Here’s a fun project for kids and grownups alike: Upcycle empty bottles to create solar garden lighting. The Solar Bottle Lantern Kit, $12.95 from Gardener’s Supply, consists of a rubber stopper with three short LED light strings attached. Just insert the light strings into a bottle of your choice and place the stopper in the top of the bottle. A small solar panel on the top charges the battery so that when dusk falls the twinkling LED lights begin to glow. Display the weatherproof project anywhere you like, year round.
For the front porch of her new Rhode Island home, blogger Alison Vinciguerra of the blog Long Distance Loving used a wreath from The Home Depot that was pre-decorated with pinecones, holly leaves, gold feathers and fruit. She wove in white LED twinkle lights into the wreath and garland near a vintage-looking lantern.
Try something new this year with a space-saving, alternative Christmas tree that can even display cards from friends and family. You'll need: 4x8-foot sheet of luan; latex paint or water-based stain; staining pad (if using stain); drill; 1/2-inch paddle bit; colored craft string; upholstery tacks or push pins; 6-foot strand of 12-gauge wire; tennis ball; picture nail; hammer; battery-operated LED twinkle lights; duct tape in metallic finish; scissors; chalk.