Get a Holiday Head Start With 5 DIY Projects You Can Do in a Day (or Less!)
This year, many are opting out of Black Friday shopping for quality family time. You may be taking your family on a hike, watching your favorite movies or baking delicious treats. Here at HGTV, we are all about DIY projects we can do around the house with our families. Instead of standing in line at 4 a.m., you can be checking off your holiday to-do list! Here are fun projects you can tackle in a day (or less!)
Get Started on Holiday Gifts
Get a head start on your holiday gifts. This wine holder makes a great hostess gift or addition to your bar area. All you need is a scrap piece of wood, stain, an old leather belt and basic tools.
Try This: Rustic-Style Wine Glass Holder
Try a Kitchen Upgrade for the Holidays
Use this day as an opportunity to tackle projects you've been putting off. Update your kitchen by giving cabinets a distressed, antiqued look. This quick, easy project will still give you plenty of time to relax and enjoy the rest of the day.
Try This: Distressed and Antiqued Kitchen Cabinets
Make Handmade Ornaments
Taking inspiration from party decor, I used brightly colored tissue paper on clear glass ornaments to create this pouf ball technique. Cut tissue paper into 2â squares. Pinch each square in the middle and attach to the ornament with hot glue. Continue all the way around the ornament until itâs completely covered. These make a dramatic statement on any Christmas tree.
Get the kids involved! Make these pom-poms in any color palette to decorate for the holidays — they'll look great on your Christmas tree, a kid's room or atablescape.
Try This: Tissue Pom-Poms
DIY a Tree Skirt
White Christmas Tree Skirt and Presents
No Christmas tree is complete without a skirt to hide its base or stand. Rather than using a traditional store-bought tree skirt, Marian Parsons transforms a piece of canvas into an elegant, ruffled linen skirt using only cuts of linen, scissors and glue. Whip one up with HGTV's step-by-step instructions.
Make your own holiday decor this year. This shabby chic Christmas tree skirt will bring a warm, elegant look to your tree — no sewing required!
Try This: No-Sew Ruffled Christmas Tree Skirt
Dress Up Your Guest Room
Prepare the guest bedroom for holiday guests with custom furnishings. You can make these lined and pleated drapes with any fabric and on a budget.
Try This: Lined Draperies
Craft a Snowy Wreath
Add faux greenery, flowers, berry sprigs and glittered pinecones to a grapevine wreath then cover with faux snow to give your front door a cheery update during winter months. Learn how to make your own.
Glow It On
Our how-to explains how to create these illuminated grapevine sphere topiaries for your front porch. The waterproof lights ensure they'll brighten up your entry even during stormy winter weather.
Fake a Roaring Fireplace
Apartment dwellers and urbanites: this project's for you. Get creative to craft a spot to hang your stockings and lend a little Christmas cheer to any room. Our step-by-step instructions show you how to turn a canvas dropcloth, drapery hardware and chalkboard paint into this clever faux mantel wall hanging that you can simply roll up and store when the holidays are over.
Put Candy Canes Under Your Tree
Add a sweet touch to your decorations by gluing or stitching up this playful felt Christmas tree skirt. Felt is perfect for this project because it's inexpensive and doesn't fray when cut. Learn how to easy it is to make one of your own with our step-by-step instructions.
Craft an Upholstered Banner
Turn a Toy Into Holiday Decor
Add a little glitz to any area of your home with an inexpensive plastic deer figurine covered with basic white glue and glass glitter. Check out the how-to for our tips and tricks.
Make 3-D Upholstered Trees
Basic upholstery materials and techniques are all you need to craft these fabric-covered trees that fold flat so they're a cinch to store between holidays. Learn how to make your own with our step-by-step instructions.
Chalk It Up
Welcome holiday guests with this trendy chalkboard sign. To make it, trace a reindeer silhouette onto a 24" x 24" piece of plywood, cut it out with a jigsaw and apply two coats of chalkboard paint. Add screw eyes and a wire to the back so you can display your finished sign either indoors or out.
