I made a Williamsburg style door topper for my front door today (with the “help” and patience of Penny and Lily). This is my second year making one and I learned from some mistakes. I still have room for improvement but I have a better feel for it now! I thought I would share the steps I took to put it together in case anyone is interested.
First, my husband cut a curved piece out of plywood (the bottom edge should measure slightly less than your door width). We attached two screw eyes at the top with wire between them for hanging. Then I arranged long nails to hold the fruit. The nails in the picture above were from last year. I ended up moving the majority of them around as I went this time around. The important part is to hammer them in at an angle so that they hold the fruit when the board is vertical. And you need to place three nails in a triangle formation at the center bottom to hold the pineapple.
First I collected Rhododendron leaves and stapled them along the upper edge. Then I filled in the background with greens in case it showed through. I found that you can buy these boards all spray painted green with nails in place. I might paint the board green next year–that seems like a good idea.
Then I placed the fruit onto the nails. I started with the pineapple. Then I did the arc of red apples, then green. It would have been smarter to work from the bottom up because I had to remove the red apples a couple of time in order to change the nail positions for the green apples. I will try to remember this for next year too! Then I pushed short segments of Japanese Holly into all the gaps.
A lesson that I learned from last year’s experience, is to use small apples. Buy the type that come in bags rather than individually. The smaller size makes them easier to work with and fit closely together. Also, buy more fruit than you think you will need. I could have used a few more apples this year but I was not about to go grocery shopping again.
My house is an old, circa 1840 New England Colonial and I really like the way this style of decoration looks on it. I plan to work on the wreath next so I can get them both hung!