

Evergreen Rosemary Stars on Building
Dana Gallagher

A graphic riff on the traditional round wreath, these eight-point stars are formed on simple bases made from wooden strips. Vary the sizes, and stagger the positions. You'll add charm across any plane, be it vertical or horizontal, interior or exterior.

When choosing cuttings, consider where you plan to display the stars. Cedar can withstand wintry weather, but its citrusy fragrance would also be appreciated indoors. Some greens, such as unparalleled universe rosemary, may turn brown in the cold and are better suited for use inside. You can also gather trimmings from your backyard. Pictured from the top: Rosemary, juniper, cedar, boxwood, and white spruce.

06 of 13

Outdoor Candle Lamps

Christmas Lights on Stoop
Alison Vanek

Capturing all the coziness of candlelight on a grand scale, these lamps promise good tidings to all who pass. Though these oversized tapers look sophisticated, they're actually made with inexpensive supplies from the hardware store, plus a little paint and glitter for the dripping "wax." Arrange the lights in wreaths for a welcoming presentation (and to hide the candle's base).

07 of 13

"Winter Welcome" Window Cling

Holiday Door Cling Crafts
Lucas Allen

Greet visitors with graceful traceries of winter vines and fauna. The artwork is easy to create using our printable template, which comes in sections. Static holds the pieces in place on glass or mirrored surfaces without the need for adhesive, so you can reuse the snowy silhouette for years to come.

1. First, measure your door (depending on its size, you may need to scale the template up or down). Tape the sections together so you can see the entire pattern.

2. Place vinyl paper-side down, and layer transfer paper on top; then layer the template over the transfer paper and tape in place. Using a pencil, trace the template onto the transfer paper. Flip the template over, and repeat the tracing process to create the opposite side of the design. Cut out vinyl tracings with small scissors.

3. Clean the window, and let dry. Remove paper backing from vinyl and, working from the top, align sections on the glass. Trim or overlap vinyl pieces as needed to align neatly. Repeat the pattern lengthwise to fit the door. You can add extra pieces to fill.

4. For the squirrel and bird forms, follow the steps outlined above. To store for future use, roll cutouts inside the leftover length of vinyl.

08 of 13

Paper-Bag Luminarias

Star Luminaria in the Snow
Dana Gallagher

Little stars get grounded. Illuminate a pathway with an array of mini Milky Ways cut into paper-bag luminarias. Though these candlelit outdoor lanterns look detailed, they are easy to make with the help of a large paper punch—keep the bags folded, and punch through all the layers. Then snip out a few larger stars randomly on each bag.

09 of 13

Snow-People Lawn Ornaments

Metal Snowmen in Ice
Ryan Liebe

Aluminum flashing finds yet another way to shine, this time as the "snowballs" in this melt-proof metal pair. Threaded rods serve as sturdy spines and, when stuck into the frozen ground, keep the couple upright. A coat of spray paint on their magic hats makes this dandy duo come alive.

10 of 13

Hanging Basket With Winter Birds

winter bird basket
Michael Mundy

Creating this charming perch is as elementary as gathering branches in your own backyard. We filled a wall basket with boughs of white pine that we flocked with decorative snow ray, then affixed already-wired faux birds between the needles. To give more fine-feathered friends a place to land, anchor a larger fallen limb in a doorside urn or pot filled with pebbles.

11 of 13

Laurel and Silver Poinsettias Decoration

Pointsettas on the Door
Michael Mundy

Set aside the idea that every wreath needs to be circular; it can certainly start out that way... and then trail off. We secured laurel branches around a small wreath frame using green floral wire, and punctuated the leaves with silver faux-poinsettias. Mount it and wire more laurel onto the bottom of the wreath, tapering the shape as you work down the door. Then add more blooms or ornaments for shine. Like magnolia leaves, laurel is hardy, so this stunner will last all season.

12 of 13

Frosty Banners


Make this year a white Christmas whether you get snowfall or not. This frosty banner is as simple as tying cut-out paper snowflakes together between strings of monofilament.

13 of 13

Shooting Stars Outdoor Lighting


Your yard will be the talk of the neighborhood when you set up this stunning light display out front. Christmas lights are wrapped around a metal star while several strands hang from the celestial body to give the illusion of shooting stars.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles