Friday, December 2, 2011

Simple Holiday Decorations for the Outdoors

We gave you a few ideas this past week to decorate the inside of your house, but what about the outside?  Here are a few ideas to get your outdoor decorations started.
Apple Topiaries

These are fun to make and look great out on the front stoop or porch, in the garden or even inside by the front door.

You will need:
  • One garden urn
  • Large Styrofoam cone found in the floral department at a craft store
  • Long wooden skewers - the kind used for BBQ
  • Various sized apples down to crab apple size
Directions:
  1. Place foam tree in urn, you may have to secure it by filling rocks into the gaps or cut the bottom off to make it a bit shorter and more stable
  2. Start at bottom of foam tree with larger sized apples moving up to smaller apples.  Fill in holes with smaller crab apples or you could even use frozen cranberries skewered with toothpicks.
  3. We left ours plain, but you could add a box and drape ribbon down the sides of the topiaries.
  4. Stand back and enjoy your creative display!

Wine Bag Door Hanger

This simple, yet surprisingly different, door hanger makes for a nice welcoming holiday decoration.



You will need:
  • Hook
  • Ribbon for hanging and decorating bag
  • Pretty fabric wine bag
  • Greens or other holiday decorations like candy canes
Directions:
  1. Hang your pretty wine back on the door hook or door handle, tie some ribbon around it, fill with greenery and enjoy!
  2. Wine bags are also great for holding thoughtful things for your holiday guest on the back of the guest room door.
  3. Wrap a few small presents and travel sized toiletries they may need while staying with you.
  4. Don't forget an orange too; a traditional token of holiday welcoming.

Festive Yarn Spheres

This is a fun craft to do with the kids and makes for inexpensive and festive outdoor decorations.



You will need:
  • Yarn (twine can also be used for a more natural look) in two or three different colors
  • Elmer's glue
  • Rubber gloves (for keeping hands free of glue)
  • A bag of regular sized, round balloons
Directions:
  1. Blow up balloons to various sizes, think of shaping them like spheres.  Make sure to tie balloons off with string instead of knotting them.
  2. Mix Elmer's Glue - basic white glue - with a little water in a bowl.  Just add a little water at a time to prevent mixture from becoming too thin and watery.  Consistency should be like paint.
  3. Cut sting in 2 foot lengths, or whatever length is easiest for dipping string into bowl of glue.  Circle balloons with each length of glued string until balloon is covered for desired look.
  4. Hang balloons from string knots to dry.  This is best done in a garage, basement or laundry room where balloons can hang freely.  Balloons should take a day or two to dry completely.  They will feel stiff once dried.
  5. Slowly let the air our of each balloon, pushing the balloon away from the yarn.  Don't just pop balloons, this can cause the spheres to collapse.
  6. Hang finished spheres from string or ribbon from outside tree branches.  They would also look great hanging from a porch ceiling or inside for party decorations.

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