Monday, November 26, 2012

Festive outdoor decor

wreaths on shutters

Hola! How was your holiday weekend? Great I hope! Ours was lovely – got plenty of time in with the family, did some holiday decorating (still tons to do), saw a GREAT movie (Rise of the Guardians – amazing) and just enjoyed being home. (Thanks so much for your wonderful comments on last week’s post by the way. They meant a lot to me.)

I actually started the outdoor decor last weekend when it was nice and warm, but I finished it up on Saturday by getting more lights up and filling in the window boxes.

I do pretty much the same decor outside every year because I found something that works (and that I LOVE) years ago and I just keep going back. There’s a few tweaks year to year, but not much. 

Since I do the same thing every year, I’ve got it down to a science. It takes me very little time to get everything up and festive. And perhaps more importantly – it’s easy to take down! :)

The window boxes were filled with greenery from the grocery store – a bundle was $4. Instead of just sticking them in as they came (which wouldn’t fill up much), I cut them down into smaller pieces and stuck them in the soil:

holiday window boxes

There’s fir, white pine, boxwood (and one more, I can’t remember the name of it! The droopy stuff.) in each bundle. I grabbed some red sticks from the hardware store (later found them for even cheaper at a nursery!) and cut each one in two to make them go further.

I used to hang wreaths on our front windows, but a few years ago I started hanging them on our shutters instead. This is the part that takes longer than anything else but I love the look so it’s worth it! And it was super cheap too – I got the four wreaths years ago for I think $2 each at Joann’s, then the ribbon is just the cheapy red stuff you can get anywhere:

wreaths on shutterswreaths on shutters

I had extra upholstery tacks from this project so I just used those to put them up this year. Sometimes it’s thumbtacks, sometimes it’s nails. Whatever is handy. ;)

I love how the red ribbon and green looks against the brown shutters! (Yes, they are a gray/brown, not blue. They always photograph blue.):

We have a teensy tiny front porch but I do it up BIG this time of year. I frame out the front part and the door with greenery, then just stick the lights in:

I used to wrap the lights around the greenery, but the first time a strand of lights went out I realized that was for the BIRDS. I just smoosh them in there now, using the greenery to hold the strands where I need support.

Putting up the stuff takes not time at all anymore – I reuse my big cup hooks every year and screw them into the same spots:

cuphooks christmas decorating

Then I just hook the greenery in and they stay put!

The porch makes the biggest impact and takes no time at all. I even keep the little swags of ornaments attached so I just put them up and I’m done:

greenery around door

A couple years ago I wound red ribbon through the greenery, which was beautiful -- but more time than I wanted to take on it this year.

The wreath is two put together – a flatter, white pine kind of wreath and a red one from Target clearance years ago on top. I have an idea in mind for a different kind of door decor, we’ll see if I can get it done this year.

Of course I love it best all lit up at night:

greenery around door

I plug everything into a outdoor timer so I don’t have to think about it again till the week after Christmas. That is, unless a strand goes out. Knock on wood…

I always plan on doing luminaries or lanterns down the steps, but I never seem to get to it. So much left to do, like our big honkin’ tree inside!

I love that the greenery and wreaths still make it look festive during the day and when the lights aren’t on:

traditional outdoor holiday decor

And I love how the landscaping lights highlight our cool shutters. (I love our shutters!):

traditional outdoor holiday decor

Of course I have to add some fun for the kiddo too – the red lights on the bushes are big round balls that look like Rudolph’s nose. :) (From Target two years ago I think?)

And we still have to get the big lawn inflatable out too…yes, we are one of those houses. But the Bub LOVES it, so as long as he’s into it, we’ll put it out every year.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, can you believe it’s that time already?? I’m starting to feel the mushy, gushiness I feel every year when we pull out the decor. I love it! I’m a traditional girl at heart, especially at Christmas, and the front of our house reflects that:

traditional outdoor holiday decor

When do you put your decor out, if you do anything outside? Are you inflatable people like us? ;) Or do you put a wreath on the door and call it done?

54 comments:

  1. Ooo those wreaths are so beautiful. I am also in love with your front door arrangement. Even better that it is so easy. Love it all! Yay for Christmas!

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  2. Cedar is the "droopy stuff". You can also get trimmings for free at Home Depot at the live tree lots. They throw them in a bin next to the lot! This was beautiful. :)

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  3. I LOVE your decor, especially the entryway - how beautiful! Unfortunately we live in the city and on the third floor of an apartment complex. We have our tree in the window and that's it! :(

    http://fannypackbasco.blogspot.com/

    FANNY.

