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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Popular in Christmas

Early American Tree

Traditional, homemade Christmas tree decorations, from dried-fruit slices to a cranberry garland.

Set up a mid-19th-century tree.

Purchased ornaments were expensive and often available only in large cities, so homemade treats and toys were customary tree decorations in the mid-1800s. Tabletop trees were the norm until the Victorian era.

What You Need:

  • Small evergreen tree
  • Cookie-dough or salt-dough ornaments
  • Small wooden toys
  • Whole, fresh cranberries
  • Strong thread
  • Large needle
  • Apples and oranges
  • Raffia
  • Strips of gingham fabric
  • Tin or gold-foil star (see Step 4)


1. Dry the fruit slices. Cut apple and orange into 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick rounds. (If you have a dehydrator, follow the directions.) Dip apple slices in lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown. Place on a tray in a single layer and leave to dry overnight or several days. Hang with raffia and fabric bows.

2. String cranberry garland. Use needle and thread to string cranberries until desired length is achieved.

3. Make dough ornaments. Make cutout sugar cookies, or use any cutout dough recipe you wish. Punch holes for hanging in cookies with a straw before baking. When cool, hang with braided lengths of raffia.

4. To make a punched-metal star, cut out a star shape from a thin sheet of metal with tinsnips or an old pair of scissors. Trace a circle in center as desired. Place star on a flat piece of soft wood (such as pine). Hit an old screwdriver with a hammer to punch lines in design; hit a large nail with hammer to make smaller holes.

More Ideas:

  • To complete the rustic look, wrap burlap around the tree stand to cover it.
  • Place small-scale wooden antiques such as Shaker boxes, miniature furniture, musical instruments, alphabet blocks, and pull toys at the base of the tree.

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