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Our 95 Favorite DIY Christmas Decorating Ideas

December 07, 2021
Cue the DIY Christmas Crafts

Marian Parsons

Cue the DIY Christmas Crafts

From making your fireplace more festive to crafting one-of-a-kind ornaments and trimming your Christmas tree like a pro, our holiday craft projects will help you creatively take your home from ho-hum to ho-ho-ho! Get crafting to deck out every area with DIY Christmas decorations that perfectly showcase your personal seasonal style.

See More Photos: Christmas Tree Tips: Deck Out Like a Designer

Start at the Front Door

Start at the Front Door

While the Big Man himself (AKA Santa) won't see your front door, your family, friends and neighbors will so start your merry makeover on the front porch before moving indoors. While we're still big fans of DIY Christmas wreaths, try a different look this year with a flat-backed basket filled with foraged backyard finds.

get the how-to: How to Create a Wintry Front Door Basket

Then, Move to the Mantel

David A. Land

Then, Move to the Mantel

Need a festive fireplace in a flash? Take a cue from this woodsy scene and just drape the mantel with a faux or fresh evergreen garland (learn how to make your own!), add a few mercury glass trees and hang the stockings with care. Get more tips for making your mantel merry, below.

See More Photos: 55 Christmas Mantel Decorating Ideas

Ring In the Season

Cassidy Garcia

Ring In the Season

Backyard clippings + brass bells = timeless holiday decor that'll help you ring in the holidays in seasonal style. Hang your completed swag indoors for a farmhouse-chic touch or on the front door in place of a standard wreath. Learn how to craft your own, below.

Get the How-To: Ring in the Holidays With This DIY Evergreen Swag

Cue the Color

Cassidy Garcia

Cue the Color

Follow our tips to craft this colorful garland that's sure to boost your staircase's cheer factor — without damaging the banister or spindles. And, bonus, we'll show you how to securely attach the ornaments, below, so you can display this gorgeous garland year after year.

Get the How-To: How to Design a Colorful Christmas Staircase

Embrace Your Inner Artist

Embrace Your Inner Artist

Deck the halls this year with one-of-a-kind ornaments that show off your awesome artistic skills. Not feeling particularly painterly? No worries, these elegant ornaments are easier to craft than you probably think. We have lots of DIY ornament ideas and inspo, below.

get the how-to: How to Craft Hand-Painted Christmas Ornaments

Make Ice Lanterns

Marian Parsons

Make Ice Lanterns

Get an assist from Mother Nature (or your freezer) to turn plastic cartons filled with water into magical ice lanterns to display either indoors or out.

Get the How-To: How to Make an Ice Lantern

Deck Out Your Mudroom

Deck Out Your Mudroom

Not just for mantels, stockings can be hung almost anywhere in your house. Here, the hooks designed for jackets and bags in the mudroom make for the perfect spot to hang gift-filled stockings for Christmas morning. Want to craft your own stockings this year, check out our favorite DIY stockings, below.

See More Photos: 37 Creative DIY Christmas Stocking Ideas

And, Your Fenceposts

Cassidy Garcia

And, Your Fenceposts

Nothing says classic Christmas decor like a fresh evergreen garland — and, surprise — they're actually really easy to make. Our tutorial, below, shares how to add (free!) backyard clippings to a faux evergreen garland for a designer look on the cheap.

See More Photos: How to Make Holiday Garland From Foraged Greenery

Help Kids Count Down to the Big Day

Flynnside Out Productions

Help Kids Count Down to the Big Day

Our tutorial, below, shows you how to upcycle assorted old sweaters into cute mini mittens and toboggans you can then fill with small trinkets and treats for a fun take on a traditional advent calendar.

Get the How-To: Turn Old Sweaters Into an Adorable Advent Calendar

Or, Make Them a Holiday Hideaway

Jalynn Baker

Or, Make Them a Holiday Hideaway

Raid your recycling bin and turn all those shipping boxes into a kid-sized gingerbread house that's decked out with craft- and dollar-store scores. Get the kiddos' help when decorating or make it for them as a fun surprise.

