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DIY: Christmas Porch Light Decoration

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How to easily decorate your home’s front entrance or porch lights for Christmas with greenery that will withstand wind and winter weather.

Over the weekend, Ed, my daughters, and I went to pick out our Christmas Tree.  While there, I also like to buy the cuttings from all the trees that they tie up into bundles and sell for a few dollars. I like to use them to add fresh greens around the house – usually on the mantel and window sills.

Easy and Affordable DIY Christmas-Outdoor-Porch-Decoration

This year, I made greenery sprays with them to hang under the exterior light fixtures by my front door using a block of foam and a wire coat hanger. I love welcoming guests with holiday porch decorations since it is the first thing they will see.

This is an easy and very affordable way to decorate not only your front porch or entryway, but a door, window, gate, carriage light, or fence post. I added to the greenery I bought by clipping a few sprigs from a boxwood in my yard to create an interesting mix of texture to the hook-on greenery.

Christmas-Outdoor-Greenery-

It cost about $5 to make each and took about 30 minutes to create this beautiful holiday porch decoration.

Outdoor-Holiday-Decorating

How To Make a Hook-On Christmas Porch Light Decoration Using Greenery

Supplies-Needed

supplies needed:

  • Foam block – preferably green
  • Wire coat hanger
  • 4 Green chenille stems
  • U-shaped florist pins or paper clips (open paper clips and form a U-shape with the wire)
  • Variety of greenery from your yard or tree trimmings from a local Christmas tree seller.
  • Tree branch snippers
  • Optional:  ribbon, ornaments, a few more chenille stems

Create Hanger for Greenery

Holiday Greenery 101

1.  Bend the coat hanger as shown and attach with the U-shaped pins.  Twist two chenille stems together to create a longer one. Do the same thing with the other two more chenille stems. Wrap and tie them around the foam block as shown. This will be the back of the greenery hanger.

Fresh Holiday Porch Decoration Greenery Idea

Hang over arm on light fixture.  If hanging on a door or window – add a piece of green felt to the back so the wire does not mar the paint or glass.

How to Attach Greenery to Foam Hanger

My porch lights are large so I wanted to keep the size of the greenery in proportion.

Start by placing the long stem at the top and bottom to mark the length; then mark side edges with shorter stems. Begin to fill in the shape, working from the outside edges of the block, and placing shorter stems on top.  Layer until you cannot see the foam block.

How to make holiday porch decoration with Christmas-Greenery

To keep greenery fresher longer, dip foam into water. I laid the foam and hanger on the ground outside as I worked on it.  Once I had most of it covered, I hung it back up to make sure it was shaped symmetrically.

Exterior Holiday Decorating Ideas

To create the shape – imagine the shape and size of the cluster you want. I mixed Douglas fir, scotch pine, and boxwood for my holiday porch decoration.

How to Make a Ribbon Bow for Outdoor Christmas Decorations

Exterior Christmas Decorating Idea

 I made a red bow using red opalescent ribbon using this bow making method. Instead of making only one set of loops with two tails,  I made three sets of ribbon loops and tied them all together with two tails. I tied a few small ornaments to the center using a chenille stem (pipe cleaner) and then tied it all onto the greenery with another chenille stem.

Christmas-Outdoor-Decorating Ideas Holiday porch light

Add pine cones instead of ornaments or whatever you like.  Mist with water to keep the greens fresher longer.

More Christmas Bow Making Ideas

How to make a ribbon bow with a center button covered with fabric.

Here is another style bow you can use on the porch light greenery. This tutorial shows how you can make colorful bows: How to Make a Bow with a Button Center

More Christmas Greenery and Garland Ideas

How to beef up wimpy faux pine Christmas Garland

When decorating the exterior of your home for Christmas, don’t forget to beef up any garlands you may add around your door or windows.  Most garland both real and fake is pretty wimpy.

Check out how easy it is to make a pine garland fuller:

How to Beef Up Wimpy Pine Garlands

Looking for more Christmas and holiday DIY and decorating ideas like this? Check out my:

Christmas Decorating Ideas Project Gallery

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77 Comments

  1. This is awesome! Thanks for the ideas. I’ve found your blog right in time! Where do I get the foam block?

  2. Thank you so much for your easy to follow directions to create what looks like a masterpiece. I made 2 of these for my garage lights using branches we cut off the bottom of our concolour fir Christmas tree. They look fantastic and I’m not one bit crafty. I wish I could attach a pic.

  3. I can’t wait to make my own wreath’a for my lights on golf shed. Like all your ideas. Thank you for sharing. Happy Holidays to you and your family. Susie

    1. Suggestion: I slide my pipe cleaners through a drinking straw ( saved from soft drinks)so not to cut into the styrofoam. Works wonders on all my outside floral or just everyday ones. Have a nice Holiday. Juliann ?☃️

  4. You are my hero – using the coat hangers is simply brilliant! I’ve been looking for a way to secure my Christmas decorations onto the outdoor lamps. Thank you!

