With a little pre-planning, it’s a simple process to create a beautiful pair of reindeer Christmas planters. They look wonderful greeting visitors throughout the holiday season and into the month of January.
This is the third year I’ve decorated black urns on either side of the front door. Reindeer planters compliment other outdoor Christmas decorations; including a trio of animated deer and large front-door wreath.
Because there is no overhang or front porch, the planters often are covered with snow. We just had a white Christmas, and now freezing temperatures are keeping the snow from melting.
I’ll just leave the reindeer outside, until the weather is more agreeable. Then, I’ll pack the reindeer and decorative ornaments away until next year.
Today I’ll show how I created the reindeer Christmas planters in five easy steps, with a few helpful tips and list of materials.
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Create a Holiday Urn Planter in 5 Easy Steps
Follow these steps to recreate the reindeer Christmas planters, or use it as a guide to make your own holiday design.
Step 1: Prep Urns
Some pre-planning is required, especially if you live in an area where temperatures hover around freezing late fall.
The first time, I made a big mistake by not taking Pittsburgh’s weather into account. I thought I’d simply remove the fall mums and use the remaining dirt to anchor the greens and decorative materials. What a dope! The dirt was frozen solid and like a rock!
Hubby came to my rescue by lugging the heavy urns into the garage for a few days, and then helping me to core out the dirt . Fortunately, the planters are made of a composite material rather than cement!
Come fall, I now insert potted mums (in original plastic containers) into the urns. After Thanksgiving, I just pull out the containers, leaving a hollowed-out space.
Step 2: Add Floral Foam
When you dump out the mums, save the plastic containers.
I actually have two sets of large black urns that I decorate for the holidays. The reindeer Christmas planters are in next to the front door, and candy cane decorated urns go on the back porch. So, four empty containers are put aside to insert into the empty planters.
Each plastic container is filled with floral foam, which helps to anchor decorative materials.
If you live in a warm area, you might want to use the floral foam that holds water. The weight of the water will also help to keep the wind from toppling taller decorations. For that, I just use small rocks, tucked around the container and on the floral foam.
Step 3: Anchor Reindeer or Focal Element
Reindeer Theme for Outdoor Christmas Decorations
Several years ago, I went on the hunt for two large reindeer to compliment other outdoor Christmas decorations.
In addition to candles and wreaths hanging from ten windows across the front of the house, are a family trio of animated, gold reindeer. I just love them! Hubby has had to do some rewiring over the years to keep them lit and operating. Each adult slowly lifts and turns their heads.
I also have a large wreath on the front door that has a gold reindeer hanger. The wreath is next week’s project — it needs a major refresh. It’s definitely not picture-worthy right now. But, here’s a peek at the large hanger itself.
The past couple of weeks, I shared three posts on my peacock themed Christmas decorations in Peacock Ornaments Decorate Chandelier, Decorating with a Peacock Theme, and Peacock Ornaments Decorate Tree.
One of my nicknames is Queen of Theme! So, it might not surprise you that my outdoor decorations also have a theme – gold reindeer. There are even little ones in the burgundy velveteen bows of all ten window wreaths.
Reindeer Worth the Wait
I went on the hunt for two gold reindeer to incorporate into front door planters. Marshall’s had them during an after Christmas clearance sale. I had to wait another year to use them, but they were absolutely perfect!
And, they’ve held up really well too, especially when you consider they are not undercover. I figured they might need a fresh coat of gold paint each year, but haven’t had to do so in three years.
Back to the instructions! Extra anchors from the reindeer in the yard hold the deer figures in place. Floral stakes used to secure the shatterproof ornaments would also work.
Here’s a close-up of how I anchored the reindeer’s feet into the floral foam. It’s important the anchors or stakes are long enough to go through both levels of floral foam.
Once the deer are in place, it’s time to fill in empty spaces around the foam and plant container with rocks or dirt.
Step 4: Add Evergreens, Holly & Natural Materials
A combination of trimmings from our Christmas tree and cypress, juniper and other fresh greens fill the reindeer Christmas planters. Every year, while Visiting Trax Farms, I pick up fresh materials.
Heavier, more bulky evergreen branches make up the bottom layer. Greens are tucked into the foam and around the deer legs. More fragile, and costly, juniper and berries go last.
You can also supplement with faux greens and floral picks. Or, purchase urn filler inserts.
This year, my husband had just given our holly bushes a long overdue trim. So the bulk of natural materials you see below are holly and Fraser Fir Christmas tree branches.
Step 5: Add Ornaments, Pinecones & Embellishments
All the shatterproof ornaments in the reindeer Christmas planters are from Pat Catans. They have the best selection, with many novelty items.
Each ornament is set on top or tucked slightly into the greenery. Floral wire and a long green floral stake holds each in place.
You might also choose to had ribbons and bows. Another option is to add mini lights. Between the front porch lanterns and spotlight on the door, I find lights aren’t necessary. Plus, I don’t want to deal with hiding the wires.
Reindeer Christmas Planters Material List:
- One or two large urn planters or pots
- Empty plastic plant containers; 1-2 inches smaller in diameter than the urn
- Floral foam, enough to fill plastic plant containers
- Rocks, dirt and/or floral tape to hold containers and foam in place
- Wire reindeer or other central element to provide height & serve as focal point
- Anchors or floral stakes to hold deer & embellishments in place
- Evergreen cuttings, greens, holly, & juniper (based on availability & preferences)
- Assorted shatterproof balls, artificial floral picks, & pinecones
- Optional: ribbon/bows, mini lights
On my back porch are two other decorated planters. View DIY Lighted Candy Cane Christmas Urns Add Whimsy to make your own.
Check out other inspirational designs and ideas on my Pinterest board, DIY Decorated Urns and Planters.
Do you decorate a planter, urn, pot or window box at Christmastime?
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