Christmas Gifts: 20+ Cute and Clever Ideas to Try

Friends and family will adore these handy handmade Christmas gifts -- including dishware, vases, and other home accessories -- that are just as fun (and easy!) to make as they are to give. Start one of these simple Christmas crafts today so you can check everyone off your holiday gift list.

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Three-Step Christmas Centerpieces

Create a striking holiday centerpiece in just three steps. We have a special secret for the step one: How to lay the table runner.

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Creative Christmas Tree Themes

Be creative by decorating your Christmas tree with a favorite theme that suits your decorating style or your family's personality. We were inspired by a local festival of trees and have included tips for bringing the looks inside your own Christmas home. Bonus: We've included lighting tips to make your tree shine.

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Christmas Sugar Cookies

Turn a simple sugar cookie into a masterpiece this Christmas. Whether you like your sugar cookies soft or crisp, simply decorated or frosted with intricate designs, these sugar cookie recipes are sure to sweeten up your holiday season.

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Deck a Christmas Staircase in Two Steps

It's so simple to decorate your staircase for Christmas! Get our damage-free, two-step plan to ensure that the holiday spirit extends from first floor to second.

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Creative Christmas Wreaths

Christmas wreaths don't have to be made from traditional evergreens -- in fact, we encourage you to mix it up with eucalyptus leaves, boxwood, lotus pods, and even items that don't come from nature, such as peppermint candies and pom-poms. These fun-to-make creative designs show you how to make Christmas wreaths with unexpected shapes, dazzling colors, and out-of-the-ordinary materials.

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Genius Christmas Hacks

Get ready for the Christmas season with our clever tricks to simplify the holidays. Including crafty Christmas wrapping ideas, must-try ideas for hosting guests, and why-didn't-I-think-of-that Christmas shortcuts, our tips for the holiday season are guaranteed to make your life easier.

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Popular in Christmas

Create a Christmas Chalkboard Decorated with Santa Claus

Keep track of Christmas menus and holiday reminders by painting this handmade Santa chalkboard.

What You Need:

  • Delta Ceramcoat Colors acrylic paints: Antique White 2001 (AW), Black 2506, Brown Iron Oxide 2023 (BI), Forest Green 2010 (FG), Mendocino Red 2406 (ME), Old Parchment 2092 (OP), Pink Angel 2061 (PK), Spice Brown 2049 (SI), Tomato Spice 2098 (TS), and White 2505
  • Loew-Cornell paintbrushes: #12, #8, and #4 synthetic flat; #1 synthetic liner
  • 1x6x22-inch pine
  • 1/4x11x11-inch Baltic birch plywood
  • 1-inch-diameter wooden mushroom plug
  • Woodworker's glue
  • 3/4-inch brads
  • Wood sealer
  • Chalkboard spray paint
  • 5-minute epoxy
  • Antiquing-medium spray
  • Window-glazing points
  • 2x6-inch strip of muslin
  • 3/4x12-inch strip of homespun fabric
  • Chalk

Download chalkboard Santa pattern

How to Make It:

  1. Cut the wood pieces. Trace the pattern onto tracing paper. Copy the outline of Santa's head onto 1x6 pine. Cut out the shape with a scroll saw. Drill all holes where shown on the pattern. Cut four 3/4x11-5/8-inch strips of wood from the remaining 1x6 pine for the frame. Miter each end at a 45-degree angle and then cut a 1/4-inch bevel 3/8 inch deep along the short side of each piece. Cut the 1/4-inch plywood to measure 10-5/8 inches square. Sand all of the surfaces.
  2. Assemble the design. Assemble the frame pieces with woodworker's glue and 3/4-inch brads; clamp the pieces until the glue dries. Glue and clamp Santa's head to the top edge of the frame. Apply wood sealer to all surfaces.
  3. Paint the chalkboard. Base-coat the frame FG; let dry. For a timeworn look, sand the paint randomly along the edges of the frame. Apply chalkboard spray paint to the plywood square to create the "slate."
  4. Paint the Santa Claus. Base-coat Santa's face with PK and White mixed 6:1. While the paint is wet, blend in TS on his cheeks. Base-coat his nose (the mushroom plug) TS and, while the paint is wet, blend in White highlights along the bottom and sides. Let dry. Dry-brush White highlights on Santa's nose and forehead where shown on the pattern. Use a #8 flat brush to paint one-stroke White eyebrows. Paint Santa's eyes White and the pupils Black. Dot the pupils with White highlights. Dilute SI with water to ink consistency; outline his eyes and the pupils and paint the detail lines around his eyes. Base-coat the inside of his mouth ME and his lip TS. Shade the corners of his lip and the inside of his mouth next to his lip SI. Highlight his lip with a stroke of White. Outline the lower edge of his lip with SI diluted with water to ink consistency. In the same manner, outline the inside edge of his lip with SI and Black mixed 2:1. Base-coat Santa's beard and hair AW. Shade along the sides and the bottom with OP. Using SI, shade under his lip and deepen the shading on the sides of his hair and beard. Highlight his beard and hair with strokes of White. Dilute SI with water to ink consistency; outline the inside edges of his hair and beard and paint the lines of his hair. Base-coat the mittens TS, shade with ME, and highlight with White; let dry. Apply a very thin wash of TS over the mittens to soften the highlights. Mix BI and Black 2:1, dilute the mixture with water to ink consistency, and outline the mittens.
  5. Finish the design. Sand spots of paint from Santa's face and mittens. Epoxy Santa's nose in place. Spray the frame with antiquing medium; let dry. Place the "slate" in the frame and secure it with window-glazing points. To make Santa's mustache, tie a knot in the center of the muslin strip. Tear each side into three or four strips. Epoxy the knot below the nose. Cut a 9-inch length from the strip of homespun fabric and epoxy one end to Santa's mitten. Tie a knot in the center of the remaining fabric and epoxy it over the epoxied end. Tie a piece of chalk onto the end of the fabric strip and place chalk in the holes in Santa's mittens.

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