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  • Writer's pictureKiersten

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.

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers

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.

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers

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.

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers

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.

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers

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.

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers

I added these in toward the back of my pots.

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers

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.

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers

For some extra fill, I grabbed these pine branches that had long stick straight needles.

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers

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.

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers

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!

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers

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.

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers

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.

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers

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!

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers

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.

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers

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.

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers

My DIY Holiday Winter Containers

The final product? So pretty! And so super simple! After shopping, it only took me about an hour.

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers

Together with my lanterns and holiday welcome mat, things are starting to look festive!

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers

And the effect at night is just as good!

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers at Night

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!

DIY Holiday Front Porch Winter Containers


Want a Holiday Winter Container Fix? Here's what we used:

DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through one of the product links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

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we're kiersten and zach

Follow along with us each week as we work to make the very 2000s home we bought during the middle of a pandemic more “us.” We’ll share everything from quick fixes to more permanent changes, along with projects you can do in your own home. Zach will also share all his lawn and garden advice as he starts over on the yard.


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