I have never really done much to decorate the outside of our house for the winter months. Part of the reason is budget—I usually prioritize interior stuff over exterior. Do you guys face the same struggles? Is it just a Minnesota thing since we're inside for so much of the year?
Anyways, our front porch was looking rather sad, and I am thankful to have found a way to fill it with welcoming beauty for free!
A while back, a cousin on Ben's side posted a picture to Instagram of a winter planter she had put together and I was super inspired. I know you can buy spruce top bundles, red dogwood branches, and pretty birch logs for sale at grocery stores and nurseries, but they were kind of expensive and I just couldn't pull the trigger. Not when I would rather save that money for maybe putting together a little playroom in the basement (ahem). Ya hear me?
Well, I found out my father-in-law had some spruce cuttings from his property. And we have a birch tree in our yard and some beautiful dogwoods with those gorgeous red branches. It didn't take much to do this for free! I found/cut some white birch branches and I trimmed off a few pieces from the dogwoods. I used planters from our shed and added a few silver ornaments and what do you know!
A couple of (free!) outdoor planters that were super easy and add a bit of intentional welcome to our front porch. (Much more welcoming than the deer feces I found on our front pathway. NOT welcoming.)
I am definitely still learning how to put together a planter, but I seem to remember hearing this: thriller, filler, spiller. The thriller is like a colorful, wow thing. I might have three—red dogwoods, white branches, ornaments.
My filler and my spiller are the evergreens. I have two different kinds of spruce—one kind was more upright so I stuck those in the back, and the other kind was more droopy, so I put those in front (spiller).
I went to go find some red ornaments in my stash but would you believe I didn't have any? So silver it is. It's a nice bit of glimmer that I can take off after Christmas. Or I might not.
I was so tempted to buy some more things to dress these up, but I wanted to keep these as a totally cost-free project so I didn't. But here are a few ideas for you guys if you want to tackle this yourselves:
—Build your base with evergreen cuttings. I don't know my conifers, but the stiffer kinds are best for the back of the planter, and there are some types that are a bit more droopy for the front. Pines with long needles can be really pretty flopping over the front!
—Red dogwood cuttings and white birch branches are a no-fail option for the center. But also consider red berries or white cotton branches! I've seen people use their dried hydrangeas and they look super cool, too. Pine cones would look awesome! Or, use cuttings from any bush you have. The dried twigs will add an interesting texture, even if they aren't red like dogwoods.
—If you want to dress it up for Christmas, consider adding ornaments or tying bows on some of the branches. Red is a classic choice! You could tie a ribbon around the planter, too, depending on its shape or size.
It feels so good to use what you have and decorate for free. I hope you are inspired! And I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas celebrating our dear Savior's birth. I'll be enjoying a slower schedule around here. Much love!