Joy PVC Sign: DIY Outdoor Christmas Decoration

8 Materials
1 Hour

Learn how to make this festive “Joy” PVC sign! The perfect DIY outdoor Christmas Decoration for those who like simple decor with warmth and cheer under $80!

I love coming home to a festive exterior during the holiday season. As the cheery song says, “But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be on your own front door…”

An outdoor Christmas decoration greets you and visitors with warmth and merriment, and I think exterior decorations also express glad tidings to your neighbors and community!

At the same time, I want my outdoor Christmas decorations to be simple and clean, and of course whenever possible I like to make them myself. S. and I had this idea for an outdoor Christmas sign last year, but with our busy schedules we didn’t get it created, so this Christmas I made it DIY priority number one!

I know you are probably thinking…PVC pipe…ick that doesn’t sound cheerful at all, but I think it worked out well, and by the time you get the tinsel garland on, the pipe is not noticeable. Yes, there is tinsel involved!

It was a bit tricky figuring out all the measurements to get the letters to match in height and width as well as choosing the right joints, but S. and I have taken care of the hard part for you. Below are detailed instructions with the exact measurements you need to cut the PVC pipe as well as which joints to buy.

Y’all this sign is so easy to put together. Really the most challenging part will be going to the hardware store! Promise!

How to Make this DIY Outdoor Christmas Decoration

Materials: Under $80

  • 11 Feet 3 Inches of 2 inch PVC pipe
  • PVC Cement – we used Oatey
  • 3, 1/2 inch Black iron pipes 18 inches long- for stakes
  • 40 – 80 Feet of tinsel (depends on how much coverage you want)
  • Outdoor spotlight
  • Portable skill saw or hand saw
  • 4, 2 inch PVC caps
  • Joints
  1. 5 90 degree sweeps
  2. Long “T” sweep
  3. “T” with threaded reducer 2 inch to 1/2 inch for “O”
  4. 2 inch coupling
  5. Double “Y”
  6. 2 Threaded Reducers 2 inch glue on to 1/2 inch NPT

Step No. 1 Measure and mark the PVC pipe in the following lengths:

  • For the “J” 8 inch length for tip, 9 inch length for swoop, 22 inch length for stem
  • For the “O” 2, 20 inch lengths for the sides, 2, 5 inch lengths for the bottom, and 11 inch length for the top
  • For the “Y” 13 inch length for the stem and 2, 11 inch lengths for the arms

Step No. 2 Cut pipe on your marks using a saw. Remember it never hurts to double check your measurements!

  • Also cut the middle prong out of the double “Y” joint for the letter “Y”.

Step No. 3 Lay out the pieces of PVC pipe and joints to form the letters. Fit them together and check that your height and width are even and proportional.

Step No. 4 If everything looks good, glue your joints together with the PVC cement.

Step No. 5 Screw in the black iron 1/2 inch pipe to the bottom of your letters. You will need to put the reducer in the coupling for the bottom of the “Y”.

Step No. 6 Find the perfect spot in your front yard to display your Christmas joy sign! We angled ours in the front yard so drivers by would be sure to see it.

Step No. 7 Next wrap the letters in tinsel garland. I chose white so that the joy sign would stay simple and clean, but you could easily go for more pizzazz with bright red or gold.

Check out my silly video wrapping the tinsel garland around the letters and more photos over on!

Step No. 8 Plug in an outdoor spotlight like this one or these solar powered ones. You could also wrap regular Christmas lights around the PVC joy sign, if you want each letter illuminated.

Step No. 9 Have fun taking pictures with your new DIY outdoor Christmas decoration! Seriously, this Christmas sign is a great photo op. Just look at sweet Henry!

Step No. 10 After dark falls, head outside with some hot cocoa to feel the joy!

Merry Christmas Y'all!

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Christmas joy sign - PVC pipe DIY
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Melissa Pearce
    on Dec 3, 2018

    Very nice! I wonder how it would look if you painted it with glow in the dark paint or wrapped it in reflective tape?

    • Julia Bys
      on Dec 25, 2018

      I used pvc pipe in my sewing shed to make a hanger for my quilt templates. I did not like the hanger being white and looking like pvc, so I wrapped some silver Duck tape around the pipes. Later as I looked at my handiwork, the pvc pipe now looked like a metal pipe. I got the Duck tape at the Dollar Tree for $1.

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