Front Door Decor with a DIY Mackenzie-Childs Frame

My mailbox adventure inspired me to finish a couple of other projects, one of which I started about two years ago that was hidden stored in my craft graveyard in the basement.

When making these curb-appeal crafts, I have to remind myself of the Mary Poppins mantra, “enough is as good as a feast.” I want things tied together…but not TOO matchy.

I’d like the house to say “welcome,” not “I like to craft.”  So I have to know when to say “when.”

That said, for fall I want a NON-wreath, door wreath.

I like the idea of flowers on the door (once the real ones are off the porch), and have decorated plenty of grapevine on plenty of doors. Now, I usually try to feature different items as the backdrop to the arrangement: umbrellas, baskets, an ice skate…some type of unusual feature.

I saw this really cute decoration at Michael’s that features a bird-shaped tray


and these neat ideas from around the net (monograms seem to be the big thing these days):


from KYGrace on Etsy



from 1-800-Flowers


Let alone this holiday example of Mackenzie-Childs‘ innovation/wackiness

Our front door is shaded by a covered porch and is set back a ways from the street, so I prefer the go-big-or-go-home approach.  When I painted the last mailbox (with the gold dots), I wanted something to go along with it featuring my favorite check…but I got involved in school projects and just never found the time to paint what I had in mind.

Now with the leftover paper scraps and decoupage I can pretty quickly finish what I started. I’m clearly into the check, BUT there are SO many patterns/papers/fabric out there…the options are limitless.

So, this is what I pulled out of the basement, made simply from glue and purchased wood strips that were cut to size at the store (that means: NO TOOLS NECESSARY).


I have a 36” wide door, so the materials I used were:

Four pieces of 1/2” x 3” x 21” pine craft board

Two pieces of 3/8 ” square doweling, cut to 22”
Two pieces of 3/8 ” square doweling, cut to 22”



Glue the four wood strips together to form a rectangle as shown…let dry
Glue the doweling on top of the rectangle at the inside edge to form an inner border. Let dry.



Repeat on all inner sides as shown above.  I painted the dowel portion gold (and primed the rest of the frame in white because I had intended to paint it…you can skip the white paint).

Next, I gave my paper a coat of spray varnish and let dry. Then cut the strips of paper wide enough to cover the front of the frame and wrap around the back a little. Pay attention to pattern matching while you do this…add a little extra and you can always trim it away. (Remember that you could also use fabric instead, like a great chevron or a bold geometric or damask print.)


Brush the top of one vertical side of the frame with decoupage medium. Place paper or fabric and smooth out wrinkles. Repeat at horizontal sections, being careful to match the pattern and keep it aligned properly and smooth. Repeat once more for the last vertical side.

Flip the frame and repeat on sides and area that overlaps onto the back of the frame. Smooth out air bubbles. Let dry.

Add top coat of decoupage medium and/or varnish and let dry.

I intend to swap out the flowers out as the seasons change, so I wired a little floral foam to the frame to minimize damage from gluing. I repurposed most of the flowers from prior arrangements.


Decorate as desired.


Lessons Learned:

If the added decorations you’re using are placed off center (as mine are) you WILL have to adjust the way you hang the frame because the weight will cause it to be off balance. I just add removable tape to the back to hold it in place…works fine.

Other Options

You don’t have to make a frame! Paint a purchased frame gold, decoupage a wooden pumpkin shape in fabric…. use an unfinished wood tray (paint the sides and glue fabric in the center, then decorate). It’s your vision…have fun exploring.