There's an infinite number of ways you can combine children's blocks to make ornate trim for a doorway. We'll show you exactly how we made ours in this short video and in the longer one at our YouTube channel.
Easy Gingerbread Door Trim From Toy Blocks
Practically child's play, we used children's building blocks as a shortcut to making gingerbread trim for our old porch. The full video is on our YouTube channel here and, to see how we made the easy matching fretwork from spindles, click here.
We painted the 1970's era fiberglass gable dark green to hide lots of damage and stain. The color really makes our hand-made gingerbread stand out beautifully on this old back porch.
Here's how the entry looked before we added the gingerbread. To make work safer, we set up a scaffold to make the top easier to reach. We nailed a 1" x 3" across the top of the entry. This is what we will attach our gingerbread to. It's the unpainted piece at the top of the entry.
— after —
This is how the entry looks now. You can finish a project like this in just one day!
This is the brand of children's blocks we bought for the project. We also bought two 12" wood brackets and a 4" finial … also known affectionately as the 'juice extractor' because of its fluted shape. We bought it on eBay in a set of two. We can always use the spare for making lemonade.
Color-Coded Diagram for Assembly
This chart may help you make the same gingerbread design that we made.
A - Wooden brackets
B - 1" x 2" to fit between the brackets
C - Wooden doll's heads at base of brackets
D - Triangle block inside of bracket
E - Rectangle Block
F - Cylinder Block
G - Wooden doll's heads on rectangles and cylinders
H - Bridge Shaped Blocks
I - Rectangle Block
J - Square Block
K - Triangle Block
L - Half cylinder Block
M - Cylinder Block
N - Finial
First, we made a small pilot hole in then end of a rectangular block with a nail and screwed in the finial. The screw goes into the soft wood easily but the pilot hole helps keep it straight.
We used the brackets (corbels) shown in red to determine how long a piece of wood was needed for the center crown of gingerbread. The piece was 20" … shown in green. We'll call this piece the base.
Most important is to plan ahead where nails and nail guns can be used to attach pieces to your door. We used our favorite glue, Titebond, to glue the blocks to the base. We also glue small wooden doll's head balls to the brackets. Titebond sets up very quickly!
When the glue was dry we propped the gingerbread base on some bricks and nailed through the blocks for extra strength.
The brackets are attached to the door first. We placed nails in the posts to help support the brackets (there is a hole in the back for hanging). We put glue on the top of them and nailed through the thinner edges.
We glued and nailed the crown piece next. There about an inch of space on each end of the base where we could fit the nail gun for that purpose.
We added these decorations next: the bottom trim under the brackets and two cylinders on the curved edges of the brackets. Those were glued and taped until the glue partially set. The nails went through the tape, then the tape was removed. Titebond glue really holds quickly!
To trim the bottom of the posts, we used ready-made skirts from HomeDepot. One side of the skirt is removable so that you can fit it around a post before nailing it. We placed a skirt 11" up from the base, flipped to reflect another skirt at the bottom. For an old house like ours, putty and lots of shims were necessary for a good fit.
The skirt trim was the most difficult part of our porch upgrade, but well worth the effort we think!
We used DAP DryDex spackle to tidy gaps and cracks. DryDex goes on pink and turns white when it's ready to paint in a couple hours. If you smooth it well with a baby wipe or damp rag, you won't need to sand it later. We used Rust-Oleum Ultra white for the final fresh touch to this project.
There's a lot more to do at this old house. We'll probably be working on it for many more years to come. We're already imagining this porch decorated for the holidays in the future. Why not! Check out our blog to see more of our old house projects and join in on the fun. -- Stephie.
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!Go