Home Decor – Making a Holiday Decoration for Above Your Front Door

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 35,187
    Design Expert Jennifer Kirschnick shares her holiday decorating tips for your front door.

    Jennifer Kirschnick

    Jennifer Kirschnick is the owner of an urban landscaping company located in Baltimore, MD called Baltimore Garden Company LLC. She became interested in nature while growing up on 10 acres in the country, where her parents taught her everything from how to grow vegetables to how to identify trees. She has an English degree from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC and a bachelors degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has been working in the landscaping industry for over 13 years.

    She has been married for two wonderful years to her husband, Jamol Khamzaev, who works in construction. They live in Baltimore with their cats Darcy, Max and Julius Caesar.

    Hello, I am Jennifer Kirschnick with Baltimore Garden Company and today we are talking about how to decorate the outside of your house for the holidays. The next thing I am going to show you how to make, this is a pretty involved project. This is for you really Gung-Ho people who want something different from all your neighbors and it is a decoration that you hang above your door, you do not place it on your door. But you would hang it if you have a it works well if you have a nice ledge above your door that it can sit on. When I am finished telling you how to make it, we will talk about how to hang it. In this, obviously, we are just half done, because I want to show you how to put everything together the right way.

    These are the kind of decorations you see a lot in Colonial Williamsburg, where they have all the fruit decorations. What you want to start with is, you want a plywood that is about half inch thick, you can get away with quarter inch but half inch is better. This actually started out, it was a rectangular piece of plywood and you want to measure the width of your door and make the width about the same as the width of your door and then you have the width of the door, it is going to be your radius that you use. So, once you get your wood cut, you are going to obviously use a saw to cut the wood into this arch shape. Then, you can start measuring for how you are going to place your fruit, so that it is in a symmetrical kind of pattern.

    The next thing you do is you actually want to spray paint it, a green color that just so, no bare spot shows through. Then once the paint dries, then you can get started, putting on your marking lines onto the board and it is hard to see, but this one actually has different lines on it to show where the different materials are going to be placed. This is a little handy tool that you can make to make sure that everything is symmetrical, placed symmetrically on your design and all it is, is a piece of wood with a nail in it. For your first outline, for instance, on this board, it is where our Magnolia leaves go. You just take your nail and this has markings on it, measurements. We are going to use the lowest measurement, put the nail in; we also have a hole screwed in the board down here. Then you can use it to draw out your line and then so on and so forth, you just go down the different holes depending on the size of your fruits.

    If you have a smaller apple, you would place the hole, where to your guideline based on the diameter of a smaller apple or if you have a larger accent, this is an Osage orange, then you would make the guidelines a little bit bigger to match where the Osage oranges are going to be placed. You do not have to use these, this is if you are really one of those engineer type people who likes to be super accurate, you can also just eyeball it, if you want to, which is usually the way I do it. Then you can start attaching all your greens and your fruit and the first thing you usually want to put on are the outermost plant which for us is going to be Magnolia leaves, Southern Magnolia leaves. You just take leaves off of a branch like this and you just pick the leaves off of it. You want them all to be about the same size and once you do that, then you actually want to take scissors and you cut the bottom of the leaves just about an inch of the bottom and that helps them fit a little bit flatter on your board and you just overlap the leaves, put them down about an inch on the board, and be careful of your fingers of course and attach some with a staple gun and then, the next thing to do is figure out, what you want for your centerpiece, pineapples are always fun to use. It is a sign of from colonial times, I believe of welcome. So, you would place your pineapple in the center, again you can measure with and make a pencil mark and so you know exactly where the center is.

    This is actually, we call impaling it on the nail and we have nails in our board and then we have just chuffed this pineapple into the nail. Usually use about three nails for a piece of fruit that size and then you can put your other fruit around it, after you have your outer edge and your centerpiece. You can use all different kinds of fruits, you can use lemons, oranges, apples, Granny Smith, or the red apples, pine cones, you can use boxwood, you would place the fruit, this actually is not fruit, it is actually seeds of a plant but then you can draw like a circle where it is going to be. Then you just put your nail in the center of that circle, you just hammer a nail and these are common nails, you want maybe two-and-a-half inch long nail. Then once you get your nails put in, the pattern that you want your fruits, then you just take your fruit, I am going to say, use an apple and you would just, we call it impaling, kind of a fun word. You just put the apple on the nail, just again be careful, you do not put the nail through your hands, so just be careful as you are doing it, just twist it onto the nail.

    You can also do it two ways, you can put your greens on first and then once you have your nails, then put the greens around the nails. You can use greens, you can use pine, just put the pine around. Then, once you have all your fruit on, if there is any bare spot, just continue to stick little pieces of greens in, just tuck them in. So, they do not fall off, then at the bottom of that, you can use boxwood or this is actually Japanese holly which is similar. But a lot of people like the smell of boxwood and you just attach that at the bottom. Then you use your staple gun and you can just staple it to the board, maybe in a couple of different places. Then, the very important part of this, to make sure you are safe is the hanging, securing it correctly, you want to drill a hole into the plywood, you can use a bit that is made for wood.

    Then, you attach pretty heavy gauge wire, if you can the best way to do it is to find out exactly what your creation weighs, if you have a scale, you can weigh it. It is not, you can guesstimate and I would get a wire that can hold a good 50 pounds or so if possible. If you can not find wire, that is heavy, you might need to put a couple of holes in, with lesser gauge wire. Then, when you are going to attach this above your door, then you want to screw with at least two and a half inch long wood screws at the base of your decoration to attach them to the bottom of -- the trim at the bottom of the top part of your door. Again, it is just something finding different that people always, when they are walking by do a double take and always point it on, seem to enjoy it.

    So, we have talked about how to make a decoration for your door and mostly made out of wood and fruit and the next thing that we are going to go over is some tips on hanging holiday lights.