I’ve loved the look of Holiday Porch Pots for several years now. At first, it was really hard to even find them for sale. This year it seems like they’re everywhere but they cost so much! Even Walmart had them, but a really small one was $40?! I thought, as a dedicated crafter and believer that I can make anything (admittedly, my toxic trait! lol!), I can DO THIS. And, I did it so cheap you won’t believe it!
Do you love cheap outdoor holiday decorations? Want to see more? Check out my Easy Outside Christmas Carolers Decorations from Wood Pallets! And, my Easy Outside Christmas Tree Decorations from Wood Pallets. While you’re at it, see how I made these adorable and super Easy Outside Reindeer Christmas Decorations from Birch Wood. Last, but certainly not least, check out my super easy and free Holiday Porch Pot Decorations.
How to make Super Easy and Free Beautiful Holiday Porch Pot Decorations
With the economy tanking and inflation making everything cost more, I wanted to be Ho! Ho! Ho! Festive but my budget was lucky to be so-so. So, I set out to make the most of it with the least investment possible.
First, I gathered evergreen branches. There are a large variety of evergreen and they’re not all created equally. Thankfully, there’s a lot of forgiveness with these porch pots. You can’t really make a mistake! The pine trees in my area aren’t spruce and frankly they’re very sparse. In other words, they are probably ponderosa pine and are not the thick, full branches you are used to on a normal Christmas tree, which is more like a Fir or blue spruce. They’re beautiful in their own way, and some might even still have pine cones on them. So pretty! In case you’re interested, here are the top 10 types of pine trees, according to Wesley Choice.org. But, if you use only sparse branches like this, your porch pot is going to look a bit bare. The best bet is to use various types of evergreen branches to give a fuller effect. Also, use various lengths of pine, fir or spruce branches so your porch pot looks tall and full.
My thrifty hack was since I couldn’t find good Balsam, Fraser or Douglas fir branches, I actually used part of a fake Christmas tree to make my porch pots! My local thrift store had received incomplete trees that couldn’t be sold (one was missing branches and one was missing a leg to its build-in stand). So, I saved them from the trash and used them to make these beautiful porch pots. They filled out the pots so well, it was perfect! For example, the pretty porch pots in the square silver planters you see pictured below are actually the top and bottom of a small Christmas tree which lost one of its legs and couldn’t be used as-is. How pretty are they, though?!
By the way, by “gathering branches,” I don’t mean these things are laying around for you to pick up and go. As you can see, I brought a chainsaw with me to cut branches. Granted, some were laying on the ground and I took those first. Once I got them home, I used a handheld bow pruning saw to cut them to the size I wanted.
Second, what self-respecting porch pot would be complete without some beautiful white birch branches? When driving around the gorgeous northern Wisconsin area, you’ll see tons of birch trees. However, finding appropriately sized branches isn’t as easy as it seems like it would be! I walked for probably a mile looking for just the right thing, thinking I’d found it only to realize it was way too big. Most of the small branches you’ll want for a regular size porch pot are at the TOP of the tree! And then, those older branches actually shed the white bark and look brown and drab. So, it’s a process to find the right birch branches. Some have capitalized on this; you can often find birch branches for sale this time of year on Marketplace or your local craft bazaar for a few bucks per bundle. I’m lucky in that my parents own 40 acres of woods, shock full of the perfect birch trees for porch pots!
Third, now that you have your branches you’ll want to think about the POT you’re going to stick them in. The small porch pot I made (at the top of this page), I was able to find a planter that already had styrofoam in it. It was free because the thrift store was throwing it away. I just reused that!
For the medium-size porch pots I made (pictured right above this), I used two really cute planters that I already had. I’ve used them for many things over the years. I believe I got them really cheap at a garage sale. For those, I didn’t use rocks or dirt, I just put the branches in and they filled it up. They’re not huge or top heavy, so that worked just fine.
The huge porch pots I made for my local nonprofit community center, had four huge pots that I was able to use. This was amazing and I was so excited, except the pots were very light and sticking tall, heavy branches in them posed a new problem: how do I keep them standing up? They were totally top heavy and unbalanced. I could have filled it with dirt or sand, but these pots were enormous and I didn’t figure I would be able to move them! So, I opted for 3-4 large rocks in each pot. First, I set up the branches as I wanted them. Then, I tied them together with heavy wire. And finally, I added the rocks around the branches to weigh the whole thing down. It worked well! However, if you’re not planning to make 14′ porch pots like I did, I would recommend filling smaller pots with dirt or sand and rocks. Then, adding the branches by poking them down into the dirt.
Fourth, with your pot mostly assembled, now you only need some finishing touches. I added garnishes of red berries, poinsettias and gold and silver adornments to brighten and add a festive touch. These faux flowers can be purchased at any craft store, but they can also be expensive. My frugal hack was to buy them at the end of the season for the past few years, on after-Christmas clearance. I got them for 90% off! I paid 9 cents each for most of them, and some were thrown in free by the store because they were not perfect. I was happy and grateful to get them!
A note about the HUGE porch pots I made: these would probably sell for upwards of $500 each if I had paid someone to create them. I literally paid nothing by doing it myself.
So, whether you’re making a regular, small or even a huge porch pot, you can do it for little to no cost. And the final product is fantastic! I love the natural, festive look. And I’m so happy they didn’t cost hundreds of dollars!