ALL POSTS TAGGED "holiday"

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The holidays are sneaking up on us fast! Hanukkah began this weekend and Christmas will be here in less than 2 weeks. If you’re like me, you’re in gift wrapping crunch mode.

Honestly, wrapping gifts is one of my favorite things about the holidays but wrapping guys’ gifts can be tough — the trick is to keep them seasonal and masculine. For my mens’ gifts this year, that means this awesome blue plaid ribbon (love!) and handy-dandy, works-with-anything Kraft paper.

Another Kraft paper bonus: Thanks to its thickness, you can paint it without rippling the paper. So for Grant’s gift, I painted on a chalkboard gift tag then topped it with a blue plaid ribbon rose (in honor of his bowtie obsession) and a sparkly snowflake ornament.Chalkboard Gift Wrap With Handmade Ribbon Rose

Step 1: I planned to add the ribbon rose on one side and have the chalkboard tag take up most of the remaining space so I first taped on a band of ribbon to determine the tag’s placement. Next I used a ruler to mark out a rectangle, leaving the corners unmarked. To round the tag’s corners, I sketched around a small tin then erased any pencil marks that wouldn’t be covered by the chalkboard paint. chalkboard gift wrap

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Today’s craft comes straight from the ever-inspiring Handmade section right here on HGTV.com. I couldn’t resist these Ombre Tabletop Christmas Trees and decided to recreate them in neutral colors. I love how they look a little bit like snow-capped mountains!

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These make a great centerpiece, but I paired them with some oversized ornaments and created a charming tableau for my mantel. I can’t wait to use these year after year!

Handmade Ombre Felt Trees

Missed any episodes of Weekday Crafternoon? You can find them all here!

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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?

MORE HANDMADE ORNAMENT IDEAS:

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The first part of this series can be found here.

Just as I was inspired by my summer garden when planning my Thanksgiving menu, I look to my autumn harvest with garden gifts for the holidays in mind. First up, these beautiful hand printed gift bags packed with homemade dried red pepper flakes. My co-worker Kelly had a bumper crop of cayenne peppers this summer, and she’s turned her surplus into these spicy treasures.

RELATED: How to Dry Hot Peppers

DIY Garden Gift: Dried Hot Peppers

More DIY Garden Gifts

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As you guys know, I love a good estate sale. One of my favorite places to search for treasures is the garage — but I’m not looking for tools. I’m on a quest to find broken bits with potential — like drawers, keys or old knobs that have been separated from their original piece of furniture or vintage harps, finials or other electrical hardware — essentially anything with character that I think I can repurpose.   

A few months ago, I discovered a 4-foot board with a carved detail along the top and beautiful raised acanthus leaves at either end. The seller found it in a barn and had no idea how old it was or whether it once framed an elaborate doorway or was part of a long piece of furniture, like a buffet.  The white paint was crazed and chipping – just how I like it. The seller seemed shocked that I even wanted a beat-up old board so he priced it low – 2 whole dollars. Originally, my plan was to strip all the paint and stain it but once I had removed the chipped paint and sanded it smooth, I decided to leave it as-is.

Topped with glittered pinecones, blue Spruce and holly boughs, my found molding makes a beautiful, rustic swag above the entry to my kitchen:

Here you can see the acanthus leaf detail on the ends — pretty, right?! Totally worth a dusty, dirty scavenger hunt in the wood pile.

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Congratulations, Saly!

Good afternoon, Design Happens readers! Or should that be good crafternoon? Hmmm. Anyway, I digress. You guys made some excellent suggestions in last week’s episode, and several of you wanted holiday wreath ideas. Well, today is your lucky day! Also, since the ornament giveaway was such a hit (Were you the winner? Check your email!), I’m giving away this wreath as well! Scroll down for details.

I love how inexpensive and easy to customize this project is. In fact, I went home and made a big version for my own front door!

DIY Pompom Wreath

Want to win the wreath featured in today’s episode? You are in luck! To win? All you need to do is leave a comment below answering this question: are you finished decorating for the holidays? Or are you just getting started?

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 12:00 p.m. ET on December 4, 2012 and 12:00 p.m. ET on December 10, 2012. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $30. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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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’re anything like me, there’s never a free or lazy Saturday in December. Somehow the month flies by as I spend every weekend marking things off my holiday to-do list. One of them, I’m sure, is finishing up (or starting!) outdoor holiday decorating. Today is the perfect day to do it. Grab a thermos of hot cocoa, crank up the holiday music and get to work.

Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas

Not sure where to get started? We have plenty of outdoor decorating ideas for inspiration. My personal favorite is the wine bottle candelabras (pictured). Start stashing those empty wine bottles, remove the labels and spray paint black. Add tapered candles and light the wicks to create a bond between the candle and the bottle. Place them together in a grouping near your front porch for a dramatic holiday look.

Have you decorated your exterior for the holidays? Share your decorating ideas with us!

