The Door

imageA busy weekend and a busier week has sidelined my next post in the “what were you thinking?” folder, so I thought I’d cheat and give you a quick update on the holiday door contest. I mentioned the contest in a Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS) post a couple of weeks ago. As it turns out, the idea that I had seemed easier that it actually was. Having ideas like that is a trait that I share with my daughter – I guess that means that I’m responsible for that portion of her gene pool, unless I absorbed it by osmosis. In any case, nature or nurture, the door is done.

In case you didn’t read the previous post, the theme I chose for my door decorations was a “map” of Pittsburgh adorned with photos from several recent visits. Initially, I was going to cut “Merry Christmas” off of a red-ish gift bag and tape it to the door. On my way into work, I realized that “Home for the Holidays” would be much better. Unfortunately, I wasn’t going to be back in the office before the doors had to be finished. Fortunately, a friend offered to add the letters for me which was way better than my attempting to write the message with a Sharpie.

The pictures below show the door progressing through the various stages. They have description, so I won’t bother to describe the process here. I will offer a few lessons-learned in case you ever decide to enter a door decorating contest or decorate your door at home:

Buy wrapping paper from a craft supply store as opposed to a discount store. Discount stores (I used Target) are better suited to people who want to wrap presents than large objects.

Buy packing tape, not Scotch Tape® for this task and buy more tape than you think you will need. Don’t get all mathy on this and go reading the lengths and converting yards to inches. Just buy another roll.

Coat the back of the paper where you have to cut out for the door knob, with tape. Cut an “X” into the paper, big enough to slide over the knob and trim precisely with a razorblade utility knife. The tape on the back prevents the paper from tearing. Coating the back with tape was the brainchild of another contestant, and it works well.

Leave enough room to wrap the paper around the top, bottom and both sides of the door so you can secure it with tape from the back side.

Tape. Every. Inch. Of. Paper, including the little bits by the latch and hinges. The ½” you don’t tape will be where the giant door-wrap-destroying tear will begin.

Keep your design simple.

Make templates if you have to cut wrapping paper to go on top of the base wrap. I used Post-It® notes to hint at the design and scrap copy paper to draw the template.

Start early enough to realize what your design will really look like before you commit yourself to buying the paper, the tape and the extra tape. I like my door, but it may look more like a drunken Gumby® waving his arms after a Steelers win than the three rivers that define my old home town.


I have either explained the photos in other posts, or I will explain them in future posts. Thanks for stopping by and wherever you spend your holidays, I hope it feels like home.

39 thoughts on “The Door

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  1. Wow, Dan! Just wow. I’m guessing by a Gumby that you don’t mean the bendable Gumby and Pokey that I had as a child, but it looks like rivers to me, and I love the “Home for the Holidays” message. I hope you had help from your wife or your daughter on this project?

    I haven’t covered a door for the holidays since 9th grade (don’t want to do the math there), but I’m fairly sure that post-it notes didn’t exist in that dark age. Looks great!


    1. Thanks Sandi. Before I had the pictures up it did kind of look like that Gumby. I didn’t think about how the cut out for the island makes the Ohio River look like legs. I positioned the pictures to minimize the Gumby effect.

      The contest is for a good cause and it’s fun.


  2. OH wow, does that look like a LOT of work!! Yet I bet it feels like being a kid again. Good for you putting your Heart into a good cause. I am not surprised. May you and your Loved Ones have a very Blessed Christmas this year, Dan. (((HUGS))) Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow that is awesome, and great tips for anyone else who Needs an extra holiday decorating fix!! By the sense of urgency (or maybe how fast the rivers were flowing) I was glad you didn’t go all razor-bladey on yourself when you ran out of tape or Gumby showed up to steal your thunder ☺️

    I like your theme because home is ‘the best’ for the holidays. I vote for your door!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, great job! It looks very nice. I read your first post about having to decorate the door for the contest and I was curious as to how it would turn out. Glad you shared your experience with us. May you and your family have a Merry & Blessed Christmas!:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! We did expand the contest this year to include cubicle walls. Those things certainly benefit from some color. Like I said earlier, I don’t think it’s a winning door, but I like looking at it, so I win.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “It may look more like a drunken Gumby® waving his arms after a Steelers win than the three rivers that define my old home town.”
    It reminds me of the peace sign, a great symbol for the holiday season.
    Wrapping a door is a cool idea.
    Have you seen what the artist Christo did when he wrapped the gates in Central Park?
    He was a real celebrity with this monuments and landmarks wrapping. So who knows…
    Happy Holiday Season to you and everyone on your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember when the gates were wrapped. I don’t think I’m destined for such greatness, but it’s for a good cause and it helps put a little company into the holiday spirit. Thanks for the good wishes. I wish you the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. As a student I have made some amazing craft work in the past. I use to make lamp shades, decorative items for windows and doors and so much more. I have even made some craft project work for my nephew and niece when they were unable to do it. I actually made a entire paper city using cardboard and paper for one of my cousins when she had a project for Pollution-Free City. She won second prize in her school, of course I never got a credit for that. However, now I rarely get time to do all this. Keep up the good creative work Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It looks great! I decided on a penguin for my Christmas door, which I’ll post about later this week. I figured a penguin would allow me to safely keep it up throughout winter, rather than going with Santa or something that would only be logical for a few weeks… Not that the kids would care. lol.

    Well done!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Penguins are cool! I actually have a picture of a Penguin from The National Aviary which is on the north side of one river. Several people have asked about it, so I think there some universal appeal to your choice. Thanks for the comment.


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