7 Quick and Easy Outdoor Christmas Decoration Ideas

Mariel Loveland
Written by Mariel Loveland
Updated November 23, 2021
Christmas decorated porch
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  • Use ribbon, candy canes, and old ornaments to make a festive wreath

  • Magnetic Christmas lights make decking the halls easy

  • Frame your exterior door with Fraser fir garland

  • A little velvet ribbon goes a long way when wrapped around a banister

  • Put those extra evergreen branches to good use with a Christmas planter

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Between traveling, parties, family, shopping, and wrapping up work for the quarter, the holidays are hectic. It may feel like you don’t have a minute to stop and smell the egg nog, much less decorate your yard. Don’t relegate holiday decorating to the naughty list. ‘Tis the season to take it easy—whether you DIY your own simple Christmas decorations or hire a local holiday decorating service.

These easy outdoor Christmas decorations will transform your outdoor space into a winter wonderland in minutes (and they’ll even hold their own against that one neighbor whose Christmas lights are probably visible from space).

1. Spruce Up an Old Wreath

Christmas reef with bow
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There’s nothing more classic than hanging a simple wreath on the door. You can up the ante by embellishing a plain wreath with unexpected—and oh so easy—festive accessories. Grab any evergreen wreath (whether it’s real or faux fir) and:

  • Wrap it with red, white, or gold ribbons

  • Tuck a few candy canes into the wreath as added decoration

  • Spray your wreath with artificial snow spray (available at most craft stores)

  • Collect a few pinecones from the yard, spray them with metallic spray paint, then glue them onto your wreath with hot glue

2. Make a DIY Wreath from Old Christmas Ornaments

diy outdoor christmas reef
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A glitter DIY wreath will make your outdoor decor both merry and bright and this option recycles your old Christmas ornaments. Baubles have a classic feel, but any ornaments will do. Start by heading to the craft store to pick up a plain styrofoam wreath, then:

  • Wrap the wreath in colored ribbon, so none of the styrofoam is peaking out

  • Use greening pins to pin the ribbon in place (avoid hot glue because it will melt the styrofoam)

  • Collect your old or broken Christmas ornaments

  • Attach the ornaments to the wreath one by one using greening pins until the entire wreath is covered

3. Deck the Halls (or Your Front Porch) With Magnetic Christmas Lights

magnetic roof Christmas lights
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Hanging Christmas lights is a big task—from untangling knots to finding that one broken bulb that’s ruining the whole strand. If you’re not someone who likes to go up on a ladder, you may even want to consider hiring a pro to hang your lights for you, especially since you should never attempt to get on the roof yourself. Either way, magnetic Christmas lights take out some of the fuss.

With magnetic lights, the base of every socket has a magnet that will stick to ferrous metal. This means they’ll work on anything steel or iron, but they won’t stick to surfaces made of aluminum, copper, or vinyl. You can hang magnetic lights on:

  • Gutters

  • Fencing

  • Railings

  • Mailboxes

  • Any ferrous metal pieces on the edge of your roof

You can also use metal lawn stakes to hang up magnetic Christmas lights along your driveway, sidewalk, or patio. Give Santa a clear path for his sleigh.

4. Frame Your Door With String Lights and Fraser Fir Garland

string lights around house door
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String lights and Fraser fir garland scream Christmas. They’re festive enough to scare off any Grinch and take about 10 minutes to put up around your exterior door’s door frame. For this DIY Christmas decoration idea, you’ll need:

  • Removable hooks (either suction hooks or adhesive hooks)

  • A measuring tape

  • Fraser fir garland (real or artificial)

  • Floral wire

  • String lights

Most of these items are available at your local hardware or craft store, but you can also purchase them online. Start by measuring the dimensions of your door frame and purchasing a garland that is a few inches to a couple of feet longer (this allows you to drape your garland if you choose). Then:

  • Hang the removable hooks along your door frame where you want to place your garland

  • Use floral wire to attach the garland to the hooks

  • Cut any excess garland

  • Wrap the garland in string lights

You can also use this method to wrap garland around the pillars of your front porch. If your home is short on outlets, opt for solar or battery-powered string lights.

5. Beautify Your Front Porch With Red Velvet Ribbon

Christmas porch decorated with red ribbon
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Ribbon is inexpensive, but it can have a huge impact when used as an outdoor Christmas decoration. Purchase a chunky velvet ribbon (the thicker it is, the better it will look from the curb) and wrap it around:

  • Railings

  • Lamp posts

  • Banisters

  • The pillars on your front porch

You can even wrap ribbon to make bows on outdoor furniture.

6. Fill Lanterns With Christmas Ornaments and String Lights

Christmas lanterns near front entrance
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Sure, Santa has Rudolph’s nose to guide him, but a little extra help with some Christmas lanterns won’t hurt. Depending on whether you prefer rustic or industrial styles, you can purchase a wood or metal lantern online or at your local outdoor store. From there, it’s easy:

  • Fill your lantern with Christmas baubles (right where the candle would normally go)

  • Place a small strip of battery-powered LED string lights inside the lantern

  • Tangle the lights in the baubles until you like how it looks

You can also wrap the lights on the outside of your lantern.

7. Make Festive Planters With Evergreen Branches or Mini Christmas Trees

Christmas holiday planter outside home
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If you live in a wooded area, your backyard probably isn’t short on evergreen branches. Take some of these branches (or purchase some at your local hardware store) and transform them into festive planters. To make an evergreen planter:

  • Choose an outdoor planter in red, gold, or another festive color

  • Fill it with floral foam

  • Stick the branches into the floral foam so it looks like a bouquet

  • Make sure you have enough branches that the floral foam isn’t showing

Alternatively, you can put a miniature Christmas tree in the planter—with ornaments, lights, and all. Whether you opt for a real or artificial Christmas tree boils down to personal preference.

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