ALL POSTS IN Christmas Countdown

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

Have you always wanted to tour celebrity homes? What about during the holidays? I thought so. During HGTV’s Celebrity Holiday Homes, top-notch designers add festive decor to the homes of their celebrity clients. You’ll get to see the entire planning and decorating process from start to finish and the best part, the reveal. As excited as I was to see stars’ homes, I was more excited to see their reaction to fitting or … unexpected … designs. How do you think professional dancer Cheryl Burke reacted when her neutral, modern home was transformed with a palette of hot pink by designer Emily Henderson? Find out!

Celebrity Holiday HomesTop left: Designer Emily Henderson and Cheryl Burke; Top right: Cheryl’s hot-pink tree; Bottom right: Designer Danielle Colding and BeBe Winans; Bottom left: Bebe’s custom gift wrap

This year, step into the homes of Cheryl Burke, comedienne Lisa Lampanelli, singer BeBe Winans, actress Haylie Duff, musician Dee Snider and actress Tamara Tunie. See them all! Which celeb’s holiday home decor is your favorite? 

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

You guys! Only TWO DAYS left until Christmas. Today, get the kids involved in the holiday prep and make a hand-painted cookie plate just for Santa.

Cookie Plate for Santa

On white oven-proof plates, use assorted colors of food- and dishwasher-safe ceramic paint or paint pens to draw a Christmasy scene.  Let dry overnight, then bake according to paint directions and place by the tree. Don’t forget the homemade cookies!

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

A Christmas tree may be the centerpiece of a room during the holidays, but there’s nothing quite like a gorgeous mantelscape to officially tie a space together. Growing up, Mom has always covered the mantel in lush garland, berry sprigs and metallic accents, so I never thought about just keeping it simple and modern. For HGTV.com’s Holiday House, former Design Star contestant Britany Simon used vintage-inspired marquee letters, handmade stockings and apothecary jars filled with festive accessories to dress up the living room mantel. I completely fell for those “JOY” letters,  but figured they were out of my budget. Guess what? They’re handmade!

DIY Vintage Light Up Letters

You can make your own vintage-inspired lighting installation and make it say anything you want. Plus, depending on what you spell out, these can stay up all year round. All you need are cardboard letters spelling out your desired word or phrase, industrial globe string lights, a marker, paint and a craft knife. Get the Full Step-by-Step Instructions >>

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

The holiday season brings its share of less-than-easy situations along with all that Christmas cheer, like weaving through the crowds at the mall, warming up after shoveling snow and fielding unexpected guests. Luckily, we have holiday drink recipes to soften any situation the season throws your way.

Hot Chocolate With Cinnamon Sticks

This steamy hot chocolate is the perfect warm-up after an intense snowman-building session. For the adults, add an unexpected kick with Kahlua, light rum or silver tequila.

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

For the first time ever, I’m housing guests at my home for the holidays. In the past, I’ve always been able to escape the chaos at night, but this year, my home is the center of the action. (We’ll see how this goes.) I’ve been so focused on getting gifts, doing last-minute decorating and actually enjoying the season that I haven’t even started preparing my home for visitors. From washing throw blankets and pillowcases to stocking the guest bathroom and loading up on snacks, there’s a whole list of things to do before guests arrive. Luckily, there are still a few days to get everything ready. Check out our tips below to get your home guest-ready for the holidays.

Prepare for Holiday Guests

How do you make your home guest-ready for the holidays? Share your tips below.

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

Still trying to find the perfect gift for those last few stragglers on your list? It’s not too late to make your own…really. We have lots of impressive, easy-to-make Christmas gifts that only look like you’ve worked on them for months.

Make Your Own Silhouette Christmas Gift

A framed silhouette is a classic keepsake that makes a thoughtful Christmas gift. A digital camera, computer and printer make this centuries-old craft a snap. Are you working on any handmade gifts this year? Details, details!

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

During the holidays we all like to make the table a little bit fancier. (Did you catch Liz’s table settings post from yesterday?) Eye-catching table runners, oversized chargers and one-of-a-kind place cards are easy ways to dress up your everyday table. The star of the show, however, will most certainly be the centerpiece. And you don’t always have to choose a pricey floral arrangement; opt for something less expensive and handmade using items that coordinate with your theme.

