DIY Outdoor Holiday Decorating

One of the best things about the holiday season is all the fun that goes into getting ready for it, with much-anticipated family traditions and the making of new special memories.

We’ve selected three easy DIY projects for you to decorate your outdoor front entrance: a garland; a container arrangement; and a wreath – all of which can be made from treasures you find in nature.

This is an ideal holiday season activity for the whole family – even the little ones can help to create original holiday decorations – direct from nature to your home.

Bundle up, grab your buckets and head for the woods!

Start out with a hike in the woods or park, or even a walk around your garden. The kids will be excited to look for nuts, seed pods, twigs and pine cones to decorate your holiday creations. It’s also better for the environment than plastic and glittery decorations that end up in the landfill. Another bonus is that you can compost your natural decorations at the end of the season.

After a fun outing in the park or nature trails, you can warm up at home with hot chocolate, then get to work making your festive greenery displays.

You’ll get fresh air and exercise and, most important, the joy of creating your own decorations and memories to last a lifetime.

Instructions for Preparing the Found Material

Step 1
Gather materials from your nature walk or garden or purchase at your local garden center:

  • pine cones
  • acorns and other nuts
  • berries, rosehips
  • twigs, grapevine
  • evergreen branches, cedar, white pine, balsam, etc.

Note: Try to find branches that are already on the ground rather than cutting branches from trees (unless they are in your garden). If you need some more branches, purchase them from a local business.

Step 2
Soak the boughs overnight in water to keep them moist for longer-lasting decorations.

Make sure the nuts, pine cones and other items are clean and dry. You can let them dry on newspaper before using.

Step 3
You may want to paint the nuts, pine cones and seed pods with an eco-friendly gold, silver or copper craft paint for an added festive touch.

Step 4
Apply a dab of glue to the nut or pine cone, fasten to a piece of twine, then tie onto the evergreen branches.

Now you are ready to start making the greenery decorations.

Creation #1 – Holiday Container Arrangement

Step 1
Prep your container! To protect your container from cracking in freezing temperatures, add some limestone or sand.

Soil is a good base for the arrangement as it is more eco-friendly than floral foam that contains micro-plastics and is not biodegradable. Other good choices for the base are sand, clay, pebbles, gravel, moss, chicken wire, grapevines or fruit.

Step 2
Insert the evergreen branches into the soil in layers after cutting the ends again to keep them fresh longer. Be creative and use a variety of evergreen branches. Cedar, pine, and boxwood are just a few choices.

Step 3
Add red dogwood branches in the middle or other tall branches such as birch branches.

Step 4
Now decorate with berries, pinecones, nuts and any other items you have on hand to make this a stunning arrangement.

Step 5
Add fairy lights and ribbon for a finishing touch.

Creation #2 – Wreath

Step 1
You can make your own wreath from evergreen boughs by tying each piece together and attaching it to a wreath base. Or you can purchase a ready-made evergreen wreath.

Step 2
Decide what you want to use from the items you found. A few suggestions are pinecones, acorns, and dried seed pods.

Step 3
Paint the acorns, pine cones and other items in eco-friendly gold, copper or silver craft paint.

Step 4
When dry, glue the pine cones and nuts onto twine, then tie onto the wreath.

Voila! You have an original wreath created from items you gathered on your nature hike!

Creation #3 – Natural Garland

It’s so heavenly to be greeted at your front door by the fragrance of cedar and fir boughs with this easy DIY natural garland.

Supplies:

  • garden gloves
  • buckets
  • clippers
  • scissors
  • twine
  • wire
  • glue gun
  • craft paint – copper, silver or gold
  • paint brushes
  • ribbon

Natural materials:

  • branches of fresh cedar
  • branches of fresh pine (balsam)
  • dogwood
  • holly leaves
  • rosehips, holly berries, canella berries
  • nuts and shells
  • small, medium and large pine cones
  • Other nice-to-have choices from your garden:
  • dried hydrangea blossoms, yarrow
  • green eucalyptus
  • boxwood
  • magnolia leaves

Instructions for Garland:

Step 1
Combine 12-inch branches of cedar and grapevine twigs. Tie them together with twine.

Step 2
Continue making 12-inch lengths of cedar and grapevine twigs until you have enough for the area you are decorating.

Step 3
Attach all cedar and grapevine twig pieces to each other in layers with twine.

Step 4
You can tie on some pine cones, nuts and berries to add color and interest.

Step 5
Drape over your doorway by hanging on hooks or nails.

Tip – To keep your garland fresh, soak in advance and use outdoors.

Use your imagination, be creative and have fun! The possibilities are endless to create your own holiday season traditions and memories to last a lifetime!