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The Beauty of a Holiday Urn

The days have grown shorter; the air has a crisp cool sting to it and you can smell that snow will soon be on our doorstep. While out and about the other day, I also noticed that the Nursery’s, grocery stores & big box stores are getting out their Christmas greens. The last few weeks of November is the perfect time to bring the beauty of the season to your front door with a gorgeous holiday urn. This time of year is perfect because it is warm enough that you do not freeze your fingers off but cool enough to keep your greenery fresh.


The Basics

Starting with the basics of a good Holiday urn, you will need the following

  • A large sturdy outside urn
  • Potting soil
  • mixture of fresh greens

There are many shapes and styles of outdoor urns, the style that you choose will come down to the style of the home itself. There are traditional, rustic, modern urns in all shapes and sizes. The most important is that they should be sturdy and the opening big enough accommodate all the greenery.


For the greenery, I like to choose branches that vary in both texture and colour, this will add depth to the arrangement.  Below is a good guide on what to be looking for when purchasing your greens, one of my favourites NOT on this guide is boxwood so consider adding it to your list.

Urn Style

After you have purchased all of your basics, you will want to decide on a theme or style of your urn. There are so many that you can do it is sometimes hard to choose but again I think it will come down to the style and colouring of the exterior of your home. Here are a few examples of different styles that will get your creative juices flowing!

The Traditional Urn


For a traditional urn, reds and greens are always popular. Mixture of fresh greens, red branches, pinecones, red winter berries, reflective red and green balls and Christmas green ribbon will be a welcoming addition to the front of your home.


Urn designed by Michelle VandenBosch of Permanent Petals


The Natural Urn


Naturel urns are not all glitz and glamour. They stand alone on their pure beauty of nature. Choose your greens and try adding Birch branches along with twigs of your choice, rustic urn, use your old dried hydrangea from your garden and burlap ribbon. For the natural urn, instead of Christmas balls, print off  a page of a vintage Christmas song book, laminate it and set inside the foliage.


Urn Design from New House New Home New Life


The Modern Urn



Modern urns give you an opportunity to play with some fun punchy colours that do not traditionally read as Christmas. Here I have chosen a peacock theme using the hues of a peacock feather. Look for traditional greens, Birch branches, peacock feathers, Blue silk ribbon and flashy Christmas balls in shades of peacock blue and green.


Urn designed by Sonya Kinkade Design


The Glitzy Urn



Lastly, let’s have a look at the glitzy urn. This urn is all about the sparkle. Start by purchasing a silver urn or if you can’t find one consider spraying an urn with metallic spray for the same effect. Again add your selection of greens, natural curvy birch branches, large Mercury balls (Pottery Barn), vintage silver and gold style glass beads (Etsy) and beautiful black velvet ribbon. Purchase the tiny copper wired starry nights lights available at Restoration hardware. Tuck the little lights within the greens and wind up the birch branches. These lights are probably best for an urn that may have some coverage from a porch.


Urn decoration by Sonya Kinkade Design & Modecor




Starting your Urn

You will want to fill your urn with potting soil so that the branches stick in easily. When it starts to get very cold, the soil will freeze holding them in place. I always like to start with the greenery at the bottom that drapes easily over the pot, from there on I build it mixing all the different colours and textures of green. If you have branches that do not drape or give very well, you can use it at the back of the planter for height if going up against the wall. Half way through filling the urn I will add my birch branches, curly willow, whatever I am using for the centre and then again starting building around it. Once I have all the branches and greens placed, and if I am adding lights, I start tucking them inside all around for a glittering glow, just enough for sparkle. Lastly, I start attaching on any ornaments, ribbon, feathers or garland that I may be adding. If you are using the large mercury balls, keep some lower areas clear so you can tuck them in snugly.


Now, if you do not want to go to the trouble of sourcing, purchasing and creating your urn you can always opt for these beautiful versions from Restoration Hardware:)


Restoration Hardware



As you can see, the beauty of a Holiday Urn comes in every shape and style…..the fun is making that style your own. Now get outside and have fun. I would love to see your Holiday Urn, take a picture and email me at sonyakinkade@bellnet.ca and I will share it on the Sonya Kinkade Design Facebook page!


What a great round-up of ideas, Sonya. I love the twinkling glitzy urn! Thank you for featuring my natural burlap urn!

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