On the covered back deck, is a whimsical pair of lighted, candy cane Christmas urns.
Depending on the weather, I usually put them together right after Thanksgiving. I imagine many of you will be stringing lights and decking your own halls this coming weekend — if you haven’t started already?
Like many, the inspiration for this holiday project came from an image I saw on Pinterest. So, it seemed appropriate to share how I created the candy candy Christmas urns in this month’s Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop.
Hosted by Erlene of My Pinterventures, the hop’s intent is to motivate all to not just pin, but act on the idea. You’ll find links to lots of great projects, recipes and ideas by other bloggers at the bottom of this post.
It’s a simple five-step process to put together the candy cane Christmas urns, and one you can easily apply to any holiday decorating theme.
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I had already created a pair of decorated urns to flank the front door, when I spotted a candy cane arrangement on Pinterest. The decorated urn was one of 25 Fun Candy Cane Christmas Decor Ideas for Your Home featured on DigsDigs.
We had recently added a covered porch addition to the back of the house. And, I had put aside a second set of black urns for planting annuals the following spring. For the holidays, we normally string fresh pine garland and white lights on the porch’s white railing. A large lighted snowflake hangs in the center of the bay balcony. That got me to thinking how great a pair of decorated planters would look there too.
But, the candy cane Christmas urn idea sat in a Pinterest board gathering ‘dust’ for another year.
That is, until I was shopping one day and spotted packages of pre-lit candy canes. They are two feet tall, and come three in a box.
That’s when I had a eureka moment! Each set of three would become the centerpiece of candy cane Christmas urns on the porch.
Easy 5 Step DIY
To assemble the decorated urns, I used the same five-step process as in DIY Reindeer Christmas Planters.
So as not to be overly redundant, please refer to the reindeer planter post for more detailed instructions and tips. It’s an easy project, weather permitting —just like putting out any other holiday lights and decorations.
- Prep Urns
- Add Floral Foam
- Install Focal Element
- Insert Greenery, Natural Materials
- Attach Embellishments
Here’s what the candy candy Christmas urns look like when finished:
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Prep Urns or Planters
As explained in the reindeer post, I insert empty, hanging plastic plant containers into the upper ‘bowl’ of emptied-out urns. Since I live in Pittsburgh, I’m quick to pull mums and dirt out before the dirt freezes and becomes rock hard.
The plastic containers serve as planter inserts and save from filling the entire urn with material. Since my planters are made of lightweight composite material, leaving dirt in the lower portion provides counterbalance.
Those plastic containers hold the floral foam used in the next step.
Step 2: Add Floral Foam
Now, insert floral foam into the empty plant containers. Make sure to get a nice tight fit. For my containers, that means two levels of floral bricks stacked. Floral foam is used for inserting decorative elements and holding them in place (step 3).
I reuse the same foam and containers every season. During the rest of the year, the foam-filled containers are stored in the garage.
The planters on my back porch have a slanted side. Unfortunately, that leaves open space between the edge of the container and the urn.
In the picture above, you can see the empty space around the inner container causing it to tip to the left. I fill that space by wedging in small rocks and broken pieces of brick. They help to hold the container in place.
Otherwise, the tall candy canes could topple over in a strong wind. Sand can also be used, but it’s harder and messier to remove come spring. Gardening soil works better.
Step 3: Anchor Focal Element (Candy Canes)
The candy cane lights come with plastic ‘spikes’ to insert each pole into the ground. Or in this case, into the floral foam.
But, the first year I made the mistake of inserting elements directly into dirt left in place from fall mums. Because the soil was frozen solid, it was nearly impossible to insert or remove the spikes without breaking them.
Don’t make my mistake!
At this point, make sure the electrical wires are easily accessible for plugging the lighted candy canes into an extension cord or outlet.
Step 4: Add Greenery, Natural Materials
Layer, drape and insert fresh greens into and over the floral foam, and between the candy cane poles.
I typically use trimmings from our live 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, cedar, juniper or other greens.
This year, however, I’m thinking about using artificial greens. That way, I can set up the candy cane Christmas urns right after Thanksgiving.
Step 5: Attach Embellishments
All the Christmas ornaments used in the outdoor planters are shatterproof. I love the variety in their shape, size and design.
They are reminiscent of the real ornaments used in Decorate Tree with Vintage Christmas Treasures.
First, take a piece of thick floral wire and attach it to the ornament hanger. Then wind the wire several times around a long floral stake. This only needs to be done the first time assembling the planters. In subsequent years, just slip the already twisted wire over a 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.
Try it first without, and if you’re happy with the results, then save some time and effort. Me, I like ornaments to dangle in the candy cane Christmas urns.
Don’t you just love the large red mitten ornament with the white snowflake print? Yep, it’s shatterproof too.
Tip: Pack away all the ornaments, floral stakes, and string of lights in the same box for quick, easy access the following year.
An Up-Close Look
This is the decorated planter on the left side of the porch bay. Look closely to spot a floral stake or two. Thanks to their dark green color, you really have to be up close to see the stakes. A little snow on top and they are fully covered.
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! It’s always a good idea to have an eye open for unexpected discoveries at a thrift shop.
Many years, my husband also drapes live pine garland around the porch’s railing. Then, I hang more candy pieces from the garland to tie-in with the candy cane Christmas urns.
When I took pictures last year, we were heading out-of-town (see Christmas Card from Old Quebec City). There just wasn’t enough time and energy to put up the pine garland. That’s why the green wires look goofy on the white railing in a number of the photos.
Candy Cane Christmas Urns Create a Festive View
Are you wondering why we put so much effort decorating a porch at the rear of our home?
It’s because large sliding glass doors provide a lovely view — day or night — from the open kitchen and family room. Guests can also see the candy cane Christmas urns as they come down the front hall.
Check out my Pinterest board, DIY Decorated Urns, Planters & Window Boxes, for more ideas and tutorials all year long.
See below for decorative elements to recreate the look:
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Now let’s see what other things Pinterest inspired! Head over and visit the other hosts to see what they crafted, cooked, built, or tried!
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