How to Decorate an Entryway for Every Season
So much preparation and work for Thanksgiving and then it's gone in the blink of an eye and we're on to Christmas.
For those of you who know me, I've voiced before how "Anti-Christmas Decorating" I am prior to Thanksgiving. I feel like we're always pushed to be on to the "next" holiday or event, before enjoying the ones that are right before us. I'm the one who yells out "Really???" when I see Christmas decorations appear in Hobby Lobby the last week of August. I'm also the one who avoids Kohls a week into my summer break for this exact reason....
(To all my teacher friends: July 2nd, a little early for "Back To School" signs, right??)
Anyways, as much as I am Anti-Christmas Decorating prior to Thanksgiving, (and even a little after Thanksgiving as well- since I just spent days with the "before-Thanksgiving-cleaning", the "during-cleaning", and the "after-cleaning", now I got to take crap out of my basement and clean again??), once Shad and I start decorating for Christmas, we don't stop until the house is complete.
So this post will focus on your front door, because I truly believe creating a "Welcoming" home for guests during the holiday season starts at your front door.
You will need the following to create a welcoming front door...
A Wreath (obviously) + garland + a staple item to build height + something tall + lanterns + signage + wood + pine cones + cheap ornaments + bells
Wreath + Garland: You can find pretty reasonably priced wreaths and garland at Michaels Craft Store during this time of year. In fact this past weekend they were 50 + 60% off (I know because I was there both Saturday and Sunday... I have problems), and that sale continues tomorrow, with an additional 30% sale items. My wreath was actually given to me by my mother-in-law, I "inherited" it (she's still alive and well though so I'm not positive that word fits.) For the garland, I purchased 2 long garland strings and tied them together. Ashland brand at Michaels is what I would stick with. I then bought lights and used twine to attach them to the garland. It was a P-I-T-A the first year, but now Shad and I just pull the garland out of our Christmas bin and we're good to go. *Tip: I'm not a fan of the "over the door" wreath hooks, so I put a black command hook on the glass behind the wreath.
Something to build height*: This is a staple on our front porch. You need height on either side of the door because otherwise all your decorations are just sitting on the ground. I got these farm crates from an old man down the road who happened to be selling them at his farm for $5 a piece. He gave me 4 for $15, and these crates stay on our front porch for all seasons. I just change out the decorations depending on the season. See picture below. Many farms and farm stands sell these crates in Orange County, NY. If they don't have them out you can just ask.
Lanterns*: This is also a staple item on our front porch. We got ours from pottery barn, which I purchased with rewards points (so technically I didn't pay anything for them). We use these lanterns for all seasons, I just change the color candles and decor inside them depending on the season or holiday. They have some great lanterns at the Christmas Tree Shop for under $15- So check them out if you're trying to replicate this look.
Decor inside the lanterns/ornaments: All from the $1 store! I fill the lanterns with gold and red ornaments, and they sell sets of 5-7 Christmas ornament balls at the dollar store for a dollar (obviously). They're plastic but you can't tell by looking at them. This is a cheap way to add "filler" to holiday decorations.
Something tall: I have a sled that was actually given to me by my sister-in-law (thanks Laura!). It came from her grandfather's garage and was in bad shape. I brought it back to life by spray painting the metal red and throwing some chalk paint on it. The bow is from Michaels. I suggest you have something with height on at least one side of your front door- this could be a very tall sign or even a tall Christmas Decoration. It just worked out that I got this sled for free and it fits in with the winter theme. I chose to hang mittens on it that I got from The Christmas Tree Shop for $1.99 (have you ever been there? They have great filler decorations for very cheap). I would have preferred Ice Skates hanging on the sled instead, I just wasn't able to find any reasonably priced that could beat the $1.99 mittens.
Wood and Pinecones: Free! If you live near woods or you have a fireplace (so technically then I paid for that firewood, lol). I just grab wood from the wood pile in the back. I actually bought the very large pine cones seen in the crate with the wood at Michaels as well. A large bag was just $3. I really like the look of "birch" wood that many girls decorate with- but it's super expensive. (However if you're interested in birch wood but don't want to pay the money- google how-to make fake birch wood. There's a girl that has a tutorial on using chalk paint on regular thin wood logs to make it look birch- genius!)
Signage: You at least need one sign in your "display". I found this red one "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the year" at Marshall's for $9.99. I loved that it looked older and nostalgic. Hobby Lobby also has awesome Christmas signs during this time of year. I stuck with this sign because I felt that in January and February I could still keep this out on my porch and it would still fit in with "seasonal decor." So my tip to you would be to get a "winter-themed" sign, rather than a Christmas themed one. That way your decor can transcend past December 25th and well into the new year.
Greenery: In my case, I also lucked out again and "inherited" the two small lighted Christmas trees you see on the left and right of my front door. So I didn't pay anything for them. However, if you want that look, they sell super cheap small trees at Michaels as well. I covered the bottom of the one tree with a "potato sack" from ACMoore that I got for $1, because otherwise you'd see the wooden tree stand.
Extra Decor "Bells": I found this awesome string of bells from Homegoods a few years back for $7.99. I loved that they looked old and nostalgic like Santa's bells. I haven't seen them since, however today I was at target and picked up a box of these for $9.99, you can string them yourself, I used them as filler in the decorative boxes on my dining tables. Order online tomorrow and Target is having their 15% off site wide for Cyber Monday.