Genius Christmas Hacks

post-it christmas tree on orange wall

Get ready for the season with our clever Christmas hacks 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.

01 of 29

Make a Post-It Christmas Tree

post-it christmas tree on orange wall

Whether it's in your cubicle or your hallway at home, sticky notes are a totally easy way to add holiday cheer to a small space or blank wall. Bonus: You can even make one using holiday cards or Instagram photos.

02 of 29

Make a Wreath from Cardboard

light blue front door with cardboard wreath
Matthew Clark

Yep, this gorgeous DIY holiday wreath started as a piece of cardboard. This dollar store hack is inexpensive, easy, and looks stunning. Use classic elements like evergreen, lambs' ear, and white berries for a look that will last all season.

03 of 29

DIY Christmas Ornament Storage

Storing Christmas Ornaments

Inexpensive felt is all you need to create this Christmas hack. To keep delicate ornaments from breaking, store them in boxes with individual felt wrappers. For the easiest Christmas decoration storage, fill slim boxes and top with another layer of felt.

04 of 29

Create a Feel-Good Advent Calendar

Create your own DIY Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar.
Alice & Lois

This Christmas decorating hack does double duty. Create a beautiful advent calendar that also gives back. Simply print our acts of kindness instructions and fill mini envelopes with a good deed for each day. Hang on your wall and encourage the spirit of the season.

05 of 29

Use Fir Trimmings Instead of Purchasing a Wreath

Tree Branch Christmas Wreath

Hold your wallet right there! Don't splurge on a wreath that gets displayed just once a year. Make your own using the trimmings fresh from your tree fanned out as a star. Red sprigs from the dollar store dress it up.

06 of 29

Build a Cookie Tree as a Display

Cookie Christmas Tree

The cookies-in-a-tin days are over. Win the cookie exchange competition with not only great taste, but a showstopping display. We'll show you how to stack these coconut spritz cookies into a stunning DIY Christmas centerpiece.

Get the recipe.

07 of 29

Staple a DIY Cupcake Garland

Cupcake Holder Garland

Cupcake wrappers are so underrated. This DIY garland starts with folded overlapping wrappers and comes together with just a few staples. Now that's a Christmas party stunner.

08 of 29

Turn Cookie Cutters into Ornaments

Cookie Cutter Ornaments

A quick ribbon-wrap turns holiday baking supplies into trendy tree baubles. Put a tiny bit of tape (instead of glue) at the beginning and end points and you'll be able to reuse the set to shape cookies next year.

09 of 29

Make Scrabble Tiles into Place Settings


A bit of double-stick tape lets you borrow your board game supplies as nifty table settings. Spell out a greeting or a guest's name, then set atop the dinnerware for a kickoff to the night's conversation.

10 of 29

Chill Wine with Frozen Cranberries


Your wine bucket just gained the spotlight on your dinner table. Lay cranberries on a shallow tray and run just enough water to cover them. Freeze, then break into pieces. Add to your ice bucket with a collection of fir cuttings, and pop some bubbly.

11 of 29

Glue Crafts Sticks to Make a Snowflake Tree Tropper

Snowflake tree topper

Crown your tree with the prettiest of snowflakes. A bunch of crafts sticks spray-painted white and hot-glued together make an easy, zero-stress Christmas tree topper. Attach to your tree using no-show fishing line.

12 of 29

Make an Advent Calendar from a Muffin Tin

Christmas countdown

Craft yourself a Christmas countdown in no time with our do-it-yourself calendar. You'll need a muffin tin with 24 cups; a circle cut from adhesive magnet sheets for each cup; and fun trinkets, notes, and candies for gifts. Simply number the circles (one for each day leading up to Christmas) and fill each cup with a surprise before covering with a magnetic circle. Hang on a wall with festive ribbon.

13 of 29

Label Christmas Gifts with Family Pictures

Photo Gift Tags

Add a little extra festive cheer to your gifts by using family snapshots in the place of name tags. Simply print digital photos on white cardstock, cut into decorative shapes, and attach to your presents.

14 of 29

Personalize a Clear Ball Ornament

Paper-Stuffed Christmas Ornament

Plain transparent ornament balls get a personalized update when stuffed with meaningful keepsakes. We opted for sheet music from a favorite carol, but old Christmas letters and other memorabilia work well, too.

15 of 29

Use Family-Favorite Photos to Make an Everlasting Garland


Display your favorite holiday memories year after year with a DIY photo garland. Use snapshots taken during the season and mount them onto pieces of cardstock; add scrapbooking label holders as IDs. Hang the photos from plain or colored twine using clothespins. You can reuse the same garland each year or switch out old photos with new ones.

