ALL POSTS IN Holidays

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Most of us probably still have a lot of holiday shopping left to do. I always leave the men for last because they’re the hardest to buy gifts for, and I tend to procrastinate. Does he really need another sweater? Do I really want to spend a lot of money on the newest gadget? I’ve learned over the years that making something is the best route to go. Bonus: You can skip the crowds!

However, handmade gifts for guys can be a bit tricky — you want to make something useful but also something he can brag about to his friends. While we’re at it, let’s make it really easy to make (Nobody has time to spend hours crafting!).

Here are our top 5 DIY holiday gifts for the men in your life:

 Felt Gadget Case

How to Make a Felt Gadget Case

He may already have the latest gadget, so get him a felt cover to help protect it. If you don’t have basic sewing skills, try this project with fabric glue!

Get the Full Instructions Here>>

4 More Gifts For Guys

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So far, we’ve shown you how to decorate, dress yourself and prepare a cheese board for the holidays. It’s time to move on to the dessert table. This may be the most important part of your party (other than the bar, of course) — especially if you’re having a sweets-only get together.

To help you get started on your dessert table, I’ll share this very simple chewy gingersnap cookies recipe with you. You can make these a day or two in advance because they will still taste fresh come party time! Pair the cookies with an even simpler pumpkin pie dip recipe that’s dangerously delicious. Spread the dip on top of each cookie or spread it between two cookies to make a sandwich. Yum!

Gingersnap Cookies With Pumpkin Pie DipPhoto by Jason Kisner

Get the Full Recipe>>

Check back soon for more dessert recipes, how to style a dessert table and other inspiring holiday ideas.

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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I’ve been wanting to glitter shoes for a while now, but I didn’t have a pair I was willing to transform just yet. It wasn’t until that last toe-stubbing moment I couldn’t shine out that I decided these heeled loafers were ready to be beautified.

I decided to go for a wintry, metallic color scheme that would look perfect with my cream holiday dresses, plum accents (like those tights) and even black. They made their debut at our uber-festive holiday party a few weeks ago and I can’t wait to wear them again! The best part? I’m a perfectionist and I was done with this project in less than an hour.

Home for the Holidays: DIY Glitter ShoesPhoto by Jeff Romaniuk

Here’s what you’ll need:

shoes
Mod Podge Gloss-Lustre Finish
ultra-fine glitter (in desired color)
painter’s tape
paintbrush with synthetic bristles
polyurethane spray
plastic container (for mixing glitter + glue)
drop cloth
ribbon for laces (optional)
spray paint (optional)

Get the complete step-by-step instructions here >>

Check back next week for more holiday party fashion you can make before your upcoming soiree.

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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Contest is now closed, congratulations Wendy!

Have you finished your holiday decorating yet? Or are you just getting started? Me, I fall somewhere in the middle. The tree is up and trimmed, the mantel is mostly done (I think it just needs some greenery), and I have a few finishing touches to add to the rest of the house. One thing I can’t wait to hang is this Light-Up Holiday Star. It’s kind of amazing. Watch the video below to see how to make this project for yourself, and then read on to win some Pottery Barn stockings!

This show stopper of a star looks great indoors but since it’s made of foam and LED lights you can use it outdoors as well! It would look great next to your front door, don’t you think?

Hanging Light-Up Holiday Star

Faux Fur Stockings courtesy of Pottery Barn

Now on to our giveaway! Here is your chance to deck your halls in style, thanks to our friends at Pottery Barn. Leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win two Faux Fur Stockings and two Faux Sheepskin Stockings, each trimmed in gorgeous ivory velvet.

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 11:00 a.m. ET on December 3, 2013 and 12:00 p.m. ET on December 9, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of the prize: $98.00. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932

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Welcome to December, friends! From festive string lights lining the city streets to holiday tunes jazzing up local shops, this month couldn’t get any better. What’s your favorite part of the holiday season? Eggnog? Gingerbread?

Mood Board Monday: Christmas HollyHair Clip | Vintage Cat Card | Vintage Kid Card | Holly | Cake | Cupcake| Cocktail | Garland

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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Congratulations to Yolanda C. on her Pottery Barn win!

Here we are — the eve of Thanksgiving. Am I the only one who feels like 2013 just began? After tomorrow, we’re on the fast-track to Christmas. Crazy! Anyhoo, this week the team at Design Happens and Made + Remade focused their attention on holiday bar set up and cocktails. If you’re hosting a party, you’re going to want signature drinks presented in a fabulous setting. We can help with all of it.

Holiday Bar

This week’s bar topics included:

Decorating a Holiday Bar
How to Stock Your Bar
Festive Cocktails for Your Party
Delicious Cranberry Recipe
Cranberry-Walnut Relish Recipe
Make the Perfect Cheese Plate

Now to our giveaway! You too can have a lovely bar with help from Pottery Barn. From their collection, we’re giving away 1 Rye Bar Tool Set (see below). Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win. This giveaway’s question: Do you have a signature cocktail for your holiday parties? What is it? 

