Christmas door decor ideas: 11 ways to create a festive welcome
From chic and simple to all-out bling – our Christmas door decor ideas will transform your home’s front entrance ready for the holiday season
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On the hunt for some super stylish Christmas door decor ideas? Then look no further – we’ve got all the seasonal design tricks and tips you need.
The focal point of any home’s exterior, if you want to conjure up a truly magical and Christmassy feel then the front door is the perfect place to start. From lavish door ribbons to homemade wreaths and garlands of twinkling lights, there are plenty of fun and different ways to go about it.
Imagination is the only limit when it comes to choosing your theme for outdoor Christmas decor ideas, from traditional touches of red and green plaid mixed with treasured heirlooms to cheerful candy sticks, colored metallics or feathers and foils in rich jewel shades.
Dressing the door is a chance to indulge in some creativity and – above all – have some fun.
Show-stopping Christmas door decor ideas to try
Add to your Christmas porch decor by transforming your front door – these ideas will get you set for welcoming guests with a good dose of holiday cheer.
1. Use a bauble garland to frame the doorway
Fancy dialing up the drama and displaying more than just a Christmas wreath? Then opt for a pair of garlands on either side of the door. Whether you prefer fragrant boughs of freshly-cut pine or lengths of faux fir complete with tiny LEDs, the result will instantly draw the eye and turn the front entrance into an enchanting focal point.
Choose a decorating theme that complements the rest of your home’s exterior. For instance, echo pale-colored paintwork with pearlescent baubles in harmonious shades. To highlight a darker timber tone or rich-colored brickwork, opt for tiny, wrapped presents, lustrous red berries or even vintage-style candy canes for a touch of jollity.
When it comes to holding a garland in place, there are a few types of decorating hooks to try (Amazon (opens in new tab) has a variety). Suction and self-adhesive hooks work well when evenly spaced around the door frame. The garland can then be discreetly tied in place using florists' wire or twine.
Scotch tape is another option, particularly for lightweight decorations, while a series of tiny panel pins knocked into the wooden door surround will provide more support – but leaves holes that will need filling.
2. Add personal touches to a festive front door
Personalizing your home’s Christmas display is not just a chance to create a fun one-off display but can also become a much-loved family activity, too. An opportunity to show off new crafting creations, showcase cherished heirlooms or junkyard finds or try out a favorite color combo, the results are bound to impress friends and neighbors and make for a memorable festive display.
This charming Christmas door was created by Cindy Rodman on her blog Florals and Sage. ‘My plaid adoration – "plaidoration"– continues out onto the front porch. Instead of ribbon, try draping a festive scarf instead.’
Other treasured items such as a wooden tray – complete with family name initial – a collection of lanterns, a wooden stool and a hat complete the festive display, as do miniature types of Christmas trees in pots.
3. Echo paintwork with fresh blooms and greenery
You can’t beat a fresh flower and foliage wreath for oozing seasonal style. The perfect way to adorn a front door and create a warm welcome, they can – if well thought out – last a surprisingly long period of time.
Besides mixing in evergreen foliage and other favorite Christmas plants, carefully select colors that complement the wreath's immediate surroundings. The paint shade of the front door, the surrounding woodwork, and any extra details – such as door knockers and handles, can all be reflected in your choice of materials.
Pick out blue and gray shades with plenty of eucalyptus and rosemary, while dried grasses and flowerheads such as dry hydrangeas, sedum and scabious work well against bare wood or neutral paint tones.
Be sure to include a highlight shade or two that will ‘dance’ against the wreath's backdrop. Soft blush pink and apricot roses look sumptuous paired with finely-cut conifer or ferns, while cinnamon sticks (such as these ones from Amazon) (opens in new tab), dried poppy seed heads or clusters of tiny pinecones add rich tones and texture.
There are a few simple tips for making a fresh wreath last longer, as Matt Roth from The Magnolia Company (opens in new tab) explains: ‘By misting your wreath and covering it at night, you’ll be able to increase the amount of time that your wreath stays fresh.'