16 of 29

Make a Mason Jar Lid Ornament

christmas ornament mason jar lid
Matthew Clark

This Mason jar Christmas craft is as easy as gluing faux greenery to the lid of a jar. Finish the look with small jingle bells and use it to add a farmhouse touch to your Christmas tree. We also love how these mini wreaths look as holiday package toppers.

17 of 29

Use Scissors to Cut Cookie Balls into Holiday Blossoms


Get ready for your Christmas cookie exchange with our adorable holiday blossom cookies. Roll sugar cookie dough into balls, roll in colored decorative sugar, and snip to form lovely flowers. See how!

18 of 29

Wrap Gifts with Fabric

Scrappy gift wrap

Save money, save time: Those are the end goals of any holiday hacks. Try to repurpose what you already have for unique, fun wrapping -- say fabric scraps for smaller presents that can travel with you without worry of paper ripping or bows bending. Place your box in the center of the fabric and tie the ends together in a tight knot.

19 of 29

Decorate with Leftover Ornaments

Ornaments in Cloches

Too many decorations and not enough tree? Here's a pretty Christmas mantel hack that involves minimal effort: Simply organize your orbs in a glass cloche (turn the cloche upside down and fill it carefully with different-size ornaments to pack them in tightest). When you're happy, turn it over and place on a plate for the ultimate mobility.

20 of 29

Store Christmas Lights on Tension Rods

Store Christmas lights on tension rods

Skip the Christmas-light stress. Instead of piling your lights in storage boxes or wrapping them in circles, opt for a tangle-free option. The trick to storing your lights mess-free is by wrapping the individual strands around your hand, transferring them to tension rods, then fitting the tension rods to a plastic storage container.

21 of 29

Wrap Grocery Items as Gifts

Cakewalk Cake Mix Food Gift

The shelves at the grocery store are filled with quick and easy gift ideas. To make this cake mix gift, simply wrap your favorite mix in a Christmas-theme fabric (or table runner!); sew or hot-glue closed. Add handles by sewing or hot-gluing ribbon to the package, then attach small bags of decorations for a finishing touch.

22 of 29

Create an Advent Calendar with Ornaments

Christmas countdown

No time to craft at the holidays? You're not alone. Instead of the time-consuming handiwork necessary for a from-scratch Advent calendar, make this fuss-free one. Simply hang extra ornaments from a cork or felt board, along with a number for each day.

23 of 29

Reuse Tangled Light Strands

Burning Bush

Christmas lights balled up after last year's display? Instead of throwing them out, turn your tangled outdoor lights into a showstopping spectacle by laying them in a planter and topping with branches.

24 of 29

Use Ice Cream Cones to Turn Cupcakes into Christmas Trees

Oh Tannenbaum Cupcakes

Create the perfect Christmas cupcake with our tannenbaum design. The secret to the leafy topping? Place an ice cream cone upside down atop your snowy white-frosted cupcakes, then pipe green frosting to the cone for the leaves. Carefully add edible pearl candies for ornaments.

25 of 29

Add Layers to Your Christmas Wreath with Faux Leaves

Layered Leaf Wreath

Enhance Christmas greenery with layers of faux leaves, pinecones, and other winter foliage. Take inspiration from this design: We used faux lemon leaves, deep red poinsettia petals, and copper magnolia leaves to bulk up the Christmas wreath.

26 of 29

Use Plastic Storage Boxes for Gifting Candy and Cookies

Triple Chocolate Truffles

Who knew? Household items, such as plastic storage boxes, can make pretty gift packaging when updated with holiday-theme fabric. For the chocolate truffles pictured here, simply use candy cups to separate each luscious truffle.

27 of 29

Label Your Christmas Decorations


Keep your Christmas decorations organized by marking similar accessories based on their holiday location. For example, if you have artificial garlands cut to fit a stair railing, mantel, and sideboard, hang a labeled tag from each section for easy identification, or store them separately in clearly marked bags.

28 of 29

Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

gift wrap, gift, ribbon

This handmade stamped wrapping paper is one of our favorite Christmas gift hacks. It's an inexpensive way to transform plain paper into stunning holiday wrapping paper.

29 of 29

Make Your Grocery Shopping Do Double Duty


Transform those pantry staples into a super sweet food gift. This Christmas hack is as easy as packaging up pancake mix, syrup, and milk for a simple holiday gift idea.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles