Purchased holiday decorations can be very expensive, but it’s not too difficult to make your own customized Christmas yard stakes. Whether you prefer a cute cartoon Santa and reindeer design or a vintage inspired snowman, there is an abundance of projects available. Plans for wooden Christmas yard art can be found in books or downloaded as free PDF files from various websites online. Most plans are for simple cutouts attached to wooden stakes, but you can sometimes find designs that involve attaching strings of colored Christmas lights to the project.
Yard decorations for Christmas are generally cut from plywood, which can be purchased fairly inexpensively at any major lumberyard or home improvement store. You can use old paint stirrers, dowels, or a bent wire coat hanger for creating the legs of your stake.
Many people like to have children help create Christmas yard stakes as an introduction to woodworking, but close adult supervision will be required for this project. To assemble Christmas yard stakes, you’ll need a jig saw or hand saw and a screw driver for mounting the legs onto your design. It is also a good idea to have some sandpaper or an electric sander available to make sure your design is smooth before painting.
Generally, painting your project is likely to be the most time consuming part of creating handmade Christmas yard decorations. You can purchase acrylic paint that is labeled as suitable for outdoor use, but the selection of colors is more limited than what you’d find with standard acrylic craft paint. It is fine to use your regular craft paints to paint outdoor Christmas decorations as long as you remember to seal your work with two or three coats of a clear protective finish. These products come as either a spray-on or brush-on varnish. Depending upon where you plan to place your yard decoration outdoors, you may want to add a fresh coat of varnish each year for maximum protection from fading and chipping.