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How to make a festive fresh — or faux! — winter porch planter this weekend

Two stunning outdoor urns made with evergreen or everlasting materials, you choose.

Two stunning outdoor urns made with evergreen or everlasting materials, you choose

(All photography by Lady Hayes)

Nothing gets me more in the holiday spirit than DIY'ing my little heart out. This year, I'm kicking off the season with two planters perfect for adorning your entryway. The first one I will take you through is made with fresh evergreens, and filled with natural elements like pine cones and flowers in neutral tones. This planter will thrive outside and stay fresh the entire holiday season. The second planter I will take you through is everlasting, made with artificial greens and sparkly bling, and can greet guests year after year; for it, I went with a cheery look, using peaches, large blooms and pretty stems that glitter with gold.

Holiday planter with fresh evergreens

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 large outdoor planter pot
  • 1 bag of all purpose soil
  • Garden gloves
  • 5 branches of blue spruce
  • 5-7 branches of cedar
  • 5 branches of boxwood
  • Clippers
  • 5-6 pine cones
  • 5-6 long sticks, or any other natural textured elements (I used brown palms)
  • 20 pieces of curly straw
  • 2 stems of artificial brown orchids
  • 3 large artificial flowers, I used white magnolias
  • 12 Christmas bulbs, shatterproof is best
  • 3 yards of ribbon
  • Outdoor fairy lights
  • Scissors
  • 1 litre of water

Here's how to do it:

1. Fill your pot with soil about 3-4 inches from the top of your planter pot. Use a pot liner if necessary. Then it's time to build our base of evergreens. Some of the evergreens can be quite sharp so I recommend using gloves. Place one branch of blue spruce into the middle of the soil standing straight up, pressing it firmly into the soil. Now take two more branches of the blue spruce and place one on each side of the first branch, pushing them firmly into the soil and and angling them into the centre. Add two more branches of blue spruce in the front. I like to keep the back branches taller and have them taper down toward the front of my planter, so feel free to trim if necessary.

2. Time to add in some more evergreens! I collected a variety of greens from my mum's backyard. Large grocery stores and garden centres will have a wide range of greens this time of year as well. Having 3 or more varieties of evergreens will aid in adding an eye-pleasing texture to your planter. I added 5 branches of cedar in the spaces between the blue spruce, and filled in the the front with some shorter stemmed boxwood. Taking a step back from your planter will allow you to see if any adjustments need to be made. Now is a great time to add, trim or remove any branches before we start decorating.

3. Time to decorate! First I like to pick a colour palette. I wanted to go with neutral tones like white, beige and dark brown. Once you have a palette in mind it makes it easy to collect decorations to add in. Dollar and thrift stores seem to be where it's at for all the good deals. Accents like pine cones can be easily found outside or at the supermarket and they help add a very festive vibe. Think colour and texture here! To add height, I added some curly straw and placed the stems higher than the greens. Next, I chose to add in some brown orchids and brown palms.

4. Fill in some of the spaces with some pine cones and any other natural, textured elements that you love. Next add some flowers. I like to work in threes when adding blooms, arranging them in a triangular pattern near the front of the planter.

5. Now, it's time to fill it in a little more by adding in a selection of Christmas bulbs to give the planter a really nice holiday feel. You can also add some outdoor fairy lights. To finish it off, I tied a large bow to the front.

6. Add about 1 litre of water to the soil. When you place your planter outside, the soil will freeze and your planter will be in great shape to last the entire holiday season.

Holiday planter with everlasting greens

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1, 2 ft artificial Christmas tree 1 large tin bucket
  • 1 garland of artificial greens
  • 3 stems of artificial frosted spruce
  • Floral foam to fit in the base of your bucket, optional
  • 2 stems of artificial frosted eucalyptus
  • 5 pieces of sparkly bling, gold stems or whatever catches your eye
  • 6 dried, natural stems
  • 1 string of shatterproof Christmas bulbs
  • 3 yards of peach ribbon
  • 6 large artificial peaches
  • Floral wire stems, optional
  • 10 small Christmas bulbs
  • 1 strand of outdoor fairy lights

Here's how to do it: 

1. Begin by placing your small tree into your bucket. Next, wrap the garland around the base of the tree a couple of times and let it hang off the edges of the bucket a little. Add in the frosted spruce, one in the centre of the base of the tree and the other two at each side. Direct stems down toward the bottom of the bucket. My stems sat in nice and tight just by placing them inside the bucket, but alternatively you can use some floral foam at the base of your bucket for extra positioning security. Now place two pieces of eucalyptus on either side of the tree.

2. One of the most important steps is to pick a colour palette and theme. My inspiration for this planter came from some artificial peaches I found in a thrift store. To complement them, I used additional peach tones, frosted greens and some sparkly bling, such as these glimmering gold strands.

3. Get your bling on! Place 5 sparkly stems into your planter near the back of your planter and some in the front. These shimmery pieces can be easily found at the dollar store and add will a festive shine to your planter. I also added in a few stems of natural dried accents. Next take your pretty blooms and place them in the front of your planter. I typically like to use a triangular pattern with my flowers, so placing three in the front will create an eye-pleasing focal point.

4. Christmas up your planter by adding a fun selection of bulbs. I wanted to keep my planter as cost-effective as possible so I found some great ones at a thrift store and some at a dollar store. If necessary, add floral wire to the bulbs that need them and secure them firmly to the tree by wrapping the wire around the branches. Next, I added in my artificial peaches. Since the peaches didn't have a string to attach to the tree, I stuck a floral stem wire into the bottom of each peach and placed them into the planter.

5. Finish off your planter by adding in some outdoor fairy lights and tying a large bow with three yards of peach ribbon. It's as easy as that my friends! Use this planter year after year, and change up the decorations as desired.


Lady Hayes is a designer, photographer and mama, known for her beautiful floral inspired projects and lifestyle. Her love of flowers shines through her couture crafted Flower Crowns and Petal Pop, her line of Floral Confetti with sun dried roses and gold confetti glitter. Stay connected! Visit Hayes over on her Instagram or visit her website to shop and say hi!

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