Thinking Ahead to Christmas: Colonial Williamsburg Style Door Idea

Welcome to the 508th Metamorphosis Monday!

I had an interesting start to my morning! I awoke around 4 am Egypt time and was laying in bed thinking about my Met Monday post when the power went out. I noticed it immediately because the A/C stopped and everything went very dark.

It’s a weird feeling to be on the top (5th) floor of a hotel and have all the power go out. Fortunately, I knew where my phone was and it was fully charged. Using the light from my phone, I was able to maneuver over to my suitcase and get dressed. Thankfully, the power wasn’t off very long or this post may not have gone up until much later since we’re leaving for Luxor in a couple of hours.

I just thought of something…if my phone hadn’t been fully charged, I could have also plugged it into the removable battery in my Away carry-on bag. That makes me feel a bit better. lol


Metamorphosis Monday

With the end of October approaching quickly, it’s not too soon to start thinking about the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. A few months back, Karen, a reader of BNOTP, shared a photo of how she often decorates her front door for Christmas, and I’ve been busting to share it with you ever since.

Karen said, “This is a close-up of the fan I made last year – my first one!  I wanted to do something a bit more ‘out-of-the-box’ by using Osage oranges.

The most frustrating part for me was finding realistic artificial fruit so I could use this for many years. I ended-up ordering fruit from three different places.”

I’ve always wanted to make a Colonial Williamsburg style fruit fan to go over my front door, but I don’t think I have enough space for one due to the height of my front porch ceiling. I absolutely love seeing these at Christmastime!

They can be a fair amount of work to make so I love Karen’s idea of using faux fruit so it can be used for many years. Also, with fresh fruit, you wouldn’t be able to decorate very far in advance or you would have a fan of rotten fruit by Christmas Day. Yuck. As Karen mentioned, the trick would be finding fruit that looks like the real thing and in the size needed.

DIY Christmas Fruit Fan for Above Door, Colonial Williamsburg Christmas


Here’s how Karen’s beautiful fan looked above her door for Christmas last year. Karen said, “This picture of our front door is from Christmas, 2017. I’m going to rework the wreath this year and use more magnolia leaves and change out the fruit.

I asked Karen to share photos with me if she does remake it, would love to see how she makes it because her fan is absolutely beautiful!

Decorate Front Porch in Colonial Williamsburg Style


If I had space above my front door, I think I’d purchase one of the forms they have for sale at the Colonial Williamsburg Market online. They are a bit pricey at $70, but perhaps worth it since the form could be used for many years to come. (You’ll find them available here: Wooden Fruit Fan Form.)

This form would definitely work with fresh fruit, for which I’m sure it was probably designed, but I can see it working with faux fruit, too. I’m guessing with artificial fruit, one could just punch or drill a tiny hole into the fruit, squeeze a little glue into the hole or on the nail, then push the fruit onto the nail via the predrilled hole. Of course, I haven’t tried this…just thinking out loud.Apple Fruit Fan Form, Colonial Williamsburg Style

Thanks so much to Karen for sharing her beautiful Colonial Williamsburg style fruit fan! If she reworks it for this year, hopefully, she’ll share some photos!

DIY Christmas Fruit Fan for Above Door, Colonial Williamsburg Christmas


Looking forward to all the fabulous Before and Afters linked for this week’s Metamorphosis Monday!

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  1. Thanks for hosting, Susan. Beautiful Christmas decor. Nice to know you can get a board made just for this Williamsburg arrangement. Hope you’re having a wonderful trip and hope you don’t lose power again. That would be scaring. Glad you were prepared.

  2. Just looked at my linkup and I don’t know how it picked up my post title in all caps. I had typed it in the space in lower case. Sorry.

  3. What a wonderful feeling that right off the bat you could use the suitcase charger! It’s going to come in handy. Wondering how the cover worked out. I had never heard of a fruit fan before. Interesting.

  4. Found this:

    Now I understand the tradition behind a fruit fan!

  5. I have Grand Illumination visit to Williamsburg in December on my calendar. I love strolling around town looking at the wreaths, over-the-door fans, and window sill displays

  6. Hello Susan! A weird feeling indeed, to have no electricity in a hotel, and be in a foreign country! Definitely a charged phone is a small comfort, and hte battery pack a boost.
    I love those Williamsburg fans, trees and wreaths. I made the tree last year, and they do get pretty nasty (I had to remake mine once before Christmas). I didn’t even think of faux fruit but it’s so realistic now, I may try that this year for my tree. Great idea. Thanks for sharing, thanks for hosting. Safe travels!

  7. Have been a fan of this decor for many years. I actually made a pinecone and fruit wreath when living in Havre Montana with nothing to do all day in the frigid weather so collected the pine cones and busied myself and it was beautiful. Used it for 20 years. I can see doing something like your post but would maybe do it inside because our critters and birds might take it as a serious invitation. I do a combo fruit mantle display often. I am a big fan of your table centerpiece….same theme in the past. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Honestly, I felt your panic…isn’t it something when you’re “away”…your subconscious is on…”alert!” I’m looking forward to the “Williamsburg Lighting,” too…same old but always new!! “Magnolia leaves…be on “alert”…here we come…franki

  9. Now that’s a pro. . . writing (even the intro) from a trip when you have jet lag — and the power goes out? (I’m going to show this to my boys under the heading of “This is how committed professionals do things.”)

