DIY Potted Topiary Skinny Christmas Trees in Urns

I decided (in July oddly enough) that I was going to try something new with our living room Christmas tree. This year I put an upcycled media cabinet on one side of the fireplace, and a new (but also upcycled) matching cabinet on the other side (I have these cabinet posts up here on hometalk). This left me with no room to put our extremely wide Christmas tree in the corner.
I looked at the space I had to work with and it came to me: I could put up two skinny trees in urns on either side of the fireplace. It would look unexpected and elegant at the same time. I was so excited I immediately looked up Christmas trees online and found a steal of a summer clearance deal on two 7 1/2 foot pencil thin trees. I can't quite remember exactly what I spent, $50ish sticks out in my mind. I know it wasn't much considering brand new tree prices (I'm such a cheapskate). If I could have gotton away with finding matching trees on Craigslist or at the thrift store that would have been my first choice, but that would have been like finding a needle in a haystack.

I then searched and searched for the perfect urns. If you have ever looked into buying semi-large urns, you know, those darn things are expensive. I ended up getting some nice ones for $20 a piece at an end of summer clearance sale at Home Depot.

I was super excited to finally get my urns because I didn't want to use them just for my Christmas trees. I planned to make them into multi-purpose, multi-seasonal decorations. My first project using the urns was my fall leaf tomato cage trees (here on hometalk also!). These Christmas trees are my next undertaking. I also have some ideas brewing for future decor projects with these urns so look for those soon ;).

To make my base I decided to try pouring cement into a plastic pot (which I would then place inside the urn) and sticking a pvc pipe in the middle to hold the Christmas tree pole straight and secure.This way I would be able to remove the Christmas tree base in case the cement/pipe got in the way of whatever future uses I had for the urns. I then went to Lowe's and bought a 1 1/2" diameter pvc pipe for $1.29 that was just big enough for my tree pole to slip into snugly. We also picked up a bag of concrete. I was now ready to make my new trees!

Potted Christmas Trees Supplies:

2 Urns

2 Christmas trees

PVC pipe to slip your Christmas tree pole into


Plastic pots

Garbage bags

various tools (level, saw, etc.)
The first thing I did was cut down the PVC pipe. I figured 9 inches in length so that the bottom branches would be just touching the top of the urn.
I planned on preparing the urn "bases" while it was warm outside but time got away from me (as it often does) and I had to put them together while it was cold outside. I set up my concrete mixing area in the garage and opened the door. I lined my plastic pots with garbage bags since they had drainage holes in them. I filled a watering can and grabbed a terra cotta pot to scoop out the concrete mix (yep found that in the garage). I also brought out a level to make sure the pvc pipes were straight.
I followed the directions on the bag and in less than five minutes I had completed bases. Definitely an easy project, although a little messy. For sure wear a mask when mixing cement so you don't breathe in any dust and maybe gloves would be helpful (as you can see I did not wear gloves).
I let the cement dry for a couple of hours, cut the garbage bags away and then brought those puppies inside to see if they would hold the trees up. I put the bases inside the urns and since I was unable to find two of the same size plastic pot I had to slip a couple of flat rocks down the side of the smaller pot so it would not move at all when the tree was up.
They worked perfect! I could not be more pleased with how straight and stable my "homemade" bases hold these trees up. I could just sit in my cozy Christmas living room all day long!
I'm glad I purchased the 7 1/2 foot trees since with the added height of the bases they measure to be about 8 1/2 feet, just perfect for our 9 foot ceilings.
I really love how my homemade potted topiary Christmas trees turned out, it was very little effort for two elegant Christmas trees that I'm sure we'll enjoy for years to come! To see the complete tutorial or to view tons more pictures stop by my blog :)!

Thrifty Artsy Girl
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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2 of 23 comments
  • Beverly Campbell Beverly Campbell on Feb 14, 2017
    I absolutely love this display. I am going to have to hunt up 2 matching trees to do this. I do have some skinny trees from the past but they don't match. Maybe I'll get lucky and find just one more. Thank you so much for the inspiration and will be pinning this for next Christmas.

  • Spi16010854 Spi16010854 on Jan 02, 2018
     Beautiful ! The trees could be decorated for Christmas or Valentines day, practically any time you want.