How To Fill Outdoor Planters for the Holidays | The Interior Frugalista: How To Fill Outdoor Planters for the Holidays
How To Fill Outdoor Planters for the Holidays | The Interior Frugalista

How To Fill Outdoor Planters for the Holidays

My goal in this post is to debunk the myth that filling Outdoor Planters for the holidays is difficult and expensive. You probably have most of what you need right in your own backyard!

By following the steps listed below, you too can make your own festive planters to welcome guests during the holidays.

8 easy steps to decorating outdoor pots for the holidays

Hopefully, you already have large pots or urns on hand that you use during the summer months. If not you can purchase relatively inexpensive plastic ones at your local home improvement store or garden center. The pedestal styles look beautiful for this purpose.

How to make an outdoor Christmas urn

As you can see from the picture above, my pots are quite large so a trick I use year round is to fill them two-thirds with gravel and slip an inexpensive plastic pot on top of the gravel so it rests just under the top of the planters. In the summer, it's easy to take the plastic inserts over to my potting bench and fill them with flowers.  During the holidays, I can take them inside where it's warm and cozy and a mug of hot apple cider awaits to decorate them.  

TIP:  In the Fall, I remove the wilted annuals and bring the dirt filled inserts indoors to keep them from freezing. I store them in garbage bags in the basement and bring them out during the holidays.

Using a plastic insert for your outdoor Christmas urns

The first thing you want to do is cover the drainage holes (so you can freeze in the greens). I use plastic saucers that fit tightly over the gravel/dirt inside the urn.

Now let the fun begin...

Materials List (per pot):

  • 1 bundle each per pot (approximately 6 branches) of three different types of greens. The most common are; pine, spruce, fir, cedar, and juniper branches. These are readily available at a cost of anywhere between $5.00 - $8.00 per bundle
  • A handful of tall dogwood or willow branches.  These are also readily available at a cost of between $7.00 - $12.00 per bundle in natural or painted varieties.
    If you're lucky enough to have any of these growing in your yard or a natural green space nearby then grab your gardening shears and head outdoors.
    • 1 set of outdoor electric Lighted Branches.  I've seen them priced between $14.99 - $30.00.  
    • 1 large shatterproof Christmas Ball, Willow Ball, or Pine Cone.
    • 1 pkg of 21" x 30" Mesh Ribbon
    Materials used to make an outdoor Christmas urn


    Step 1
    Position your Lighted Branches.  If your arrangement is against a wall then place it at the back of the insert.  If not, then place it in the center.

    Step 2
    Cut your tall Dogwood or Willow branches so they stand slightly taller than the Lighted Branches. Intersperse them within the lighted branches so the willow branches are illuminated by the lighted branches.

    Tip: Make sure you press your branches deep and firmly into the soil. 

    Step 3
    Working in a triangle, insert the more firm Spruce or Pine branches in the center around the tall branches. If the arrangement is against a wall then avoid placing branches at the very back of the pot.

    Tip:  To avoid rot, clip greens back so only the branch is inserted into the soil.

    Step 4
    Put the Juniper or Fir branches at a slight angle so they are pointing sideways.

    Step 5
    Put the cedar branches on the most outward part of the insert so they hang downwards around the pot.

    Step 6
    Make a simple bow with tails using Mesh Ribbon.  Secure the center of the bow with florist wire, leaving enough on the ends to attach the bow to the lighted branches.

    Step 7
    Attach a large shatterproof Christmas Ball, Willow Ball or Pine Cone onto a bamboo stick with florist wire or a hot glue gun and insert it into your pot.  Repeat this process for any other embellishments.

    Step 8
    The most important part of the process
    Mist the greens with water and then thoroughly water the pots to freeze in the fresh greens.  If the temperature goes above freezing, spray and water the greens daily.

    A DIY outdoor Christmas urn

    There you have it, beautiful evergreen holiday planters to welcome guests during the holidays.

    Pretty outdoor planters flanking the front door during the holidays

    There is something about a house with Christmas Urns flanking a doorstep that sets it apart from the others down the street. 

    Happy Holidays!

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