MORE FESTIVE OUTDOOR DECORATING IDEAS:

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Here at HGTV.com, we’ve been thinking about this Christmas since before last December 25th. That’s because we want to help you host the best-ever holiday party, give the coolest homemade gifts and make the best wreath on the block.

We know you can do it! That’s why we’re counting down to the big day, advent-calendar style. (24 days until the big day!) Every day from now until Christmas, come back for a new holiday decor project, handmade gift or party idea.

Countdown to Christmas - Advent Calendar

Today, why not make your own advent calendar? This kitschy takeout box version is unexpected, and holds more than just a token piece of candy. Fill each box with stocking stuffers for the kids, or stuff each one with an ornament to add to the tree as Christmas gets closer. How does your family count down to Christmas?

MORE ADVENT CALENDAR IDEAS:

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It’s that time of year again. Families are welcoming one of Santa’s very own elves, known collectively as The Elf on the Shelf, into their home to help keep an eye on who is being naughty and nice. These elves have special Christmas magic that helps them keep an eye on the house by day and then fly back to the North Pole to report to Santa every night. The elves are adopted into each family and given a unique name – from Fufu and Scout to Bones, Juliet, Sam and Mr. Peepers.

Elf on the Shelf Ideas

While these elves are cute as can be, they also have a mischievous side. They have been known to turn milk green, draw mustaches on pictures, and even swing from the ceiling fan. But, come Christmas Eve, the elves head back to the North Pole, their job for the year done.

Elf on the Shelf Ideas - Elf in the Bath Elf on the Shelf Ideas - Elf on a Fan

HGTV decided to join in on the fun and adopt our own Elf on the Shelf. Follow HGTV on Instagram @HGTV to see the adventures that our elf gets into during the first 12 Days of Christmas. Keep track of the elf and on the final day, Wednesday December 12, we’ll ask a question about our elf here on the blog (ex: Where was the elf on Day 6?). Answer the question on the blog and one random winner will win the HGTV Elf and a $100 American Express Gift Card.

HGTV Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf watching over your house? Share their adventures with us on Instagram using #HGTVelf

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Etiquette experts agree that the week after Thanksgiving or the first week of December are the best times for mailing Christmas cards — giving friends and family plenty of time to display and enjoy your thoughtful holiday greetings.

While I can’t say that I’m always that organized, I certainly do enjoy receiving cards — especially when they’re handmade.

I mean, who wouldn’t love opening this oh-so-trendy card with a three-dimensional effect? Just print out our attached templates to make assembling this card a snap3-D Christmas Trees Handmade Card

What would the holidays be without a little snow? Send warm-climate friends and family an interactive holiday shaker card with a magical falling-snow effect: Handmade Shaker Holiday Card

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Congrats, Donna C.!

Oh yeah, it’s Christmas tree time; at least it is at my house. We have a yearly tradition of buying our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, and it instantly puts me in a holiday mood. And so, inspired by the tree trimming going on in my abode, I decided to make some new ornaments for this week’s installment of Weekday Crafternoon.

Those glittery polka dot ornaments are seriously easy to make, and don’t you want to PlastiDip everything now? I know I do.

Handmade Ornaments

Not up for the challenge of making these festive ornaments? How about winning a set of them for free? That’s right, I’m giving away four handmade ornaments from this week’s episode of Weekday Crafternoon, just because it’s the holidays and I’m in a giving mood. To win? All you need to do is leave a comment below answering this question: what kind of craft would you like to see me tackle next?

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 12:00 p.m. ET on November 27, 2012 and 12:00 p.m. ET on December 3, 2012. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $20. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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Hello Design Happens readers! It’s Tuesday, so you know what that means: it’s time for another Weekday Crafternoon. This week I have the last handmade gift project from my Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presentation. So far in this series I’ve walked you through a thrifty gift for a group, a simple gift for a guy, and now I bring you an easy DIY gift for the ladies in your life. Check it out below.

My aunts love to cook, so I plan to make one of these crock and custom wooden spoon sets for each of them! Don’t give away my secret. How about you? Who would you make this handmade goodie for?

Gift for a Gal

See you next week!

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Good afternoon, intrepid crafters! I’m back with another round of Weekday Crafternoon, and this week we’re tackling more handmade holiday gifts. Last week I showed you an inexpensive gift for a group, and this week we’re addressing gifts for the men in your life. This project was part of my presentation last week at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and people went nuts over the simple fabric wrap and custom leather gift tag. So check it out below!

Of course, just because I call it a gift for a guy doesn’t mean any beer or spirits drinker on your list wouldn’t enjoy this little bundle. And be sure to check back with us next week, when I’ll have another Handmade Goodie They Won’t Regift video for you to watch.

Gift for a Guy

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Okay, so I know today is Halloween — and believe me, I thought about sharing more Halloween craftiness; but unless you’re looking for pumpkin-carving templates (here and here) or cocktail recipes, the All-Hallows ship has pretty much sailed.