  5. Lovely. Most of the tree places in my neck of the woods give you all the cuttings you want, so this should make for a really inexpensive decoration. Thank you for sharing your creativity.

    1. Love this idea. Thanks so much! QUESTION I have for you is where did you get the lovely lights? As I found your blog today and reading etc, I live in Harleysville and I am going to go to that wonderful tree farm this year. Thanks you for all the great ideas! Would love to get those lights!

      1. Hi Kim –

        I bought the lights about 15 years ago at Home Depot in Montgomeryville. The style is probably not made anymore. I don’t remember the brand name and since we moved to SC two years ago, I can’t go out to see if there is a brand name anywhere on the lights. :-( You will love Corkum’s Tree Farm. The family is so nice and the trees beautiful. Thanks for reading my blog.

        1. Love this idea but what keeps the branches from falling down and out if they are just poked into the florist foam? Thanks, I’m glad I found your blog.

          1. Hi Betty – The branches are very tight in the florist’s foam. It holds them in very nicely, even the ones that are on the bottom. Once deep poke into the foam is all that is needed.

  6. Beautiful, is there any way to make this longer. I have a downlight so the hanger would be much higher than your light. Any ideas?

  7. I just love this idea. But I was thinking of using fake greenery instead. Maybe even incorporating some white lights.

  8. Here in Florida real greenery would last about an hour. But that doesn’t mean I can’t use this brilliant idea for my front door sidelights. I’ve already made my door wreath and now I just have to dress the lights to match. Thanks!!

  9. Halloween is my thing and used your idea but spray painted fake greens black, added some feathers, plastic skulls, plastic bones and a plastic chain. Came out very cool and no need to water. Thanks for your idea.

  10. Hi I love your sprays!!!
    We went to Landis Tree farm you cut down your own tree and they give you ALL the clippings you want??just FYI
    Thank you again

  11. I did this project and it’s looking awesome! The only problem is that with the foam wet, I cannot pick up the decoration by the hanger as the hanger starts coming off due to the weight. Do I need to let it dry or am I doing something wrong?

    1. Hi Lindsey – What type of foam or Oasis did your use? Did you tie the hanger on tightly? Mine got a little heavier, but not like yours did. Maybe let the foam dry out, make sure the hanger is tied securely on the foam, and place in your greenery, then wet the foam by placing the arrangement in a sink or outdoors and pour water over it to wet the foam. IF this doesn’t work, then I think your foam may be old or defective in some way.

    2. What if you try wrapping the coat hanger AROUND the foam block instead of just attaching it to the back?? :o)

      God Bless you and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

    3. Make sure it is a thicker hanger – not the really thin ones that shirts come on from the cleaners.

    4. I bent the hanger as outlined above but then I bent the shorter inner part out, creating a ledge. Then I bent it up to lie flush along the foam. I attached with pipe cleaner and paper clips as outline in the tutorial. The best way to describe it is that it looks like a plate stand. Know what I mean? Once all of the greenery was in place you couldn’t see any of it. It felt considerably more stable. Now I’m waiting to see how it holds up in our windy Canadian winters.

    5. I am a florist. Use waterproof florist tape to attach the hanger instead of the pipe cleaners. You can purchase from Michaels or on-line. Or try your local florist. You would only need about 1 yard of tape.

  12. It is truly beautiful, but when I saw that foam block I wanted to provide you with a million reasons not to use it. That stuff is horrible. Though I would imagine the risk wouldn’t be too bad if you only use it a few times a year, just please use with caution.
    (I wasn’t aware it posed any risk, until a florist friend of mine informed me about it last year)

    1. Cassandra, thanks for the warning! I had no idea it was toxic, but I very rarely use it (almost never). I looked it up and was surprised to see it’s carcinogenic! The things they allow us to handle without warnings on them. smh

  13. Thank you for your great idea. I was just thinking about how to hang greenery on the porch lights and keep them from drying out so quickly and in an area that is not flat for a ladder. I’m in Texas by the Gulf so sometimes it’s still be warm in December.

  14. I just came across this on Pinterest. Absolutely gorgeous! So easy and so creative! Great idea! It’s coming up on 3 years since you posted this and I just want to wish you a very merry Christmas this year, though a bit early. Looking at this made me very happy & made me want to start creating now! :)

  15. Actually, if you live in a colder climate, (Ohio) you do not need to dip in water, as it will stay fresh and nice looking for a LLOONNGGG time.

    1. Lou Ann,
      Surprise! I may know you.
      I’m Philip’s cousin Becky from TX.
      Accidentally came across this blog just
      now. You doing ok?

  16. loved this idea, I’ll certainly make one this year- maybe more!!!. Thank you so much!

  17. Can you break down the price a bit? I am wondering how you procured the foam block for so little; those alone are over $5 everywhere I’ve seen. I’d love to know your secret and how much the bundle costs in order to make them for $5 each.

