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

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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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Luminarias

Every guest will feel welcome when sparkling lanterns surround your door.

What You Need:

Line your walkway with these glittering cans for a look that's more modern than traditional luminarias.
  • Metal cans in assorted sizes, cleaned and with paper labels removed and saved
  • Plain paper cut to fit the can (optional)
  • 16-penny square nail
  • Awl
  • Hammer
  • Punch-style can opener
  • 16-gauge galvanized wire
  • Pliers
  • Votive candle

Instructions:

Use winter designs -- like this snowflake -- when you chip away pieces of ice.

1. Fill the cans with water and freeze them overnight. (Freezing makes it easier to hammer a design into the can without damaging the shape of the can.) Don't worry if the bottoms bulge slightly from the pressure of the ice.

Step 2

2. To make the paper pattern, use the wrong side of the label or plain paper trimmed to fit. Fold the paper in quarters to keep the design elements evenly spaced. Unfold and draw lines, stars, chevrons, squares, Vs, or other simple geometric shapes on the paper.

Step 3

3. Tape the paper over the can, and place the can on a folded towel to protect the work surface. Using the 16-penny nail (for square holes) or awl (for round holes), hammer through the design into the can and ice.

Step 4

4. Let the ice melt completely. If the bottom of the can became distorted in the freezer, gently hammer it back in place. Use the punch-style can opener to make triangular holes along the top and bottom edges of the can.

5. To hang luminarias, cut a 20-inch length of wire and bend it into a U-shape. Insert the ends from the inside of the can to the outside through holes in opposite sides of the can. Curl the ends back over the top of the can. Place a votive candle in the can.

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