Sarah and Nick of The Surznick Common Room did amazing things when they took over a friend’s backyard and filled it with Christmas lights.
Their Christmas light ideas are the result of taking part in our Holiday Style Challenge. We sent them a mystery box of Home Depot Christmas decorations, and let them do the rest.
They created a vertible winter wonderland with tons of holiday lights, and some clever DIYs to make oversized candy canes, tomato cage Christmas trees and even a DIY light-up sign. They then had a s’mores party around the fire pit to celebrate the holiday season.
Here in Pittsburgh, winter hits pretty hard. We usually like to swear off all holiday thoughts until at least Thanksgiving, but when the Holiday Style Challenge boxes showed up on our doorstep September 1st (and in 80-degree weather!), we couldn’t help but get into the Christmas spirit!
We had no idea what we were going to discover when we opened up the boxes, but I will admit… I definitely didn’t expect to find box after box of holiday lights in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Our assignment is… DIY Outdoor Holiday Light Décor?! Doesn’t Home Depot know we live in an apartment?! (In hindsight, no they probably don’t.) This certainly WAS going to be a challenge, but we were ready to take it on (armed with enough LEDs for a total “Christmas Vacation” moment!), and share our Christmas light ideas.
In a city like Pittsburgh where the neighborhoods can be pretty dense and cramped, front yards aren’t always ideal for decorating. Small, private back yards often become a point of pride for a homeowner in the city. My coworker graciously offered us her backyard, and we decided to turn it into a colorful, cozy, and holiday light-filled winter wonderland!
I think her neighbors were a little wary of the strangers showing up with a trunk full of Christmas décor, but by nightfall everyone was oohing and ahhing at all the pretty lights right along with us.
I knew I wanted to create a DIY light-up sign and some faux Christmas trees, so we hopped over to Home Depot and picked up our supplies!
Tomato Cage Christmas Trees
Tomato cages are super inexpensive and if you wrap them in garland and string lights, they look just like little Christmas trees!
DIY Light-up Sign
We also purchased a 5 mm x 2 x 4 project panel for our light up sign. I sketched out “Happy Holidays” in large, cursive letters and then mapped out where I wanted the 100 light bulbs to go.
We drilled out each hole, testing that the lights would fit along the way. Using a drill bit the same diameter of the lights ensures that they will fit snugly and not fall out (or need tape to stay in!) Then we used a small paint brush and a test pot of black paint to outline each letter. Once it was dry, we popped in a set of colored LED string lights and plugged in our awesome new sign! Isn’t it pretty?!
When I think holidays, red and white candy canes are one of the first things that come to mind. J-hook pipe hangers are the perfect candy cane shape and when wrapped with red electrical tape, they look just like those peppermint-y confections!
We hung these from a strand of pretty white lights, but I think they would look especially cute lining a flowerbed or along a path to your front door.
S’mores Party by the Firepit
Any holiday movie you watch will 99% of the time involve being snuggly around a fireplace, am I right? Well, we don’t all have a fireplace, but a great alternative is a backyard fire pit! A campfire wouldn’t be complete without some s’mores, so we set up a little hot cocoa and s’mores bar!
If you have an old slow cooker, you can make it 100x more awesome with a little chalkboard paint. It’s adorable and functional – best of both worlds!
We hope that this post inspired you to create a holiday light-filled wonderland this winter! Now just grab a cozy blanket, make a gooey s’more, sip on some hot cocoa, and enjoy the warmth and light with your friends and family!
Home Depot Christmas Decorations Seen in this Article
ColorSoft 50-Light Italian LED Multi-Color Light Set
Sarah Wissinger & Nicholas Malburg are a couple of 20-somethings living in (and loving) Pittsburgh. When they’re not working their full-time jobs, you can usually find them singing and dancing at a concert, enjoying a yummy craft beer, working on fun DIY projects for their home, or cooking a delicious vegetarian dinner. Their blog, The Surznick Common Room, is a lifestyle blog centered around DIY projects, home decor, recipes, fashion, books, and anything else they can think of while sticking to a post-grad budget.
Follow our Holiday Crafts and Ideas on Pinterest, for more easy front door decorations for Christmas.
The Home Depot has everything you need to decorate for Christmas in our Holiday Decorations Department.