Ho Ho Ho! A DIY Holiday Yard Decoration

I’ve had a Halloween version of this project pinned on Pinterest for years, but I wanted to tweak it a bit and make it a yard decoration for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. It took a couple of weeks to get it all planned out and finished, but I was having to work around little man’s bed time. You could probably do this over the course of a couple of days depending on how detailed you make your characters and how gifted of a painter you are (or aren’t, as the case may be).

An angled shot of a Christmas yard decoration with Rudolph, Santa, Frosty the snowman, and an elf painted on 4 wooden boards


  • 4 wood pieces cut to your desired size (I used 2x6s that my husband cut down to size for me. I’m not brave enough to work the saw yet. Maybe the next project…)
  • A longer piece to serve as your base. Mine is 27 1/4 in
  • White spray paint
  • Pencil (with a Really tall eraser. Or just a crap ton of erasers)
  • Paint
  • Glitter (totally optional. I have a ton and I love anything that sparkles so I tossed some on there in a couple of places)
  • Brushes (Make sure to have several in different sizes so you don’t spend a ton of time washing them between colors. I used foam brushes for the larger spaces and it definitely saved some time)
  • Clear Lacquer (or Outdoor Mod Podge. See my note on Step 7)
  • Long screws (we used 3 in screws)
  • Screwdriver



  1. I used some notebook paper to plan out exactly what I wanted on each board and then colored them in so I knew what different paints to buy. If you’re a free-handing wizard, then go on with your bad self and have at it!
  2. Cut your board into four pieces. The sizes I cut down to are:
    – Turkey/Rudolph: 17 in
    – Pilgrim/Santa: 19 in
    – Pumpkin/Frosty: 15 in (stem/hat: 2 1/2 in)
    – Scarecrow/Elf: 17 in
  3. Spray paint each board with a base coat of white.
  4. Trace out your characters.Christmas characters traced on white wooden boards. Left to right: Rudolph, Santa, Frosty, Elf
  5. Paint…and paint…and paint some more. This step lasted several days for me because each board took some time to paint multiple coats. And again, I’m working around nap times (plus I’m super anal/slow about making them look nice and even), so I didn’t get a ton accomplished each day. Don’t forget the tops and sides of each board! I pained the sides a neutral color to make things easier.
  6. Paint your base.
  7. Once they are TOTALLY dry, spray your clear coat (NOTE: When spraying the clear coat, it started to lighten up some of the black paint. If you’re going to use clear coat, spray it VERY lightly at first and then do a heavier layer. I think using Outdoor Mod Podge would be easier so you could always go with that).
  8. Using either screws or some wood glue, attach your character boards to the base. If you are adding any toppers, like the pumpkin stem, screw those in as well (other additional topper ideas: Elf/Scarecrow hat, Rudolph antlers/turkey feathers, etc).
  9. Stick in the yard and schedule a hand massage.

As much as I griped about hand cramps during the whole process, I actually did have a good time doing it. It made me feel super creative and accomplished and I am so proud of how it came out. Especially becauseĀ I drew and painted everything myself! Maybe I’ll end up a “Michaels Craft Queen” after all. Do I get a crown with that???


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