Outdoor Christmas Urns


This walks you through the process of creating some simple outdoor Christmas urns for your front door or porch. If you don’t have urns, you can use this same idea for outdoor planters.

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The holiday season is fun and filled with festivities.  However, it can also be a strain.  Right?  There are a boat of load of commitments to attend to, there are presents to buy and wrap and there is the decorating to do.  For those of you with young families, careers, and active lifestyles – the added demands of the holiday season can be – well- daunting.  

I am ALL FOR the holiday season so long as

  • I don’t have to spend large sums of money on new decor
  • Holiday prep work can be done easily and quickly
  • Holiday decorations can be easily packed away when January arrives

Seems reasonable, right?  

In reality this means that I don’t want to buy yards and yards of fake green garland or more twinkle lights or – well anything bulky that requires storage and the spending of a lot of money. Yet, I still want to have an outdoor arrangement that brings a sense of Christmas cheer. I want a front porch that has a festive look.

Urns to be filled with greenery

So, with that in mind, today I am sharing how you can decorate some existing outdoor urns.  The urns shown here are ones that I have had for years and I use them year-round.  In the summer months, I fill them with flowers. In the fall, I fill them with pumpkins. The only items I had to purchase for this project were some bunches of evergreens. Everything else I already had on hand.

Outdoor Christmas Urns


  • Tall urn / larger planter/ large window box
  • Bundles of fresh evergreens either purchased or cut from Christmas trees
    • At least one bundle of Cedar evergreens
  • Gardening snips
  • Floral foam
  • Velvet Ribbon – I used gold but any color you choose will work
  • Gardening gloves to protect your hands from sap

I have linked some of these supplies below. However, I do encourage you to use whatever you already have in your home.

Step 1 – Buy Fresh Evergreens

As I mentioned, these are cast iron urns I have had for years and wanted to use something I had on hand. Having said that, you can easily use some existing garden planters or a window box.  The goal of this tutorial is use fresh bunches of evergreens to fill your urns, planters or window boxes. A quick TIP, this works best for large planters or large window boxes.

Empty cast iron urn

Another note, if you live the in the north, be sure to use a planter that can withstand the sub-zero temperatures. Avoid terracotta or anything made of ceramic. Wooden planters, resin planters, thick plastic planters and metal planters all work well in those areas where the temperatures drop below freezing. (Don’t use a thin plastic flower pot used for summer flowers.)

Get an approximation of the size of your containers so you will know how many bunches of evergreens to buy.  I ended up buying 3 bunches of greens at $10 a piece. 

Bunch of cedar evergreens

There is a trick to making your outdoor Christmas urns look fabulous.  Here is a TIP: It’s important for greenery to “break the line” of the top edge of the container.  You want some greenery to spill over the sides.  You definitely don’t want all your greenery to be standing tall at attention.  

I have found that buying some Cedar evergreens, ensures that you have some foliage the drapes or spills over the edge of the container.  Unlike other evergreen varieties, cedar is soft and almost floppy. 

Artificial evergreens

Here is another TIP – integrate some artificial greenery in with your real greenery. This will help the arrangement look fuller and last longer. Yep, those branches are fake. I have had them for several years now.

Step 2- Soak the Evergreens

Fresh evergreens tend to get dried out when left exposed to the elements.  So, here is another TIP: I soaked mine for 24 hours in a bathtub filled with cold water.  This gives the greens a chance to rehydrate and helps them last longer.  

To dry the evergreens, I placed an old large towel on the floor and put the wet evergreens on top.  Then I rolled the whole thing up like a burrito and let it dry for about an hour. 

Step 3 – Trim Evergreens and fill the Urns

Take your bunches of fresh evergreens outside and then using some gardening shears – trim them to the appropriate length for your empty urns or planters.  Put the floral foam into the base of your urn or planter. I sort of wedged a chunk of floral foam into the base of each urn. You will use the foam to hold the evergreen branches. Simply poke the branches into the floral foam.

Here is another TIP – set the Cedar branches in the urns first and divide them up equally between the two urns. I put the lower branches in first, to ensure they spill over the edges of the urns.

Adding Cedar first

Once I liked the appearance of how the Cedar branches looked draped over the urns, I started to add more evergreen branches.  Then I added the artificial evergreen branches.

Adding greenery

Step 4 – Tie a Bow

Once the evergreens were in the urns, I added a velvet gold ribbon and fluffed the branches until I liked the way they looked in the urns. If you desire, you can embellish the urns or outdoor planters further by adding other decorative items. Here are some more Christmas planter ideas:

  • Pine cones
  • Birch branches
  • Red Berries
  • Birch logs
  • Pine branches
  • Christmas decorations
  • Fairy lights
  • Ornamental grasses
  • Curly Willow

Using the above items will ensure you have a well-styled planter. Also some of the items, like red berries, pine cones, and birch branches you can buy at the grocery store.

Urn with gold ribbon

Step 5 – Enjoy your Outdoor Christmas Urns

Here are some photos of the process final result.  You can pin these images to your Pinterest accoount for future reference.

Outdoor Christmas Urns

This process took me less than an hour to put both urns together. The best part is that this will be easy to disassemble and put away.  

Outdoor Christmas Urns

These look beautiful on the front steps and will last well into winter. In fact, they could be called “winter porch pots”.

Outdoor Christmas Urns

These outdoor Christmas urns frame the focal point to your front entryway. They are also perfect for use on front porches.

P.s. that hand painted Santa is vintage and I have had him for a number of years. He is part of my personal collection. ( I knew you were going to ask . . .)


Thank you for stopping by the blog today. I hope you found some inspiration for a simple project that can add to the festive mood of the holiday season.

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  1. How pretty!!! The simple greenery is beautiful with that velvet ribbon! Mr. Santa is adorable and so vintage-y! I love how easy these are to put together and can be left out all winter! Amazing!

  2. This is my kind of porch decorating, Anna! Quick and easy yet fun and festive. You totally nailed it! Love the urns you chose and your vintage Santa too. It’s fantastic! Hugs, CoCo

  3. Anna, Your porch looks so pretty! I have never used fresh evergreen, but this makes me want to try it! Loving the simple touch of the velvet ribbon around your amazing urns! Your vintage Santa is the icing on the cake!

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