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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Deck the Halls with Interior Designer Kenneth Brown

One of Hollywood's hottest interior designers, Kenneth Brown, shares creative ideas for simple, holiday flair.

"Don't be afraid to add in unique, bold colors that stray from the traditional red and green."

Holiday decorating has gone beyond just decking the halls. "When it comes to home decor, people are increasingly using favorite fragrances to add to the overall design of the home," says Kenneth Brown, one of Hollywood hottest interior designers and host of the HGTV's Redesign.

According to a recent survey, nearly 80 percent of U.S. households think scent is extremely important to set the ambiance in home design. Brown notes that scents help create seasonal ambiance and can evoke favorite childhood memories.

Here, Brown offers several simple, inexpensive decorating ideas to get you into the spirit of the season:

Go beyond red and green.

Color Flair: Don't be afraid to add in unique, bold colors that stray from the traditional red and green. Work in unusual color schemes such as purple, pink, and gold. The colors blend well and really brighten up a room.

Festive Furnishings: Make an impact by switching out everyday pillows and throws with ones in holiday hues. Throw in a few bright pillows with embellishments or bedazzled jewels for a cutting-edge look. Also make your furniture festive with decorative slipcovers in rich fabrics like velvet.

Seasonal Centerpieces: Create a super, simple centerpiece from the grocery store -- purchase fresh produce (apples and pears) and place them in a bowl or on a plate. Finish off the look by adding garnishes of berries, leaves, and nuts.

Peppermint topiaries are easy-to-make decorations.

Topiaries Galore: Purchase Styrofoam cones from a local craft shop and hot-glue candy onto it, creating a holiday topiary. Candy that works well: sugar-covered spice drops, red-and-white peppermint drops, gummy bears, jelly beans, etc. The same principle can work for making a wreath for your door using circular-shaped Styrofoam.

Light the Way: Take down curtains in the living room (or room of your choice) and create drapes using grapevine lights over a curtain rod. Add snowflake lights, crystal icicles, and glass balls for more flair.

Design with Scent: Personalize your space with beautiful scents that fill an entire room with fragrance. Create scent with traditional scented candles or try the new Glade® Scented Oil Candles that burn into a large pool of scented oil, quickly filling a room with seasonal scent. (Visit www.scentedoilcandles.com for more.)

Basket of Presents: Tidy up the area under the tree by putting the presents in straw baskets and placing those around the tree for a cozy, finished look.

Apple of Your Eye: Decorate using faux fruit from a crafts store. Red and green apples can be pierced and strung with wire to create garland around doorframes and entryways. Smaller fruit can be used as garland on the tree.

Wishing Wall: Bring back the memories year after year by creating a holiday collage with photographs, cards, and more that hangs on the wall each season. Secure all these items on a framed cork board and decorate with ribbon and garland. Continue to add/update memories each and every year.

For more on Kenneth, visit www.kennethbrowndesign.com.

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