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 9:00 a.m. ET on November 27, 2013 and 12:00 p.m. ET on December 2, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of the prize: $60.00. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932

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Mmmmm…butternut squash. Sure, it’s delicious when roasted or blended into soup, but have you ever considered incorporating butternut squash into your fall decor? Add this oblong squash to your table in a new way this Thanksgiving — as an easy-to-make, inexpensive vase.

Butternut Squash Vases

It just takes a few minutes to make your own. To make an arrangement like you see above, you’ll want three or five butternut squash in varying heights. The smaller, the better; larger butternut squash have thicker flesh that makes them slightly more difficult to work with. I got these at a local farmers’ market.

Cut and Hollow Out Butternut Squash
After first trying a pumpkin-carving saw, I found that the best tool for hollowing out the squash was a long-handled spoon. Make a circle at the top of the squash’s oblong stem, leaving about 1/2 inch of flesh around the edge. Continue scooping chunks of squash until you reach the seeds. Scoop out what you can, then rap onto a cutting board a few times to remove remaining seeds.

Fall Butternut Squash Centerpiece
Next, add the flowers of your choice. I went with dahlias, sunflowers and cockscomb in purples, yellows and greens. Then, add water and display on your Thanksgiving table!

Turn Butternut Squash Into a Thanksgiving Centerpiece
Get full instructions for this project here, plus find even more Thanksgiving ideas on HGTV.com.

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Marianne showed you how to set the perfect cheese board (and how to actually make a rustic board) for the holidays, but what to serve with the cheese? Setting out cheese accompaniments is as much about presentation as it is complementary flavors. Include the obvious — like bread and nuts — and add fall fruits, like figs and sugared cranberries. To bring in more flavor and color, include a relish with your selections.

 

Holiday Cheese Board

A cranberry-walnut relish adds just the right amount of color and tartness to perfectly complement cheese. The piney flavor and scent of chopped rosemary in the relish is a reminder that the holidays are finally here.

Cranberry-Walnut Relish

 Get the Full Recipe Here>>

Check back with us later to get more ideas and recipes from the rest of our holiday menu.

 We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

All photos by Jason Kisner

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A couple of weeks ago I showed you how to make your very own Wood-Burned Cheese Board (you’ve made yours by now, right?), and now, with Thanksgiving only a couple of days away, it’s time to shop for the right things to top it with. After all, you don’t want to end up with a plate full of pre-cubed cheddar on the big day, do you? Not that there’s anything wrong with cheese cubes, but why not treat your dinner guests to a perfectly crafted cheese feast?

Just watching that made me hungry! This cheese plate would be a great appetizer while waiting for the turkey to finish roasting, or you can serve it with dessert for any of your guests who aren’t in the mood for pie. As long as you stick to our formula, you’ll always have a perfectly balanced (and gorgeous!) cheese board for your guests.

The Perfect Cheese Plate

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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With Thanksgiving around the corner and the holiday season in sight, ’tis the season for fresh cranberries. Sure, they make a mean cranberry sauce or upside-down cake, but if you’ve tried one straight from the bag, you know cranberries are nothing short of pucker-inducing. So, I was skeptical when I first heard that sugared cranberries made a great snack. As the kitchen investigator I try to be, I had to see for myself.

You guys. These things are addictive. Soaking cranberries overnight in a maple-scented simple syrup transforms them from pucker-worthy to perfectly sweet-tart. Rolling them in superfine sugar adds a satisfying crunch. As pretty as they are tasty, they make a great cake or cocktail garnish. Make a double batch and wait for the rave reviews.

Sugared Cranberry Recipe on HGTV.com

GET THE SUGARED CRANBERRIES RECIPE

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There’s nothing like a classy beverage to make a holiday party feel more festive or to whet everyone’s appetite for small bites. My husband and I are cocktail enthusiasts, but as much as I love drinks with lots of exotic ingredients and elaborate garnishes (hello, flaming limes!), we’ve found it’s best to keep it simple behind the bar when you’re entertaining for a large group. It’s also a good idea to keep drinks on the low-alcohol end of the spectrum so guests can sip the night away without feeling the negative effects the next morning. So, what do you mix when you’re looking for something simple, low-alcohol, festive and tasty? Enter the shim!

The Pleasant Evening cocktail on a tray

TWO TASTY COCKTAIL RECIPES TO TRY

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When Briana asked about the white pumpkin trend in a recent Defend the Trend post, a whopping 81 percent of you said you loved the look. I’m with the majority here — I adore the elegance a white pumpkin brings to the (Thanksgiving) table. Whether you have leftovers from Halloween or are picking up a few just for Thanksgiving, here are 7 of my favorite ways to use these fall gems.

Turn White Pumpkins Into a Fall Succulent Planter
Pint-sized white pumpkins make an adorable vessel for single succulents. Kelly Smith Trimble from DIY’s Made + Remade blog inspired me to use these as take-home place markers at a recent fall dinner party. She used the adorable succulents as part of this modern tablescape filled with assorted pumpkins, squash and sprigs of eucalyptus.