Get the How-To: How to Build a Life-Sized Gingerbread Playhouse

Set the Table

Cassidy Garcia; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Set the Table

Easy-to-make mini vases and and budget-friendly yarn-wrapped topiaries give this Christmas table its crafty cred. Get our 12 tips for setting a one-of-a-kind holiday table, below.

See More Photos: Crafty + Classic Christmas Table Setting

And, Craft Your Own Centerpiece

Debbie Wolfe

And, Craft Your Own Centerpiece

Easily one of the season's favorite flowers, poinsettia plants in full bloom are inexpensive and easy to source around the holidays. To lend more texture to this easy-to-craft centerpiece, just fill in around the blooms with backyard clippings. You could even add a few ornaments for an added bit of sparkle.

get the how-to: How to Make a Gorgeous + Easy Poinsettia Centerpiece for the Holidays

Make Gingerbread Farmhouse Fresh

Jalynn Baker

Make Gingerbread Farmhouse Fresh

Ready-to-decorate gingerbread house kits are everywhere during the holidays. They're a fun craft to do as a family and let you express your inner designer. Our tips, below, show you how to use pantry staples for this cozy, cottage look that's pretty enough to double as a Christmas centerpiece.

See More Photos: How to Make a Charming Gingerbread Farmhouse

Craft a Snowy Wreath

Brittney Gazaway; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Craft a Snowy Wreath

Frosty is fabulous with this DIY wreath that you can create for Christmas, then leave up all winter long.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Snowy Sunburst Winter Wreath

Or, Create an Indoor Snowstorm

Or, Create an Indoor Snowstorm

Put on your favorite holiday movie, download a free printable snowflake template or follow this tutorial, then get crafting to turn plain white printer paper into magical snowflakes you can string together for a snow day, any day.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Snowflake Curtain

Sub Pinecones for Ornaments

Sub Pinecones for Ornaments

Give your tree a woodsy twist by subbing gathered pinecones for a few of the ornaments. To prep the freshly gathered pinecones for their starring role, first pop them in a 200-degree oven for about 30 minutes to an hour to harden the sap, open the scales and eliminate any creepy-crawlies. Allow the pinecones to cool, then work a bit of wire through the bottom layer of scales and hang on your tree. Get more of our favorite ideas for DIY ornaments, below.

See More Photos: 85 Easy DIY Holiday Ornaments for All Ages

Or, Turn Pinecones Into a Mini Tree

Photo by Sam Henderson

Or, Turn Pinecones Into a Mini Tree

A foam cone, wired floral picks and gathered pinecones are all you (or your kiddos need) to create this mini tabletop tree that adds a big dose of woodsy charm.

Get the How-To: Turn Pine Cones Into a Tabletop Christmas Tree

Steal a Smooch Under Felt

Sam Henderson

Steal a Smooch Under Felt

Turn craft-store staples into a modern take on a centuries-old holiday tradition. Best of all: Unlike fresh mistletoe kissing balls, this felt version requires no upkeep, doesn't cause a risk to pets and can be used year after year.

Get the How-To: Modern Felt Kissing Ball

Or, Use Yarn to Pom-Pom It On

Cassidy Garcia

Or, Use Yarn to Pom-Pom It On

Celebrate the ho-ho-holidays with this playful pom-pom wreath that'll put the merry in your Christmas decor.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Colorful Holiday Pom-Pom Wreath

Make Your Bar Cart More Merry

Brittney Gazaway; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Make Your Bar Cart More Merry

Let's toast to the holidays! Craft this tipsy Christmas advent calendar wreath to (joyfully!) count down the 12 days till Christmas. Display it to add a little extra holiday cheer to your bar cart or gift it to your favorite holiday host or hostess.

Get the How-To: Boozy Christmas Countdown Wreath

Get Your Glow On Outdoors

Marian Parsons

Get Your Glow On Outdoors

Our how-to, below, 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.

