A holiday front door with lots of DIYs from 4 Men 1 Lady

In our Style Challenge series, we challenge some of our favorite bloggers from around the web to surprise us with their ideas for creating a stylish and functional space using Home Depot products as a starting point. Blogger Michelle Hinckley of 4Men1Lady joined us in the  Holiday Edition of the Style Challenge by tackling the front door with some simple but lovely DIY projects.

Michelle has inspired us to get super-crafty with Home Depot products, from her trendy chalkboard welcome sign to her oversized (and adorable!) family photo to her genius house numbers made with nails and yarn. Read on to get inspiration — and instructions for creating these DIY projects for the front door for your home — perfect for Christmas.

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. I ended up with a few small DIY projects for this super attainable front door: a chalkboard welcome sign, an oversized family photo, festive DIY house numbers and simple candle lanterns.

Read on to see how these projects came together.

CHALKBOARD WELCOME SIGN

I did a few DIY projects for this challenge, but the most major one was making a chalkboard sign. 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 my local Home Depot actually sells 2-foot by 4-foot boards that are already covered with chalkboard paint for about $10. To make it a little thicker, I glued the board to a piece of MDF or medium-density fiberboard. I may have gone a little overboard with the glue, but I wanted to make sure it was going to stay put. The 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 to a 45-degree angle.

Use a miter saw to cut the trim at a 45 degree angle.

Then, I glued them right on to the edges of the chalkboard.

Glue the trim onto the chalkboard.

Here’s the finished result:

A chalkboard welcome sign for the front door

I didn’t freehand 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. Our interior entryway is quite small, so we leave our wet boots outside on a boot pan until they’ve drip dried, then we bring them inside. I lined the pan with pea gravel (around $4 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.

FRONT DOOR: FRAMED FAMILY PHOTO AND GARLAND

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. 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.

An oversized family photo on a holiday front door

Photo by Jenn Cully

FESTIVE HOUSE NUMBERS

Another DIY project I tackled was to make some hanging house numbers using nails, red yarn and a board from the cull pile. I simply hammered the nails in the shape of my numbers, then wrapped yarn around them to get the look.

DIY numbers made with cull wood, nails and yard

Photo by Jenn Culley

Playing in the snow, shoveling snow, and wood for the fireplace all say “holiday time” to me. I love decorations that aren’t necessarily dedicated to one specific holiday, but that can rather do double duty.

Holiday decor items that do double duty

Photo by Jenn Culley

SIMPLE CANDLE LANTERNS

Inexpensive jars can double as candle lanterns.

I bought a big bag of play sand from The Home Depot to fill the bottoms of the jars and secure the candle.

Candle lanterns with play sand

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.

A holiday front door with simple DIY projects

Photo by Jenn Culley

Big thanks to Jenn Culley for providing the after photos.

Michelle Hinckley writes about bringing beauty to a house full of boys — her husband and three boys — in the blog 4 Men 1 Lady. She’s passionate about interiors and uses her home to experiment with design. We love the awesome DIY ideas for the front door, Michelle.

Get more Christmas tree decorating ideas from our Holiday Crafts, Ideas, and Inspiration board on Pinterest. And take a look at the other great Christmas decorating ideas in our Holiday Edition of the Style Challenge series here on the Apron blog.

Style Challenge is a series of posts from guest contributors who aim to bring you fresh inspiration and ideas for your home and garden using a single Home Depot product as a starting point. Michelle received a selection of Christmas decorations  from The Home Depot, but The Home Depot provided no other compensation. The opinions and ideas Michelle expressed are her own.

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  1. David Jenkins says:

    You can improve boot trays by buying the Husky shelf and placing the boots on that on the tray, they keep boots up about 1″ off the tray

  2. [...] I fell for this front porch chalkboard decor [...]

  3. [...] hanging a giant DIY chalkboard just outside your front door like Michelle, of 4Men 1 Lady, did in our Holiday Style Challenge. [...]

  4. Teresa says:

    I love these projects. I will do some of these for the holidays.
    Thank you for the ideas.
    Teresa

  5. Kari says:

    I was wondering how Michelle attached the rope to hang the chalk board. Trying to recreate any advise would be great.

  6. [...] Favorite Front Porch: Again with a chalkboard sign! I just love this! [...]

  7. [...] has some really lovely examples of winter chalkboards too:Image credits: 5. In the Fun Lane | 6. 4 Men 1 Lady for Home Depot | 7. Say yes to Hoboken | 8. My Sweet [...]

  8. Crystal worthen says:

    awesome Ideas thank you for sharing cant wait to go buy my own chalkboard

  9. Jen says:

    Great job Michelle!

  10. Oh geez, sorry Michelle! I called you Jen in my previous comment :)

  11. I love the chalkboard Jen! Will you make me one? :) ha. Great tutorial and I’ll be sure to give that a try. PS. I have those same little boots with the red plaid in your picture :)

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I love the jars with the candles. What a great idea.

  13. Sarah says:

    Never doubt michelle! :-)

  14. Ariana says:

    I love this post!!! DIY projects from Home Depot and creative designers are the best…Cannot wait to try this myself.

  15. Tammie says:

    I follow your blog and clicked over from your latest post. I love the chalk board. I would have never thought of hanging one outside the front door.

    • Hi Tammie!

      I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed this post from Michelle! We agree with you — this is a fantastic idea!

      So glad you hopped over to check out the Style Challenge.

      Best,
      Caroline
      Editor for The Apron blog