How to Decorate Your Home’s Exterior for Winter

It’s amazing how some houses look so festive during the holidays. That doesn’t mean they have a better home than yours. It is more likely that they just know a few decorating secrets that you have not yet learned. If you are one of those people who wants the best outdoor decorations for Christmas, then we have a few tips for you.

Plan Ahead


Image via Flickr by massmarrier

Deciduous plants lose their leaves in the fall. If you use a deciduous climbing plant such as Wisteria and allow it to grow over an arch, you set the stage for an amazing lighted arch when the holidays roll around. The arch provides a nice structure for lights. Decorate the bare limbs with outdoor Christmas ornaments for daytime appeal. The deciduous arch is one example of how to plan your home’s landscaping for all four seasons.

Tip: One of the bothersome things about outdoor Christmas decorations is the work it takes to take them down each year. If you decorate your walkways with white Christmas lights, you can leave them up all year-long. That will help reduce the holiday decoration chores.

Pinecones and Garland


Image via Flickr by Wendy Piersall

Collect pine cones of various sizes and use them as garland. If you like bright colors, paint the pine cones. They are easily created into garland simply by using fishing line. Just wrap the fishing line around the pine cones to make a cone garland. If you leave space between the pine cones, you can also wrap Christmas lights along the fishing line for a lighted effect.

You can also use pine cones in empty planters placed beside gates and doors. Lightly brush the ends of each pine cone with white paint to give the cones a flocked look. Add greenery of pine or cedar for an aromatic accent piece that is festive.  Pine cones also make excellent additions to door wreaths.

Tip: String 3-5 pinecones with Christmas ribbon to use in place of a wreath for your door. For a brighter look, paint the pine cones in Christmas colors. You can also decorate them with white paint. has battery powered strands of lights so you can add lights to your door ornaments.

Floating Christmas lights


Image via Flickr by dacheket

If you live where it snows, then floating Christmas lights make a wonderfully festive outdoor look. Use an old saucer, a votive candle, a recycled glass jar, and two pennies to create a floating Christmas light. Just place the saucer down into the snow. Add the votive or small candle to the saucer. Light the candle and place the jar over it so that it sits in the saucer. Slide the two pennies under opposite sides of the jar so that the candle has fresh air. This also works well with scented candles.

The jar keeps the wind from blowing out the candle, and the pennies help supply the flame with oxygen. If you are a DIY kind of person, try cutting off the tops of colored wine bottles with a glass cutter. Use the bottom of a wine bottle in place of the jar.
Tiki torches also work well for lighting pathways. The raw flame set against the cold winter scene is beautiful. They can blow out in strong wind, but the effect is worth it. Just be sure to keep them away from plants and shrubs so there is no risk of fire.

Kaleidoscope Christmas

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If you have a large snow covered yard and you want to break up all of that white, just add some powdered dye on top of the snow. The dye will bleed out, and that area of snow will remain colored for several days. It is an outstanding way to make your yard pop for Christmas. Stay environmentally friendly by using non-toxic dyes. Green, blue, and yellow are festive colors to utilize. Reds may look more pink, so avoid this color. Mixing colors may not work as well with this idea, so be mindful where you color!

These easy tips and tricks work well to spice up the exterior of homes for the holiday season. Remember that some of these tricks can be used all year round.


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