Decorative wood lanterns.
Up until this year I've always decorated my front planters in the typical way for the Christmas season: winter greens, birch sticks, pine cones, a few large ornaments, and a big bow. You know what I'm talking about... driving around town, it seems like EVERY house has some version of this exact idea! So this year I decided to change it up a little and instead of birch sticks and such, I wanted to decorate my planters with lanterns instead. But not with just any lanterns... big, beautiful, oversized, rustic/modern lanterns!
I got straight to work and built these beauties out of solid wood.
Since I was aiming for a modern but rustic look, I decided to stain the wood in a light gray colour and then do a faint white wash. I finished off with and a couple of polyurethane coats for protection. Looking handsome...
To make these lanterns a bit fancier, I added a black plastic post cap (the one you'd place on top of a 4x4 outdoor stair post!!) at the top. In place of a round ring typically found on the very top of a lantern, I opted for a decorative finial.
I figured glass sides wouldn't be the best option here as I wasn't sure how it would hold up to our cold Canadian winter temperatures. I also didn't want to worry about the glass breaking in case the lanterns fell over on a windy day, so I installed chicken wire along the sides instead. I prefer the chicken wire anyway, as it adds that rustic element I was going after.
Finally, I drilled holes in the bottom of each planter and inserted long dowels (not shown). These dowels would be pushed into the soil in the planters, which would help prevents the lanterns from tipping over on a windy day. The dowels can be easily removed if I ever wish to stand the lanterns on the ground.
To dress up the front door planters, I first filled them with some trimmed winter greens, then inserted the lanterns in the centre of each planter. They're a perfect fit! Not too large, but definitely a good size to make a statement!
Inside the lanterns I placed a string of LED lights. Alternatively, they can be filled with some ornaments, pine cones, or a large candle. To complete the decoration, I arranged some magnolia leaves, a large silver star, silver leaf picks and pine cones, and a full burlap bow in front of the each lantern.
I really like the way the planters look this season. Still very festive, but a little different than every other house on the block. But, my favourite thing about the lanterns is that they can be used to decorate the front porch year-round; fill them with miniature pumpkins or rustic leaves in the fall, or candles and budding flowers in the summer time. In the spring, fresh moss with colourful eggs can be used to decorate for Easter. The ideas and possibilities are endless!