Fall Tablescape With Mini White Pumpkins

More Ways to Decorate With White Pumpkins

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, because I have the most wonderful family to spend it with. Plus, there are some recipes my grandmother and mother only pull out once a year. Annual traditions are what make the holiday so special to me. What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? What are some you hope to start this year?

Mood Board Monday: Thanksgiving InspirationCider | Natural Decor | Apple Pie | Centerpiece | Cake | Chain of Thanks | Friends | Cranberry Jelly | Table

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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Home for the HolidaysI hope you’ve enjoyed following along as we share our holiday entertaining ideas straight from our own festive gathering with the DIYNetwork.com Made + Remade team. Each week we’ve focused on a particular area, from the fireplace to the table and now to the bar. You saw the inspiration behind the bar — lots of sparkle, a magnolia garland and an assortment of cocktail ingredients and garnishes within reach. Now, take a look at how the bar came together.

Home for the Holidays: Bar

Made + Remade contributor Hannah prepares our signature drink, the Pleasant Evening cocktail.

Home for the Holidays: Evergreen Swag

We framed some of our childhood Christmas photos (I’m third from the right in the gift box), attached velvet ribbon to the frame and hung each from twine behind the evergreen garland. This served as a perfect backdrop for our bar area. Learn how to make the magnolia garland at Made + Remade >>

Home for the Holidays: Bar

We stocked the bar with a variety of liquors, spirits and garnishes, something every hostess should keep in mind when prepping for an event.

Home for the Holidays: Champagne Garnishes

We wanted to separate the wine and champagne by setting up a bar cart. Here, we set out fun garnishes like candied cranberries, rock candy and starfruit to dress up champagne coupes.

Check back for more ideas on setting up a bar for your upcoming holiday parties.

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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There’s nothing like the threat of company — especially parents, grandparents and mother-in-laws — to create that extra motivation needed to finish those lingering home improvement projects. (Guest bedroom, I’m coming for you.) If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, it’s likely you’ve spent some quality time at the local paint store.

Once the drop cloth is up and the rollers cleaned (or safely stored in the garage…no judgement here), why not use up that collection of paint sticks? That’s the humble material this copper-coated herringbone runner started out as:

Make Paint Sticks Into a Herringbone Table Runner

Give them a second life — kind of like Grandma’s vintage coat — as a table runner that will last from Thanksgiving all the way through the holiday season. Read on to learn how to make this chic and affordable table accent.

How To Turn Paint Sticks Into a Table Runner

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We’ve told you all about our holiday party table setup, from Marianne’s gutter centerpiece to Deanne’s rustic-chic place card holders to Dan’s handmade farmhouse benches. But have you looked up yet? When you do, you’ll see one of my favorite projects from the whole party: A chandelier fashioned from a plain old branch and beautiful dried flowers.

Here’s a peek at the finished product if you’ve missed it so far:

Decorate for the Holidays With an Easy Branch Chandelier

I love how it started as, well, a branch (specifically, a drifter that landed on Marianne’s porch) and, with a little embellishment, became something gorgeous. It’s also an affordable holiday update — the branch is free, the other materials inexpensive — that can last throughout the holiday season. Want to make your own at home? I’ve got you covered. Read on.

MAKE YOUR OWN BRANCH CHANDELIER

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Congratulations to Jessica on her Chilewich win!

Continuing right along with our Home for the Holidays franchise, this week the teams at Design Happens and Made + Remade focused their efforts on table settings. Yes, we understand that food is your main priority when you gather friends and family around your table — but, don’t you want all that time and effort spent cooking and baking appreciated not only by taste, but presentation? Let your guests savor their meal surrounded in an inviting atmosphere.

Home for the Holidays Table Setting

This week’s tabletop topics included:

8 Tips for Setting a Festive Table
Make a Holiday Centerpiece (in a Gutter!)
Easy DIY Mercury Glass Votives
Pretty, Rustic Place Card Holders
Hanging Branch Chandelier
Plus: Painted Pine Cone Plaques

Now to our giveaway! You too can have a beautiful holiday table setting with select items from Chilewich (see below). From their collection, we’re giving away 1 Gold Mod Table Runner, 8 Freesia Pink Linen Napkins and 8 Gold Dahlia Placemats/Chargers. Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win. This giveaway’s question: Do you typically go all-out for your holiday table settings? Or, is that not a top priority?

Giveaways

Left: Table Runner; Center: Linen Napkin; Right: Placemat/Charger

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 9:00 a.m. ET on November 22, 2013 and 12:00 p.m. ET on November 25, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of the prize: $211.00. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932

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When I heard that a rustic-meets-elegant table setting was part of the plan for our holiday party, the first project that popped into my mind was DIY mercury glass votives. I love the timeworn look of the mirrored finish and have been wanting to try out a little trick I know for recreating it with just 2 materials: looking glass spray paint and a spray bottle filled with water. Yep, that’s it, this project is as simple as that – just 2 materials and 2 steps you repeat a few times till you’re happy with the mirrored finish.

But the finished votives don’t look super simple — their subtle mercury glass interiors lend an elegant sparkle to our holiday table:Easy to Make Mercury Glass Votives

Ready to make your own? Get crafting with all my tips and complete step-by-step instructions>>

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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