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A white door with a traditional pine wreath and red and gold ornaments is hanged on a white door of a house surrounded by snow

23 Outdoor Holiday Decorations Ideas

Now that autumn’s drawing to a close, it’s time to swap out your Thanksgiving decorations for winter holiday decor! From hanging twinkle lights to DIY Christmas planters, here are 23 decoration ideas to bring the festive spirit to your home’s exterior!

Transition from Fall Holiday Decor

Before you break out your winter holiday decorations, slowly start replacing the fall tones with a neutral color palette, including champagne gold, sage green, or silver. Once you’ve decided on the color scheme, start swapping out orange pumpkins, turkeys, and leaf garlands for mini winter trees and wood logs!

Get Festive with Lights

Christmas lights on the edges of a house's roof and landscape at night. Photo by Instagram user @casadethompson

Photo via @casadethompson

Christmas lights are key to creating the postcard-perfect holiday home! Decorate with multicolored twinkle lights, incandescent string lights, light-up snowflakes, candy canes, and more. Hang the lights from the roof, wrap them around railings, and line your windows or pathways. If you don’t want the hassle of hanging string lights, place an LED projector in your yard for a holiday light show. Looking to add Christmas sparkle to shrubbery? Simply place net lights over any bushes to complete your Christmas Wonderland. Be sure to set any lights you use on a digital timer, so you don’t have to remember to turn them on—or off!

Hang Outdoor Greenery

Double front doors lined with garland and two wreathes hanging on the door windows. Photo by Instagram user @beyond_gray.

Photo via @beyond_gray

Add a classic holiday staple by decorating the front of the house with garland and other winter greenery! Adorn the door, columns, or windows with pre-lit garland, or make your own DIY garland burst with ornaments or winterberry holly and blue spruce. If you have railings surrounding your porch or an apartment balcony, consider wrapping evergreen garland around it for an elegant, wintry feel.

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Get Creative with Front Door Decorations

Don’t forget to enhance the front door with fun holiday decor! No matter which holidays you celebrate, keep it simple with a holiday door hanger. Choose door decor with festive colors designed around a holiday greeting—or if you’re feeling crafty, create your own DIY door hanger! Turn your front door into a giant present with wrapping paper and ribbon. Or accessorize the door knob with a jingle bell door hanger for more subtle door decor.

Use Outdoor Holiday Signs

When setting up your outdoor holiday display, don’t forget to incorporate a fun outdoor sign! These holiday-themed signs can either sit up on the porch by the front door or can be part of your yard decorations. Have fun picking signs with fun sayings or welcoming messages. Looking for a unique sign? Whether you’re looking for a rustic wood sign or a countdown sign, you can make your own sign! Or if you celebrate winter holidays other than Christmas, add a Kwanzaa or Hanukkah sign!

Put Up a Wreath

Large wreath made of cranberries hanging on a front door. Photo by @randilynnblog.

Photo via @randilynnblog

When decorating for the holiday season, you can’t go wrong with a classic door wreath! Go with a wreath made out of balsam fir and pinecones or berries. Use wire, beads, and fairy lights to create a Star of David wreath. One of the best things about this holiday decor idea is its versatility, so don’t be afraid to hang wreaths on the front door, windows, light fixtures, or above the garage to complete your outdoor holiday look!

Don’t Forget the Window Box

Have a window box you used to display autumn floral arrangements? You can easily turn your planter into a holiday winter display! Try using a window box filler—or if you’re going for that natural look, you can make your own with spruce treetops, sticks, and pinecones. Add ornaments, lights, and bows for a more festive piece. And for that special touch, paint your window box holiday colors like gold, silver, green, or red!

Welcome with a Doormat

A simple way to transition from fall to winter decor is to swap out the doormat for a festive one! You can find doormats with holiday phrases ranging from greetings to cute jokes. Not only is a welcome mat great for keeping the snow, salt, dust, and dirt outside, but it’s also a fun way to welcome guests into your home during the holiday season!

Light Your Porch with Lanterns

Two bronze lanterns hold a candle outside. Photo by Instagram user @hegraycottage

Photo via @hegraycottage

Keep your porch warm and welcoming by adding Christmas lanterns to your outdoor decor! If you have a lantern you use from season to season, just add a lantern topper and flameless or battery-operated candle to light up your holiday display! Check out your local home improvement and decoration stores for lanterns of differing heights, designs, and shapes. You can even make your own lantern by using everyday household items, or repurposing an old glass jar and adding a wire handle to hang on hooks!

Go for a Vintage Christmas Scene

A small red and wooden wagon sits on the front porch holding a mini, lit Christmas tree, cotton material, and other various holiday decor. Photo by Instagram user @my_irish_home.

Photo via @my_irish_home

Looking to use vintage decorations in your outdoor space? Decorate an antique sled with a Christmas bow, garland, and lights. Create a feeling of nostalgia by loading up an antique red wagon with presents, miniature trees, and other old-fashioned Christmas decor. Complete your outdoor holiday scene by hanging old skates filled with winter berries on your front door.

