A Guide To Creating Your Own Holiday & Winter Planters

Hark, hear the bells! Winter is well on its way. And you know what that means: it’s time to transition from sunny floral arrangements to creative winter decor. 

If you didn’t already know, let us be the first to tell you: you don’t need to put away your planters for winter. In fact, you can dress them up and help bring in the holiday season with cheerful arrangements that will delight all guests who cross the threshold. 

Below, we’ll walk you through the process of creating your very own wintery arrangement. We’ve identified the main elements of DIY holiday and winter planters, and compiled a list of the best options for you to choose from. Don’t be afraid to get creative with it! 

1.) Color Scheme

Decide ahead of time what kind of color scheme you’re going for. Consider the area in which you’ll be placing your planter and ask yourself what colors would work best there. 

Some classic winter colors that appear in winter planters include: 

  • White 
  • Silver 
  • Gold 
  • Green (all shades) 
  • Red (bright red or maroon)
  • Brown (emulating dried leaves and bark)
  • Certain blues (a dark navy, or a light cornflower blue)

Again, make sure you consider the area that will serve as the backdrop for your planter. Will it be against your house, next to your front door, in the middle of your yard? Do you want your decorative planter to be juxtaposed with the background (i.e., dark greens against the white of fallen snow) or do you want your planter to blend in, with a few pops of color to add interest? 

Note: If you want to choose colors outside of the above list, by all means, go for it! This is just a guideline. You can be as creative as you want to! 

2.) Creative Containers

Next, you’ll want to choose your container for the arrangement. Ideally, you’ll have some potential candidates laying around from the spring and summer seasons, but if not, you can always check out a yard sale for a container. If you’re okay with a little investment, consider perusing the nearest craft store or home improvement warehouse. 

Your containers can be literally anything, as long as they can hold your arrangement. Some creative container ideas include: 

  • Peach bucket or basket 
  • Crate (centerpiece) 
  • Vintage milk tin 
  • Wooden half wine barrels 
  • Galvanized tub 
  • Vintage Watering can 
  • Plant urn (short or tall) 
  • Window boxes

Don’t be afraid to get crafty with it! You can paint your containers, glue on some extra decor, or even build your container from scratch! 

3.) Fillers 

Before we move onto what plants you’ll be picking, we need to figure out what’s going to fill the winter planter and hold your plants/decor upright. 

Soil: Tightly packed soil can be a great option for holding your arrangement in place. This is an ideal way to use up any leftover potting soil from the spring and summer seasons. 

Sand: This is a better filler option if you’ll be using decorations that you know you’re going to repurpose and reuse throughout the year. After all, you don’t want your fairy lights and ornaments covered in dirt! 

Floral foam blocks: A staple of the florist profession, floral foam blocks will keep your arrangement locked in place. Place the blocks around your larger decor or stake your plant life directly into the block for maximum support.  

Tin cans: This ingenious solution works perfectly for smaller indoor centerpieces. Tin cans are the perfect height, and will fit inside small rectangular or circular containers. They’ll keep your decor upright, especially if you fill them with sand, foam, or glass marbles.

4.) Plant Life 

Now it’s time to talk plants. There are so many options to choose from, but we’ve compiled a list of our favorites below: 

  • Juniper 
  • Pine 
  • Cedar 
  • Noble Fir 
  • Curly willow 
  • Cypress
  • Red twig dogwood 
  • Holly berry 
  • Magnolia
  • Eucalyptus
  • Boxwood
  • Privet
  • White birch 

When choosing which plants to include, remember that the idea is to have a bold focal point in the center (for example, birch branches), neutral elements that spill over the side (think draped evergreen), and decorative accents (holly berries)

Don’t be afraid to mix it up with your plant choices. Don’t be afraid to add many different textures to your arrangement, or incorporate various shades of green.

5.) Winter Decor 

Now, for the fun part: choosing the decor. This is where you can really make your winter planters stand out! Note that your decor can serve as a focal point, or as accents, depending on the size and placement. 

Consider any of the following decorations:  

  • Fairy lights 
  • Solar string lights 
  • Fake candles (wouldn’t want to risk a fire!)
  • Pine cones 
  • Ribbon (red, green, blue, gold, silver, or patterned) 
  • Realistic red cardinals (or any other winter bird)
  • Painted red branches
  • Brown branches 
  • Dried leaves
  • Holiday ornaments

A creative winter and holiday arrangement can bring cheer to any front lawn, doorstep, patio, or backyard. We hope you’ve gained some inspiration here, and are chomping at the bit to get started! 

Want to upgrade your patio or walkways to match your beautiful winter planters? Are you in need of general landscaping services to make sure your home is holiday ready? The pros at McDonough Landscaping have you covered. Contact us today! 

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