DIY Winter Planters


I have a very boring front door. I have decided that all I can do about it is embrace it. Welcome to Suburbia, I guess! Since I love to garden, I usually pack it full of pretty colours and call it done until its all dead, blowing away, and I am scrambling 2 weeks before Christmas. Inevitably, I end up buying something overpriced and not even close to bold enough to spice up the boredom, or time constraints get the best of me and I do nothing.

Not this year.

I already had some empty (or dead!!) planters and buckets laying around and so I decided that this year I would try something new and make my own winter planters. The project was budget friendly and surprisingly fun. I am actually thrilled how it turned out! And even better? I stole a few hours away last week with a fellow weirdo and we had a wonderful morning coffee-ing and clipping. It was the perfect way to start getting in the spirit. Isn’t that the entire reason for planning ahead and “taking back Christmas”? Enjoying a little more is the goal of my holidays this year. Project one: Check!

The best part? This gigantic arrangement only cost $15!! I already had the planters and lantern from previous projects and so I topped up my scavenged supplies with some dollarstore finishing touches (red berries and twigs ~ since I couldn’t find any, it will cost you less if you can find these outside, burlap ribbon, floral foam and glitter: total = $15).

It was ridiculously simple and I will genuinely enjoy it everyday for the next several months.


  • colourful berries

  • greenery (different textures and lengths)

  • sticks and branches (I found a buddy was pruning his birch trees and stole his bigger sticks)

  • pinecones


  • ribbon or burlap (if you want a bow)

  • buckets/planters

  • lantern

  • floral foam

  • glitter (optional)

  • a few small Christmas balls

  • a few sprigs of artificial berries (I wasn’t able to find any red berries in the wild)

  • cut branches to size, it depends how big your branches are)

  • exacto knife

  • hairspray (if you use glitter)

  • gardening gloves

  • hairspray (if you use glitter)

  • gardening gloves


To clarity: we DID NOT go out into the beautiful wild Alberta backcountry and start chopping branches in the provincial parks. I have friends who have some acreages and trees that needed pruning, some overcrowding that I took advantage of, and I was very happy to collect and scavenge! Call in your favours, make some phone calls, you will be surprised how easy it can be to find it.

This was how I did it. It was surprisingly easy.

Pull all of your supplies together, it certainly doesn’t have to be the same as mine.


Measure and cut floral foam to fit your containers and then presoak in water (you want to keep that greenery alive and in place all winter).

Start with your largest sticks and branches. (Keep in mind that because my planter will only be viewed from the front, the tallest items go in the back. If yours will be viewed from all sides, the tallest will go in the middle.)


Trim anything sticking out of the bottom 5” of all branches to make sure they are easy to insert in the foam and that they will have the best chance of staying put in snowstorm.


As you start with the longer branches in the back, varying colour and texture, make sure you test out your lantern in place to be sure it will fit.


Fill lantern (I used pinecones, a string of battery operated lights and a few small Christmas balls, and before I shut the door I gave it a quick little spritz of hairspray and a sprinkle of glitter. It isn’t really noticeable until the lights go on.)

Place lantern where you want it.

Finish inserting branches in the front, making sure some hang down with varying heights and that they don’t cover your lantern.


Fill in will berries, a few pinecones and colourful twigs.

Tie bow around pot.


Repeat the same process for any other planters. Here is the small berry one I added to balance out the right side of the entrance way.


If you want a tiny bit of sparkle, give your finished project a spritz of hairspray and a dash of fine glitter quickly before the spray dries.

Most importantly, make sure to step back several times while you are working on it to look from a few different angles.

And there you have it! I promise you, if I can do this on my first try, you’ve totally got this.

I would love if you share photos of your DIY planters! I am excited to see what you come up with.