But, in just three weeks (yes, only 3 weeks!) friends and family will be ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. So, if you haven’t started working on your Turkey Day decorations yet, now’s the time.

Start by putting leftover Halloween decorations to good use. Give faux pumpkins a fashion-forward makeover by covering them with trendy upholstery fabrics:  How to Cover Faux Pumpkins in Metallic Leaf

Turn a canvas dropcloth into a custom-fitted dining chair slipcover, perfect if you need to visually unify mismatched chairs:How to Make a Dining Room Chair Slipcover

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We’re back with another installment of Weekday Crafternoon! Today I have a great gift idea for a group. You know the drill — the holidays are looming and you have a group of coworkers, your kids’ teachers, or some other group of people you need to come up with gifts for. You want to do something personal, but you don’t want to spend a lot.

Well, that is my spin on those ubiquitous tins of stale popcorn we all seem to get around the holidays, but instead of trite and expected, you’ll be giving a homemade snack packaged in a personalized tin. Also, here is a secret: this is one of the projects I’ll be doing this weekend at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Is that exciting, or what?

Gift for a Group

Are you dying for the Salted Caramel Corn recipe I mention in the video? Well, it’s your lucky day:

Salted Caramel Corn

That’s it for this week’s Weekday Crafternoon! Be sure to check back in next week, when I’ll have another handmade gift how-to. In the meantime, pop some popcorn and tell me: what groups do you have to buy gifts for this year? I have to tackle my daughter’s preschool teachers and a pack of great coworkers.

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UPDATE: Congratulations to our giveaway winner: Isabelle S.!

It may seem a tad early to you, but behind-the-scenes at HGTV.com, we are busy working on handmade crafts for Christmas. Yes, Christmas. We’re like Santa’s helpers around here (everyone knows elves work year-round).

In prepping for our 2012 Christmas crafts, Brian Patrick Flynn created two wreaths that are going to be featured in our Handmade Holidays package this October. We have what we need for our purposes, so now YOU have the opportunity to win the original wreaths.

Christmas Wreaths

To enter for a chance to win both the paint chip wreath (left) and the rustic twine wreath (right), answer our question in the comments below: What holiday crafts will you attempt this year?

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 August 22, 2012 and 5:00 p.m. ET on August 29, 2012. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $50. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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All over the country, kids are headed back to school — a reminder that fall and then the holidays are coming up fast. If you haven’t already, now’s a great time to start your Christmas crafting. To help you deck the halls with handmade goodies, I’ve gathered a few of my favorite Christmas crafts.

French for shadow or shade, ombré continues to top the must-try trends for both fashion and interior design. Which is good news because these Ombré Felt Trees are too cute to miss:

Ombre Felt Christmas Trees

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Happy Mother’s Day, everyone! Perhaps you’re getting showered with gifts and love today because you are a mother yourself. Then you should definitely watch the video from Thanksfa below. (Just keep some tissues handy.) Or maybe you want to honor your mom, but you’re far away and can’t give her our sweet last-minute Mother’s Day idea. Watch the video, then send it along in an email to her. If she’s anything like we are, she’ll tear up at sight of random New Yorkers thanking their moms on camera for everything from homework help to sharing punk music.

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And because I’ve had success in giving a small shout-out in a post before — Buzz and I are engaged now, ta-da! — I want to say Happy Mother’s Day to you, Mamacita. Thank you for giving me your appreciation for all things beautiful (watching you decorate your condo was instructive), your silliness, your work ethic and also for keeping me alive for 30 years. No small feat! You continue to impress and inspire me. Love infinity!

What do you want to thank your mother for? Tell us in the comments!

[Via: Lili and Gothamist]

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It’s Arbor Day, and if that’s not enough to motivate you to plant and care for trees, take a look at these incredible shots by photographer Marianne Kjølner. This tree in Denmark has grown into the shape of the house it’s near — she believes because the landscape is so windy that the house shelters the tree from the elements.

tree house front

Breathtaking, isn’t it? The tree almost mimics creeping ivy on a façade. Kjølner says that no people were involved in shaping the tree, only the forces of nature. A totally natural topiary! Someone call Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

[Via: PinterestColossal]

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I know we’re rapidly approaching Easter because my Aunt Lisa already emailed to ask who would be attending the holiday at her place. I know some folks have Easter brunch, and while that sounds like fun, Lisa does a fab dinner spread. Usually I’m at a loss for what to contribute — wine? flowers? — because she really does take care of everything, but this year I’m considering bringing this colorful Easter egg platter from Pier 1 Imports.

easter egg plateThe product description suggests using the plate for displaying dyed Easter eggs or serving Deviled Eggs, but I’m thinking this should be a cute dessert platter instead. For the kids, you could include classics like Kinder Surprise and Cadbury Creme Eggs. For grownups? Try sophisticated Vosges eggs in milk and dark chocolate with fillings like peanut butter, caramel and even bacon. (Bacon and chocolate? That sounds like a perfect Easter brunch dessert to me!)

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