Easy Handmade Centerpieces

I love this metallic-glam table setup. Use spray paint to transform a basic vase or candleholder into a festive centerpiece fit for winter blooms. Mix metallic accents of silver and gold with rustic wood tones and pinecones for a warm holiday look.

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

Holiday meals call for a little extra attention to the table, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot on a professional floral arrangement.  This year, try simple table decorations using items you probably already have on hand.

Holiday Table Setting Ideas

The focal point of this sparkling table centerpiece is a Christmas tree fashioned from Boxwood clippings tucked into a white mug, but you could create the same look with clippings from your tree or from a shrubbery in your yard. Leftover ornaments and evergreen clippings arranged on a serving tray complete the look.

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

There’s nothing I love more than sweet, homemade treats during the holidays. (Cough, cough — are you listening, friends?) The best way to play it safe when you aren’t sure what to get your mysterious friend or a group of 30 coworkers is definitely a batch of homemade cookies in pro-styled packaging. You can certainly go wrong with a tie but never with gooey chocolate crinkle cookies or maple nut toffee.

Handmade Christmas GiftsTuxedo Cookie Recipe

Wrap up your homemade treats in pretty packaging for the finishing touch. Get more wrapping and packaging ideas for small gifts >>

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

As you can see, we’re just 11 days away from Christmas. I think one of the most daunting things for me is presentation. I may have the best gift in the WORLD, but wrapping it in five-year-old snowman paper takes away a bit of the allure. That’s why this year I’m committing to professional presentation. I want gifts that stand out underneath the tree because of their unique packaging.

Creative Gift Wrap Ideas

One of my favorite ideas is this simple yet totally charming gift packaging using butcher paper, twine and birch bark. First, wrap your gift in classic brown butcher paper. To create the patterned tie, criss-cross twine around your thumb and pinky in a figure-eight pattern. Paint the twine in random spots with your desired color, then wrap it around the box and birch bark gift tag.

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

By now, you’ve probably received a few Christmas cards, so you might be willing to part with a few of last year’s greetings. Instead of chucking them into the recycling bin, upcycle them into holiday-perfect wine charms for your Christmas party.

Turn Holiday Cards Into Wine Charms

Find an area with lots of color or an attractive design element, then cut a small hole in the middle for the glasses’ stem and a slit so guests can easily slide the markers on and off. Vary the colors and patterns so each partygoer can easily identify his or her glass. Or, turn those cards into a Christmas tree garland instead.

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  • Tell Your Friends

We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

By now, you’ve probably received a few Christmas cards, so you might be willing to part with a few of last year’s greetings. Instead of chucking them into the recycling bin, upcycle them into holiday-perfect wine charms for your Christmas party.

Turn Holiday Cards Into Wine Charms

Find an area with lots of color or an attractive design element, then cut a small hole in the middle for the glasses’ stem and a slit so guests can easily slide the markers on and off. Vary the colors and patterns so each partygoer can easily identify his or her glass. Or, turn those cards into a Christmas tree garland instead.

MORE WAYS TO USE WHAT YOU HAVE THIS HOLIDAY:

 

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

Around our house, we need heavy-duty stockings to hold what … Santa … brings. Somehow our vintage-inspired stockings have held DVDs, chocolate, candles, makeup, magazines, CDs and more. That’s why I love these stockings made from old winter sweaters. You can tell they’re ready to prove their strength and durability. And they don’t require knitting skills, so you can get them up on your mantel in a snap.

Handmade Christmas Stockings

Have your stockings been hung by the chimney with care? If not, we have plenty of easy, handmade ideas to help finish off your holiday decor.

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

Mantel decorations. Santa squeezing down the chimney. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. The holidays seem to revolve around cozy fireplaces, but you don’t have to miss out on the fun just because your home or apartment is flame-free.

Chalkboard Fireplace

This whimsical take on a traditional fireplace is made from a drop cloth, drapery hardware and chalkboard paint. Draw on a raging fire and pin up your family’s stockings. After the holidays, it can double as a removable chalkboard for the kids!

No mantel? You can fake that, too. And if these ideas leave you cold, you can warm up with our cozy yule log video. Stay toasty out there!

