Christmas Patio Decorating 101

When it comes to Christmas... many people would say I tend to go "slightly" overboard... What can I say? I love ALL things Christmas!

SCREENED-IN PATIO:

Since I do live in the South now (and hubby swears it is SO MUCH warmer in North Carolina than Nebraska...) I took his comment to heart and decided to add some festive Christmas decor on our screened-in patio for the "plentiful" times we can enjoy our patio in the winter...

For the record...I'd like it to be known that North Carolina actually received its first snow of the year long before Nebraska did... And currently as I'm writing this, it is a toasty 12 degrees, so I can't say there is much validity in hubs' claim anymore... So much for those "Southern warm winters..." Oh well! At least our patio looks cute every time we take our fur baby outside to go poo poo in the potty! (sorry, inside joke.) :)

PATIO WREATH & DISPLAY: This is #3 of 5 wreaths I made this year. I even captured one of the pictures where said snow was in full force.

Check out this cute "Believe" banner from Target for only $3. :) The cafe lights were also a Target find from earlier this summer, on sale for $12/box.

DESIGN A CHRISTMAS PLANTER (In 7 Easy Steps):

Here is more proof of our Carolina snow with the Christmas planter. We repurposed our planters from the spring and summer so that they wouldn't be hibernating during the long winter months.

Before we get started, it's time to brainstorm and get the creative juices flowing. When designing an effective planter, make sure to keep certain factors in mind to create the most "wow" factor effect:

  • varying heights

  • contrasting colors

  • variety of textures

  • differing shapes and sizes

  • adding a fun pattern (such as a ribbon)

  • incorporating colors, ideas, and features from any other decor nearby to keep the look cohesive

There are no definite rules on height, but if using floral and greenery elements, I like to make sure the greenery/floral parts are at least 2 to 3x the height of the pot. Now it's time to get started!

1. Determine Theme / Look of Pots: Determine the overall look, style, theme, color scheme, feel, and materials you will be using. Browsing a local craft store will help to get your creative juices flowing. (I selected a Christmasy and wintry overall feel and theme with pops of red and rustic elements to tie in the theme of our patio.)

2. Fill your Pots: Anchor your faux plants and fillers into the pot by first filling the pot with green foam blocks (from your local craft store) or using existing dirt. (In this case, I just used the dirt since it was quite compact by this time and sturdily held the stems without any issues.)

3. Start Building with a Filler: Use a filler to add fullness to your pot. (I started with snowy pine stems from Hobby Lobby to add fullness as they were easy to branch out and took up a lot of space. I usually include 3-4 large fillers, depending on the size, and if you need the filler to cover all sides, including the back.)

4. Add Height into the Middle of your Filler: Add your element of height to the top of your planter and anchor it in the middle with the filler plants. (I added the tall, snowy branch twigs, pinecone stems, and berry branches (all from Mangelsen's) to tie in the red as well as some extra height.)

5. Add Remaining Floral & Greenery: Add your remaining floral and greenery stems. (I added 5 berry and pine twig floral stems around the base of the planter. This contrasted with my snowy pines as well as added color.)

6. Add Accent Pieces: Add remaining accent pieces such as pinecones, berries, extra pops of color, etc. (I still needed a touch more to fill in the gaps so I looked around the house to see what I could find. In my spare Christmas decor tote, I discovered extra pinecones which were the perfect addition to fill in the sparse areas.)

7. Add Finishing Touches: Add ribbon along with a bow to add a seasonal touch. (I finished the look with some pretty plaid ribbon to keep things festive and Christmasy.) Take one more look and make adjustments or add any last finishing touches. (I noticed the snowy pine filler was too stark on its own, so I incorporated the tall pinecone branches that I had at the top of the planter into the filler as well to keep the eye moving and make it all flow together.)

Here is a view of the planters on our patio with a few more extra touches.

BIRCH ACCENTS:

The birch logs have made quite the journey - they originally came from our summer cabin in Minnesota, then South to Texas, up to Nebraska, and now to North Carolina. There is just something about birch trees that make me happy.

