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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Last-Minute Christmas Gift-Wrapping Ideas

Dress your gifts in something special this year, adding a personal touch to any size package.

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    • Chalkboard Jar

      Fill these chalkboard-label jars with crafts supplies or sweet treats and give as gifts. Mask off a stripe around the jar and then spray it with chalkboard paint. When dry, write the recipient's name with chalk.

    • Take-out Treats

      A take-out box, available at crafts stores, is perfect for a tasty gift. Punch snowflake shapes from colored paper and tape them to the box using double-sided tape. Then wrap your goodies in a cellophane bag before placing them in the box.

    • Doggone Cool

      Don't forget your furry family members this Christmas. Wrap up a toy for Spot and use a new collar in place of a bow. Use a key ring or ribbon to attach a bone from the collar.

    • Drink Up

      Be prepared for seasonal parties with a stash of wrapped hostess gifts. Wrap bottles with sleeves of paper and then slip card-stock tags, embellished with stamps or rub-on letters, over the necks. A large hole punch works great for making the right-size holes.

    • Cookie Cache

      Dress up a clear acrylic box with a single sheet of tissue paper and about 3 yards of sequin trim. Fold the paper in tucks to form a band, wrap the band around the box, and secure it with tape. Then wrap the box with the sequin trim; tie the ends in a bow.

    • Embellished Bottle Bag

      Arrive at the party with holiday spirits wrapped in a glamorous bag decorated with ribbons. Wrap a wine bottle in tissue paper and slip it into the bag. Add the finishing touch by creating handles from beaded necklaces.

    • Mitten Bags

      If you want to send party guests home with a few goodies or you have a little gift to give a neighbor, teacher, or coworker, skip the conventional paper gift bag for something more creative, such as these fuzzy mittens. Stick in a festive candy cane tied with a plaid ribbon and garnish with a sprig of greenery.

    • Tiny Treasures

      Turn pint-size papier-mache boxes into something special with a simple ribbon topper. Just poke a hole through the lid and thread a ribbon through to form a loop on top. Tie the loose ends into a knot under the lid.

    • Garnish with Style

      Sometimes all you need is a ribbon with a holiday garnish. Here, a beautiful green jar is embellished with a velvet ribbon and a sparkling holiday reindeer ornament that can immediately be hung on the Christmas tree.

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      Kids' Drawings Wrap

      Kids' drawings make adorable wrapping papers that will bring smiles to all. Tie them with a narrow ribbon and present to someone special.

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      Tag It

      An oversize gift tag dresses up a bottle presented in a velvet bag. Stamp a design onto card stock, and cut the edges with pinking shears. Use silver cord to drape it around the neck of the bottle.

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      Skip the Wrap

      The fastest way to present a gift is to skip the wrapping paper altogether. This is the best solution for large items or gifts such as plants and flowers. Add a bow and gift tag and you're done!

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      Button Gift Wrap

      Add buttons to create a holiday symbol on gift wrap.

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      Clever Cans

      Empty paint cans, both large and small, are available in home centers and hardware stores. Use them as unique gift holders, then decorate with ribbons, bells, and ornaments.

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      Basic Gift Bag Makeover

      Give a plain gift bag a facelift by decorating it with striped art paper and handles made from ribbon. You can use all sorts of coordinating papers, ribbons, and crafts supplies to match each gift to your decor or the recipient's personality.

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      Embossed Gift Bags

      Transform any plain bag -- even utilitarian lunch bags -- by adding stickers, stamped designs, and embossing powder. To close the bags, fold the top down twice, punch two holes, thread a ribbon through the holes, and finish with a bow.

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      Fine Frame

      Frame family photographs with wrapping papers. Simply remove the frame's back and slide wrapping paper and photo in place.

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      Natural Presents

      These show-stopping designs will stand out from other packages with pretty papers and clever toppers you can make. All it takes is a trip to the crafts store.

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      Playful Presents

      Brightly colored wrapping paper paired with creative ribbons and bows create gifts almost too pretty to open.

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      Wrap Party

      Get started in wrapping gifts early and use the packages as accessories. These little lacquer boxes simply need a ribbon bow on top.

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      String and Tiny Trims

      Keep a box of colored twine, string, or ribbons to use on small gifts. Embellish the boxes even more by gluing on miniature trees or tiny wooden cutouts from a crafts store.

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      Quick Sparkle Wraps

      Give your holiday gifts a special shine with glitter. Glue on shaped glitter or sprinkle it into a clear cello bag, right along with your gift. Sheer ribbon or tulle complete the look in any color or style you prefer.

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      Decorative Paper

      In this photo, the smallest box shows an easy way to get a custom look. Silver foil paper is topped with a lovely satin ribbon and a sprig of greenery. The other boxes show off pretty papers and are tied with wide silk ribbons in large, simple bows.

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      Gift Baskets

      Baskets are a great way to contain a number of small or theme-related gifts. Cushion the bottom of the basket with colorful package shred or tissue paper. If desired, encase the entire basket in a sheet of cellophane and tie with a bow.

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      Ornament Garnish

      Holiday ornaments make great package toppers. Simply wire or tie the ornaments to ribbons. You can also hot-glue them to a card or right onto the gift box. Ribbon streamers add more shine.

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      White Gift Box

      Plain gift boxes can be personalized quickly and easily. Here we've glued on strips of gold rick-rack to make a unique star design, but there are many other ideas: paint pens, stickers, stamps, ribbon trims, or cut-up holiday cards.

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      Garnished Gifts

      You'll find these clever boxes at crafts stores. They match the look of the utilitarian take-out container, but are either clear, frosted, or printed with nice designs. Plop your gift inside and you have an instantly-wrapped gift.

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      Decorating a Box for Shipping

      Wrapped packages that have to be shipped don't have to be boring. Use a decorative paper from an art supply store, then wrap a few lengths of ribbon around the box. Secure with glue or tape on the bottom of the box, and you'll have a flat package that's easy to ship.

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      Gardener's Packages

      To create the colorful seed packet paper, color-copy several rows of your favorite seed packages onto 11x17-inch copier paper. Then use the color copies as you would any wrapping paper. For extra-special packages, use a string of jute to attach a sprig of dried herbs to the top of the present. The herbs serve as a package embellishment and as a secondary present.

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      Pretty Wrapping Paper Blueprints

      Use standard blueprint paper, available at most office supply stores, and holiday stencils to create the blueprint wrapping paper. Stencil the designs onto the blueprint paper with a pen or pencil; then cut out the designs and attach them to either white wrapping paper or plain white gift boxes. Use blue and white ribbons to complete the wintry look.

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      Next Slideshow Pretty Christmas Gift Wraps and Bows

      Pretty Christmas Gift Wraps and Bows

      If you're tired of the same old Christmas wrapping paper, try the look of one of these packages for under your Christmas tree this holiday season. Each design comes with free instructions to DIY gift wrapping at home.
      Begin Slideshow »

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