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  4. ValenzMom (aka Helen)November 26, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    I love how you did your wreaths on your window shutters! I've never seen them done quite that way. I haven't decorated outside yet, but I have my tree up already. I was actually lucky enough to score a vintage silver aluminum Christmas tree at a garage sale this weekend in pristine condition - for $5! The lady said that they only used it twice since 1960 when they bought it brand new. It came complete with the stand and the color wheel. I decorated it with red and gold balls and my vintage Santa glass ornaments. I can't believe my luck!

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  5. Gorgeous! I especially love the shutters. It makes me want to hang wreaths on my bay windows. I had never thought of that. Totally going to grab some wreaths tonight to hang up.

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  6. Your decorations are very festive! This is the first time I've seen the outside of your home. Very pretty, and I like your shutters too!

    We just put ours up on Sunday! We do something different every year - add this, take away that. I still need to take the pictures, so I hope to get that post out tomorrow!

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  8. Love the shutters! We also put wreaths on our shutters this year!!! I really like how classic your decor is!

    http://choresandchandeliers.blogspot.com/2012/11/outdoor-christmas-decorations.html

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  9. Sarah, your house looks beautiful!! I'm such a wreath junkie, it's ridiculous - I think I need a 12-step program since I have them inside and out! I love how you mounted them on your shutters - very nice! And your window boxes look so festive! I have a bazillion things to do to get my house "festivized" since I'm having my cookie exchange this weekend. The clock is ticking, and I'm already stressing. Doesn't help matters that we decided to give the fireplace a facelift, and that's taking, um, way longer than expected.

    But hey, I do my best work under pressure! :-)

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  10. Love it, the landscaping lights make such an impact. Where are they from?

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  11. Just a wreath on the door, and that's it. But I haven't found a look I like enough yet to keep coming back to,

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  12. I put the big honkin tree up first & now I don't feel like doing anything else. I don't know what's wrong with me this year. Yours is beautiful!!

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  13. Stunning! The shutters and your entrance rock!

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  14. I love your decor - especially the wreaths on the shutters! I'm also a sucker for lots of traditional Christmas greenery. We live in a condo so our outdoor decor is limited to our small patio - this year I just have a potted poinsettia on our bistro table and some greenery with red bows draped around the windows. But we're moving to a house next year, so I'm getting excited about all the new possibilities I'll have for holiday decorating!

    http://homevolution.blogspot.com

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  15. I love your decor! I have a question though. What are you plugging your outdoor lights into? I don't have an outlet outside so I use an adapter that I screw into the light fixture and then a cord hangs down which I hate. Also, I've got siding and can't figure out how I'd attach greenery around the door...any thoughts??

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  16. Oh, how lovely! Your shutters are gorgeous, and I love the way you decorate them. And your porch area? That is just plain beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing your outdoor decor with us!

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  17. You just inspired me to decorate everything the minute I get home tonight! So beautiful!

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  18. Your home looks so lovely and welcoming! It's funny. I go all out inside my house, but the outdoor decor is pretty subdued. Just a wreath and a few white lights on a couple pine trees. Oh, and our grapevine reindeer. Near my home in Minnesota there are a lot of simple 2-story brick houses that go really simple and traditional at Christmastime. Most just do a candle in each window and some greenery. It's lovely to look at, especially on a snowy winter night!

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  19. Those shutters, and the wreaths on them, are TO DIE FOR! Love!

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  20. Your home looks lovely! I have started decorating the inside. Outside will begin maybe tomorrow. No, we don't have inflatables. We put a Santa that my husband's Aunt made from plywood out. She painted it about 40 years ago. It looks like the Coke Santa. I repainted it carefully years ago. It would not be Christmas with out Santa with his hand waving and his
    sack declaring "Merry Christmas from The Tilsons!"

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  21. I love this, so beautiful! I love the wreaths on the shutters especially!

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  22. Your home looks so beautiful - I love the wreaths on the shutters instead of the usual windows. :-)

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  23. This is the perfect solution for those of us with small front "porches". I would have never thought to line BOTH the outside of the door and around the outside portion. It makes it look much bigger than it is and it's beautiful!

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  25. So pretty!!! I love the wreaths on the shutters. Your front door looks so great!

