Christmas decoration ideas for a picket fence

A picket fence around my backyard does more than keep the dog in the yard. The white picket fence adds character to my 1940's saltbox house. The pickets of the fence provide the outdoor holiday decorator with easy locations from which to hang or wrap Christmas lights, garlands, wreaths, or bows. Being the Christmas decorating fanatic that I am, I sometimes change what Christmas decorations I put on the picket fence from year to year, mostly because I think my new idea is better than the previous year’s idea. Turns out, all the ideas were good!


Before there were twinkle lights, homeowners could decorate inside or outside with strings of large, C-7 or C-9 bulbs. Show at the left, the large red bulb is a C-9, the white bulb is a C-7, and the smaller lights on the greenery are referred to as twinkle lights. On a string of C-7 or C-9 Christmas lights, the bulbs are spaced further apart on the wire string than twinkle lights, but do not let that space fool you—C-9 bulbs strings are bright. The bulbs melt fallen snow to provide a picturesque display. On the picture at the top of the article, I wove the light string in front of one picket, behind the next picket, in front of the next picket and so on. For even more brightness, add another string of lights over the first string, but reverse the start order and go behind the first picket, in front of the next picket, and so on.

Weave Christmas twinkle lights in a solid color, like all blue bulbs or all clear bulbs, or multi-color bulbs strings of lights through the pickets to rest on the top rail of the fence.

Read the instructions with the lights for guidance on how many strings of lights can be safely connected end-to-end. Connect the light strings to a timer for added convenience.


Artificial Christmas garland is reusable year after year. As with light strings, weave the garland between the pickets or wrap the garland around posts and purposely allow the garland to droop between posts. One drawback of allowing the Christmas garland to droop is that on windy days, the garland may flip up and become entangled on the pickets. To resolve that potential problem, use twine to loosely tie the lowest portion of the garland scallop to one picket. For an added touch, add Christmas light strings to the garland.
The picture above shows garland woven between the pickets and then several strings of twinkle lights were added on top of the garland.

Wreaths and Bows

Secure a Christmas wreath or bow to the center of a gate. The wreath may be round or may be horizontal greenery secured in the center with a red, gold, or plaid ribbon tied in a large bow. Place a wreath on both the inside and outside of the gate if desired.

Use bows alone or in conjunction with garland or lights. Place a bow on each post, every other post, or just the end posts of the fence. When garland is included on the pickets, place the bow on the post or the center picket between posts at the top rail level so the ribbons hang down toward the scalloped garland.

Simple Christmas decoration ideas for outdoors