Thursday, December 1, 2011

12 Projects of Christmas: Joy Door Decoration

It's December 1st!  You know what that means... Christmas music playing in the kitchen while I bake cookies for our first holiday party this weekend!  I'm so excited for the holiday season, I seriously could barely control myself today--I got 3 of the 12 Projects of Christmas done today.  No joke!  Which is honestly kind of a good thing because we've got a very busy weekend ahead--including driving halfway home to meet my dad so he can give me our Christmas tree and ornaments.  Somehow I managed to grab the box with the branches and stand, but not the box with the pole and the ornaments...oops.

So here's the first of the 12 Projects of Christmas!
I'm really excited about this one.  I came up with the idea while walking around Hobby Lobby (easily my favorite store ever) and not being able to find a door decoration that I loved.  In their defense, the selection was pretty picked-over after the big 50%-off sale.  So I decided to come up with a plan to make my own, and it turned out absolutely beautifully!

"Why not a wreath?" you ask?  Well, we have a wreath that hangs on the wall in the livingroom that I love and want to see more than just when I'm coming and going from the apartment.  But mainly because our peephole is placed in just the spot where it will be covered by a wreath hanger no matter what I stupid apartment building.

So anyway, here is the tutorial for my Joy Door Decoration (ps. You can use any word, but JOY is perfect for the holidays and isn't so big that it overpowers the door or the decoration.  Feel free to use any word you like.)

First grab your materials:
2 complimentary colors of paint (I used the red and gold that matches our house and our Christmas tree)
1 1/2" wide ribbon in a complimentary color
20 inches of garland (I cut mine off of a 7' piece that was too long to use around our window)
4" wooden letters
Glue gun (not pictured)

Start by painting your letters.  I used 2 coats of the red paint as the base color...

and used the gold paint to do a faux plaid.  Please don't judge how unstraight my lines are--I know I need some practice, but you get the idea :)

Next, cut 3 strips of ribbon, 15 inches each.  The letters won't hang 15 inches down, don't worry--you need that extra length later on.  Use the hot glue gun to attached one of each strip to the back of each letter.

Once the glue is dry, space out your ribbons about 3 inches apart from each other and tie them on to the garland's main wire.  Make sure to leave about a 4 inch tail.

Next, cut 3 more pieces of ribbon, about 12" each.  Fold the ribbon to create a "faux bow" like you see in the picture.  You don't want to actually tie it, just fold it over.

Next, lay your faux bow on top of the knot where you tied the letter ribbon onto the garland.

Fold the extra tail of the ribbon over the faux bow (see, told you you'd need that extra!)

And tie the tail to the main part of the letter ribbon.

Repeat the faux bow with all three letters.  It should look like this:

Next, cut a small piece of ribbon (about 3 inches) and create a loop, then hot glue it to the back of the garland where the middle letter is tied.  This will give you a way to hang it.

Here's the final project, all hung up on our (ugly) apartment door!

I know it looks like the "Y" is hanging lower, but I think that's because I was on the stairs looking up at an angle.  When you look at it head on, all the letters hang evenly, but you can play around with bending the garland and the length of the ribbon to make it work for you.

Here's the money breakdown:
Garland: (already had it)
Ribbon: $2
Letters: $3 ($1/each)
Paint: (already had)

Total cost: $5 (this will be more if you need to purchase the garland or the paint, of course)

I also recommend if you're going to hang it outside to spray the letters with a sealant to make sure it doesn't get any weather damage.

Happy Holidays!  Stay tuned for 11 more Christmas projects to come!  :)

xoxo, Melissa

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  1. This is super cute Mel! I'm so excited to be moving in with Jeff soon, but bummed out that it won't be before Christmas... I hafta wait a whole year to decorate :( I know you can understand my bummed outness lol.

    Can't wait to see the next 11 projects!


  2. I can TOTALLY understand your bummed outness Mel! But I'm really excited for you and Jeff to be moving in together finally! Don't worry--I'll have lots of other decorating projects after the holidays that you can do for your new place! :)

    xoxo, Mel

  3. Very cute!!! I think it looks great on your door!!!

  4. Thanks for stopping by Life with the Hawleys. You've got a great blog and this is an awesome tutorial. I love how you painted the letters. super cute
    I'm your newest follower :-)