Help Kids Count Down to the Big Day
Our step-by-step instructions show you how to upcycle assorted old sweaters into cute mini mittens and toboggans you can fill with small trinkets and treats for a fun take on a traditional advent calendar.
Craft a Unique Wreath
If you want to brighten up your front door for the holidays but a traditional evergreen wreath isn't your style, this clever project is for you. Just coat a ceiling medallion (available at your local hardware store) in green high-gloss spray paint then loop through some colorful holiday ribbon for hanging.
Craft a Candy-Licious Pillow
Assorted red ribbons and fabric glue are all you need to give a plain white pillow a candy-striped update for the holidays. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.
Invite a Snowman to Dinner
Turn fresh or silk white carnations into a fanciful centerpiece for your holiday table. Our tips and instructions make this a fun family project you can complete while watching your favorite holiday movie.
Upcycle an Heirloom Quilt
Make a Snow-Free Snowman
A sturdy wooden support + 3 faux evergreen wreaths = a friendly outdoor snowman who won't melt, making him the perfect decoration for snow-free climates. Plus, using faux wreaths, rather than fresh, means you can display him year after year. Get started with our tips and step-by-step instructions.
Give your dining room chairs a holiday update by whipping up these chair swags — no sewing required. Just cut red felt into a notched banner shape, then cut gray felt into the same shape just 1 inch shorter on all sides. Center then glue the smaller gray felt onto the red using fabric glue. Spray-paint wooden letters white and let dry. Attach them using wood glue to the gray felt. Punch holes in the swag's upper corners, slide ribbon through, and attach to the chair backs with ribbon.
Freshen Up the Fireplace
Add a natural touch to your mantel with a preserved or fresh topiary and wreath. They're easy to assemble and can be left plain or embellished with holiday ornaments and trim. An occasional misting with water will keep them hydrated and looking their best. Make your own with our boxwood wreath step-by-step instructions and boxwood topiaries step-by-step instructions.
Craft Playful Button + Yarn Trees
Here's a fun holiday decoration the kids will love helping you craft. Just glue yarn to inexpensive foam topiary forms then add buttons in assorted colors and sizes. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions and check out our fave holiday kids' crafts.
No-Sew Felt Tree Skirt
This year, forgo the usual holiday colors and embrace kicky bright hues and swirling patterns inspired by traditional Scandinavian designs. Felt, yarn and fabric glue are all you need to make this colorful Christmas tree skirt.
Craft This Cute Wreath
Create a wintry forest scene for your front door by adding bottlebrush trees and mini ice-skating figures to a foam wreath that's been wrapped in holiday fabric. Our step-by-step instructions will make crafting this cute wreath a snap.
Stack a Gifty Centerpiece
Impress your holiday guests with a stunning (and easy-to-make!) centerpiece that will add a festive touch to your table all season long. To create it, just wrap foam bricks in Kraft paper and sheet moss, stack, then glue them together. Finish off the entire set with ribbon and decorative embellishments. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.
Arrange Your Own Mini Trees
Bring holiday cheer to any room by turning boxwood clippings into a miniature Christmas tree. Fill a teacup or small container with oasis foam, then arrange boxwood clippings to form a tiny tree. For added sparkle, attach silver dragees with hot glue. This simple accent is perfect for a holiday table, an entryway vignette or as a festive small-space accessory.
Cottage Up Your Christmas Tree Skirt
A hand-me-down quilt may be too fragile or old to use as bedding but holds too many sentimental memories to simply throw away. Preserve the best part of the quilt, giving it new life as a charming Christmas tree skirt. Our step-by-step instructions make this repurposing project a snap — even for beginning sewers.
Turn Felt Into Trendy Ombre Trees
Cover foam topiary forms with layers of felt in a fashion-forward ombre pattern to create these colorful tabletop trees. Choose felt in shades that complement your holiday decor then display them anywhere you need a cheery pop of color. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.
