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

Swirling Trees and Lollipops

Replace some of your traditional Christmas greenery with sugar-infused decor sure to treat your eyes and tempt your sweet tooth.

Whimsical and bright, striped topiary trees put a twist -- literally -- on ordinary holiday decor. Place them in white containers to make the vivid colors pop. For a splash of extra color, line the containers with gumdrops. Use a striped lollipop as the finishing touch on a package.

*Please note, that although fondant is edible, these projects are intended for decorating. The trees use glue and shouldn't be sampled. Because the lollipops have thicker rolls of fondant, which is traditionally rolled out into a very thin layer on cakes, they won't be very tasty. Offer other sweets so children won't be tempted by these decorative confections.


  • 24-ounce box ready-to-use white fondant
  • Knife
  • Green, pink, or purple paste food coloring
  • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks
  • 8- to 10-inch-tall plastic-foam cones for trees
  • Hard candies
  • Gumdrops (optional)
  • 8-inch lollipop sticks

Fondant Instructions

  1. Cut off one-fourth of the fondant. (Be prepared to work quickly to prevent fondant from drying out.) Knead in a small amount of paste food coloring; shape into an 8-inch-long log. Set aside. Cut remaining white fondant in half. Shape each half into an 8-inch-long log.
  2. Cut all three fondant logs in half lengthwise, making six logs. Place a colored log between two white logs and press together to form one log that has a strip of color through the center. Holding ends of the log, gently twist to swirl colors. Repeat with remaining logs.
  3. Working with one twisted log at a time, roll fondant on a large, flat surface to create a thin, swirled-looking rope about 36 inches long. Cut the rope in half, and continue to twist and roll each rope piece to 36 inches. After twisting and rolling the fondant, you should end up with four 36-inch ropes about 1/2 inch in diameter.
  4. Keep ropes covered with plastic wrap until ready to use.

For Striped Tree

  1. Using a low-temperature hot-glue gun to avoid melting the plastic foam, apply glue on the bottom 2 inches of a cone.
  2. Beginning at the bottom, carefully wrap one fondant rope around the cone. Continue to glue and wrap until the cone is covered, using new ropes as needed.
  3. Let stand at least 1 hour to dry.
  4. To finish, hot-glue a hard candy to the treetop.
  5. Place the tree in a decorative container.
  6. If desired, use gumdrops for added color at the base.

For Striped Lollipops

NOTE: One 24-ounce box of fondant will make one large topiary tree and one lollipop, or eight lollipops and no tree. Find fondant where cake-decorating supplies are sold.

  1. Shape one fondant rope into a triangle or circle, beginning in the center. Or, beginning at the top, make a tree shape by zigzagging the rope, making each row longer than the previous row.
  2. Moisten the ends of the rope with water, then gently press to the shape to seal. Insert a lollipop stick several inches into the bottom of the shape.
  3. Let stand at least 1 hour to dry.

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