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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
Decorate for Christmas with these festive red-and-white ideas inspired by candy canes.
The candy cane -- an iconic Christmas sweet -- makes a great muse for holiday decorating. We've put together an entire red-and-white tablescape -- from centerpieces to party favors -- for holiday brunch or a casual get-together. Plus, we've included some of our favorite ideas for decorating with candy canes.
Continue the candy cane theme with jumbo red rickrack. Swag the trim across the ends and sides of a tablecloth, leaving a 6-inch tail on each end. Use a needle and white thread to attach white buttons to each corner to hold the rickrack in place.
Editor's Tip: For easy-to-remove trim, use only a few stitches to tack the buttons and rickrack in place.
Simple centerpieces capture the red-and-white scheme and are easy to pull together. The three-part centerpiece is created from a few basic supplies and fresh flowers. See the next two slides for details.
Flank the bowl of ornaments with two matching flower arrangements. These aptly named peppermint carnations are available during the holiday season and fit in perfectly with the table theme. For each arrangement, cut a block florist's foam in half, soak in water until saturate, and place in the bowl (ours is 8 inches in diameter and 3 inches deep). Center a 6-inch pillar candle on the foam and press it into the foam so it sits level. Cut carnation stems to about 4 inches and press into the foam, mounding around the pillar and bowl rim.
Editor's Tip: We used two dozen carnations for each bowl. If you can't find peppermint carnations, use a mix of red and white ones.
Instead of formal place cards, use these whimsical chenille stem letters as place cards. For each letter, twist together red and white stems. Shape the stems into initials, using one or two twisted stems for each letter. Cut small pieces as needed to finish the shapes. Position the letters atop place settings along with sprigs of greenery.
A candy cane-theme table wouldn't be complete without some real sweets. Gather an assortment of thrift store glasses and fill with candy canes and other red-and-white striped candies to give as favors. Footed glasses, such as Irish coffee glasses, cordials, champagne flutes, and sherbet dishes, work best.
Pull your dining room chairs into the candy cane theme with a simple ribbon decoration. Tie a length of peppermint-stripe wire-edge ribbon around the top rail of a chair (with the knot below the rail). Tie an oversize candy cane onto one end of the dangling ribbon so it hangs down the back of the chair. (Tuck the other end of the ribbon below the bow.) Slip another length of ribbon through the loop of the first ribbon. Tie the second ribbon in a big bow, letting the ends dangle as shown. Either clip the other end short or tuck it underneath so it can't be seen.
Add a sweet touch to a simple floral arrangement with peppermint sticks. The striped candies stand as straight as sentinels, thanks to some clever structuring.
Wrap a vase in peppermint sticks and pair with red flowers for a pretty Christmas decoration. To create this look, unwrap peppermint sticks and hot-glue them to the outside of a vase. In a well-ventilated area, apply several coats of clear acrylic spray to the vase to prevent the sticks from becoming sticky. Wrap ribbon around the dried vase and hot-glue a peppermint disk to the ribbon. Place a piece of florist's foam inside the vase to secure an arrangement of carnations.
Hosting a holiday open house? Get guests into the Christmas spirit with a peppermint-theme buffet. Wrap a box in red paper and hot-glue layers of wide ribbon around it. Use red-and white napkin rings to dress up plain white napkins. For an easy table runner, cut a length of white felt and wide strips of red felt, cut on a diagonal. Glue the red strips to the white felt so it resembles candy cane stripes. Finish the runner with beaded trim adhered to the short ends.
Learn how to make gorgeous desserts featuring peppermint flavor.