Can you give me some tips for making a tasteful (and non-cliché) DIY holiday arrangement for my front porch to boost our curb appeal?
I am always amazed that people feel they get Brownie points for doing things themselves. I would never perform open-heart surgery on myself or take my own legal advice, but, for some reason, people feel it is okay do their own decorating.
That said, what you are asking for is the best of the season and something that will last outdoors in our climate. The answer is: boxwood. I like the design principle of repetition, so I would ask my florist to deliver five (I like to decorate in odd numbers) boxwood plants, each in an 18-inch-square container. Boxwood comes in all shapes, but I would get specimens that are cut round and line them up in a row along my porch or down the front steps (you might need smaller containers for this, however). I would decorate them with silver ornaments, place branches shooting out of the middle and, finally, stick a single bow on the container.
Before you fully embrace the DIY ethos, though, be aware that sometimes doing it yourself can have dire consequences. Just look at those ridiculous holiday wreaths some people put on the front of their cars. I shudder just thinking about it.