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12 Days of Christmas DIY

From pine cone garlands to recycled coffee-cup ornaments, we’ve gathered 12 easy-to-do Christmas DIY projects to brighten your holidays.


Photo: BobVila.com

Ornament Garland

Who said ornaments had to go in trees?

String together leftover ornaments – or pick up some new ones – to make this beautiful holiday garland.

Simply thread lightweight twine through the hook hole of each ornament and then cluster them tightly.

In no time, you’ll be decking the halls.

 

 

Photo: BobVila.com

Ice Luminaries

Fill a plastic container two-thirds of the way with water, cranberries, and greens.

Then place a smaller container (filled with water for weight) inside the first.

Pop the whole thing in the freezer and once frozen, run it under hot water until the plastic containers separate.

Insert a votive and strike a match!

 

 

Photo: BobVila.com

Bell Jar Ornaments

Separate the stem and flute from the bottoms of plastic wine glasses, trimming down their stems with a Dremel or utility knife.

Glue small figurines to pieces of chipboard, then glue the wine glass (flute-side down) onto the chipboard, over the figurines.

Once everything dries, funnel in glitter to complete the winter scene.

 

 

 

Photo: BobVila.com

Paper Christmas Tree Skirt

Cut six large concentric circles out of craft paper and layer them on top of each other, each layer slightly smaller than the one underneath.

Next, cut a smaller circle – large enough for the trunk of the tree – out of the center of these circles. 

Glue each layer together around this opening and cut fringe around the edges for a charming and unique tree skirt!

 

 

Photo: BobVila.com

Candy Lights

Just when you thought Christmas lights couldn’t get any cuter!

Clump together colored cellophane and a section of twinkle lights.

Place inside a light, clear container (e.g., corsage box). 

Wrap colored cellophane around the outside of the container and squeeze pipe cleaners around each end to create the look of a candy wrapper.

Repeat as many times as you can along the string.

 

Photo: BobVila.com

Paper Ornaments

These are DIY ornaments you can make while drinking your morning coffee!

Cut newspaper – or any paper – into thin strips.

Fold the strips into loops.

Hot glue the loops together in a circle.

Add chipboard stars to the center for flair.

 

 

 

Photo: BobVila.com

Stenciled Mugs

Everyone loves mugs!

Stencil a message or design of your choosing on a plain mug using glass paint.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Fill with presents or keep for yourself – get that hot chocolate ready!

 

 

Photo: BobVila.com

Pine Cone Garland

A pine cone garland can bring in a rustic sense of the outdoors, especially this time of year.

Simply string loops to the base of each pine cone and then tie each loop to a long string.

Step by step tutorial

 

 

 

Photo: BobVila.com

Christmasy Candle

Put a branch of greenery in the bottom of a Mason jar.

Fill two-thirds of the way with water.

Then add some cranberries and a floating candle for a simple and charming accent to invite holiday cheer.

 

 

 

 

Photo: BobVila.com

Cupcake Liner Christmas Trees

Not every tree needs branches!

Pin layers of holiday cupcake liners to a foam cone for a fun and easy tabletop Christmas tree.

 

 

 

Photo: BobVila.com

Holiday Potpourri

Make your whole house smell like the boughs of a Christmas tree.

Spritz some wintery pine cones and greenery with a spray made from a mixutre of distilled water and essential oils.

I can practically smell it from here!

 

 

 

Photo: BobVila.com

Evergreen Wreath

Start with a hoop, either plastic or made from a branch.

Place a clump of greenery on the hoop and secure it by tightly wrapping wire around the stems.

Layer a second bunch over the first, being careful to conceal the wire.

Repeat all the way around the circle… and you’ve got yourself an evergreen wreath!

Holiday Home Improvement Projects


Happy Holidays.jpg

The run-up to the holiday season is a good time to be taking care of home improvement projects. Friends and family will be dropping by a bit more frequently, so they’ll be able to see the fruit of your labors.

Even if your home isn’t a major social setting, if you’re like most of us, you tend to spend a bit more time indoors in the winter, so you might as well be making the most of your home for the people living in it: you.