Bring the Presents Outside

Not only are presents perfect under the Christmas tree, but they make for great decorations on your front steps, too! With a little bit of wood, outdoor lights, and ribbons, you can create lighted Christmas presents to sit among your outdoor holiday decor. Or take your outdoor presents to the next level by creating your own tower of gifts. Just make sure you don’t put actual gifts outside!

Opt for DIY Bows

Make your own outdoor holiday bow with velvet ribbon, an accent ribbon, and garden wire. Place the finished product on your door, window, wreath, garland, and railings. Or attach a bow to a light fixture for a fun, festive look. Accent the bow with mistletoe and bells for a little something extra!

Spread Holiday Cheer with Christmas Bells

Don’t forget the holiday bells! Bells engage your sense of sound in addition to your sense of sight, making a more immersive holiday experience. String brass bells above the door, on the railing, or along the fence. Hang decorative silver bells that don’t chime on doors or under lights. Or consider hanging bells of different sizes and varying lengths of rope for visual variety.

Add a Christmas Tree

Finish your home’s exterior holiday decor with a Christmas tree! Go with a mini-flocked tree if you don’t have a lot of room on your porch. Don’t want the hassle of taking care of live trees? Consider adding a faux tree to your porch. Or if you have full-sized spruce trees in your yard, have fun decorating them with lights, garland, and ornaments!

Make Giant Ornaments

A front porch features two large DIY red ornaments saying "Merry Christmas" on either side. Photo by Instagram user @honeyandfitz.

Photo via @honeyandfitz

Spread the holiday joy to your front yard or porch with giant ornaments! Decorate your landscaping or hang the ornaments above your porch for an eye-catching holiday look. With a little creativity, you can even make your own giant ornaments with a ball, spray paint, and a can.

Display Poinsettias

Once Thanksgiving is over, be sure to switch out the mums for classic winter plants like poinsettias! Make your front steps pop with red poinsettias leading up to your home. Go for a more neutral outdoor scene and decorate with white poinsettias. If you don’t want to hassle with real poinsettias, go with a faux poinsettia plant or remove the pick and place the poinsettia flower in holiday garlands or wreaths. When the temperature gets too low, be sure to bring your poinsettias inside or cover them up!

Design Christmas Planters

Front porch planter stuffed with pine sprigs, evergreen sprigs, cranberry shoots, pinecones, a large bow, and ornaments. Photo by Instagram user @junealltrades.

Photo via @junealltrades

Welcome holiday visitors to your porch with bright, colorful Christmas planters! Whether you opt for a small or large winter planter, you can create an amazing DIY planter for the holidays. Use a mix of pinecones, winterberries, bows, and sprigs of pine for a classic holiday combination. Or design a rustic planter with firewood, pinecones, and evergreens.

Get Festive in Any Climate

You don’t have to live in a cold, snowy area to decorate the outside of your home for winter. For those living in warmer, sunnier areas, have some holiday fun with your outdoor living space seating! Whether you have a bench, front porch swing, or chairs around a backyard fire pit, add cozy blankets and weatherproof holiday pillows to your space. Or if you have a palm tree in your yard, string lights around the trunk. You could even place a few Santa hats on top of cactus arms!

Have Fun with Christmas Animals

Create a gorgeous Christmas scene by placing light-up reindeer in your yard! Position them in a row to show them pulling Santa’s sleigh, or group them next to trees or bushes for a more natural scene. Bring the North Pole and the South Pole to your yard with light-up polar bears and penguins. The options are endless, so have fun when deciding which holiday animals to feature in your yard!

Deck the Yard with Holiday Inflatables…

A simple way to decorate your yard for the holiday season is to add blow-up decor! Have fun adding an inflatable Santa with his reindeer or a huge snow globe. Spin blow-up dreidels in your yard. Add a giant inflatable snowman. When setting up the inflatables, keep in mind you’ll need to choose a flat surface, close all zippers, and anchor the inflatable to the ground so it doesn’t blow away! And if you have more than one inflatable, keep all the cords together with zip ties and hide them in your landscaping!

…Or Other Large Holiday Decor

At night, a large cut out of the classic Grinch tiptoes away from the house, stealing the Christmas lights. Photo by Instagram user @kitrae.

Photo via @kitrae

If your yard is big enough, try setting up a scene with your holiday decor! You can go with a solid Santa and his reindeer, or show the Grinch stealing your holiday lights. Want a more traditional Christmas? Recreate the Nativity scene, and position lights on strategic areas for a gorgeous nighttime effect. Or bring the holiday spirit to your front porch with life-size nutcrackers standing guard!

Design an Inviting Christmas Mailbox

As you decorate the outside of your home for the holidays, don’t forget the mailbox! Get creative with your mailbox by accessorizing it with ribbon, garland, ornaments, twinkle lights, and bows. Paint a Winter Wonderland, Santa flying over your city’s skyline, or a scene from your favorite Christmas movie. Decorating your mailbox for the holidays will make sending letters to Santa even more fun for kids.

Go with Eco-Friendly Christmas Decor

Wanting to decorate your outdoor space with sustainable holiday decor? Save energy by using LED lights or solar Christmas lighting! Feed your local birds, squirrels, and other animals with a dried citrus ice wreath or string of garland around your home’s railings. Consider making garland out of popcorn and cranberries. Or make crates for presents out of reclaimed wood.


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