I love gathering all my materials to put together winter arrangements for the holiday season. If you have an area where you hang flowers during the warmer months, or even shepherd’s hooks in the yard, why not use that space for a Christmas hanging basket? I hadn’t really thought of making a hanging container arrangement until I started to see them at my local grocery store and garden center. I think they add another festive element to a front porch, or backyard, or wherever you like to decorate.
Winter arrangements are pretty easy on the sliding scale of DIY projects. It might be cold and miserable outside, depending on your timing, but essentially you are arranging branches and sticks, and maybe a decorative element or two. In this article, I’ll share some ideas for Christmas hanging basket materials, as well as some ideas to keep it all in place.
Gathering your Christmas hanging basket materials
As I do with my urn, I really just gather a collection of greens and sticks, most from my own property, and others I have saved over the years. I carefully snip cedar and juniper branches, looking for those around the base of the trunk, that are sticking out at odd angles, or that are in hard-to-see places. I also often prune off some of the branches at the base of my Christmas tree to use in an outdoor display. Usually it’s to help the base fit into the stand. I like to make sure none of those branches go to waste!
Keep in mind when your Christmas hanging basket is hung, you might not have a view inside, so essentially you’re focusing on what you can see from the sides, and what is poking up from the middle for some height. If you’re adding accessories, consider what will cascade nicely over the edge, like ribbon or spruce boughs.
Here are a few materials to consider adding to a Christmas hanging basket:
- Pine boughs
- Holly branches
- Magnolia leaves
- Winterberry branches
- Cedar branches
- Juniper branches
- Thin birch logs
- Pine cones (make sure they are secured)
- Interesting sticks, like curly willow or red dogwood cut short
- Small bows or other ribbon accesories
- Battery-operated fairy lights
- Mini ornaments (use florist wire to attach)
- Festive ornament sticks that are used for indoor arrangements
Assembling a Christmas hanging basket
There are a few ways you can arrange your fresh greenery in a hanging pot. Having something to hold the branches down is necessary if it’s more exposed. In another article, I talk about applying the “thrillers, fillers, and spillers” concept to winter arrangements. It works on hanging baskets, as well because you want the materials you choose to be visible. So think of something perhaps cascading over the side (spiller), a focal point in the center of the basket (thriller), and all of it surrounded by a selection of other branches that don’t obscure it when hung (filler).
Use a hanging basket from summer annuals. Simply remove the spent plants, or even just trim down the stems, leaving the soil behind, and use the old soil to anchor your branches and sticks. The soil kind of acts as a florist’s foam.
An empty hanging basket can also come in handy. Use potting soil to anchor your sticks and branches. Eventually the soil should freeze everything in place. Be mindful of the weight.
If you have a metal hanging basket with a burlap or coir insert, you can fill that with a bit of soil and then arrange your materials inside. I have used cedar fronds in place of the burlap and then arranged branches inside.
A few things to consider when assembling your basket
If your hanging basket is not in a protected spot, keep in mind that the elements may affect it. Because we’re not generally talking about rooted plants, a few gusts of a strong wind or a blustery snowstorm can make short work of an arrangement. Try to anchor your branches somehow, either by securing them in soil, using wire to tie them together or wire them to the sides of a basket, etc.
Whichever way you choose to put your hanging basket together, be mindful of the “hanger” part. It may be a metal chain or plastic, but it could get in the way of your arrangement.
Also be mindful of the weight—you want to make sure your hook, or the support you intend to use isn’t going to buckle from a super-hefty container.
Can you bring a hanging Christmas basket inside?
A festive indoor hanging basket could be brought indoors to replace a hanging houseplant over the holiday season. The materials may, however, dry out more quickly. Be careful you don’t bring in a few insects, as well.
You could also gather some indoor holiday houseplants, for example a frosted fern, kalanchoe, and miniature cypress tree, and plant them in a hanging basket. I see this being a bit of a bother when it comes time to water, but if you have a hook and the right kind of container, go for it. Just be mindful of weight. And take the plant down, placing it on a dish to water.
More holiday decor ideas
- Festive outdoor container arrangements
- DIY projects for mini holiday houseplants
- Gathering Christmas wreath materials
- Growing and caring for paperwhites
Pin this to your holiday inspiration boards