MORE HOLIDAY FIREPLACE IDEAS: 

  • Tell Your Friends

We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

Mantel decorations. Santa squeezing down the chimney. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. The holidays seem to revolve around cozy fireplaces, but you don’t have to miss out on the fun just because your home or apartment is flame-free.

Chalkboard Fireplace

This whimsical take on a traditional fireplace is made from a drop cloth, drapery hardware and chalkboard paint. Draw on a raging fire and pin up your family’s stockings. After the holidays, it can double as a removable chalkboard for the kids!

No mantel? You can fake that, too. And if these ideas leave you cold, you can warm up with our cozy yule log video. Stay toasty out there!

MORE HOLIDAY FIREPLACE IDEAS: 

  • Tell Your Friends

We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

I’m a sucker for holiday home tours, and we, at HGTV, have one of the best ones yet. Every year, designer and host Genevieve Gorder takes you behind the scenes at the White House at Christmastime. During this one-hour, on-air special (that premiered Saturday night), viewers got an exclusive look at what goes into making America’s First Home so spectacular for the holidays. Did you know that the White House gingerbread house weighs 300 pounds?! And, the official White House Christmas tree is 18-feet-6-inches tall!

Countdown to Christmas: White House Christmas

If you missed the on-air premiere, that’s OK. You can catch upcoming episodes over the next few weeks.

Want a sneak peek right now? I thought so. Check it out! Decorating America’s First Home for the Holidays >>

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

Choosing a gift for the big groups of people in your life can be tough. You want to create something special for your coworkers, neighbors or community groups, yet you don’t want to spend a lot of money per person. Skip the cookie plate this year and try one of these inexpensive handmade gifts instead.

Handmade Gifts to Make Now

These mini pinecone firestarters are dipped in eucalyptus-and pine-scented paraffin, so they’ll both help light the fireplace and set the holiday mood. Or, for something edible, try Marianne’s chalkboard-painted coffee cans filled with coconut caramel corn. Coworkers: check.

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

So, you have your holiday party all lined up, decorations are coming into place, cocktails are being tested (!!!) and now you just need to find the perfect favors to send off partygoers. Coordinate favors with the theme of the party, and give them a handmade touch for an ultra-memorable sendoff.

Countdown to Christmas: DIY Holiday Party Favors

What’s your theme? If you plan on hosting an ornament-making party, let their new, handmade ornaments double as party favors. But if you’re just having a small holiday get-together with friends, you may just want to go with something charming and seasonal. Try this gold and burlap basket (left) or these custom-mixed tea favors (right). And we didn’t forget the packaging, either. We have printables, tips and wrapping ideas to give your gifts pro presentation. Check out our favorite DIY holiday party favor ideas >>

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

The best Christmas ornament is one with a story behind it. A great tree is full of family memories: Your daughter’s 6th grade class trip, your grandmother’s heritage, your first Christmas in a new home. Create new holiday keepsakes by making your own handmade ornaments this year.

Make Your Own Ornaments

Most of these ornaments are simple to make and require just a few materials from the craft store — you can make these beautiful origami butterflies with paper, scissors, glue and string. It’s the perfect thing to do as you watch a favorite holiday movie (White Christmas is my pick) and sip some hot cider (spiked or not.)

Or, host a casual ornament-making party so friends can join in on the fun. What Christmas ornaments are you making this year?

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

If you’ve been following our Christmas Countdown, then you’ve probably noticed that we’ve been trying to help you mark off your holiday to-do list. We gave you tree-trimming inspiration, outdoor decorating ideas and hopefully got the ball rolling on your upcoming holiday party. So now, we’re hitting an item on the list that somehow always gets put off until the last minute — the holiday cards.

Christmas Countdown: Handmade Holiday CardsMake This 3-D Felt Christmas Tree Card

Don’t let this year’s holiday cards become this year’s holiday hassle. Put on a Christmas movie, get out the scissors and start crafting. Before you know it, you’ll have everyone’s name marked off the list and a new movie added to your annual holiday must-watch queue. Make and send one of these handmade holiday cards friends and family will remember for years to come.

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  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past

  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past

  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past

  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past