Christmas around our house.

When Home Depot asked me to spruce up my front door porch area as a participant in their Style Challenge, Holiday Edition I was a little intimidated. I love to decorate but holiday decorating always seems to elude me as a mom of three boys who works and blogs at 4men1lady.
So this was really going to be a challenge.
This is what our front door porch exterior looked like a year ago.
Since then we’ve replaced the front door (of course from Home Depot), updated the siding and replaced the iron support with a square pillar. This is the canvas I had to work with.
I did a few diy projects for this makeover but the most major one was to make a chalkboard. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like actually reading, “Merry Christmas” while you’re waiting at the front door, right? I was going to paint a board with chalkboard paint but then found that Home Depot actually sells 2′ x 4 ‘ boards that are already covered with chalkboard paint for about $10.00.
To make it a little thicker I glued the board to a piece of MDF.
I may have gone a little overboard with the glue but I wanted to make sure it was going to stay put.
Home Depot has a huge selection of trim which I used to create a frame for the board.
I used a miter saw to cut my edges as a 45 degree angle…
then glued them right on to the edges of the chalkboard.
Here’s the finished result:
Photo by: Jenn Culley.

I didn’t free hand the writing. Instead I used an overhead projector to display my writing on to the board using several fonts and inspirations from the internet. Then I traced the lines on to the chalkboard.
Photo by: Jenn Culley.

Our interior entryway is quite small so we leave our wet boots outside until they’ve drip dried on a boot pan then we bring them inside. I lined the pan with pea gravel (around $4.00 a bag at Home Depot) so the boots aren’t sitting in a huge puddle of water. You could also use an old cookie sheet to achieve the look and function.Can I just get a huge applause for the person who invented pre-lit garland and Christmas trees?!
Talk about a time saver! I used pre-lit garland to frame our door.

Photo by: Jenn Culley.

Because of the dental shelf that is on our door it made it difficult to hang a wreath.
I’d either have to hang it really low or really high. Both ways looked funny.
Who says a wreath has to go on the door anyway?
I used a holiday family photo instead (taken by Emily Loveland).
The frame is made from old weathered boards which I sprayed with Polyurethane to protect it from the elements. Instead of covering it with glass I laminated it to avoid any moisture build up between the photo and the glass.

Another diy project I tackled was to make some hanging house numbers using nails, red yarn and a board from the Home Depot cast off, cull pile. I simply hammered the nails in the shape of my numbers then wrapped yarn around them
Photo by: Jenn Culley.
I love decorations that aren’t necessarily dedicated to one specific holiday but that can rather do double duty.
Playing in the snow, shoveling snow, and wood for the fireplace all say “holiday time” to me.
Photo by: Jenn Culley.
Photo by: Jenn Culley.
Inexpensive jars double as candle lanterns.
I bought a big bag of play sand for around $4.00 from Home Depot to fill the bottoms of the jars and secure the candle.
Photo by: Jenn Culley.

I think I’m sold on decorating for holidays. It was a lot of fun and it gives me a little holiday spirit every time I drive up and see how cozy it looks.
Photo by: Jenn Culley.

(Big thanks to Jenn Culley for providing the after photos).


  1. Amanda Palermo says:

    Love your blog! I am going to attempt to make my own chalkboard sign but wanted to know what hardware you used to hang it? I see you have some sort of jute rope but can’t figure out what it’s attached to. Thanks for your help!

  2. Looks great! I really like the exterior gray color, what’s the name of it?

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