Stocking Hangers With a Twist
Personalize Place Cards
Looking for a unique take on holiday place cards? Marian Parsons places a glittered chipboard letter in a pinecone to create personalized place settings for each guest. To get the look, use an artist brush to apply school glue to both sides of a traditional chipboard letter. Then sprinkle silver glitter on the letter until both sides are entirely covered. Marian suggests adding adhesive magnets to the back of each letter for inexpensive and practical party favors.
No-Knit Sweater Stockings
Don't toss that old sweater. Instead, repurpose it as custom stockings for the entire family. This project requires no sewing machine or knitting needles and can easily be completed in an afternoon. Learn how to make your own.
Freshen Up Your Wreath
Incorporating just a few natural materials is an easy way to take an evergreen wreath from blah to beautiful. Designer Marian Parsons recommends, "Adding fresh fruit and collected pinecones to an artificial wreath lends a more natural look. When hung outside, cold weather will keep the fruit fresh for a couple of weeks."
Creatively Count Down the Days
To help her family count down to the big day, blogger Jessica Wilcox fills a handmade chicken-wire cloche with small wrapped gifts, colorful ornaments and ribbons. As a finishing touch, she adds printed tags to note how many days are left till Christmas. Each day, the kids can unwrap a gift and remove a tag to tide them over till the main event. Download the advent tags and more (free!) holiday printables.
Upcycle Old Molding Into Rustic Holiday Decor
Repurpose an old weathered board or piece of molding as a rustic backdrop to a live holiday swag or garland. Just tack evergreen and holly branches to the board then wire on a few glittered pinecones and a ribbon in the center. Voila, beauty on a budget!
Make a Modern Wooden Tree
We all love decor we can keep from year to year, especially artificial trees that look like the real thing. Unfortunately, artificial trees don't hold their form forever, but here's a tree that will. Using thin wooden rails, a small saw, a glue gun and white paint, Paul Lowe of the Sweet Paul blog forms a modern miniature holiday tree that's perfect for any sparkling vignette. For a topper, he hot-glues a glitter star on top.
Build a Shelf That Doubles as a Mantel
Try a new twist on traditional holiday topiaries by covering cone-shaped foam forms with found or purchased shells (check your local craft store) in assorted colors and sizes. Attach them with hot glue, starting at the bottom and working your way up.
Scandinavian-Inspired Plywood Stockings
Design blogger Erin Loechner and husband Ken struggled to find Christmas stockings that reflected their home's crisp, Scandinavian style. So they decided to take a creative and modern approach to traditional stockings by creating a pair out of plywood. The wood instantly warms up their all-white brick fireplace surround. For added convenience, the stocking boxes are magnetic, so you can easily remove them to fill with gifts or treats. (Now, there's a great Advent calendar idea!)
Upcycled Advent Calendar
Turn an assortment of past-their-prime men's shirts with pockets into a colorful holiday countdown the kids will love. Our step-by-step instructions explain how to stitch it up then just hang on your bannister or mantel and fill the pockets with candy or small toys.
Takeout Box Advent Calendar
Everyone loves participating in a holiday Advent calendar, and this one is especially fun and easy to make. All you need are 25 white takeout boxes, red and green construction paper, white number stickers and gift filler. Fill each box with gift filler and small toys and treats, then use tape to seal the box shut until it's time to be opened. Design by Layla Palmer. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.
Craft Pretty Paper Ornaments
Turn patterned card stock into three-dimensional ornaments in just 7 steps. Match the papers' colors and patterns to your home's decor or choose holiday-specific patterns and use the paper ornaments, instead of a traditional bow, to top wrapped gifts.
Go Mad for Mod
Retro-inspired Christmas decorations from the '60s have come back in a big way, making them a big-ticket collectible. Add space-age style to your tree for less by crafting your own modern tree topper with a foam sphere, dowels and our step-by-step instructions.
