Throw your dormant window boxes a design curve with one of these creative ideas.
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A simple garland of blueberries and kumquats accents a window box brimming with votive candles and ice wreaths. To make your own ice wreath, place a coffee can weighted with rocks in the center of a square metal baking pan, add an inch or so of distilled water, and partially freeze. Place greenery on top of the partially frozen water, then add more water and refreeze. Gently pop the wreath out of the pan (and remove the coffee can) by dipping the pan in warm water. Nestle the wreath into soil in your window box or brace it with blocks of ice, then place a pillar candle behind it.
Birch branches, moss, magnolia leaves, and floral foam (all available at crafts and floral supply stores) aren't just for indoor flower arrangements. They bring texture and color to an off-season window box.
Glass containers nestled into sand add color to a window box all winter long. (Choose colors that complement each other; we used blue and green.) Place votive, pillar, and tapered candles in some bottles; top others with an upside-down electrical glass insulator. Sprinkle glass chips or marbles to cover the exposed sand. Keep an eye on the burning candles, and remember to blow them out before you go to bed.
Frozen Luminaries. Use two metal cans (one large and one small) to turn distilled water, assorted greenery, and colorful fruit into ice luminaries.
Bend paddle wire around the smaller can to suspend it in the larger can. Fill the larger can about one-third full of water, and freeze. Insert greens and fruit into the larger cylinder, add more water, and freeze again. Slip the luminary out of the container by dipping it in warm water. Place a votive or pillar candle in the inset, and set the luminary along a path or on your porch steps. Keep an eye on the burning candles.