Tis the season for decking the halls, caroling, wassailing and imagery to conjure up warm nostalgic memories. No season is more important for front door decorating. From twinkling Christmas lights, to fragrant evergreen garland and wreaths, holiday decorating is about beauty and excess.
DECORATE A FRONT PORCH CHRISTMAS TREE
Take the Christmas tree outside. Decorating a porch or front entrance area requires a mix of different size pieces. Trees come in all shapes, sizes and colors and offer endless decorating possibilities.
Choose A Tree: Faux or Real?
To choose a tree (or trees), first decide: faux or real?
A real tree is obviously outdoor safe. It also offers natural texture, color and scent. Falling needles outdoors are less clean up. Just sweep off the porch. Putting a tree outdoors also means you can go bigger. Remember to measure the height of your porch ceiling before buying. Do you have a narrow porch? Cut all the branches off one side of the tree and push it against the house. It’s a space saving technique you can even use indoors.
Faux trees have the advantage of a long life. One investment equals years of decorating. Most faux trees will be ok outside under a covered porch. If your winters are more extreme, look for an outdoor safe tree. Pre-lit trees are a time and sanity saver for those of us who hate stringing lights. And these days the color and style selections are dizzying from metallic trees to flocked, realistic and potted topiaries.
Use Outdoor Safe Ornaments and Garland
It’s time to decorate! Outdoor ornaments require a little creative thinking.
First, make sure any ornament is shatterproof. Nothing glass or breakable. Most iridescent Christmas ball ornaments are now made out of nonbreakable materials. Just double check. When attaching ornaments, use wire to wrap and secure firmly. A hook is not enough to withstand outdoor winds and elements.
Go natural! If your ornaments come from the outdoors, they are outdoor safe. Spray paint pinecones, gather feathers, string together popcorn and cranberries. Organic decorations are also safer for wildlife. If you want to encourage birds and wildlife to visit, hang suet cakes and corn cobs.
Make it cheap, and disposable. Anything you put outside is going to develop some wear and tear. So just count on not being able to reuse everything at the end of the season. For instance, garland. Ribbons are ok for garland. They will fade and not withstand moisture long-term so be prepared to throw them away. If you want long-lasting garland, use plastic tablecloths. Cut into “ribbons” and drape over your tree.
Finish With A Tree Skirt and Wrapped Presents
Don’t forget to dress up the base of your tree!
Wrap large boxes with plastic tablecloths and ribbon for oversize presents.
Create a large tree skirt with stencils and a canvas drop cloth. Or recycle an old flannel blanket or sheet. Make sure the skirt coordinates with your tree style and decorations. As always, think creatively and use what you have.
SANTA, REINDEER AND MORE!
Do you have a Christmas theme you love most? Like Santa and his reindeer? Use that theme outdoors as well.
Reindeer Door Decorations
Reindeer are the Yuletide mascot thanks to Santa and his sleigh.
Oversized outdoor safe deer and reindeer decor pieces are available at many stores. If you love Rudolph and co., they are worth the investment. To punch up the theme, make sure you have at least 2 or 3 deer. Group them together near steps or your front door for maximum impact.
Add a few reindeer-inspired elements like a sled and maybe an old harness or reins.
Keep a basket with bags of “reindeer food” on the front porch. Use bird seed mix or deer corn for the food.
Santa Door Decorations and More
Greet guest with Jolly Old St. Nick. From traditional Santas to cute, jolly and funny Santas, Kris Kringle adapts to any style home and decorations.
Start with a unique Santa door hanger. Simple DIY Christmas door decorations can save you money, but if Santa is your man, go ahead and splurge on a store bought wreath or hanger.
Large outdoor safe Santa statues are everywhere. Choose one you love and put it out every year.
Fill in your Santa front porch decorations with accessories like a Santa hat, black boots and a giant knapsack of gifts.
CHOOSE A FESTIVE DOORMAT
Well here it is. The detail you can’t afford to miss: holiday doormats. So affordable. So available. And so much variety!
A Christmas Doormat to Remember
Remember mother scolding you to ‘wipe your feet?’ There was method to her madness. She had to clean the floors. Now you clean the floors. But is there a more inviting way to encourage visitors to wipe their feet? You bet. Throw down a decorative doormat.
From layering doormats to incorporating larger outdoor rugs, these practical pieces are trendy decorating musts.
First, think about the space you need to fill. A doormat too small for the threshold looks odd. Measure your door. If you fall in love with a mat that’s smaller than your dimensions, throw down a larger, coordinating rug underneath and layer away.
Next, consider the material. Coir is a natural bristle that lasts longer than cheaper polyester mats. It also offers friction for removing mud and muck. But those cheaper polyester mats come in a wide variety of patterns. So buy a couple and switch them out.
To clean outdoor mats, first shake them out thoroughly. Next, hose off and let air dry. For spot removal, use liquid dish soap and warm water.
TRY A UNIQUE CHRISTMAS DOOR HANGER
Christmas door decorations come in all shapes, sizes and styles. Gingerbread house door decorations make sugarplums dance, candy cane hangers are sweet, frames and swags in traditional buffalo plaid and evergreen are nostalgic. Which will you choose?
Traditional Christmas Door Hangers
There’s nothing more comforting and classic than a traditional Christmas evergreen wreath with a red ribbon. If this is what you love, keep it simple. Why change a classic?
Real evergreen is better than faux. Many service groups sell evergreen garlands and wreaths as a fundraiser. It’s a win, win situation. Then dress it up as you like. Add ribbon, a bow and even ornaments.
A holiday swag door decoration is traditional with a little twist. To make your own, bunch together evergreen branches in varying lengths. Clip all stems off one side (this side will be against the door). Secure with strong wire. You might also want to add some wood glue between branches to hold them together. Add a bow at the top and a wire loop hanger in the back. It’s as simple as that.
Unique Holiday Door Decorations
Feel free to let the yuletide spirit carry you away with unexpected door hangers!
Ditch Santa for an elf door decoration. Add a large stuffed elf to a fun Christmas sign or cover a plain wreath in small elves. Embrace the impish fun and incorporate some humor, placing elves around your front porch.
Candy canes make sweet door decor. Those large plastic candy canes for staking in your lawn work well hanging on a door as well. Add a bow and you’re set!
Do you have old picture frames lying around? Print out words, quotes or images and hang them on your front door. A piece of double-sided tape will help them stay secure.
How about some funny Christmas door decorations like a ‘naughty’ list or a bag of coal? When in doubt, make them laugh!
Christmas Door Covers
You can always cover the entire door. That’s an option too! This is where ‘go big or go home’ comes in to play. From oversized Santa suits to elf faces and more, the internet is loaded with ideas for door covers.
Here are a few tips for keeping it simple and effective.
- Don’t use paper or other materials that aren’t waterproof. Plastic tablecloths and material are what you need.
- Work with your door color. Do you have a white front door? Make a snowman face. Green door? Make a tree.
- Wrap the door like a present. Use material to make a large red ribbon and bow to criss cross your door.
- Create a scene. Think of the door as a bulletin board and build a scene. If you’re lucky enough to have a vinyl cutter, this could be fun!