  10. Thanks so much for hosting each week!!

  11. Glad the power wasn’t off too long for you. My daughter just discovered that suit case with the charger and wants one now for traveling. That is a wonderful door fan. I never considered how to make one. That Williamsburg fruit form piece would make it so much easier. I love seeing pictures from your trip but I keep forgetting to check your instagram account. Can’t wait to see snaps from Luxor!

  12. Dawne Marie says

    Never seen a fruit wreath! Colorful and pretty!
    Oh…the power outage. Glad it didn’t last long. And the wonderful suitcase to power it up! Worth every penny.

  13. Now…you made that terrific bench …what makes you think you can’t make that fan board for much less than $70. I bet Home Deport would cut that board for you …a can of spray paint and a few nails bet it would be less than $20 bucks. And then you could have it whatever size you wanted it. Nothing like custom made. Have a great time on vacation. rls

  14. I would love to know where she purchased the fruit!
    Your trip looks fantastic!

  15. I love visiting Colonial Williamsburg, and I also love your idea of faux fruit for the Williamsburg ‘fan’. Why did I never think of that?

    I’ve had the slim how-to book “Christmas Decorations from Williamsburg” sitting on my bookshelf for years (Susan Rountree, 1991, still available for a pittance on Amazon, and in e-book format from Google books). I’ve wanted to try this type of decoration…but was put off by the idea of so much heavy fresh fruit rotting while hanging above or on the door, then going to waste (well, the compost bin) …plus it could get pricey to do this year after year.

    Enter yet another BNOP Bright Idea: faux fruit! Why didn’t I think of that?! Thanks, Susan!

    (BTW, the book has some simpler decorations of the same general type–swags, etc–that would not require a specialized base, though the fan shape is iconic and hard to resist, isn’t it?)

  16. What a great idea to use faux fruit! I am definitely trying this, thanks Karen and Susan!

  17. Love hearing about your travel adventure. A power outage anytime is inconvenient especially when you are traveling.
    Would you share the name of the travel group you are using and itinerary? Sounds like a wonderful new experience.

  18. Thanks for hosting — even while traveling! Traveling in different time zones is disorienting enough, but then to lose power… I could have done without the lights, but not without the A/C, lol!

  19. Thank you for hosting Susan!

  20. I have that Away luggage and love the fact that it has a battery pack!…good thing your power was not off for that long….safe travels….following your journey on IG….Williamsburg is my fav place for Christmas decor!…Thanks for hosting Susan!

  21. How unsettling to not have power when in a hotel in a strange land. Reminded of my trip to Italy in the fall of 2016. Our first stop was Rome and I had just stepped out of the shower when my daughter asked me “…did you feel that?” I said feel what? To which she responded, the earthquake! At that instant there was a second tremor which I felt. I immediately hollered for her to throw me my bathrobe. Thankfully, we didn’t have to evacuate the hotel and we didn’t have anymore tremors for the rest of the trip. It was a scary event that I won’t forget.
    As talented as you are I’m sure you could make a Williamsburg’ish arched form. I bet Home Depot would cut Lauan or Plywood in the size you need and you could hammer the nails into the board.
    Loving your trip pictures. Keep them coming.

  22. I love it! I too have always loved those Colonial fruit fans. How great to make one out of faux fruit! Now I have to run to my front door and see if I have room for one!!! Have fun in Egypt! Liz

  23. Hi Susan, I have made many of these as a floral designer when I worked at my last job. I always made them with faux fruit, did the on Styrofoam. I glued all the magnolia leaves on first then put stakes into all the fruit and glued them to the styrofoam. The clients loved them. I also made a big wreath for a friend and she still has it and hangs it in her kitchen above her fireplace. It’s probably at least 20 years old now! Thanks for hosting. Now I will go link up!

  24. Love the colonial Christmas flare! Enjoy watching your adventures over in IG Susan. Hope your trip continues to be a safe one!

  25. If you search Della Robbia wreaths you will find examples online. The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality. If you are using faux fruit, you should be able to make one with a large course Styrofoam sheet. If you are afraid of it breaking, glue foam board behind it. Glue wooden skewers in the fruit, then into the foam. Finding enough faux magnolia leaves will be the biggest challenge. BTW If your glue is too hot, it will melt the course Styrofoam.
    Thanks for sharing Susan. Have a safe trip.

  26. Susan, the Williamsburg fan is a favorite of mine. I thought it would interest you that my form for it was made and given to me many years ago by my long time friends, Pam and Butch of I have always used real fruit, and only leave it up about two weeks. I would love to know the source for artificial fruit that looks real. I enjoy your most informative blogs!

  27. Mary from Virginia says

    Did Karen share her resources for the fruit? I have a fan and bought it in Williamsburg with the faux fruit already designed. It lasted one year because the fruit was not plastic, but a very dense styrofoam. Ugh, I was sick. When I was a teenager our neighbor had a Williamsburg Colonial Style home. She used fresh fruit and changed it out about every two weeks, just like they do in Williamsburg VA. great post! Be careful on your trip!

  28. I made one years ago and spray painted it copper about 3 years later. I took it apart last year and kept some fruits to recycle. I made it after my aunt sent me a picture of one in Virginia somewhere.

  29. Love the door decor! Thanks for hosting! Enjoy your trip!

  30. I purchased this Williamsburg Wreath from Horn’s Handmade Etsy store three years ago. It is gorgeous. The faux fruits are perfect!
    Be sure to buy it soon. There are only 3 in stock.

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