Seal the driveway and fix those cracks in the sidewalk

Salt on the roads and frequent temperature changes can break down your entrance ways. Make a good impression on the outside of your home and avoid curious looks from guests thinking “was that crack always there?”

Home theatre area

You’ve got a big screen television and a great sound system. But what about the stand the TV rests on? How about the decor? You may want to look at custom cabinets or storage for your DVDs and related items. Is the couch your guests will be sitting on looking a bit worn? Upgrade and replace as needed. You may also want to consider mounting your flat screen television on a wall for more effective use of space and a sophisticated look. 

The kitchen: the most used room in the house

When you’ve got company over for the holidays, even if the main event may be in the living room, people naturally gravitate towards the kitchen for an extra cup of cocoa or a gingerbread cookie from the pantry. Think about new cabinets, solid slab countertops or a coat of paint that brightens up the room can create a welcoming feel. And if you’ve upgraded your kitchen utilities like your dishwasher, you’ll have an easier time after the party is done.

Bathroom fix-ups

New tiles and re-grouting can add a fresh look to your bathroom. Maybe it’s also time to add touches like a new mirror, shower curtain or bathroom mat.

Designer fireplace and maintenance

A lot of holiday parties tend to center around the fireplace. Custom fireplaces that double as art installations are becoming more popular. More homes are also including them in other parts of the house besides the living room, such as in the kitchen or master bedroom.

If installation is a bigger job than you were thinking and you’ve already got a working fireplace, at least get your maintenance done, cleaning it up, checking connections and ventilation and ensuring cracks in the mantle or other areas get sealed properly.

Give yourself a home improvement schedule

You’re not going to want to deal with dust and packaging from home improvement projects while your guests are arriving. Give yourself plenty of time to work through your improvements, and don’t bit off more than you can chew. Give yourself a realistic list to accomplish and if you can’t get it done before New Year’s Eve, well, there’s always next year.

20 Holiday Essentials to Get You to New Year’s

No matter how much we prepare for the holidays, something usually slips through the cracks. And without fail, it goes unnoticed until the exact moment we need it. Avoid last-minute scrambles this year by stocking up on these essentials.

Photo: Houzz.com

1). Brown kraft paper can be used for wrapping gifts, covering up the kids’ (or adults’) table, making place settings, as a table runner or for gift tags.

2). Colorful tape makes any wrapping job more fun. Stock up for birthdays while you’re at it.

3). Twine in cheerful colors can be used for wrapping pretty presents and packages, tying tags, hanging decor and more.

4). A gold pen can be used to dress up brown kraft paper and colored gift tags or make a thank-you note look extra special.

5). Scissors. Consider buying a colorful pair for extra holiday cheer.

6). A hole punch and colored paper to make gift tags and confetti (at the same time!).

7). White twinkle lights can make any room look festive. Keep these on hand for quick decor.

8). Candles in all all shapes and sizes should be on hand. Stock up on scented candles for the bathrooms, decorative candles and votives for table settings, and Hanukkah candles for those eight special nights.

9). Matches should be ready for all those candles, a cozy fire and maybe a New Year’s Eve sparkler or two.

10). Cloth napkins make even impromptu meals feel formal, and can take the wear and tear that comes with heavy holiday meals.

11). A serving tray will present your annual holiday cheese ball in style.

12). Tide pens will take care of those inevitable red wine and gravy spills.

13). A bottle opener. Don’t be the host who has to run to the store 15 minutes before the midnight toast!

14). Coasters strategically placed on every table will encourage guests to protect your furniture. 

15). DIY drink tags in holiday colors help your guest keep track of their glasses. Just trace the bottom of a wineglass on a piece of paper and trace a dime in the center. Cut both circles out with a slit between and use your gold pen to label each one.

16). A doormat in a bright color can help remind guests to wipe their shoes before coming in.

17). Thank-you cards. A handwritten note is a great way to show family and friends your appreciation.

18). Holiday stamps announce the arrival of a special invitation or note before the envelope has even been opened.

19). Cleaning supplies will take care of any pre- and post party messes.

20). Whether you’re sore from late-night dancing or have a headache from too many Christmas carols, you’ll want to keep a big bottle of ibuprofen around this holiday season.

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20 Holiday Essentials to Get You to New Year’s