We have a very large porch, over 200 sq ft, and finding outdoor Christmas decorations to fill it up is nearly impossible on a budget. They are either way overpriced or so small that it would take many, many items to fill up the space. I've always loved the lighted holiday gift boxes found at stores like Menards and Home Depot but not only are they way too small, they cost nearly $40 for 3 small boxes. Well, I put my creativity and my husband's handy carpentry skills to work and we came up with our own version of lighted outdoor holiday gift boxes. I decided not to do this post as a Do It Your Frugal Self Friday because I in fact, did not complete this project on my own and needed his help. So instead, I am just sharing how we spent our Sunday afternoon creating some outdoor Christmas decorations.
He created the frame of the boxes out of 1x4's and spray painted the wood so it wouldn't show through as much. He then wrapped the each frame with lights and stapled the cords to the wood so they wouldn't move around. The 1x4's cost about $1.50 each and he used 8 bringing our cost to $12. We picked up the light sets at Walmart for $2.48 each (4 boxes) for a total of $9.92.
I purchased decorative mesh ribbon at Sam's Club for $6.87 each. I looked around for a ribbon that was thicker and could stand the elements and this worked out perfect since it is made of plastic and not fabric. I purchased 3 ribbons for a total of $20.61.
As you can see the boxes are very large and I definitely needed some help. The boxes are on the heavier side which is good for Wisconsin winters. The smaller boxes made of wire available at the stores would probably disappear in our first snow storm. I like my neighbors, but not that much.
We ended up with 2 large (first pic in this post) and 2 small gift boxes for a total of $42.53. I love the way they turned out and can't wait to see them all lit up tonight!
*Update: Here are what they look like at night! Love them!