Keeping it somewhere cool and away from snow and ice will also extend the wreath’s life, and don’t be afraid to swap out any sprigs that have gone over and replace them with fresh ones.
4. Cast a warm glow with lights around the door
Sometimes less is more – especially when your home has intricate detailing around the door or is clad in a tactile material such as stone, worn brick or timber shingles. Show these finer architectural details off with a string of the best outdoor Christmas lights tucked around the doorframe.
Light strings with regularly-spaced LEDs will cast a strong direction glow and give off an uber modern feel, while a length of cluster or starburst lights will create a much softer and more ethereal mood.
Most lights of these lengths are mains powered and need the transformer to be plugged either into a waterproof outside socket or inside, out of the elements.
5. Dazzle with a chic wreath duo
Have fun and play with scale by choosing two matching wreaths in varying sizes. Ideal for decorating double doors or a front door with a fixed side panel, it creates a stunning statement that really draws you in with its suggestion of changing perspective.
Try and align the top edge of each wreath for maximum effect and position both centrally within the door panel. Hang each wreath precisely with a length of ribbon looped around the wreath and secured to the top inside edge of the door with stud pins. Alternatively, invest in a couple of matching overdoor hooks.
There are many decorative designs as well as DIY Christmas decorations to choose from, just make sure your door can accommodate the hook’s thickness and still shut securely.
6. Create impact with a pre-lit wreath
For festive charm that dazzles day and night, you can’t beat a pre-lit Christmas wreath. The perfect way to dial up a traditional door display, these decorations make a huge impression for very little effort.
‘Choose from densely-lit chunky wreaths with hundreds of tiny micro-LEDs that cast a warm welcoming glow or pared back hoops with distinct pinpricks of light,’ says Thalia Shaw from Sparkle Lighting (opens in new tab).
‘The latest lit wreath designs vary from a single ultra-fine light string wound neatly around a circular frame, to rings of delicate starburst lights and more decorative numbers that pair lights with metal leaves.’
Battery-powered outdoor Christmas lights come with a minimal flex and battery housing that can be concealed on the inside of the door.
7. Let string lights do the talking
Whether you opt for one, two or three store-bought wreaths, or learn how to make a Christmas door wreath yourself, show off your Christmas door decor ideas day and night by interweaving them with fairy lights.
Add to the look by flanking your door with potted trees, or draping the doorframe with a garland, then use a string of the latest wire micro-LEDs to illuminate every glorious detail.
With wires so fine they appear almost invisible in daylight, they emit a surprising amount of light. What’s more, they use very little battery power over a long period of time.
Tips for a flawless display is to stick to strings with the same light temperature and tone – ideally from the same manufacturer as individual makes can vary. Choose from warm, pure or cool white.
Warm white has a slight swirl of yellow to it. This varies in intensity from 1000-3000K (standing for Kelvins) and gives off a cheery and uplifting glow. Cool white tends to vary from 6000-9000K and ranges from ice white to palest, sparkling blue.
8. Seal it with an oversized bow
No fuss and quick to do, a giant door bow is a great way to give any shape or size door a festive makeover. There are plenty of sumptuous pre-tied bows available in a wide range of colors and sizes.
From traditional reds and golds to super striking shades of navy, fuchsia and tangerine, choose a color that echoes the rest of your Christmas decor and complements your home’s exterior front porch ideas.
Can’t quite find your ideal fabric or design? Then tie your own using a length of stretchy organza. The trick to getting a perfect super-sized bow is to tie it separately and then attach it to the rest of the fabric that forms the ribbon tied around the door.
Cable ties, fine wire or large paper clips all do the job well. Depending on the proportions of your entranceway and whether it is a single or double door, experiment with central or offset bows for a formal or relaxed feel.
You can even go a step further and cover the door itself with wrapping paper before adding your bow. These steps explain how to do it:
- Measure your door and buy a roll of quality wrapping paper – ideally – the same width.
- With the door open, tape the edge of the festive wrap along the top edge of the door. Smooth the paper down to cover the door and cut to length, with enough extra so the paper slides under the door and can be stuck neatly along the bottom inside edge.
