Pennywise Projects for Christmas

Festive meets frugal when you choose these creative projects to help you deck your halls for Christmas -- without overspending.


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Candle in glass filled with holiday colored light bulbs
1/19
Bowl of Bulbs

    Let there be light with a candle tucked into a bowl of Christmas bulbs. Check your basement for an old strand of these lights. Then, coordinate your holiday decor by mixing and matching the candle and bulb colors.

2/19
Candles Wrapped

    Decorate pillar candles with wired crystals, beads, or faux cranberries. Like an accent pillow on a chair, it's a low-cost way to add color and interest to a neutral item. A few sprigs of fresh greens make this centerpiece sparkle with holiday goodwill.

3/19
Tin Luminarias

    Simple tin cans glittering with your own designs make your entrance or Christmas tree sparkle with holiday festivity.

4/19
Handmade Holiday Napkins

    Whether you want to whip up a last-minute gift or adorn your own kitchen for the holidays, these versatile embroidery designs add a homemade touch to ordinary dinner napkins.

5/19
Super-Simple Stripes

    Stuff iconic candy canes into any decorative bowl or flowerpot, and add a peppermint-striped ribbon to finish it off.

6/19
Sheet Music Ornaments

    Add a musical note to your Christmas tree with these quick-to-craft shaped paper ornaments. All you need is some sheet music (old or new), some thread, and our helpful pattern.

7/19
Tinkertoy Tree

    This Tinkertoy tree is fun and can easily be assembled using toys that the kids have outgrown.

8/19
Candy Cane Candles

    Straightforward red pillars -- or any neutral candle you might have -- play into the Christmas scene when decorated with polka-dotted ribbon or candy-cane sticks. Heavy-duty double-stick tape adheres the embellishments to the candles.

9/19
Use What You Have

    Not into the traditional bright red and green? Use what you have that fits with your decor and make it special. Our large mixing bowl, color-cued to the rest of the room, becomes home to vintage postcards or holiday greetings during December.

10/19
Sew-Simple Felt Purse

    Every little girl would love this adorable purse made from snowy white felt. Make it in an evening for the little one on your list.

11/19
Colorful Chandelier Covers

    Wrap thin, inexpensive ribbon around the arms and base of a chandelier to add color. No-sew adhesive fabric tape ensures that the material stays in place. Use the same tape to secure ribbon to the top and bottom edges of the shades.

    Editor's Tip: For temporary applications, double-sided tape secures ribbon to a lampshade or tablecloth. For something permanent or washable, sew the ribbon in place.

12/19
Down to the Wire

    Bring the great outdoors inside with wire garden edging you use to border flowerbeds in the summer. Tuck greeting cards into the arches and surround with ribbon and greenery.

13/19
Under the Tree

    Sparkling versions of a holiday tree disguise bottles of cider or wine in one fell swoop. Use pinking sheers to cut three 17-x-17-x-8-inch triangles from felt, glue together the edges (leaving the bottom open), and tack on sequins, glitter, or other ornaments.

14/19
Fruit Frugal

    Stretch your floral budget by mixing colorful and shapely fresh fruits into your centerpiece. Mix artichokes, crab apples, seeded eucalyptus, and more for a smorgasbord of holiday delight.

15/19
Let It Glow

    Turn paper bags into dramatic luminarias by cutting out your own designs with a crafts knife, hole punchers, and scissors. Then wait for dusk, fill the bottom with sand, and drop in a tea light to bring your walkways to life. (Use battery-powered votives if you're not going to be at home while these are on display.)

16/19
Tins All Trimmed

    Tins lying around the house can be used as tidy treat containers, gracious gifts, and even delightful decorations.

17/19
Clothespin and Crafts-Stick Snowflakes

    Our contemporary take on classic Swedish straw ornaments combines crafts sticks or clothespins with wood rounds to create different snowflake forms.

18/19
Dressed-in-White Angel

    Make dozens of these heavenly trims with coffee filter wings and gowns.

19/19
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