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  26. I believe this is the most beautiful thing I've seen yet; the shutters and the porch. Very traditional and elegant. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Nancy

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  27. Love it! Wonder if I could rig those wreaths on my vinyl shutters? Me? I completed my pine cone wreath and hung it. Tonight my tree is up and lights on. The rest will wait for the weekend!

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  28. Your outside Christmas decor looks lovely Sarah!! I love the greenery in your window boxes & the wreaths on your shutters!

    We have our lights up outside now! My hubby put them up when it was warm outside a couple weeks ago, but we waited until after Thanksgiving to turn them on. I finished my wreath yesterday & got it on the front door, now I just have to finish decorating the porch! :)

    So much to do....so little time!!

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  33. That is soooo beautiful~I love all of it, and I can see why you love your shutters! You have such pretty windows, and the shutters add so much. Lovely!!!!

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  35. Sarah! You have just made my morning! I love your outside decorations and super love that you put up the inflatable for your son! We too have the dreaded inflatable for the kids!!! Santa is riding a motorcycle with Frosty in the side car...I always wonder what people think when they drive by! BUT until the kids are over it, it'll go up (or until a mysterious wind sweeps it away--wink, wink!) Happy Holiday Season! Can't wait to see your tree!

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  36. Your home looks beautiful! I put my tree up with white lights, left all of the ornaments in the basement, and have been making 2 dimensional stars from printed scrapbook paper and pushing them into the tree. I love the rustic look...it's going to be a simple Christmas. I made my evergreen wreaths, like I do every year, and hang them up on the plastic hooks that are secured in between each window. I found some vintage turquoise velvet ribbon on etsy that turned out to be very brittle....such a bummer! The only other two things I did was wrap the light post with garland/white lights and put a small tree with white lights at the back door. I so wish that I had a front door like yours to decorate. Our 100 year old Henry Ford home was built with a covered front porch with the door to the side. Oh, and no inflatables on this lawn! ;) Have a wonderfully blessed Christmas!

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  37. Just beautiful girl ...and I love the rug on todays post as well. I love how you did your shutters..Makes me want SHUTTERS lol.........Looks amazing........... Stop over at my blog if you get a chance.........God Bless !!!!!!!

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  38. Daaaaaaaang, Gina! You are on the ball with your Christmas decor! It looks beautiful out there. Now since you're all gussied up for Christmas, come do my house! Pretty please?

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  39. I'm sure your neighbors must be so appreciative! Your house must be the pride of the neighborhood. So pretty!!


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  40. That looks great! I need to put a little more effort into our front yard. Right now I am a wreath on the front door only person, but I have so much vision! I just need to come up with a plan I can execute easily every year like you do. The inside of the house is a whole other story...it's Christmas everywhere you look when I'm done!

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  41. I have thr big honkin tree up, the house ALL decorated, except outside. This is a new house , we have only been here just shy of 2 months so not sure what we will do outside. But Thurs. is the day THAT will get done. I have to go do a clients house tomorrow. I will make a new wreath, probably outline the doorway with garland and lights, I also have the prelit packages and will probably do red and green spotlights. I also put candle lights in each window. Your shutters are fabulous and I love the wreaths on there. XO, Pinky

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  42. that is gorgeous, sarah! I love your shutters, and the wreaths on them are just perfect!

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  43. your decorations look wonderful--I'm impressed that you have so much done already.

    Fyi, the "droopy stuff" is cedar. And just a thought for you since you're a do-it-youselfer...those red twigs are from a red twig dogwood plant. If you plant one in your yard you will always have twigs to prune for various decor items around the house. The leaves drop in the fall, so the red branches are a nice looking winter shrub against the snow. There are yellow twig dogwood also. And pruning the heck out of them doesn't bother them a bit. Also, if you spray paint the cut branches in the spring they look great with easter eggs hanging from them.

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  45. I love the window boxes! The different variety of greenery coupled with the red twigs is really beautiful. And they definitely accentuate the pretty shutters!

    http://sheilarichardson.blogspot.com/

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  46. Love it!! Especially love the window boxes-love the mix of greenery

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  47. oh my! so lovely and simple. if you get a chance stop by my site at thetinsel.com i would be honored : )

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  48. Did you make your shutters? They look lovely. If you did, we would not mind a tutorial on how to make those (and how to install them on brick!). Thank you!

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  49. BZ we did not, our builder did. But I did make some smaller ones for the back of the house (they later warped too bad so we had to take them down): http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2009/07/details-of-deck.html

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