You don’t want to be the only house in the block that doesn’t look great on this vacation. Use these 8 tips to help you with outdoor holiday decor.
The holiday season is over and the weather is cooling. Lawn and garden tools have given way in most department stores for Christmas decorations, gift wrap and artificial evergreens. It’s time to decorate your home for the holidays, inside and out – and if you’re the type of person who loves the holiday mood, why wait? Use these eight tips to show off your festive spirit.
1. Select Focal Point
Decorating the exterior of your home, yard, flower beds and other outdoor space around a central focal point can help you put it all together and create a theme for your holiday decorations. Many homeowners choose their front porch or even their front door as a focal point, drawing attention to them with a nice wreath, a few lights strung around the railings, and perhaps an artificial outdoor tree or two.
However, this is not your only choice. Your focal point can be a large evergreen tree in your front garden, a large statue of Santa on a sleigh or a nativity scene. Think about choosing a theme for holiday decorations so that everything fits together and you don’t end up buying more decorations than you need.
2. Keep It Simple
You don’t want to go to all of Clark Griswold with your Christmas lights. Start small, especially if you have never decorated the exterior of your home for the holidays before. Take some time to browse the web to find Christmas decor ideas and start with a clear display. For example, just string a few lights around the porch instead of turning on the whole house. You can add your display later or expand it next year.
3. Buy the right lights for your needs
If you have never bought Christmas lights for your home or if it has been a long time, you may be surprised at the options available to you. There are net lights on the bushes, rope lights for window lighting, flashing lights, multicolored lights, icicles and various types of LED lights. Find out what kind of lights are best for the display you have in mind which lights will be the cheapest to operate.
4. Shop second hand
Looking at decorate less this Christmas season? Who can blame you – Christmas is already quite expensive and there is certainly a more environmentally sustainable way to get into the holiday spirit. Fortunately, you can score piles of carefully used second-hand Christmas decorations in most chisels. Buy used and vintage wreaths, statues, nativity scenes and other holiday decorations at a fraction of the retail price.
5. Play for sure
As for outdoor holiday decoration, safety is paramount. Use lights marked with the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approval seal and make sure they are designed for outdoor use. Not sure whether to get up on the ladder and mount lights along the gutters and around the windows? Hire someone to do it, or skip it altogether.
6. Discard the stapler
When it’s time hang christmas lights, leave the stapler in your tool box – so your grandfather hung up the lights. Electrical tape is a safe, quick and easy alternative that will not damage your tiles, shingles or fingers. It is also great for protecting electrical connections from the elements. With Christmas light clips, you can securely and easily attach lights to shingles and eaves.
7. Start at the bottom
When decorating something tall for Christmas, such as a large tree, start at the bottom and work your way up. Use a dowel stuck in the ground to hold the extension cord to power your lights and work with the lights on to get a better idea of what the finished product will look like. Get help stringing lights around a deciduous tree trunk or zigzagging them between conifer branches and adding new strings as needed.
8. Decorate cleverly
Save a little effort and expense and decorate only the parts of the yard that people will see. Do you have a large tree from which passers-by will see only one side? Just decorate the side of the tree. You may want to skip decorating parts of the yard that are not visible to the public; however, if you have a back patio or terrace that you plan to use during the Christmas season, feel free to decorate it with weather-resistant garlands, artificial trees, wreaths, lights or a table arrangement.
Holiday decorations don’t have to be hard work. With a little creativity and these helpful tips, you’ll soon have an outdoor exhibit that will inspire passersby in the neighborhood to stop and admire your work.