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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Your Best Photos: Christmas Decorations, 2011

You've wowed us with your best Christmas decorations, and now we get to brag on your creativity! Our editors have selected favorites from your hearth and home and compiled them in one idea-generating spot. We've focused on your concepts for dressing up the Christmas mantel. So get inspired, take a few notes, then add the finishing touches to your treasured space.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Evergreen and Poinsettias Christmas Decor

      Becky Christmas

      Why we picked this: With draping layers of evergreen setting the tone for earthy bronze, gold, and green, this elegant display hits a sophisticated note. A simple collection of jars and candles lights up the mantel, and white poinsettias round out the base.

    • Christmas Train Holiday Decor

      Under the tree by sharon9441

      Why we picked this: The magical wonder of a Christmas train might have been brought to life in The Polar Express, but a toy choo-choo under the tree is a classic tradition we'll always adore.

    • Faux Snow Globe Christmas Decor

      JIMG2322.JPG by dwlhdl

      Why we picked this: Adorable vintage ornaments play starring roles under a glass cake plate. It reminds us of a snow globe -- a Christmas classic -- and offers an opportunity to display extra ornaments.

    • All-White Christmas Display

      a simple silver & white christmas by info4258

      Why we picked this: Feathery touches and lacy paper sweeten this display. Its gray and white tones remind us of the soothing shadows of a snowy winter. Plain white candlesticks, miniature Christmas trees, and simple picture frames displayed on sleek black shelves provide a minimal, modern feeling.

    • Santa Photos Mantel Display

      Santa Favorites by svorellana

      Why we picked this: Watching the kids and grandkids reminisce about their Santa memories over the years is fun for the whole gang. You might even hear a few good stories, too. That's why this holiday decor made up of framed pictures of family members sitting on Santa's lap earns our thumbs-up.

    • Christmas Mantel with Wreath

      Christmas in Manayunk, Pa. by twirlinmartha

      Why we picked this: The balance and symmetry to this mantel caught our eye. We also loved that the decor dipped below the mantel ledge.

    • Sage-and-Pink Christmas Mantel

      Holiday Mantel by michellevacha

      Why we picked this: The softness of this color palette -- sage and pink, instead of traditional red and green -- is perfect for a vintage mantel. We especially love the display of cake plates and cream-color pottery in this collection. Candles in mason jars decorated with ribbon, bowls of shiny ornament balls, and lit-up Christmas villages provide warm, homey touches.

    • Country-Scene Christmas Mantel

      Chestnut Hill Holiday House Tour by janepio2256616

      Why we picked this: We were amazed at the detail of this panorama -- rich in texture with wispy grasses, low-lying cotton fog, tinsellike trees, and tiny clay pots.

    • Christmas Candles on Display

      Gold-and-Blue Christmas Mantel by lifecraft

      Why we picked this: Blue tones add a wintery ambience to this stunning mantel. We love how candles displayed in a purchased wall hanging are joined by three votive holders sitting on the mantel.

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      White Rose Christmas Decor

      Christmas Crafts by valbrent

      Why we picked this: In a refreshing departure from evergreen, a collection of creamy white roses offers an elegant alternative to the familiar pine tree. This blooming tree would look great on any mantel or coffee table.

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      Contemporary Christmas Mantel

      Holiday mantel by loribsa

      Why we picked this: We love how these ornaments look like soap bubbles! Turquoise, copper, silver, and white make this mantel pop, give it a contemporary twist, and complement existing decor.

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      Glowing Snow Holiday Decor

      Christmas by amysaenz1

      Why we picked this: Bring the outdoors in! Frame a snowy forest picture above the mantel, then set it off with flocked evergreen, decorative trees, and soft lighting. This artistic mantel could extend as decoration well into the New Year.

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      Poinsettia Christmas Decor

      Christmas Decor by luvmydecor

      Why we picked this: Fresh or faux poinsettias draped across the top shelf provide a stunning show of elegant simplicity. Sprays of vibrant red give this display a warm touch. With a few plants, you could create the same look for your mantel or tabletop.

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      Starfish Christmas Mantel

      Beach-Inspired Christmas Mantel by mtennyson2

      Why we picked this: Not all that glitters is gold. Starfish garnished in glitz and metallic speckled candles are perfect for beach-theme Christmas decor.

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      Holiday Decorating with Stocking Stuffers

      P1140047.JPG by 151267

      Why we picked this: Decorate your mantel with tiny tinsel or bough-stuffed stockings. The creamy white stockings provide a clean, monochromatic look, and the wintery firs pop against this dramatic background.

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      Starry Christmas Mantel

      HPM1408dec07_005.JPG by iloveivy2

      Why we picked this: We love the gold and silver star ornaments dancing in the evergreen. The mirrored backdrop gives these three-dimensional stars extra depth, making the mantel twinkle like a starry night.

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      Holiday Decorating with Branch Trees

      Something Different by ebetotto

      Why we picked this: For a sophisticated flourish, hang your daintiest ornaments on a branch tree. If you're hosting a party, let each guest take a trinket from the tree as a gift.

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      Playful Winter Scene Christmas Mantel

      Kennedy GR Fireplace by bubbamari

      Why we picked this: Playful beaded garlands and snowmen dressed in feather hats and skirts drew us in to this lime and ruby setup. The pretty beaded garland helps connect the scene.

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      If you enjoyed these Christmas mantel decorating ideas, then you're sure to appreciate the additional Christmas mantel decorations in this collection.

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      Next Slideshow Our Best of The Best Christmas Decorations

      Our Best of The Best Christmas Decorations

      Every year we add more outstanding Christmas decorations to our collection, including ornaments, wreaths, garlands, and more. These greatest hits are the best of the best -- our top-liked, top-pinned, and top-visited Christmas decorations of all time. Try one of our absolutely, positively, best-ever Christmas decorations this holiday season.
      Begin Slideshow »

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