Have you ever found yourself perched on the top of a step-ladder on your front stairs, attempting to hang a decorative Apple Fan Board

Fruits of Labor Apple Fan

to enter a Holiday Front Door Decorating Contest in your town? And once you were at the very top, having the centerpiece pineapple fall off the fan board, hitting you in the head and nearly knocking you out, then having to chase it as it rolled down the sidewalk and into the street? No? So that’s just me. A little back story…

The first time Coach took me to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia for the Christmas holidays, I immediately fell in love with all of the natural decorating elements that were used to adorn homes Fruits of Labor Apple Wreath

front doors

Citrus Wreath from Colonial Willamsburg Decorates for Christmas
Citrus Wreath from Colonial Willamsburg Decorates for Christmas

dining tables Fruits of Labor Table Setting

and front gates. Fruits of Labor Gate Wreath

No giant blow-up snowglobe lawn ornaments here! Fruits of Labor Snow Globe

Just fresh fruit, greens, pinecones, nuts and berries were used to create beautiful centerpieces and fresh garland door decorations. Since we live in an old colonial home that is perfect for this style of decor,


my thoughts turned to natural decor when our town announced its annual Holiday Front Door Decorating Contest a few years ago. This book, Colonial Willamsburg Decorates for Christmas“, has instructions on how to create your own fruit-laden garlands, wreaths and mantels. Perfect!

Colonial Williamsburg Book

Coach  I got out my jigsaw and cut out the half-moon shaped piece of plywood, hammering in the nails in rows where the fruit would be attached. (See illustration below)

Colonial Williamsburg Decorates for Chrismas Apple Fan Board
Colonial Williamsburg Decorates for Chrismas Apple Fan Board

Once that is done, simply staple some magnolia leaves (yeah, I know, we have plenty of those in the Northeast in winter!) to create a fan border. Impale the apples on to the nails in rows. Now here is the part I skipped…”Drive 3 tenpenny nails (that’s the size in colonial jargon- they are big) into the center of the frame in a triangle. Drive the fourpenny nail into the frame above the triangle. Twist a piece of #22 gauge floral wire around the nail. IT WILL BE USED TO SECURE THE PINEAPPLE TOP.”  No need for wire, I thought! That pineapple will stay on those nails just fine. Finished with my masterpiece and anxious to hang it for all to see and admire, I dragged out the ladder and hoisted the board over head. Now I am not certain as to the weight of this piece of art, but figuring a large plywood board with dozens of apples and a large pineapple, you’re talking 20lbs., easy. The rest, shall we say, is history. Fruits of Labor Pineapple on Street

I retrieved the rolling pineapple, stuck it back on the board after I had secured the board to the house. Perfect! Now I know you are wondering if I won the Holiday Front Door Decorating Contest, right? I think I came in second, but you really can’t hold me to that, since I had a bit of a head injury. Hope you enjoy the fruits of your decorating labor! Susan


  • Barbara September 22, 2013 at 15:23

    I am going to attempt the Pineapple magnolia leaf decoration for the first time this holiday season. Got a new front porch:) I love the red house, I can see it with a wreath in each of the four windows with single electric candels below the wreaths and the semi circle Pineapple decoration above the front door.


  • restylinghomebykelly December 09, 2012 at 18:22

    So funny! The adventures we have for decorating! I love the natural look also. I can’t believe you did not win first- looks really great!


  • Anonymous December 09, 2012 at 15:36

    Second Place, how dare they!!!!!


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Inspired. Rustic. New Country Style...in the suburbs. Because you don't have to live on a farm to create a warm and inviting country-styled home. Follow my DIY junkin' journey as I give tips of the trades and inspired fresh country design ideas to create your own Country Design Home.

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