The holidays are fast approaching, and it’s time to start thinking about how to decorate the outside of your home for Thanksgiving! While the inside of your home will likely get most of the attention, you don’t want to forget about your outdoor decor. Curb appeal is important, especially around the holidays when guests will be visiting. Dressing up your home’s exterior with outdoor Thanksgiving decorations is a great way to get in the holiday spirit and welcome guests. When done right, your outdoor decor can really enhance your home’s curb appeal. From your front porch to the yard and everywhere in between, there are plenty of areas to decorate.
Front Porch Decorations
Your front porch is one of the first things guests will see when arriving at your home for Thanksgiving. Make sure it looks warm, welcoming and festive! Here are some front porch decoration ideas:
A beautiful Thanksgiving wreath on your front door is a must. Choose a wreath made from neutral-colored leaves or one specifically designed as a Thanksgiving wreath. Look for wreaths that incorporate harvest elements like wheat, acorns, dried leaves, pine cones and fruits. You can also opt for a simple autumn wreath in colors like red, orange and yellow. Add a bow or other embellishments for an extra festive touch.
Corn Stalks and Bales of Hay
Flanking your front steps with a couple of corn stalk bundles or hay bales makes for simple yet classic Thanksgiving decor. You may be able to find these for cheap at local farms and garden centers this time of year. For extra pizzazz, tie some colorful fall ribbon around the bales.
Pumpkins and Gourds
No Thanksgiving decor is complete without pumpkins and gourds. Arrange a mixture of sizes and shapes on your front steps or porch. Print out “Give Thanks” or “Happy Thanksgiving” signs to attach to your pumpkins. You can also paint fun patterns, words or faces on them.
Mums come in such lively autumnal colors and patterns that they make any front porch more vibrant. Plant some orange, rust, yellow or purple mums in pots to place on either side of your front door or along the porch edge. Don’t forget to water them!
Scarecrows and Corn Husks
Scarecrows and corn husks give your porch a fun, folksy Thanksgiving flair. Make tiny scarecrows out of twigs, burlap and straw to sit on your porch steps or hang on the door. You can also fashion your own corn husk wreaths, swags and bundles to hang around the front door.
Consider draping a fall garland along the porch railing or awning. Use garlands made from faux colorful leaves, ribbons, gourds and berries. You can also intertwine festive fall-themed tinsel.
Front Yard Decorations
Your front yard provides another canvas to showcase your outdoor Thanksgiving decorations spirit. Here are front outdoor Thanksgiving decorations that will impress your guests:
Hay or Corn Stalks Displays
Make a prominent display of hay or corn stalk bundles on your front lawn or leading up to the front walkway. Get creative with the arrangement – build teepee structures, line the driveway, create a maze or simple patterns. You can even make fun shapes like Thanksgiving messages, turkeys or pumpkins.
Scarecrows make fantastic Thanksgiving yard decor and you can get really creative with them. Make silly scarecrows with funny faces, dressed in overalls, flannel and straw hats. Have them waving at guests or holding Thanksgiving-themed signs. Give your scarecrows meaningful names like “Tom Turkey” or “Patti Pumpkin” and include signs. Arrange them in different humorous poses around the yard.
Outdoor Twinkle Lights
As the sun sets earlier this time of year, your home will look more festive with outdoor twinkle lights illuminating the yard and exterior. Outline trees, bushes, sidewalks and other features with white or multicolored lights. This adds a magical ambiance to the home.
Turkey Yard Stakes and Statues
Place silly plastic turkey statues throughout your yard or get wooden “gobble gobble” turkey stakes to push into your lawn or flower beds. Arrange them near your sidewalk or driveway so they’re easily spotted.
Buy a big bag of mini pumpkins and spread them liberally around your yard – on the grass, steps, walkways, patio, etc. The vibrant orange colors will stand out. You can also write names, warm Thanksgiving wishes or give thanks messages on the pumpkins with black marker.
If you have garden beds or planters on your property, fill them with festive fall flowers like chrysanthemums, asters, marigolds and more. The autumn colors pair nicely with pumpkins, gourds and other Thanksgiving decor.
Front Walkway Décor
Your front walkway offers a special opportunity to make guests feel truly welcomed. Decorate it creatively with these fun Thanksgiving decoration ideas:
Draw cute chalkboard messages on the sidewalk leading up to your front door. Things like “Happy Thanksgiving!”, “Give Thanks”, “The [Your Last Name] Family is Thankful”, etc. You can change up the message each week.
