Christmas Outdoor Decor

I love driving around the neighborhood and looking at Christmas lights. We make it a family thing to do, usually a day or two before Christmas. Why can’t we have beautiful lights outside all year long? Most people don’t, but I wish they would.
We have a very plain house. It’s a hard house to decorate. It is neither fancy or rustic, very large or very small, neither white or colorful. 

It’s a tan 1970’s raised ranch. Very plain. Not even a pretty porch. Or shutters. Or wide trim around the door. Just plain.  I have been working on jazzing things up around here, here’s what I ended up with:

I started by making these grapevine and burlap wreaths for the exterior windows. For the tutorial on how to make these wreaths click here.
Then I decided to jazz things up some more by making a couple twig stars………

You can see the tutorial for this project here. I couldn’t decide where to hang them, I finally decided to put them in the back of the house instead of the front. 
But it seemed like I still needed something MORE.

I love Mason jars just as much as I love Christmas lights. I have wanted to try a Mason jar chandelier for a long time. So, I decided to put the two things together.

I rounded up 7 Mason jars with bands and lids. I had 3 two quart jars, 1 one quart jar, and 3 pints. This was no easy task as I use them for lots and lots of things around the house. 

Using a tin snips, I cut a slash in the lid of each jar and made an opening to put the lights through in the center. It’s not very scientific. It’s not even very pretty, but I figured no one would really see the top of the jar.

I put the bands on the jars, lined them up on the table and put a few lights in each jar.

When I had a balanced amount of lights in the jars, I carefully unscrewed the bands and slipped the slashed lid around the wires. Then it was easy to screw the band down snugly over the lid.
I used some heavy picture wire to make a hook to hang the jars, and slipped it down inside the hole in the top. I twisted the picture wire around the lights for added strength. My son reminded me that if he happened to throw a Hail Mary and hit the lights, this would not keep them from smashing. I reminded him that if he hits my creation with a football, snowball or other flying missile, there will be a price to pay. He decided to see things my way. Wise, wise child.

These are the Christmas lights I used. I was a bit disappointed because the store did not have the same style lights that I purchased a few weeks ago when I began my decorating, they were sold out. So I ended up with these cool white lights, which aren’t the best with my other lights that are warm white, but that’s how it goes. Next year I will buy enough lights for all my projects up front!

Anyway, buy the time I hung the jars on wires from the top of the gazebo on our deck in the back of the house, I decided it didn’t really matter if they were warm or cool white. 

I just love Christmas lights, no matter what the color. I even decided to restring my stars with some colored lights. I think they are such fun!

Here’s what it looks like all put together. I left the red chairs out in the snow, because I couldn’t face looking out my window all winter and not seeing anything there, all winter long.

 I actually find myself sitting out here in my pj’s, winter coat and boots sipping a mug of hot cocoa and staring at the lights (but I will never admit it in public). It’s kind of like our secret sanctuary behind the house that no one sees from the street. From here I can watch the snow fall and see the deer in the field all winter. Come spring, the humming birds and robins will be back. During the summer we spend so much time out on the deck under the gazebo, it seems like such a waste not to use it during the winter too. Don’t you think?
A blizzard is on the way.
Designer Mom

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