Pennywise Projects for Christmas
Bowl of Bulbs
Let there be light with a candle tucked into a bowl of Christmas bulbs. Check your basement for an old strand of these lights. Then, coordinate your holiday decor by mixing and matching the candle and bulb colors.
Decorate pillar candles with wired crystals, beads, or faux cranberries. Like an accent pillow on a chair, it's a low-cost way to add color and interest to a neutral item. A few sprigs of fresh greens make this centerpiece sparkle with holiday goodwill.
Handmade Holiday Napkins
Stuff iconic candy canes into any decorative bowl or flowerpot, and add a peppermint-striped ribbon to finish it off.
Sheet Music Ornaments
This Tinkertoy tree is fun and can easily be assembled using toys that the kids have outgrown.
Candy Cane Candles
Straightforward red pillars -- or any neutral candle you might have -- play into the Christmas scene when decorated with polka-dotted ribbon or candy-cane sticks. Heavy-duty double-stick tape adheres the embellishments to the candles.
Use What You Have
Not into the traditional bright red and green? Use what you have that fits with your decor and make it special. Our large mixing bowl, color-cued to the rest of the room, becomes home to vintage postcards or holiday greetings during December.
Sew-Simple Felt Purse
Every little girl would love this adorable purse made from snowy white felt. Make it in an evening for the little one on your list.
Colorful Chandelier Covers
Wrap thin, inexpensive ribbon around the arms and base of a chandelier to add color. No-sew adhesive fabric tape ensures that the material stays in place. Use the same tape to secure ribbon to the top and bottom edges of the shades.
Editor's Tip: For temporary applications, double-sided tape secures ribbon to a lampshade or tablecloth. For something permanent or washable, sew the ribbon in place.
Down to the Wire
Bring the great outdoors inside with wire garden edging you use to border flowerbeds in the summer. Tuck greeting cards into the arches and surround with ribbon and greenery.
Under the Tree
Sparkling versions of a holiday tree disguise bottles of cider or wine in one fell swoop. Use pinking sheers to cut three 17-x-17-x-8-inch triangles from felt, glue together the edges (leaving the bottom open), and tack on sequins, glitter, or other ornaments.
Stretch your floral budget by mixing colorful and shapely fresh fruits into your centerpiece. Mix artichokes, crab apples, seeded eucalyptus, and more for a smorgasbord of holiday delight.
Let It Glow
Turn paper bags into dramatic luminarias by cutting out your own designs with a crafts knife, hole punchers, and scissors. Then wait for dusk, fill the bottom with sand, and drop in a tea light to bring your walkways to life. (Use battery-powered votives if you're not going to be at home while these are on display.)
Tins All Trimmed
Tins lying around the house can be used as tidy treat containers, gracious gifts, and even delightful decorations.
Clothespin and Crafts-Stick Snowflakes
Our contemporary take on classic Swedish straw ornaments combines crafts sticks or clothespins with wood rounds to create different snowflake forms.
Make dozens of these heavenly trims with coffee filter wings and gowns.