Corn Kernels and Acorns
Natural elements like corn kernels and acorns make great temporary walkway decor. Glue or tape them down along the sidewalk edge or use them to make patterns, pictures and words.
Make a fun arrow path by using cardboard and fabric arrows pinned along the walkway edges pointing guests toward the front door.
For a pop of color, sprinkle faux colored leaves along the sidewalk. You can find bags of these at most craft stores. The bold reds, oranges and yellows contrast nicely against concrete.
Place small hay bales or corn stalk bundles along the outer edges of your walkway. You can get mini bales for this purpose. Top them off with pumpkins or pots of mums.
Tea Light Candles
For evening affairs, line your front walkway with tea light candles or small lanterns. Place them along the edges or going up the sidewalk in a pattern. This adds festive ambiance.
Place freestanding signs along your front walkway with messages like “Welcome to Our Home”, “Happy Thanksgiving”, or directing guests where to go. Painted wooden signs work nicely for this.
Your driveway sets the tone as guests arrive, so dress it up! Here are fun driveway décor ideas to make arrivals festive:
Corn Stalks Lining
Line both sides of your driveway with corn stalk bundles or hay bales. This guides guests in and creates a charming country ambiance.
Natural Wood Signs
Affix cute painted-wood signs along the driveway that say things like “Turkey Crossing”, “Gobble Gobble This Way”, or include your family name with a Thanksgiving message. Place them on stakes or hang from trees.
For a fun, tacky touch, get a giant inflatable turkey or pilgrim to display along your driveway, near the garage or on the lawn. Make sure it’s staked down if windy.
Pumpkins and Bales
Arrange mini pumpkins and hay bales down the center of your driveway if space permits. You can also alternate pumpkins and bales along the driveway edges.
Line your driveway with festive lights! Use spotlights on trees or line the driveway edges with lanterns or luminaries. String extra twinkle lights along trees and bushes near the driveway entrance.
Draw colorful chalk art like turkeys, autumn leaves, flowers, etc on your driveway and sidewalk near the street where guests arrive. Include cute Thanksgiving messages too.
If hosting Thanksgiving outside or giving guests a home tour, extend your décor to the backyard too! Here are ideas:
Adorn your outdoor dining table with classic Thanksgiving motifs using mini pumpkins, gourds, dried leaves, pine cones, nuts and turkey figurines as tabletop décor. Place colorful leaves under clear plates for added visual interest.
Corn Stalks and Hay Bales
Make a simple backdrop for your outdoor dining area using stacked corn stalks and hay bales. You can build a wall or perimeter around the space. Drape lights over it too.
Incorporate seasonal harvest arrangements on your deck or patio. Display gourds, mini pumpkins, nuts and dried plants in galvanized tin buckets, wheelbarrows or other fun containers.
Outdoor Twinkle Lights
You can never have too many twinkle lights! Wrap them around trees, your deck railing, gazebo, etc. to give your backyard a magical glow.
Corn Pit or Box
Make a fun activity for kids by filling a small plastic pool or wood box with dried corn kernels. Provide cups and spoons for playing, digging and transferring corn.
A bonfire or fire pit instantly makes any backyard more inviting. Guests will gather around its warmth. Be sure to have seating, firewood and s’mores supplies!
If your backyard has garden beds, enhance them for Thanksgiving with autumn flowers and plants. Chrysanthemums, sedums, asters and ornamental kale add pops of fall color.
Thanksgiving Décor for Decks, Patios and Balconies
Decks, patios and balconies are excellent spaces to go all out with outdoor Thanksgiving decorations. Here are inspiring ideas:
Hay Bale Furniture
Use rectangular hay bales as temporary seating around your deck or patio. Toss some blankets on top for comfort. You can also use small bales as side tables.
Fall Harvest Centerpiece
Create a gorgeous harvest table centerpiece for your deck table. Use a pumpkin or wood slab base and stack mini pumpkins, acorns, pine cones, nuts, berries, dried flowers, etc.
Corn Stalk Swag
Make a simple swag to hang on your patio or balcony railing using corn stalks tied at the ends. Then fill it in with various dried plants, curly willow branches, mini gourds, etc.
