Introduction: Nightmare Before Christmas Inspired Christmas Tree Door

About: My name is Sabine. I'm a hobbyist with a variety of interests, including 3D printing, tinkering, music, stories etc.

I've actually seen the 1993-movie "Nightmare before Christmas" for the very first time this Halloween in 2020. And I'm actually super thrilled. So, I immediately developed the idea to create one of the holiday doors, the Christmas Door, that leads Jack Skellington into the world of Christmas Town.

My first thought was: the bigger, the better. But that would have been very time consuming to make and pricy to purchase the needed material. Therefor I downsized my idea and used mostly leftover foam floor mat pieces from former projects.

As always - and contrasting to the movie - I wanted it to be illuminated - bright and shiny. Near completion of this project, I was thinking of giving the decoration a functional charakter and installed a diy-sweets-dispenser*) on the backside.

*) The material I've used for this dispenser is NOT food safe and NOT recommended to use with any kind of unpacked food. Please take all necessary safety precautions while working with heat, sharp objects, electricity, vapors or resulting gases, bright light and whatever could endanger your health.


  • Foam (Floot mat)
  • Stick
  • Magnets
  • LED Lights
  • Twine
  • Wire
  • Acrylic paints (black, yellow, gold, brown, blue, green, red, white)
  • Cutter/Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Glue
  • Brush/Pallet Knife
  • 3D Printer
  • PLA-Filament (black and white)

Step 1: The Foam - the Christmas-Tree-Door

The technique I've used to built the trees is inspired by a tutorial of "Monster Tutorials" and also shown in my Instructable "DIY Halloween Coffin Wall Hanger". I cut the foam and next opened the cut lines with heat by using a heat gun. That technique however was presented by a variety of makers such as "Punished Props Academy" years ago.

The Christmas Tree Door was painted with a mix of antique gold and green acrylic paint. I also dry brushed highlight spots with a mix of yellow and the leftover gold/green. I added foam ornaments painted with red, blue, gold and green acrylic paint. I painted a twine with gold acrylic paint and wrapped it around the christmas tree. On top I added a candy cane.

Step 2: ​The Foam - the Christmas Tree

The tree was painted with a mix of antique gold and brown acrylic paint. I also dry brushed highlight spots with a mix of yellow and the leftover gold/brown.

Step 3: ​The Foam - the Gift-Packages

I created the gift packages and painted this with red and white acrylic paints. All parts were glued together mostly with contact cement and hot glue in some parts.

Step 4: The 3D Printing

The Jack Skellington Face Button

When deciding to create a sweets dispenser on the back I speculated on the button on the dispensers front panel. I've made a variety of foam prototypes but wasn't very pleased with the results. Once discovering a nice picture of Jack Skellington's face on the internet I made a SVG and loaded it into Tinkercad.

I've had the additional idea to make this dispenser suitable for other front decorations. Therefor I created the button box and the button decor separately. I can swap Jack's face print with any other print and use it with a variety of other front decorations.

Attention: The gcode contains a "Stop Pause Parking script" to change the filament when using a single extruder 3D printer like mine, the Ender 2!

The Hinges

I was wondering how to solve the door hinge problem on the christmas tree and went by 3D printing a hinge designed by soletron.

I mirrored the hinge with the help of Tinkercad and scaled it down within idea maker. I used the hinge also on the top lid of the dispensers sweets compartment in a different size.

Step 5: The LED Lights

I used a colored LED light string. That is not found in the Christmas Tree Door shown in the movie. And because of this kind of artistic freedom, my Christmas Tree Door is only called "inspired" - it is not supposed to be an exact replica.

I covered the back side with a thin layer of black foam.

Step 6: The Sweets-Dispenser

The technique I've used is inspired by a tutorial of "Mini Gear". The difference is that I used foam *) instead of card board - that made the accomplishment variant.

The decor front is attached by magnets to the dispenser.

Attention: The measurements depend on the material used (the floor mats are ways thicker than card board; that affects the overall size significant. And in my case I had to figure out to match the dispenser to the nearly finished decor panel.

*) The material I've used for this dispenser is NOT food safe and not recommended to use with any kind of unpacked food.

Step 7: The Hinge-Assembly

I attached the hinges with wire. I was concerned to glue it because of potentially occuring problems with the hinges. Maybe there are smarter solutions but it works.

Step 8: Final Thoughts

First, thank you for reading, watching and paying attention.

Second, as I mentioned before, the sweets dispenser in the back wasn't the idea in the first place. So I slightly went out of time to finaly finish the back side. It will be covered in black leather during the month of december 2020.

This project was fun and interesting to make and I was able to recourse to techniques I've exercised in former Instructables.

Please let me know if you've made one as well. Hopefully Auf Wiedersehen in one of my next Instructables and happy holidays.

"A wonderful dream of love and peace for everyone

Of living our lives in perfect harmony.

A wonderful dream of joy and fun for everyone

To celebrate a life where all are free."

Melanie Thornton - Wonderful Dream

Holiday Decorations Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Holiday Decorations Speed Challenge