- Carefully cut the paper around any door furniture (handles, etc.,), and tape the cut edges securely in place.
- Tape down the sides of the paper, smoothing out any creases as you go.
- With the door covered, add your ribbon. Cut and tape ribbon in place to form a cross or tie a length of ribbon around the door and knot on the back.
- Finally, add an oversized bow where the ribbon forms a cross. Step back and admire.
9. Be bold with a holiday balloon arch
Get guests in the mood to celebrate with an eye-catching balloon arch. Fun to put together – definitely an excuse to rope in the younger family members – it will be a talking point of the neighborhood and set a fun and merry tone for the festivities.
Jess Martin, a party decoration expert at Ginger Ray (opens in new tab) says, ‘Decorating with balloons is one of our favorite ways to make an impressive impact for your garden decor ideas.
'No matter the season, when it comes to creating a balloon display outside, the weather will be your biggest challenge,' she warns. 'Ensure that any arches or displays are firmly secured so they won’t blow away and if possible, position them somewhere underneath some shelter, like a porch. It is extremes in temperature that will make your balloons look lackluster quickly.
'One of the simplest ways to avoid them shrinking in the cold or exploding in the heat is to make sure you blow the balloons up in the same temperature you are going to style them in,' she says.
10. Plant up a Christmas doorway display
Framing a front entranceway with winter plants in pots immediately draws the eye and creates a sense of drama. A door wreath and garland are always a dream pairing but the secret to this stunning display lies in the pair of tall planters on either side of the door.
Adding height and impact, they span the tricky space between the threshold and the top of the door frame, linking the various elements together.
Julie Cruz from Adorn Planters (opens in new tab) explains, ‘Every winter, I pick a different “theme” for our front porch. Here, my focus was to go off the beaten path and use the color blue. I chose to use blue ornaments and fresh magnolia leaves in the garland over my front door to tie in the beautiful fresh magnolia wreath from The Magnolia Company.’
When it came to planting up these winter planters, Julie experimented with seasonal foliage. ‘The “thriller” in the planters are spruce tops, the "filler and spillers" are a mix of winter greens of silver fir, noble fir and incense cedar (my favorite), eucalyptus, faux blueberries, and fresh magnolias.’
To prolong the display, Julie sprays her winter greens with an anti-transpirant, which acts as a protective coating, holding in moisture on plant foliage and stems (try Bonide Wilt Stop Liquid Plant Protector, available at Amazon (opens in new tab)). 'We also recommend watering your winter greens, even in the winter, to keep the soil moist,' she adds.
11. Add a seasonal greeting
Provide an extra special holiday welcome by adding a festive greeting to your door. Whether you opt for a vintage-style sign, a farmstead vibe, a chalkboard or a neat and chic lettered sticker, it will radiate warmth, neighborly love and good cheer.
Look for peel-able stickers made from high-quality matt vinyl for crisp lettering and easy application that will leave paintwork intact when removed. Choose a font in a color that tones with your decor and use it to inspire other festive door decorations.
What can I hang instead of a wreath?
‘There are lots of beautiful alternatives to a traditional door wreath,’ says Thalia Shaw of Sparkle Lighting. ‘Wired battery-powered fairy lights or garden solar lights are perfect for bending into different shapes – hearts and teardrops look great – and can also be intertwined amongst leafy garlands and festive sprays of twigs and blooms.'
Other options to try include a pre-lit hoop or star – for a strikingly contemporary look – an elegant Scandi-style hoop with a single battery-powered candle, or a curtain of cascading fairy lights, she adds.
As well as lights, you could also get creative by swapping a wreath for a pair of ice skates tied with festive ribbon, a stocking for Santa, a miniature wooden sleigh, or a bundle of faux candy canes – with a bit of creativity, the options are endless!
Jill puts her love of plants and all things garden related down to the hours spent pottering around with her Nan and Grandad when she was little. Today she is lucky enough to have a garden of her own in Surrey, England, and spends much of her time writing about them too.
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