Crafty Front Porch Updates
When decking out your home for the holidays, don't forget the front porch. Spread holiday cheer outdoors with just a few festive touches. Check out our 8 easy front porch decorating ideas.
Turn Beach Treasures Into a Garland
Mix summer memories in with your holiday decorations this year by stringing sand dollars, starfish and shells onto narrow rope or twine. To attach the starfish, carefully drill a small hole near the end of one arm then slide the twine through. Just loop the twine through the hole on each sand dollar and attach shells either by tying them on or with a dollop of hot glue.
Add A Whimsical Touch
Most people forget to look up when decorating their table for the holidays. Marian Parsons incorporates the chandelier into her silver-and-white tablescape by suspending glittered birds and plastic snowflakes from white yarn. She hangs them at varying heights to create a whimsical, eye-catching display.
If you have evergreens around your home, mounds of pinecones are a familiar sight. Put nature's castoffs to good use by simply wrapping brightly colored yarn around the scales, keeping the yarn tightly tucked toward the pinecone's center. Secure the yarn's end with a dot of glue. Design by Camilla Fabbri
No-Sew Ruffled Tree Skirt
No Christmas tree is complete without a skirt to hide its base or stand. Rather than using a traditional store-bought tree skirt, Marian Parsons transforms a piece of canvas into an elegant, ruffled linen skirt using only cuts of linen, scissors and glue. Whip one up with our step-by-step instructions.
Deck the Windows
It may not be snowing in your neck of the woods when Christmas rolls around, but you can certainly bring that traditional wintry feel into your home. Layla Palmer uses plain white copy paper and printable snowflake templates to string together cut-out snowflakes, creating a chilly curtain for any size window inside your home. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.
Janell Beals opts out of a traditional red-and-green palette when decorating for the holidays. Instead, she uses silver, gold and copper to create a shimmery, metallic entryway vignette. To get the look, use paper-mache letters, silver metallic paint and rust-colored paint to spell out a holiday phrase and give it some industrial charm. Get step-by-step instructions.
Winterize an Old Mirror
Add natural sophistication to any room with the addition of a rustic twig-covered mirror. A few twigs gathered outdoors, white paint, a glue gun and an old mirror are all you need to add a wintry touch to your holiday decor. Give an old mirror a makeover with our step-by-step instructions.
Craft a Monogrammed Doormat
Spruce up your entryway with this personalized budget-friendly doormat that looks like a pricey catalog find but is actually an easy DIY project that also makes a thoughtful handmade gift. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.
Kids' Craft: Game Piece Ornaments
Get the kiddos crafting to make a few of these playful ornaments that are a snap to make using Scrabble letters glued onto a strip of colorful ribbon. Use the letters to spell out holiday sayings or family members' names. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions. Plus: Check out even more more kids' craft projects.
Gift Box Mantel Decor
Give your holiday mantel a beautiful and unique twist. Simply use a variety of empty food boxes and wrap them in three or four different kinds of fabric that all coordinate with one another. Then finish off each package with decorative ribbon — like fabric, satin or twine — and hair flowers for embellishments. Arrange the wrapped "gifts" among ornaments, pinecones, candles and other glittery holiday decor for a fun and festive vignette. Design by Layla Palmer. Get step-by-step instructions.
These natural burlap-sack stockings are perfect for a cottage-style Christmas. White frill adorns the openings and softens the rough burlap exterior. Stuff the stockings with fresh greenery and ornament balls for a decorative touch. Design by Holly Mathis; sewing by Michelle Fritz
Deck the Front Porch
Using indoor and outdoor materials, Layla Palmer adds a country-style look on the front porch. Rather than using a traditional tree skirt, she removes the lid on a square basket to form a nice, solid base. Burlap garland, metallic ornaments and easy-to-make twig ornaments are added for a touch of rustic charm. Get step-by-step instructions.
Make a Versatile Wreath
Cover a straw wreath form with moss and garlands of fresh cranberries for a colorful holiday decoration that can be used as either a traditional front door wreath or, laid flat on the table, as the base for a Christmas centerpiece. Learn how to make your own.
