Dress Up Your Home’s Exterior

Readying the outside of your house for the holiday season does not need to be time-consuming or expensive. And don’t feel you have to do it all at once. You can start with lighting one weekend, and then slowly add other elements as you find them or find the time to decorate.


  • 1.

    Lights are beautiful

    and relatively easy, especially if you take advantage of all the nets, shapes, and multistrand lights now available. But even one long string of colored or white lights can make a big impact — and sometimes less is more.

  • 2.

    Make pine-cone bird feeders.

    Spread peanut butter over pine cones and roll them in birdseed. Tie them to tree branches or house eaves with colorful ribbons.

  • 3.

    Buy grapevine wreaths

    for each window, and attach holiday cards to them as they arrive.

  • 4.

    Use painted branches.

    During your fall pruning, collect any shapely branches and set them aside to dry. Set them in large terracotta pots, metal buckets, or other interesting containers to tuck on a corner of your porch or patio. You can spray paint the branches white, silver, or gold, if you like; add lights or decorations or ribbons.

  • 5.

    Use ribbons to create candy canes.

    Wrap red and white all-weather ribbons around a light post or door columns for a candy-cane effect. Tie a tartan bow around your mailbox post. Weave all-weather ribbons through a picket fence.

  • 6.

    Make your front door look like a present.

    If it is well covered by a porch, cover the door with gift-wrapping paper, and add a big bow.

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