    1. Hi Brandy – To save money on the foam blocks, buy them at the craft store with a 50% or 40% off coupon. I never buy anything without using these at Michaels and JoAnn Fabrics. To get foam for free – reuse blocks that you get in floral arrangements. I dont’t have a lot of these, but before tossing them when the flowers die, see if the foam is still intact. If it is – I remove the flowers and keep the block. I also save Styrofoam that comes packed around electronics and fragile items I buy. I cut it to the size I need. This type of foam does not act as an oasis, but works for fake greens that you are not going to try to keep moist. The greens are free if you cut them from your yard. The hanger is free. The cost comes down to how much your ribbon . costs and if you need to buy the chenille stems and florist pins. To save money on them – use paper clips – just open one up and shape it into a U shape. I hope this helps.

  18. Made these but had some problems with them blowing around in the wind. How can you weigh them down?

    1. Hi Lynette – Not sure what I would use besides adding more greens to weigh them down. I live in a windy area and have not had the light decorations move, but the wreaths on my windows usually blow around. I attached them by placing wire on the top and bottom of the wreaths and into the closed window sash. Maybe you could duct tape something heavy to the back or bottom or attach wire to the bottom and fasten the other end of the wire to something near the light. If your house is wood – maybe add a small nail in a hidden place and wrap the wire around it. I do this to hide the cord for the Christmas garland that is above my front door. If I think something else, I will email you.

  19. This is exactly what I was looking for to add a special touch to my front door. I know exactly where Corkum Tree Farm is, as I live in an old Skippack too. I’m excited to start following you for great ideas for my old 1855 farmhouse.

    1. Hi Dina -Thanks for taking the time to say hi. Nice to hear from a local reader. I will be heading to Corkum Tree Farm this Friday. We always go the day after Thanksgiving to get our Christmas tree. Happy Holidays

  20. What a fantastic idea, thank you so very much for sharing it. I always find it hard to come up with ideas how to decorate the outside of our home, and am so excited to give this a go this year.

  21. I just ran across this on Pinterest & wanted to stop by and say – this is so smart! Thank you for sharing your fantastic idea!

  22. We love this idea and will be gathering the bits together to have a go. When finished we are sure it will look fabulous on the door!

  23. Wow, these are beautiful. I live in the desert and live greens dry up way to quick out here. The local scouts don’t even bother trying to sell them. Do you think this would work with fake greens or would it look cheap?

    1. Hi Gretchen – Most definitely! Fake greens have come a long way and can look great – plus from the street view – no one will know the difference :)

  24. I am definitely doing this… So glad to have found it and thank you for sharing. Like the idea you can do it for little or no cost… Thanks again,

  25. can u do this for window sills.we have a bay window and a 5 other windows i have always wanted to do the pine sprays on,but never knew how to do them to keep fresh and look full.Any ideas would be appreciated.

  26. Beautiful seasonal greenery, but I must tell you that is one of the most attractive light fixtures I have ever seen! Just beautiful!!!

  27. Hi,
    As always, your projects are beautiful and elegant in their simplicity and very doable.
    Thanks so much for all your great ideas.
    Cathy

  28. A picture is worth a thousand words! Once I saw the picture with the coat hanger and the florist foam, I was gathering all the materials. Your blog is wonderful! Thanks so much for all the great ideas.

  29. Thanks for posting this. My neighbor was taking down 2 pine trees. He said I could have as many branches as I want for free. Remembered your post….Love free with a great idea!

  30. That’s a super idea. Looks easy. I feel like getting all the stuff together (common household items — love that!) and making one immediately. I’m trying to finish my exterior decorations before I do my interior, the fun part.

  31. It’s BEAUTIFUL! I will modify it a bit as we have a gas lantern (doesn’t wok, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dress it up!). Thanks for another great project! (Pinned!!!)

    1. Hi Debbie – they are so easy to make, too. The hardest part was I made them outside and it is COLD here in Pa. I was freezing making them and taking the photos :) Enjoy your week.

    1. Thanks Kathy. I like to use traditional Christmas decor and color on the exterior of my house. Most of my neighbors do the same thing and it makes our street look very festive.

  32. This is absolutely brilliant! I get my greenery from the leftover bin at HOME DEPOT….did you know they give it away for free? Anyway, after years of getting out the ladder and fighting with making the greens hang right….you in your infinite wisdom have solved the problem…I thank you, my back thanks you….and BTW I pinned this!

    1. Hi Mary – Thanks. Yes -No ladder needed :) I have gotten free greenery leftovers, but when I can, I try to support local family run businesses. I didn’t mind buying a bunch for a few dollars. Thanks for pinning XO

  33. Gorgeous! We spent Thanksgiving with my folks and as we were leaving I asked my Mom if I could take her Southern Living to read on our trip. I was thrilled to see your bathroom makeover featured in the magazine. Congratulations to you!!

      1. Oh! Please excuse me, Diane! Yes, I saw it in This Old House (November/December 2012 issue for those who are interested). And it was very exciting. :)