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Outdoor Christmas Decorating on the Gazebo

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Outdoor Christmas decorating idea using pine garland, ribbon and how to make a fabric button center for a ribbon bow.

I thought I would show you how I decorate the outside of my home for Christmas.

For me this year, it is not too cold outside… yet. It was warm enough over the weekend to just wear a sweater.

Lake house living

Ed was hoping to have the fire pit completed for the tour today, but this time of year gets crazy and it just didn’t happen. I did however decorate outdoors, not the exterior of the house, but something I can see from every room in the house…


…our gazebo and dock.  Aside from the lake, it was one of the features about our house that made us know it was the house for us.

The lawn and trees are in winter mode and are no longer green, so the green roping and red bows draped along the gazebo and dock adds a little life back into the landscape.

 With the drought in the southeast, the lake is a little low, normally it is about 8 feet higher. Last January it was all the way up to the palm tree.


Since I can see the gazebo from every room in the house it made sense to decorate it.

I use to decorate the exterior of my previous house for Christmas quite extensively. I enjoyed doing it, but having done so much for over 20 years, I found that sometimes it’s the simplest things the bring me the most joy at Christmas, like using plain, but classic greenery and solid red ribbon bows.

my house on the lake

Friends that come by boat to our house, will be greeted for the next few weeks in holiday style.


Draping cedar or pine roping is super easy to do.


I just wove it around the columns on the gazebo and attached it to nails going out to the dock. I bought it at Lowes.

Outdoor Christmas decorating idea using cedar roping and red ribbon

The red shiny ribbon is from a Macy’s display department sale that I went to about 10 years ago. They hold one every 5 years or so to clean out their display prop rooms. I bought 4 rolls of 50 yards for $3.00 each. I only have a few yards left.

How to Make A Fabric Button Center for a Ribbon Bow

How to make a fabric button for the center of a Christmas ribbon bow
  1. Cut a circle out of cardboard 1-3/4″ in diameter. Cut a piece of fabric slightly larger.
  2. Wrap fabric around to the back of circle and use tape to secure the fabric.
  3. Make sure to pull fabric taut as you tape. If your tape is not a sticky as mine, you can also use hot glue and a popsicle stick to push the hot glue around and attach the fabric.
  4. Spread bow loops out and use hot glue to the back of the fabric circle to the center of the bow. Push down onto ribbon to secure. Let cool, hang the bow with wire.

I made the bows in the method I learned when I worked in retail display. I refer to them as Macy’s bows. If you would like to know how to make a big fluffy bow,

For more bow making tutorials, check out these posts:

Do you like to decorate the outside of your home for the holidays?  Do you drape garland, place candles in your window or string lights over trees and bushes?

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

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  1. ya’ll are too cute! happy anniversary. im sure your dock is the big hit around the hood. can’t wait to see it one day. hopefully the water levels will come up in the spring just in time for boating season.

  2. I love the simplicity . Did you make the cedar swags, if so, would you give directions for making it?

    1. Hi Peggie – Thanks. I didn’t make the cedar roping, I bought it at Lowes. They sell it in 20 foot sections. It is much easier to buy, it is way to time consuming to make. If you Google how to make pine or cedar roping, I am sure a few tutorials will show up in the search. I know you need rope and wire.

      1. Thank you Diane, I’d much rather buy than try to make it. I’ll check with my Lowes.

  3. How wonderful, Diane! I love, love, love the simplicity of greenery mixed with red bows and it looks fantastic on your deck. Plus, I’m sure it makes your guest feel so welcome. Great job!

  4. Your view is spectacular! Every time I see one of your posts, I want to drop this house in the burbs and run to the lake. I’m so thrilled for you. And I totally love your greenery. What a beautiful way to dress up your dock. Thanks so much for sharing ~ Happy Holidays from Susie at The Chelsea Project