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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Christmas Sugar Cookies

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Creative Christmas Wreaths

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Popular in Christmas

Craft a Mini Holiday Village

Created from mat board or card stock, these little houses are sure to add Christmas cheer.

What You Need

  • White mat board or card stock
  • Crafts knife
  • Metal straightedge
  • Balsa wood
  • Acrylic paints in desired colors, including white
  • Red Mylar
  • Crafts glue
  • Glue gun and hotmelt adhesive
  • Small round buttons (for the doorknobs)
  • Chenille stems
  • Vintage or vintage-look embellishments such as tinsel, candy canes, bells, glass balls, bottle-brush trees, mushrooms, and snowmen
  • 2-1/4-inch-tall wooden picket fencing or decorative-edge rotary cutter and corrugated cardboard
  • Textured multihue spray paint (We used Fleck Stone.)
  • Clear glass glitter

Download Pattern

How to Make It

  1. Prepare the patterns. Referring to the diagrams, use a pencil and ruler to draw the shapes onto mat board or card stock. On a cutting surface, use a crafts knife and metal straightedge to cut out the shapes on the solid lines. For the door, cut a piece of mat board larger than the door opening. Cut 1/4- to 3/8-inch-wide strips of balsa wood for the door and window trims and 1/2-inch-wide strips if steps are desired. Cut two rectangles from card stock to fit each window opening if shutters are desired.
  2. Paint the shapes. Use the photographs a guide to paint the outer surfaces and cut edges of all shapes; let dry.
  3. Begin the house assembly. For the windows, cut a piece of red Mylar to fit behind each window opening. Glue the Mylar pieces behind the window openings. Glue the painted door behind the door opening. Score the shapes on the dashed lines as indicated in the diagrams. Fold the large house shape at the scored lines; hot-glue the side edges together.
  4. Attach the house to a base. For a base, cut a rectangle or free-form shape of mat board large enough to accommodate the house. Paint the base white; let the paint dry. Use a generous amount of hot glue to attach the house to the base so that the glue resembles banked snow.
  5. Add the roof. Fold the roof shape(s) along the scored lines; hot-glue the roof to the house. To add a chimney, score and fold along the lines indicated and hot-glue to the roof.
  6. Attach the architectural extras. Attach the trim pieces along the edges of the door and window and a small round button on the door for the doorknob. For a house with shutters, glue card-stock window trims onto the Mylar. Glue shutters to the outside edges of the window(s) so they are open. To add steps, stack the wood strips and hot-glue them to the base in front of the door. Paint the doorknob and touch up the scored corners with paint as needed. Use white to paint the hot glue along the bottom edge of the house.
  7. Embellish the house. Run a bead of hot glue along the roofline, letting it drip to resemble icicles. Embellish the house with miniatures, creating wreaths with chenille stems or tinsel. Add a snowman and trees to the base; decorate trees with ornaments. For fencing, use a purchased wood picket fence or create a fence with 1-1/2-inch-wide strips of corrugated cardboard. Trim the top edge of the cardboard fence with a decorative-edge rotary cutter. Paint the fencing white; let dry. Hot-glue the bottom edge of the fence around the perimeter of the base, leaving an opening in front of the house. When the glue is set, paint the glue white. Spray textured paint over the outer surfaces of the house, the base, and the embellishments. Immediately sprinkle clear glass glitter on the wet paint; let dry.

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