How to Create DIY Winter Containers for Your Front Porch
The holidays are officially here! If you've followed us for some time, you already know how much I love to deck the halls. Last year I took the easy way out on my winter front porch and bought pre-made containers that I modified slightly. This year though, I decided to save a little money and DIY them! If you're looking to do the same, here's a quick list of what you'll need along with a few tips to help you add a little extra jolly to your front porch by creating your own winter holiday containers.
6 Steps to Creating Holiday Winter Containers
Step 1: Fill Your Containers with Dirt
Since we are reusing our regular porch containers, we had a little potting soil leftover after removing our big ferns we planted this summer. We simply mixed in some additional potting soil to fill the pot back up to about 2 inches from the top of the pot.
Step 2: Lay the "Spiller" Greens
There are multiple types of fresh cut winter greens you can buy, and the great part about DIYing your own containers is you can make it exactly to your liking. So whether you like a little more structure or a little more loose, you can really make these anything you like. My friends who work at Earl May suggest using three types - just like you do in spring annuals containers. You will want greens that "thrill" (stand up), "fill" (layer in the middle) and "spill" (fall over the side). But you do you! Here's my cart to see the different textures all together.
I started by laying down the spiller greens in the front because I knew I wanted to have these spill over the front edge. if you're going for a container with more structure, you could probably skip this step and go to the next. These were soft incense cedar boughs that had a lot of bend to them.
I wanted these to lay over the edge, but still worked to get them poked down into the soil up front. Since my containers back up to corners, I really only care about getting the front and sides looking good.
Step 3: Insert the "Thriller" Greens
I used a 2-3' Spruce tip for my taller "thriller" green. (Sidebar, I know this is a Christmas post but it is really hard not to write "thriller" without the song getting in your head.) Since I was making two containers that I wanted to match, I used my garden shears to trim some of the limbs of these to make them match as close as they could. The shears are good to keep on hand to cut different branch pieces off of all the greens to help layer and fill.
I added these in toward the back of my pots.
Step 4: Layer in the "Filler Greens"
To fill in the middle, I used a couple additional types of greens. I found these bigger Port Orford Cedar boughs that I thought I'd be able to really fill some real estate with. They were more fan-like shaped.
For some extra fill, I grabbed these pine branches that had long stick straight needles.
Together, I worked to fill in and around the middle section of the container to create a semi-loose, more organic looking pot of greenery. I left a little space in the middle knowing I was going to put some additional decoration and accents, but this along looks really pretty and simple.
Step 5: Accessorize!
I really don't think you NEED to accessorize, but adding in fun twigs, branches, picks and decor just takes the winter containers up a notch. What I love about DIYing these as you can make them festive as you'd like to match your other holiday decor. I love browsing all the different baubles and balls - you can really get creative!
I had a couple white birch logs from last year's containers already - definitely hang onto those to reuse each year - but bought a few new sparkly items to add to my pots: pinecones on sticks (to get a little higher in the container), some frosted branches, glittery pinecones and some smaller birch logs. Mostly natural, but a little bit of glitz.
It took a little finessing of the base of the greens and some muscle to get the birch logs in the way I wanted them, but adding the twigs and cones was a breeze.
Step 6: Water It All In and Clean Up
Once you're happy with how everything is sitting, use a watering can to water everything all in. It mostly just "glues" things together and helps the base freeze. That's it!
One word of caution - this project makes a big mess! I put Zach on clean-up duty which he made quick work of using his leaf blower.
Bonus Step: Add Lights If Desired
After I watered everything in, I added one last accessory - lights! I got a strand of 50 battery operated twinkle lights. Since I decided to only two two big porch pots, I thought they really needed to sing. These lights have an auto timer that come on at the same time each day and run about 6 hours. The battery pack tucks right in to the back of the pot.
No quality tips for how to add lights other than I tried to evenly cover the bulk of the middle section and tuck in a little of the cord.
My DIY Holiday Winter Containers
The final product? So pretty! And so super simple! After shopping, it only took me about an hour.
Together with my lanterns and holiday welcome mat, things are starting to look festive!
And the effect at night is just as good!
We're waiting for our wreath to hang on the door to finish up the front porch entirely, but to get the holidays going, the winter greens bring new life to our porch!
Want a Holiday Winter Container Fix? Here's what we used:
Any Container or Pot That Can Winter Over Outside (we have a standard set of hard plastic front porch containers that we swap out plants/etc. seasonally)
Garden Gloves affiliate
Garden Trowel affiliate
Garden Shears affiliate
Fresh Cut Winter Greens - At Least 3 Types (Thrill, Fill, Spill) - we got ours at Earl May
Any Holiday Container Decor and Accessories - we got ours at Earl May
Battery Operated Christmas Lights affiliate
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