INTERIOR DESIGN 101:

Back to interior design 101. Grouping items into odd numbers is visually appealing, effective, and memorable. This forms a distinguishable pattern and keeps things interesting yet ironically balanced in our minds. When you see an odd number of items, it forces your eye to move around which creates a more unique and interesting visual experience. #oxymoronforthewin I incorporated various elements of each item in different ways to create a cohesive look (metal, pops of red color, greenery, wintry feel, etc.) while varying heights to add dimension.

Check out additional seasonal and floral arrangement ideas in my Creating Seasonal Arrangements post (coming soon).

LIGHT FIXTURE DECOR:

I added a few wintry pine branches, red berries, and plaid ribbon to the outdoor light fixtures to tie the look all together. Speaking of ribbon...

  • SAVVY SHOPPER TIP: As mentioned before, it gets closer to Christmas, Michaels will reduce their ribbon to 70% off and occasionally have an extra 20-25% off your total. It's safe to say, thanks to this lucky find, I am now owner to one large plastic tote of ribbons... You just can't go wrong with $7 ribbon for $1.58 or XL spools of $20 ribbon for $4.50. :) Go me! #ribbonsaremyhappyplace

PATIO SET & PILLOWS:

Final proof of our Carolina "warm weather" snow... This pillow selection was quite the ordeal. Let's just say that I may or may not have come home with 8 oversized shopping bags with 20+ pillows before I could narrow it down to 4. This setup was the winner... Hubs on the other hand drew the short straw and was designated as the pillow pal returner... I'm sure Christmas shoppers loved waiting behind him...

The problem with savvy shopping (aka HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, & Marshall's), is that you can't always find 4 of a kind, so you have to think outside the box. I loved the combination of the two pillow patterns together along with mixing in this extra warm blanket with coordinating colors. This is a Great Britain wool blanket that I found at TJ Maxx for a steal!

This patio set with fire pit is one of our favorite things in our home! Even though we haven't used it this winter yet...I'm still hopeful the elusive 55 degree winter weather will be here one of these days...

PATIO SET CENTERPIECE:

I repurposed one of our lanterns from the summer to give it a wintery touch by adding frosted pine branches, pinecone stems, eucalyptus leaves, and a plaid red ribbon. It serves as the perfect centerpiece for our patio set.

CHRISTMAS FLORAL DISPLAYS:

Check out that ivy! This planter is still going strong from the spring (at least the English ivy is...) I can keep a plant alive after all! I'm aiming for a full year now... March is almost here... only time will tell!

Crazy enough, the English Ivy and Dusty Miller has held up well in the winter so far too. Technically since these are perennials, you can cut them back as well and then they will spring back to life in (you guessed it) spring. :)

In case you were wondering, the red hydrangeas are clearly fake... I combined faux red hydrangeas with some other faux greenery stems, red berries, and red glittery sprigs to create a wintry look.

Hubs and I are pretty great at finding crazy good deals at Pottery Barn. These galvanized metal malta lanterns were 70% off. To top it off, we also had a $25 off of $50 coupon, $40 in rewards along with a gift card, so I was pretty ecstatic when I discovered this deal. #basicallyfree We plan on changing the lanterns out each season so we will definitely put them to work!

For this lantern, I still needed a pop of red so I added an extra hydrangea flower, leaves, and ribbon, and it resulted in just the look I was hoping for.

#liketoknowit:

Lantern: Pottery Barn

Planters: HomeGoods

Floral Arrangements: Custom Made by Me (with stems from Hobby Lobby, Michaels)

Ribbon: Michaels

Pine Branches: Michaels

Pillows: HomeGoods

Wreaths: Custom Made by Me (with Wreath Decor pieces from Hobby Lobby, Michaels)

"Believe" Banner: Target

Blanket: Tj Maxx

Cafe Lights: Target

Tin Bucket: Flea Market

Birch Logs: Minnesota cabin

Patio Furniture: Sam's

HOT COCOA BAR:

All we need to enjoy this patio is some Hot Cocoa now (and a bit warmer temperatures...) Check out my Hot Cocoa Bar - How To post to learn how to easily create one for yourself without breaking the bank!

Thanks for reading and a very Merry Christmas (no matter what time of year) to you!

Check out my Christmas Decorating page for other ideas and "how-to's", including easy, step-by-step guides on wreath making, floral arrangement creating, chandelier decorating, garland making, and more!

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