Welcome Home Decorating Ideas

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Make your welcome home celebration festive by choosing just the right decorations, whether you're welcoming a new baby, college student or military member. Yellow ribbons are a mainstay of welcomes for military personnel, for example, while handmade banners and colorful balloons are suitable for any returnee. Decorate both inside and outside, and don't forget a favorite part of any welcome-home celebration: Set out welcome baskets or cook up a spread of the returning family member's favorite foods.

Start welcoming the guest of honor before he ever gets inside the house. Tie ribbons or balloons on signposts and trees along the route the honoree will travel on the way home. If it's permitted in your neighborhood, post colorful handmade "Welcome Home" signs or banners at the entry to your subdivision and at the beginning of your street. Hang a large poster or banner on your garage door or create a balloon archway across your front porch that greets the returnee by name. Finally, hang a "Welcome Home" wreath on the front door.

Continue the welcoming messages inside. Create a "welcome walkway" by putting a red carpet from the front door through the entry or hallway. Line it with paper signs, each of which features the letters in the words "welcome home." Hang these signs on the walls, or have each family member or friend hold up one of the letters. If you have a fireplace, string a garland that spells out "welcome home" across the mantel, or use lettered children's blocks to spell this out on the mantel or prominent table.

Welcome home a new baby and her parents by decorating outside and inside their home. Make or rent a large sign to put in the yard, welcoming the new arrival. You can use a standard poster or a wooden signboard in the shape of a stork or teddy bear. Tie colored balloons to the mailbox, trees or nearby signposts. Hang a colored banner across the front of the garage with a greeting such as "Welcome home, baby!" -- include the child's name if desired. Inside, display any flowers or gifts that have come for the baby on a table decorated with baby-themed paper goods.

Go all out to welcome home your returning military family member. Enlist the help of community organizations and businesses to post large welcoming signs on schools, billboards and marquees along the returning service member's route home. Tie patriotic or yellow ribbons along trees and signs. Ask friends, neighbors and family members to line the route and give them small flags to wave or "Welcome Home!" and "Thank You for Your Service" signs to display. Drape the front of your home with patriotic bunting and a "Welcome Home!" sign made by family members -- and don't forget to have your flag waving proudly.

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