Get the How-To: How to Make Illuminated Grapevine Spheres

And, Light It Up Indoors, Too

Cassidy Garcia; Styling by H. Camille Smith

And, Light It Up Indoors, Too

While the mantel typically gets more attention, adding a few festive touches to your fireplace's hearth will pull the look together. For ours, we cozied up the stone with a faux fur throw topped with fabric-wrapped gifts. Battery-operated candles and string lights wrapped around logs in the firebox bring the sparkle without the risk of fire.

See More Photos: 12 Tips for a Festive Holiday Fireplace

Go Au Naturel

Go Au Naturel

Head to the grocery store to source the deliciously scented elements for this beautiful tree. Dried orange slices, bundles of cinnamon sticks and strands of cranberries and caramel corn make this tree the best dressed (and tastiest looking!) around.

See More Photos: 1 Christmas Tree, 6 Different Ways

And, Opt for Aromatic

Liz Gray

And, Opt for Aromatic

The crisp, clean scent of eucalyptus is just part of this wreath's appeal. It'll also dry beautifully so you can display it longer than fresh evergreen wreaths. Just remove the ornaments to turn this Christmas wreath into a farmhouse wreath you can keep out long after the holiday has passed.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Eucalyptus Garland + Easy Greenery Wreath

Creatively Display Stockings

Jalynn Baker

Creatively Display Stockings

Give an old coatrack a glossy coat of red paint to turn it into a cheery and space-saving spot to hang your stockings. For a fun finishing touch, paint a wooden plaque with chalkboard paint to get the Big Guy's attention.

Get the How-To: No Mantel? 5 Ways to Still Hang Stockings With Care

Or, Build a Shelf That Doubles as a Mantel

Or, Build a Shelf That Doubles as a Mantel

No mantel? No worries! Our instructions, below, will show you how to construct a wide shelf with sturdy hooks so you can hang your stockings in time for Santa's arrival.

Get the How-To: Easily Construct a Faux Mantel for the Holidays

Incorporate Vintage Finds

H. Camille Smith

Incorporate Vintage Finds

Have yourself a vintage little Christmas this year with our suggestions for antique holiday items that'll give your seasonal decor a big boost of heart-warming family history and a collected-over-time charm.

See More Photos: Cozy Up Your Christmas Decor With Vintage and Antique Finds

Fake a Roaring Fireplace

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 instructions, below, 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.

Get the How-To: Clever Faux Mantel Wall Hanging for the Holidays

Upcycle a Dated Floral Wreath

Upcycle a Dated Floral Wreath

Our tips, below, will help you give new life to that dated floral wreath taking up space in your garage, attic or basement. Faux snow and DIY glittered pinecones lend a frosty finishing touch that you'll be proud to display till the arrival of spring.

Get the How-To: Easy Upcycle: Turn a Dated Floral Wreath Into a Snowy Winter Wreath

And, Repurpose Gift Wrap

Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

And, Repurpose Gift Wrap

Give your Christmas morning brunch or any holiday table a mini makeover (that also makes clean-up a snap) by covering the table in pretty paper. For small tables, cover the whole surface, securing the ends of the paper to the underside of the table with painter's tape. Or, if you only have a small amount of leftover gift wrap, place it on the center of the table as a pretty runner.

See More Photos: 10 Ways to Turn Leftover Gift Wrap Into Pretty Decor

Put Candy Canes Under Your Tree

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 so this is a Christmas craft that the kiddos can help you with.

Get the How-To: No-Sew Sunburst Christmas Tree Skirt

Don't Forget to Dress the Mantel

Don't Forget to Dress the Mantel

Head outside with some clippers to gather an assortment of fresh greenery to craft this traditional (and gorgeous!) evergreen garland.

Get the How-To: Elegant + Handmade: DIY Garland Made Easy

And, the Banister

Jalynn Baker

And, the Banister

Decking out your entryway is a sure way to add holiday cheer to an area of your home that both you and your holiday guests will enjoy. To create this look without damaging the banister, start with a long section of wired faux evergreen garland. Wrap it around the banister as a base, then tuck small sections of fresh-cut evergreens and magnolia branches into the wrapped loops. Finish with a few springs of fresh or faux berries.