Vintage Garland Advent Calendar
Dress up your Christmas tree with a fun and festive vintage-inspired Advent calendar. Marian Parsons uses freezer paper fused with linen to print free vintage graphics directly onto the fabric. She paints numbers 1-25 in the corner of each print, then creates and sews pockets to form daily gift bags to build anticipation for Christmas Day. The finished garland is ideal for wrapping around the tree or draping down a stair banister. Get step-by-step instructions.
Make Your Own Mercury-Glass Votives
Silver and gold leaf can transform almost anything into an elegant holiday accessory. Bring a metallic touch to your Christmas arrangement by applying silver leaf to inexpensive glass votives and hurricanes. With just a few minutes, you can create the look of mercury glass without the cost. Design by Marian Parsons. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.
Create a floral centerpiece that incorporates warm holiday hues and that will instantly liven up your dinner table. Brittni Mehlhoff arranges various red flowers, berries and succulents in a rustic wicker basket. (You can choose any vase that suits your style.) Use floral wire to tame stubborn stems and plants, add pinecones around the base and you're ready to host for the holidays.
Create festive dining chair embellishments to coordinate with your tabletop decor this holiday season. Simply wrap and tie a two-loop bow in the center of each chair using two-inch-wide un-wired ribbon in your preferred seasonal hue. Then embellish the center of each bow with greenery, pinecones and berries. Design by Layla Palmer. Get step-by-step instructions.
Bring a bit of holiday glamour and charm to your tree, mantel or banister by transforming a traditional party banner into a sparkling beauty using craft glitter. Simply apply school glue to the front of each letter and use a spoon to sprinkle glitter over the letters. Once dry, string letters onto hemp twine and hang the banner somewhere in your home for all to see. Design by Marian Parsons. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.
Restaurant-Style Menu Board
Let your guests know exactly what's for dinner with a restaurant-style menu board made from a DIY chalkboard. For more seasonal and sophisticated flair, apply gold leaf to a large wooden frame. Guests will never know how easy and inexpensive this was to make. Design by Marian Parsons. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.
Katrina Giles jazzes up her Christmas staircase with holiday garland, silver ribbon and natural pinecones. She adds silk greenery to the pinecones and coats them with silver metallic paint for a shimmery look that will bring holiday cheer all season long.
Joy to the World
Marian Parsons uses upholstery webbing, glittered chipboard letters, plus sprigs of greenery and red berries to create this vintage-inspired holiday banner and wreath. "German glass glitter makes these letters sparkle and will tarnish over time to give the banner a vintage look," she says.
Before you take all your old candlesticks to the thrift store, why not give them a festive update? Janell Beals gives her eclectic collection of wooden candle holders a holiday-inspired revamp with gold leaf, making them the ideal tabletop centerpiece or coffee table adornment. Get step-by-step instructions.
Use sheet music to create miniature Christmas trees, perfect for any whimsical holiday vignette. Using Styrofoam cones in varying sizes, glue the cut-and-curled sheet music around the cone. Continue to glue and cover the tree by overlapping the row before to achieve a thicker look. For the best look, use three trees at varying heights in your arrangement. Design by Marian Parsons. Get step-by-step instructions.
Rustic, Layered Centerpiece
Holiday centerpieces don't have to be expensive and elaborate. Layla Palmer proves that you can create a beautiful table display with budget-friendly elements. To make this rustic and layered centerpiece, Layla uses a grapevine wreath, faux berries, evergreen and pinecone picks and faux floral stems to layer around a simple, pedestal-based candleholder. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.
Layer garland with a collection of colorful ornaments in your favorite tray to create an irresistible holiday centerpiece or sofa table addition. Janell Beals dresses up a vintage-inspired porcelain tray with bold accessories and uses a mixture of silver, blue and gold hues for an individualized twist on the traditional red and green.