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?

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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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