Craft Perfectly Personalized Gift Wrap

Marian Parsons

Craft Perfectly Personalized Gift Wrap

From stencils, seen here, to DIY ideas for handmade gift toppers and free printable tags, a beautifully wrapped gift really shows someone you care. Our crafty ideas, below, are sure to impress everyone on your Christmas gift list without breaking the bank.

See More Photos: 75 Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas

Turn Fallen Branches Into a Woodsy Wreath

Cassidy Garcia

Turn Fallen Branches Into a Woodsy Wreath

Add a slice of cheer to your front door with this easy-to-make winter wreath inspired by minimal Scandinavian holiday style.

Get the How-To: DIY Wood Slice Winter Wreath

Or, Assemble a Rustic Banner

Marian Parsons

Or, Assemble a Rustic Banner

Cut wood slices are a trendy material you can find at your local craft store or source (for free!) in your own backyard. Add letters to spell out a holiday saying and string together with colorful baker's twine.

Get the How-To: Christmas Craft: Rustic Wood Slice Banner

Fold a Mini Forest

Flynnside Out Productions

Fold a Mini Forest

Use a circle punch or scissors to cut card stock into circles of assorted sizes, then accordion-fold the paper to create the look of swagging evergreen boughs. Stack the folded rings and attach to a small wood dowel or cut log slices to easily whip up a whole forest of firs.

Upholster a Timeless Banner

Marian Parsons

Upholster a Timeless Banner

Issue a cheerful Christmas greeting to all who enter your home with this DIY upholstered holiday banner. Swap out the letters to easily craft more banners for birthdays, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter or any other occasion worth celebrating.

Get the How-To: How to Make an Upholstered Holiday Banner

Turn a Toy Into Holiday Decor

Marian Parsons

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.

Get the How-To: Give Old Holiday Decorations an Easy Glittering Makeover

Make 3-D Upholstered Trees

Flynnside Out Productions

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.

Get the How-To: How to Make an Upholstered Christmas Tree

Or, Go Mod With These Upcycled Versions

Sam Henderson

Or, Go Mod With These Upcycled Versions

Our instructions, below, make it a snap to turn old sweaters and other festive fabric into tabletop trees you can display year after year.

Get the How-To: Christmas Craft: Upcycled Tabletop Trees

No Tree? No Problem!

Brian Patrick Flynn

No Tree? No Problem!

A vase filled with evergreen clippings is a handy stand-in for a Christmas tree in small spaces. Make it festive by wiring ornaments onto the branches and piling presents beneath. Like any cut centerpiece, change the water ever few days to keep the greenery looking its best. 
Chalk It Up

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.
Upcycle a Unique Wreath

Upcycle 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.

Or, Repurpose Old Molding as Rustic Decor

H. Camille Smith

Or, Repurpose Old Molding as Rustic 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!

Add Some Sparkle

Marian Parsons

Add Some Sparkle

These gorgeous, glittering votives only look expensive. Using glitter, glue and an empty jar, you can easily craft them yourself on the cheap.

Get the How-To: How to Make Glittered Mason Jar Lanterns

Invite a Snowman to Dinner

Brian Patrick Flynn

Invite a Snowman to Dinner

Turn fresh or silk white carnations into a fanciful centerpiece for your holiday table. Our tips, below, make this a fun family project you can complete while watching your favorite holiday movie.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Carnation Snowman Centerpiece

Easily Deck Out the Entryway

Brian Patrick Flynn

Easily Deck Out the Entryway

Put leftover wrapping paper to work to create this cute space-saving Christmas tree that's sure to brighten up small spaces like a foyer, guest bath or kids' room. Ribbon and double-sided tape keep the paper in place while presents piled underneath complete the look.

Craft Pretty Paper Ornaments

Craft Pretty Paper Ornaments

Turn patterned card stock into 3-D ornaments in just seven 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.

Get the How-To: Card Stock Christmas Ornaments

Don't Toss Those Scraps

Flynnside Out Productions

Don't Toss Those Scraps

Holiday gift wrap isn't just for pretty packages. Put it to work to give everyday items, like serving plates, a holiday makeover. Just cut the paper to size and use it to line the serveware for a festive look on the fly.

