Still Enjoying Holiday Decorations

On the covered back deck, during the holidays, is a whimsical pair of lighted, candy cane Christmas urns. 

candy-cane-Christmas-urn-snow
Even though it’s now January, that white Christmas we had is going to be around for quite awhile. In fact, we’ve gotten another 5-6 inches on top of it.

Nothing is melting either. Not with a good portion of the country in a very deep freeze. Over the next couple of days the high isn’t suppose to go above 7 degrees, and that’s not even taking the wind chill into consideration. Brrrrr!

Since the nest is empty, I usually leave Christmas decorations up until after Epiphany Sunday. You know, after the three kings arrived in Bethlehem. It’s a nice extension to the holiday season and means I can enjoy New Years without spending it taking down decorations (in truth, it takes me about a week to do anyway!).

So, even though Christmas is in the rear mirror, I thought I’d share my second set of holiday urns.

5 Step DIY Process 

Candy-cane-Christmas-urns-DIY-collage

For the Candy Cane Christmas Urns, I used the same five-step process as in the post, DIY Reindeer Christmas Planters. Refer to that post for detailed instructions and tips (so not to be redundant and long-winded here):

Reindeer-Christmas-planters-pair

  1. Prep Urns
  2. Install Floral Foam & Rocks or Sand
  3. Anchor Focal Element (Candy Canes)
  4. Add Greenery, Natural Materials
  5. Attach Embellishments (Ornaments)

Additional Tips: Two added tips since the reindeer urn post:

  1. Save considerable time putting the Candy Cane Christmas Urns together (or any seasonal planters), by having all your materials gathered before you begin. This is especially helpful during the post-Thanksgiving period, if you live in a colder climate.
  2. Pack away all but the natural materials in the same container, including any strings of lights. I pack both sets of candy cane and reindeer urn decorations together for quick, easy access.

Check out my Pinterest board, DIY Decorated Urns, Planters & Window Boxes, for more inspirational ideas and tutorials for all four seasons. Here’s what we’re working to create:

candy-candy-Christmas-urn

The inspiration for the Christmas design was a eureka moment when I saw a package of lighted candy canes. Each box comes with a trio of candy canes. They were super cheap, and I use one set per urn. Lighted candy canes are easily available, and you might be able to snag some now at clearance sales. Let’s get

Candy-cane-lights-box
started!

Step 1: Prep Urns or Planters

As explained in the reindeer post, I save empty, hanging plastic plant containers to insert into the top portion of emptied-out urns. This means you don’t need fill up the entire urn, and provides space to insert the floral foam bricks in the next step. I typically do leave dirt in the lower portions of the planters for counterbalance weight, since my urns are made of lighter, composite material.

Step 2: Install Floral Foam & Rocks or Dirt

Insert the floral foam into the empty plant containers for a nice tight fit. For my containers, that means two levels of floral bricks stacked. The floral foam is for inserting the decorative elements and holding them in place. I’ve reused the same foam for several years.

Candy-cane-foam

The planters on my back porch have a slanted side, so they leave room between the edge of the container and the urn. I fill that space by wedging in small rocks and broken pieces of brick. Otherwise, the tall candy canes will topple over in a strong breeze. You can also use sand, but that’s harder and messier to

Candy-cane-foam
remove come spring to make way for plantings.

Step 3: Anchor Focal Element (Candy Canes)

The candy cane lights come with these plastic ‘spikes’ to insert in each pole. That’s how I insert the poles into the floral foam. It will also work inserting the spikes into dirt.

But, if the soil freezes, it’s nearly impossible to remove the spikes without breaking them. That’s what happened to me the first year, when I didn’t use the plastic container inserts. It’s why you only see two instead of three spikes in the picture to the right. LOL. Now I only have five instead of six spikes. For the sixth, I now insert a long narrow floral stake, which is a less supportive substitute.

Don’t make my mistake!

candy-cane-placement

In the picture above, you can see the empty space around the inner container and it tipping to the left. That’s why it’s necessary to add the rocks to wedge the container in place and provide counterbalance to the tall red and white Christmas decorations.

Step 4: Add Greenery, Natural Materials

Layer, drape and insert greens on top of the urn, and between the candy cane poles. For the Candy Cane Christmas Urns, I typically just use fresh trimmings from wherever we purchase our Christmas tree. The planters are on the back porch and have so many ornament embellishments, it just doesn’t warrant the extra expense of purchasing pricey holly, juniper or other greens. I’m thinking about using artificial greens next year, so I don’t have to wait until we bring the live tree home to put together the urns.

Step 5: Attach Embellishments (Ornaments)

All the white, green and white Christmas ornaments you see to the right were purchased at Pat Catan’s. Not only are they really special in their shapes and designs,

candy-cane-ornaments
they are shatterproof!

To install them, I use the same process as I did with the reindeer urns that flank the front door.

First, I take a piece of thick floral wire and attach it to the ornament hanger. Then I wind several inches of it around a floral stake. This only needs to be done the first time you install the design. All you have to do subsequent years is re-slip the now twisted wire over a floral stake.

It’s possible to just install the ornaments without first attaching and twisting green floral wire. But, I like the flexibility it gives in positioning the ornaments in place. That’s especially true if you have ornaments you want to dangle. Up to you.

Try it first without, and if you’re happy with the results, then save some time and effort.

Mitten-ornament

Don’t you just love the large red mitten ornament? I think it’s adorable, with the white snowflake printed on the festive red.

Take an Up-Close Look

candy-cane-mitten-arrangement

This is the candy cane urn on the left side of the porch, with the same red mitten and other holiday ornaments. Look closely to spot a floral stake or two. You really have to be up close to see the stakes with their dark green color.

candy-cane-greens

The long, red and white pieces of sugar-dusted ‘candy’ are also plastic. I was dropping off a donation at Goodwill when I found a large bag full of them for $1!  You never know what you’re going to find at Goodwill or a thrift shop.

Many years, my husband also drapes live evergreen garland around the porch’s railing before putting up white lights. Then, I hang the candy pieces all around to tie in with the Candy Cane Christmas Urns. This year, with us going out of town to Quebec City, there just wasn’t enough time and energy to go out and buy the garland. That’s why it might look goofy that we used green wire lights on the white railing.

Candy Cane Christmas Urns Create a Festive View

Why, you may be wondering, would we put so much effort decorating a porch at the rear of our home?

It’s because of the large sliding glass door between the open kitchen and family room, where the casual eating area is. Floor to ceiling glass allows us to see the decorations day or night, as well as from the kitchen and family room windows. Guests that enter from the front door get the view of the Candy Cane Christmas Urns down the hallway.

Candy-cane-urns-side-by-side

So, between the cold and the snow, hubby and I are going to keep on enjoying that view for at least another week.

Are your outdoor Christmas decorations still up? I hope wherever you live, you’re keeping safe and warm.

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