Storage Dilemma: You don’t have a designated spot for your crafting and gift wrapping supplies and waste time searching your home for all the essentials. Solution: Gather, sort and group similar items and use drawers, bins, rods or a cart to keep everything organized. If space is tight, set up a mini station in a corner of your home office or inside a closet.
Create a soft and swirly serpent wreath with yarn and bendable toy snakes. First, cover a foam wreath form entirely with black yarn. Next, gather three to five bendable, cloth-covered toy snakes (plastic and rubber snakes work too), wrapping them tightly around the form. Be sure to position their heads in different directions to give the wreath a sense of motion.
The open floor design of this modern living room plays heavily with geometric shapes. Wenge wrapping the walls creates the geometric idea cubes while details like the X-based coffee table and large rectilinear windows unify the design within the details. A sliding wall gives way to a pass through to the kitchen, and softer textures like a silk area rug, leather bench and linen sofas soften the space to highlight the peaceful living environment.
“The black glasses were my grandmother's and the inspiration to go with more non-traditional colors,” says Corey Willis of Hey There, Home. The clever design uses houndstooth wrapping paper in place of a table cloth, keeping cost—and laundry!—to a minimum. “The black-and-white paper made for the perfect backdrop for the pops of color I added by simply filling vases with inexpensive ball ornaments in fun colors.”
Celebrate the start of spring with an inviting nature-inspired tablescape. "A simple blossom-themed wrapping paper is the inspiration for this table setting to welcome spring. A variety of candles and a pedestal holding an egg-filled bowl add to the fresh feel of the table," Katrina Giles of Seaside Interiors says. For a subtle contrast and touch of drama, black place mats are added beneath simple aqua dishes.
Wrap plants and smaller trees. To provide plants with extra protection from the wind and cold, the National Association of Landscape Professionals suggests wrapping them in burlap or a frost protection fabric and planting them along a building or fence that offers wind protection. Many plant varieties, like roses, butterfly bushes, hydrangeas and crape myrtles, can be damaged by sub-freezing temperatures.
Encourage conversation and mingling by setting up an activity for your guests. This New Year's resolution game is inspired by the holiday "white elephant" gift exchange. To set up, create a backdrop using foam or cork boards and pin up instructions. Make note cards using silver cardstock and snowflake cutouts. The striped envelopes are an easy cut-and-fold DIY using leftover holiday wrapping paper.
Plaid and gingham and polka dots, oh my! Aniko Levai of Place of My Taste cleverly mixed fabric scraps and inexpensive wrapping paper to create this fun and festive table decor. Leftover fabric covers the tablescape’s conical “trees,” dots the pinecone-and-greenery centerpiece, ties cardboard reindeers around vintage glass bottles and finishes off the place settings.
Take time to wrap shrubs and small trees with a winter coat of burlap for protection against cold temps. Plants at risk include those with borderline hardiness and evergreens prone to winter burn. Spray evergreens with an anti-transpirant before wrapping in burlap. Before adding the burlap, protect trunks against chewing rodents by tossing mouse bait that’s enclosed in a protective container near the base of the plant.
Pick up a few black paint pens at your local craft store. Draw geometric designs onto solid white ornaments. Try polka dots, stripes and even hearts. This is a great project to get the kids involved too. They’ll love to see their creations hang on the tree. Black and white ribbon is an easy way to add some personality and texture to the tree. Instead of wrapping it our the tree in a traditional manner, cut small sections of the ribbon and drape it over single branches here and there.
Of all the people on your Christmas list, the little ones are sure to be the most excited when it comes to unwrapping gifts around the tree. Give your wide-eyed tots the biggest surprise by leaving plush animals unwrapped and interspersed with gift-wrapped boxes. This adds a youthful touch to your decor and gives the little ones something to run and grab the moment they wake up. (Plus, there will be less wrapping paper to clean up!)
Create your own giant acorns for extra large fall decorations this season. To create the body of your acorn you will need to find some wooden eggs shapes, or create your own with balloons and paper mache. Once you have the body you can decorate it by painting it, wrapping it with twine, or gilding it with gold leaf or glitter. Create your acorn cap by hot gluing natural elements around the top half of your acorn shape. We used acorn caps and layers of pinecone scales to create ours.
With her son favoring blue ornaments, Aniko Levai of Place of My Taste challenged herself to come up with a creative new palette for her holiday decor. The stunning result incorporates faux flowers with fresh greenery in a Goodwill-found vase, pomegranates and those striking blue ornaments. Runners of thick, black wrapping paper stood in for a more traditional table covering for a modern result.
Keep an eye on trick-or-treaters with a googly-eyed wreath. To make it, pick up two to three bags of white Ping-Pong balls online or at a sports store. Use hot glue to attach them, in layers, to a foam wreath form with hot glue. Once all visible parts of the wreath form have been covered, attach small and large googly eyes. Tip: It's best to hang the wreath with a door hanger, rather than wrapping ribbon around, so the layers of Ping-Pong balls remain undisturbed.
Invitations for your pet party set the festive mood and serve as handy reminders for details such as when, where, and what to expect. Easily create custom invites, using this downloadable template designed by Fig.2Design. Print these 4-1/4 inch by 5-1/2 inch invites on brown Kraft paper and cut to size. Cut teal cardstock to add an inch to invite size. Glue invites to cardstock and place in envelopes made from wrapping paper. If hand-delivering the invites, attach a treat for the four-legged recipient.
For her DIY headboard project, Atlanta homeowner Amanda Macy Hall and her husband, Josh, cut a piece of medium-thick foam and adhered it to their existing cherry wood headboard using spray glue. Once the glue set, they sprayed the front of the foam with the glue and wrapped the headboard with the large pre-washed drop cloth. They pulled it tight and created crisp corners, like when wrapping a gift. Using super strong fabric glue held the corners and seams in place, she says. “This was an incredibly inexpensive project that was quick and easy,” she says.
The Advent calendar is made with recycled cans. Make sure to completely clean the cans before you use them for the project. First, spray-paint the outside of the cans. Once they're dry, drill holes in the sides of the cans near the top. Take the pieces of wire and stick each end through the holes in the cans, bending the wire so that it creates a handle. Add a spiral on the each end of the wire by wrapping it around a pencil. The white-vinyl numbers in the pictures were cut on a Silhouette machine, but any set of numbered stickers would work.
Whip up a batch of apple dumplings for a crowd-pleasing dessert. Pastry-wrapped apples nestled into a sweet caramel sauce aren’t difficult to make. They hold their own when served as dessert at an elegant dinner or cozy family supper. The secret to success is to use a pastry that contains butter and egg yolk. That blend is pliable enough to make wrapping apples a breeze. (Pastry with shortening is too short and tends to break.) Serve warm apple dumplings solo, or pair with ice cream, milk or cream. If you don’t want to gobble all the pastry calories, try your hand at making baked apples (baked whole apples with skins on). They’re decadent enough for even the sweetest tooth in your gang.