Give New Purpose to an Heirloom Quilt

Marian Parsons

Give New Purpose to an Heirloom Quilt

Stitch a past-its-prime family quilt that's hidden away in a closet or trunk into charming Christmas stockings you'll be proud to display year after year.

Get the How-To: Upcycle a Quilt Into Charming Christmas Stockings

Deck the Front Porch

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 the How-To: How to Make a Front Porch Christmas Tree

Winterize an Old Mirror

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.

Get the How-To: Winter Twig-Embellished Mirror

Personalize Seating

Personalize Seating

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.

Turn Your Dining Room Into a Bistro

Marian Parsons

Turn Your Dining Room Into a Bistro

Let holiday guests know what's for dinner with our tips for turning a plain wood board and ho-hum frame into this glittering, gilt chalkboard.

Get the How-To: How to Make an Ornate Framed Chalkboard

Freshen Up the Fireplace

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.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Boxwood Christmas Wreath

Craft Playful Button + Yarn Trees

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.

Get the How-To: Yarn and Button Holiday Topiaries

No-Sew a Felt Tree Skirt

Marian Parsons

No-Sew a 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.

Get the How-To: Scandinavian-Inspired No-Sew Felt Tree Skirt

Light Up Your Entryway

Light Up Your Entryway

Create a warm and inviting entry for guests during the Christmas season. Fill mason jars with Epsom salt for a snowy, winter look, then add small votive candles and line the walkway leading to your front door.  
Craft a Candy-Licious Pillow

Flynnside Out Productions

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.

Get the How-To: Make a Wintry Peppermint-Stripe Pillow

Craft This Cute Wreath

Flynnside Out Productions

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.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Whimsical Bottle Brush Tree Wreath

Stack a Centerpiece

Stack a 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.

Get the How-To: How to Create a Gift Box Centerpiece

Arrange Your Own Mini Trees

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 dragées with hot glue. This simple accent is perfect for a holiday table, an entryway vignette or as a festive small-space accessory.

Dress Up Dining Chairs

Dress Up Dining Chairs

Get your dining room festive fast by wrapping chair backs in wide, unwired ribbon, tied into a simple bow. Slide fresh or faux greenery, berries or a pinecone through the loops for a pretty finishing touch.

Get the How-To: How to Embellish Dining Chairs

Cottage Up Your Christmas Tree Skirt

Marian Parsons

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 instructions, below, make this repurposing project a snap — even for beginning sewers.

Get the How-To: Turn an Old Quilt Into a Christmas Tree Skirt

Turn Felt Into Trendy Ombré Trees

Turn Felt Into Trendy Ombré Trees

Cover foam topiary forms with layers of felt in a fashion-forward ombré 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 the How-To: Ombre Tabletop Christmas Trees

Make Musical Trees

Make Musical Trees

In just a few steps, you can easily create a tabletop forest of mini, musical trees. New or old sheet music, foam topiary forms and basic craft supplies are all you need.

Get the How-To: How to Make Sheet Music Christmas Trees

DIY Stocking Hangers With a Twist

DIY Stocking Hangers With a Twist

Rather than relying on storebought stocking hangers, inexpensively craft your own from hardware store supplies.

Get the How-To: How to Make Chalkboard Stocking Hangers

Personalize Place Cards

Personalize Place Cards

Beautifully save their seat with an inexpensive chipboard letter covered in fine glitter. Cover both sides of the letter, then slide it into a pinecone for a pretty place card your guests can take home as a festive favor.

No-Knit Sweater Stockings

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.

Get the How-To: How to Make No-Knit Christmas Sweater Stockings

Freshen Up Your Wreath

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

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 below.

See More Photos: 40 Printable (and Free!) Christmas Templates

Craft a Rustic-Chic Table Runner

Craft a Rustic-Chic Table Runner

Follow our instructions, below, to learn how to sew your own table runner then customize it with a pretty, pleated ruffle trim and hand-painted detail.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Hand-Painted Burlap Table Runner

Make a Modern Wooden Tree

Alexandra Grablewski

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 small wooden dowels, hot glue and white paint, Paul Lowe of the Sweet Paul blog created this modern mini holiday tree that's perfect for any sparkling vignette. For a topper, he hot-glues a glitter star on top.