Faux Leaf Garlands
Adorn your deck or patio cover with garlands made from fake fall leaves. Drape them along the edges or crisscross for full coverage.
Plant autumn flowers like chrysanthemums or ornamental kale in pumpkin planters. Then place the planters along the railing of your deck, porch or balcony.
Signs & Printables
Hang printable Thanksgiving signs or wooden cut-outs on your balcony or patio fencing. Things like grateful messages, turkey images or harvest blessings signs work well.
Lanterns and Candles
Dot the deck or patio with lanterns, candles and luminaries to give it a cozy, welcoming glow at night. Place them along railings, steps, edging and tabletops.
Unique Outdoor Décor Ideas
If you’re looking for more unique, crafty ways to decorate your home’s exterior for Thanksgiving, consider these ideas:
Painted Wine Bottles
Recycle old wine bottles to use as festive vases or luminaries. Paint them orange or metallic colors and add twinkle lights or dried florals. Place them along walkways, steps and around the yard.
Designate a small tree as your “Thankful Tree” and decorate it for Thanksgiving. Add mini signs with things your family is grateful for. Have guests write what they’re thankful for and hang the notes on the branches with ribbon.
Make a fun beanbag toss yard game using a wooden pallet painted like a turkey. Let the kids decorate it! Add burlap sacks with beans for tossing.
Fallen Leaf Art
Collect colorful fallen leaves and use them to create artwork on your home’s exterior surfaces. Make wreaths, garlands, turkeys or spelling out messages on windows, siding, garage doors, etc.
Make your own placemats for outdoor dining tables using burlap, seasonal linens or fall printed fabrics. These can be put out each year and add a homemade touch. Add festive napkin rings too.
If artistically inclined, paint elaborate Thanksgiving scenes and motifs on pumpkins to display around your yard and porch. Some ideas are turkeys wearing pilgrim hats, autumn leaves, acorn and oak trees, etc.
Canning Jar Luminaries
Recycle old canning jars by giving them a Thanksgiving makeover! Clean out the jars and put an LED candle, sand and twinkle lights inside. Arrange them along walkways, steps and the driveway.
What time of year should I put up outdoor Thanksgiving decorations?
Most experts recommend putting up outdoor Thanksgiving decorations 2-3 weeks before Thanksgiving. Mid-November is a good target. Avoid going up too early (before Halloween) or you’ll miss out on enjoying fall decor.
What are good outdoor color schemes for Thanksgiving?
Some classic Thanksgiving color combos are: orange, yellow, red; orange, brown, tan; yellow, red, green; and orange, sage green, cream.
What indoor decorations can I use outside?
Many indoor decorations will hold up outside if the weather cooperates. Try using wreaths, garlands, pumpkins, gourds, hay bales, etc. Just avoid fragile heirloom decor.
How can I save money on outdoor Thanksgiving decor?
Shop sales, DIY decorations, reuse old Halloween/fall items, swap or borrow decor with neighbors. Nature provides free decor too – pinecones, acorns, corn stalks, leaves!
How do I make my Thanksgiving decorations weatherproof?
For wind/rain, secure decorations with durable ties, stakes or weights. Use weather-safe paints and sealants if DIY-ing decor. Store weatherproof items indoors when not on display.
What are the best places to decorate outside for Thanksgiving?
Focus on decorating your front porch, door, walkway, mailbox, yard, driveway entrance and any outdoor living spaces like patios. Even small decorations make a big impact!
Decorating the exterior of your home for Thanksgiving is an easy, affordable way to showcase your holiday spirit. From your front porch to the backyard, a little DIY decor and harvest charm goes a long way in enhancing your home’s curb appeal.
Place homemade signs, pumpkin arrangements, wreaths, garlands and other festive accents around areas that guests will see. Incorporate natural elements like corn stalks, hay bales, leaves and pine cones for an authentic harvest feel. Extend your interior autumnal style to your outdoor spaces.
Most importantly, have fun with your outdoor Thanksgiving decorations! Explore a world of festive possibilities with Christmas postcards: ideas to create yours. Don’t be afraid to get creative and come up with themes and vignettes that reflect your family’s personal tastes and traditions. Your joyful seasonal displays will warmly welcome guests and add so much nostalgic charm to this beloved American holiday.