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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Creative Christmas Decorating Ideas

Take a fresh look at Christmas with these fun, casual approaches to holiday decorating.

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    • Holiday Surprise

      Look closely at these beautiful boxwood wreaths -- see anything unusual? The colors are expected -- golds and greens -- but those are artichokes and guava fruits attached! Topped with dramatic bows, these wreaths look yummy.

    • A Stocking for Everyone

      Celebrate your large family or group of friends with a motley assortment of Christmas stockings hanging from the mantel. Identify the stockings with classic Christmas tags. No mantel? Hang the group from a bookshelf ledge or along a stairway banister.

      Editor's Tip: These stockings are hanging from small inconspicuous nails rather than stocking hangers, which would dominate the display.

    • Tabletop Flourishes

      Treat your Christmas table to a fresh look with these decorative delights. Let the happy hues launch a playful display that dares to be just a little bit different.

    • Evergreen Trio

      Fresh miniature evergreens spread Christmas cheer in an unexpected way. Pot a few of the fragrant plants in white pots and pitchers. Embellish the vessels with a short Christmas message, such as "Joy" or "Noel," by attaching one letter (printed on or glued to cardstock) to each container with ribbon, yarn, or twine.

      Editor's Tip: Chipboard letters would add a fun 3-D effect to the display.

    • Christmas in the Kitchen

      For extra cheer, introduce Christmas trappings into unexpected places. This ordinary kitchen sink area gets a gala redo with a simple green garland and spectacular red ornaments hanging in the window. A homey herb garden goes holiday with burlap wrappings held in place with red yarn.

    • Vintage Inspiration

      For an elegant, old-fashioned Christmas, layer elements in various textures and materials in a monochromatic color palette. Here, gold frames and antique tatted lace grace a concrete mantel. Nearby, a stark tree with a top hat tree topper boasts a wide variety of ornaments in ivory and gold -- as well as a garland made of pearls. Even the packages, wrapped in plain brown kraft paper, adhere to the color palette. Touches of black add a classic note of sophistication.

    • Natural Wonder

      Cozy up a dining room table for casual holiday meals with a grouping of candles and natural elements. This arrangement uses birch tree logs as stands for chunky white pillar candles, pinecones, and a small flower arrangement -- a look that pairs nicely with the fireplace mantel decorations.

    • Portrait of Christmas

      Get a whole new look for Christmas by updating your tree decor. Mount silhouettes in assorted picture frames, hot-glue ribbon loops to the backs, and hang as ornaments.

    • Poinsettia Power

      Create one stellar Christmas vignette for a variety of collectibles. This nook started with small vases of bright poinsettias. Once the vases were arranged, a collection of Santas, red ornaments, and miniature trees filled in the gaps for a seasonal display.

      Editor's Tip: As a variation, use white poinsettias with a collection of snowmen or angels for a color-coordinated display.

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      Country Grove

      Make ribbon trees by wrapping plastic foam cones with gingham and topping them with toile bows secured with T-pins.

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      Sweet As Sugar

      Cookies take the cake as fun Christmas decorations. Frosted animals stand at attention in a faux snow-filled garden trough, while glimmering snowflake cookies hang from the chandelier.

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      Regal Ribbon

      Give your dining room chairs a holiday makeover with festive ribbons and ornaments. Wrap a wide ribbon around a chair and tie in a bow at the back. Wrap two narrow ribbons in coordinating colors around the chair and tie together in a knot (tucked behind the bow). Knot the ends of the narrow ribbons around ornaments in the same color scheme.

      Note: The place settings feature napkin rings made from wide satin ribbon tied in a bow and embellished with additional ornaments.

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      Bowl of Delights

      Highlight a collection of glass ornaments by mounding them in an ornate urn, tucking in ferny flourishes, and framing the works in an unused fireplace or a vacant corner.

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      Open to Interpretation

      Develop your own concept for a creative Christmas tree. This tabletop tree features bare branches -- rather than evergreen boughs -- arranged in a tall, galvanized steel bucket. The twisted branches display a variety of white and clear glass ornaments.

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      White Christmas

      Design a snowy still life for your Christmas buffet table. For the tabletop, combine white miniature trees (these are crafted from paper) with cloches and cake stands displaying sweet treats. Above the table, a framed mirror gets a seasonal update by wiring on bare branches that have been spritzed with spray-on snow.

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      Garden Variety

      Typically reserved for gardening, wire topiary forms (found at garden supply and florist shops) find their place in Christmas decor, too. Wrap the forms tightly with fine-gauge tinsel garland and secure with hot glue. Place a block of florist's foam inside silver flowerpots and stick the topiary tree into the foam. Cover the surface of the foam with chunks of frosted glass or faux snow.

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      Fork It Over

      Instead of relegating incoming Christmas cards to a basket, put the pretty seasonal ephemera on display. Cut green florist's foam to fit inside clear vases, and tie a ribbon around the vase. Poke forks into the foam and secure cards between the tines.

      Editor's Tip: You may have to bend the tines to accommodate the cards.

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      Gloriously Green

      Ditch the red, and go green for a fresh look for the holidays. This yellow-and-white dining room pops with a green-and-white table runner, mostly-green arrangement, and chandelier that has been temporarily updated with boxwood sprigs and crystal snowflake ornaments.

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      Graceful Pairing

      Make a statement with a simple arrangement partnering stately amaryllis with sparkly Christmas ornaments. Place wet florist's foam into a circular vase with straight sides. Wrap together three or more amaryllis stems with a ribbon. Insert the arrangement into the foam and surround the base with white carnations or baby roses. Thread string through ornament hangers and tie the lines of ornaments, layer by layer, around the vase, hot-gluing in place to secure.

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      Santa's Bench

      Get a head start on St. Nick and put out a cache of presents before Christmas Eve -- even if it is only for display. Wrap various shaped boxes in coordinating papers, ribbons, and trims, and arrange on a bench or side table. A handful of large branches, spray-painted white and tied with a ribbon, stands in for a tree.

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      Branches & Berries

      Wall pockets make versatile containers for branches in any season. Create a natural arrangement of red berries like these, or fill it with a handful of evergreens decorated with holly, candy canes, or a velvet bow.

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      Next Slideshow Pretty Christmas Living Rooms

      Pretty Christmas Living Rooms

      Don't stop at the Christmas tree -- extend your Christmas decorations through the whole living room. These Christmas decorating ideas will have your space overflowing with cheer, whatever your decorating style.
      Begin Slideshow »

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