Craft Beachy Trees

Craft Beachy Trees

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.

Turn Beach Treasures Into a Garland

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.
Upcycle an Advent Calendar

Upcycle an Advent Calendar

Turn an assortment of past-their-prime men's shirts with pockets into a colorful holiday countdown the kids will love. Our instructions, below, explain how to stitch it up, then just hang on your banister or mantel and fill the pockets with candy or small toys.

Get the How-To: Upcycle Men's Shirts Into an Advent Calendar Garland

Or, Repurpose Takeout Boxes

Or, Repurpose Takeout Boxes

Create a new family tradition this year by customizing new paper takeout boxes with colorful paper and stickers. Get an assist from the kiddos to decorate the boxes, then surprise them with a treat a day to help them count down to the Big Man's arrival.

Get the How-To: Make Your Own Takeout Box Advent Calendar

Go Mad for Mod

Go Mad for Mod

Retro-inspired Christmas decorations from the '60s have boomeranged back, 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 tips.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Starburst Christmas Tree Topper

Add a Whimsical Touch

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.

Rock a Scandi Style

Rock a Scandi Style

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!)

Create a Snowy Setting

Create a Snowy Setting

Give your tabletop some wintry flair with a felt snowflake table runner. The natural burlap and white snowflakes will tie in perfectly to any rustic and cottage-inspired holiday theme. Design by Layla Palmer.

Get the How-To: Snowflake-Embellished Table Runner

Yarn-Wrapped Pinecones

Yarn-Wrapped Pinecones

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  a Ruffled Tree Skirt

No-Sew a Ruffled Tree Skirt

No Christmas tree is complete without a skirt to dress up the base or stand. Following our instructions, below, you can skip the store and create a trendy look using just a dropcloth, scissors and glue.

Get the How-To: How to Make a No-Sew Ruffled Christmas Tree Skirt

Turn Mittens Into an Advent Calendar

Turn Mittens Into an Advent Calendar

Fill toddler-sized mittens with small toys and treats to create a cute way to help the kids count down to the big day.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Mitten Garland Advent Calendar

Craft a Monogrammed Doormat

Brian Patrick Flynn

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.

Get the How-To: Make a Monogrammed Holiday Doormat

Add Color to Outdoor Topiaries

Brian Patrick Flynn

Add Color to Outdoor Topiaries

Festive up your front porch by flanking the door with a pair of faux or fresh boxwood topiaries embellished with wired burlap ribbon and garlands of faux berries.
Let the Kids Craft Ornaments

Brian Patrick Flynn

Let the Kids Craft 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. Plus: Check out even more kids' craft projects.

See More Photos: 10 Easy-to-Make Holiday Tree Ornaments

Decorate the Mantel

Decorate the Mantel

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 the How-To: How to Make Christmas Gift Box Mantel Decor

Make a Snow-Free Snowman

Brian Patrick Flynn

Make a Snow-Free Snowman

A sturdy wooden support + 3 faux evergreen wreaths = a friendly outdoor snowman that 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 the How-To: How to Make a Life-Sized Wreath Snowman

Fix Up the Front Porch

Picasa ©ten22 studio | Rennai Hoefer

Fix Up the Front Porch

When decking out your home for the holidays, don't forget the front porch. Spread holiday cheer outdoors with just a few festive touches.

Make a Versatile Wreath

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.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Moss and Cranberry Holiday Wreath

Craft a Vintage Garland Advent Calendar

Craft a 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 the How-To: How to Make a Vintage Garland Advent Calendar

Make Your Own Mercury-Glass Votives

Make Your Own Mercury-Glass Votives

Bring a metallic touch to any vignette by applying silver leaf to inexpensive glass votives and hurricanes. In just a few steps, you can recreate the look of mercury glass without the cost.

Get the How-To: How to Make Mercury Glass Votives

Add a Little Sparkle

Add a Little Sparkle

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 the How-To: How to Make a Glittery Christmas Banner