Create your own Christmas Town display: Festive Door

By aimee September 14, 2011.

In the last installment of our Christmas Town Feature, we made a Gift Wrap Wreath. Your wreath needs a place to hang, so now we'll make the door!

When planning a holiday display for this year's stationery show, I was thinking about that feeling you get when walking through a festive city neighborhood, where each doorfront is full of Christmas spirit. I love the look of vintage architecture and some of the ornate entrances that you can find in historic cities like Boston, and was inspired by some of these facades:

To re-create this look in a display window, I want to make a door that is portable, easily assembled and easily stored. Also I'm not an architect OR a carpenter, so we're going to make the ornate design a whole lot  simpler! There are many ways you could create a door from gift wrap items but today we're going to show you exactly how we made the door in this photo.


You will need:

for the DOOR:

foam core or cardboard

utility knife (to cut foamcore)

solid color gift wrap & an accent color wrap

tape & spray mount (to adhere gift wrap to foam core)

hot glue or another strong adhesive


TWO cardboard tubes (think: gift wrap, paper towel or toilet paper)

FOUR round christmas ornaments OR spray-painted styrofoam balls (must fit snugly into whatever tube you pick, but you'll want them to peek out at least halfway)

metallic cord as accent

Start but cutting your foamcore to size. Dimensions will depend on how much room you have. If you have a great expanse of window display  space, (lucky you!)  you can go larger than life. But if you only have a modest-size window to dedicate to this holiday display, you can make a miniature version. Either way can look fabulous, you just need to determine the dimensions based on your preferences. Sorry, I'm not a mathemetician either, so I can't give you an easy formula to calculate this one!  

But you can refer to this door template to get a better idea...

 To make the type of door shown in our Christmas Town Display, you will need

two identical rectangles for the doors

one semicircle for the top

four smaller rectangles to make the panels

Once your pieces are all cut to size, wrap with solid gift wrap. Kind of like wrapping a gift, but only the front will be visible, so it's even easier! Spray mount the foam core and then smooth wrap across to get a wrinkle free finish. Then wrap the excess around the back and tape in place.

Do the same for the panels, but using an accent color, the panels can be "picture framed" out, which adds dimension. To do this, simply cut strips of your accent color and adhere to the edges of your panel. It helps to cut in the corners at a 45 degree angle)

I also used golden cord as trim on the panels, just to add a bit of shine as if your front door has a very high end paint job! (attach with a bead of glue around the outside of your panels and the inside of the accent color)

Use hot glue or another strong adhesive to affix the panels to the door, making sure they are evenly spaced. Leave room for the handles.


Use the accent color to wrap your tubes.

Start by trimming the edges, use the same metallic cord used on the panel trim and glue to the end of the tube. The ornaments will be the endcaps of the handle, use a glue gun to adhere them BUT first you'll want to affix the handle to the door.

**Below is a method I use to adhere (heavier) objects to something lightweight like foamcore. Glue is not always the best option because you will have to use too much to get a good hold, but use whatever works for you***

Punch 2 holes on the back side of the tube, top and bottom. Run a length of metallic cord through both holes and out the back.


Poke corresponding holes in the door and run the cord through, pulling tight and tying a knot in the back. This will ensure your door handle will stay put.

Now would be a good time to glue the ornaments in. Loosen the knot in the back (this will give you a little more room to work) and apply a liberal amount of hot glue to the inside rim of the tube. Quickly fit the ornament inside and allow glue to dry in place to assure a good hold. Repeat for the other side.

When both handles are done, it is a good idea to secure the back side of the knot with some tape.



To hang our door, we used velcro strips, which (work great!) but are a nightmare to remove from any surface. Be sure you are ready to commit to the location before you use velcro.

To give the illusion of steps below the door, we wrapped a few long, slim boxes and stacked them under the door. If you want to do this, just be sure to leave a few feet of space underneath the door.

And of course you'll want to hang your Gift Wrap Wreath on you Gift Wrap Door!

So now you have the tools to create your own Christmas Town. GOOD LUCK!  I like the idea of creating several doors with different kinds of windows, panels or decorations. Make it your own & have fun with it! I'd love to see how it turns out, so please forward any pics, we'll add them to our "neighborhood"! Happy Crafting :)
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