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.View Slideshow
Add holiday cheer to your walls with these quick and easy art projects.
Transform an empty frame into Christmas wall art. Thread a glass ball ornament onto a narrow length of ribbon. Tie the ends together and tack to the back of a wooden picture frame so the ball hangs in the middle. Hang the frame on the wall from a pretty ribbon tied in a secure bow.
Editor's Tip: For instant artwork, frame scraps of wrapping paper or scrapbooking paper, as shown in the frames flanking the middle one.
Highlight a buffet or sideboard with square green wreaths hung on the wall above it. If you're hosting a party, the artful arrangement is an eye-catching way to draw guests to the goodies.
Turn your Christmas cards into a work of art. Wrap a bulletin board with batting and cover with fabric. Using a disappearing-ink fabric marker, draw a snowflake design in the center of the fabric-covered board. Tack ribbon or twill tape along the snowflake lines, then cover the thumbtacks with decorative buttons using hot glue.
Editor's Tip: Use neutral tan, ivory, or blue fabric and keep the bulletin board in season all winter long.
Gather Christmas pictures from years past to show off for the holiday season. Mount the photos on holiday scrapbooking paper and place in simple frames. Swap existing artwork for these festive, nostalgic pieces.
Turn a seasonal symbol into festive wall art by crafting a Christmas tree out of ball ornaments and wire. Create the tree from sections of crafts wire, then make S-shape ornament holders from smaller sections of wire and hang ornaments on the tree. Add a glittery star to mimic a tree topper. Hang the wire tree on the wall. Make the ornament tree into art by framing it. Top the frame with a bow.
Dress your wall with a multitude of wreaths. Find wreaths of varying sizes at a crafts store. Embellish them with holly berries, birds, and ribbon. Alternate sizes for an easy wall display.
Ceiling medallions become wall art when hung en masse. Choose inexpensive reproductions of classic patterns -- they're lighter than plaster originals. Add ribbons to medallions with center cutouts. Hang with adhesive hooks. To add more holiday flair to the display, hang ball ornaments from fishing wire in front of the medallions.
Fill a blank wall in no time with an easy -- and festive -- wall display. Paint nine 12-by-12-inch artist's canvases in your favorite holiday color. Let dry. Fasten ribbons on canvases in desired pattern. Use double-sided tape to attach ribbon. Hang and enjoy!
Adorn existing wall decorations with branches of greenery and ornaments for instant Yuletide panache.
Make your home holiday-ready by adding a festive flair to existing wall decor. Find ornament shapes you like in clip art or holiday-theme coloring books. Trace the ornament shapes onto cardstock, felt, or foam board. Embellish each ornament with stripes or polka dots and glitter. Attach handmade ornaments to a silver cord (found at a crafts store) and hang from a mirror.
Who says holiday wreaths have to be made from foliage? Here, a collection of blue-and-white dinner plates is arranged into a one-of-a-kind holiday wreath. Save yourself time next year by arranging the plate wreath on a square of plywood. Spray-paint the plywood a coordinating color and hot-glue the plates to the board.
Turn your favorite holiday word into a beautiful wall display. Spell out a festive word on plain plates, pair them with red-and-white plates, and arrange on a wall. For the J, O, and Y plates, use your home computer to print letters in your favorite font. Trace the letters onto plain white plates, using paint pens and fill in.
Try a new twist on traditional Advent calendars with an Advent ribbon. Attach a wide piece of ribbon to the wall. Write holiday messages on small pieces of paper, roll them, and tie with thin pieces of ribbon. Attach the paper rolls to the wide ribbon. Read one message each day leading up to Christmas.
Give your mantel a holiday makeover with colorful stockings, ball ornaments, and -- of course -- presents! Wrap an artist's canvas in wrapping paper and tie with a ribbon. Hang for an easy piece of artwork. Fill glass vases with ornaments. Finish off the display by hanging garland and stockings with care.
Turn flea market finds into holiday decor with a little festive flair. This restored arched window frame became a card holder. To continue the vintage vibe, display heirloom or reproduction holiday cards.
Create a super-simple Advent calendar from a pegboard, colored envelopes, and number stickers. Fill envelopes with holiday messages, candy, or small gifts and seal with number stickers. Attach the envelopes to the small lengths of twine. Tie the envelopes to large pieces of twine stretched across the width of the pegboard.
Create a winter-inspired mantel display with a secondhand gate and festive foliage. An ornate wrought-iron gate is a beautiful wall display on its own, but add a wreath, ribbon, and garland and it turns into welcoming holiday art. Just prop the gate against the wall, loop a wide ribbon through a lightweight wreath, and tie it onto the gate.