Homemade Christmas Gifts and Decorations for Under $10

                      1. Berry Votive Holder-Dress up any plain glass votive holder with berries on wire at any Michael's craft store and wind around the holder. Once the circle is formed use some fine craft wire or picture hanging wire from any dollar store and tie the ends together. My favorite colors are gold, silver, burgundy wine, or red. For a fun flair use cream or baby blue. Use these in your own home or wrap them up as a set of four or six in a pretty box with a gorgeous bow for a great gift. The exact same items double as napkin holders too!

2. Festive Napkin Holders-Use plain wooden napkin holders and paint them any color such as red, gold, silver, or white and embellish them with a small bell, snowflake, beads, or simply another paint color with pattern of snowflake, polka dots, stripes etc.

3. Funky Centerpiece-Fill an inexpensive glass vase (tall cylindrical work best) with all sizes of the same color glass ornaments balls. I like red, green, gold, silver, or blue. Use one color but multiple designs such as stripes, swirls, frosted, shiny etc. With a large enough bowl this can make a great centerpiece. Try hot and spicy red for your dinner table. You can purchase inexpensive balls at dollar stores, discount stores like Ross, Walmart or Target or try the Salvation Army.

4. Traditional Wreath- Use a pre-made artificial greenery wreath, then buy 2 colors of berries on a wire. I used Gold with cream and Burgundy wine this year. Wrap the long end of the wire at the bottom of the berries around the round wire holding the wreath together. Do this for each set. Alternate colors so that it will go color one, color two, color one. The two colors will come to a point so the top of the wreath has wine color on one side and gold/cream on the other with the meeting point as the very top and bottom. Fluff the greenery so that the berries don't look like they're just floating on top. Once completed add a ribbon in the same colors you chose for the berries at the bottom. Wrap ribbon about 5 times at the bottom centre with centre of long piece of ribbon in middle. Eventually tie a large bow. The key is to find inexpensive ribbon that is a bout 3" wide and leave 2 long tails at the bottom of the bow that hang about 8" long. Mount to front door or above fireplace etc.

5. Create Cool Coasters- Use circular cut Plexiglas from Home Depot or Craft store about 3" wide in diameter and use festive holiday fabric to have cut same size. Use spray adhesive to attach the fabric to the Plexiglas. You can use wrapping paper or wallpaper also. Create these for yourself or give a set of four or six away. As a gift, remember they don't have to have a Christmas theme on them, use floral, contemporary stripes or even a photo.

6. Christmas Art Frame- Use pre-made frames that are fun and fit at least a 4"x6" picture for holiday words such as JOY, LOVE or PEACE. Use pretty wrapping paper or fonts from your computer printed out to slide behind the glass. Silver and Gold frames are my favorite for the season. Feel free to use barn board, wood, plastic, whatever you have around the house. These are cute décor gifts for friends and family also.

7. Mini Snow-covered tree- Collect a bunch of twigs long enough to pop out of a decent size vase. Use decoupage glue and white tissue paper to create a neat effect for the vase or leave as clear filled with glass ornaments or whatever you like. Spray paint the twigs white and use fishing wire to dangle tiny ornaments and vintage jewelry for fun effect. Use on a table, at an entry way, or in a bedroom. Feel free to add some basic white indoor lights for a nice evening glow.

8. Monogrammed Towels- To stay in the budget, buy some great basic kitchen towels with a simple stripe at the bottom in red, blue, green or even black. Use a lettered script stencil and some fabric paint to paint their surname initial on the towel. Feel free to make up a set of two with different colors if you can find the kitchen towels at a super discounted price.

9. Holiday Centerpiece- One of the simplest centerpieces is a glass vase filled with water and real cranberries (not frozen, not dried) and a white floating candle. Use an interesting vase with a large opening or a great glass dish. Either way the cranberries and candle will float and look wonderful. Ensure to use a non-scented candle if this will go on your dining table. We wouldn't want the scent to interfere with the wonderful aroma of your home-cooked meal.

10. Home-Made Snow Globe- Use old jam jars to create a winter snow globe. You'll need water, the jam jar, glitter of your choice, epoxy glue, ribbon and a small figurine or a few for the inside. Use the epoxy glue and secure the figurine(s) to the lid on the inside. Then pour some glitter or plastic mini snowflakes inside the jar. Now add distilled water without bacteria and close the jar tightly. Lastly add some ribbon around the bottom of the globe (the lid) to hide it and you are done. Again, gift or your own décor...you decide.

11. Holiday Dishware- Places such as Ikea and discount stores can provide for a set of 4 bowls and plates that you can paint up with glass paint. Be sure if you are going to eat off of them that the paint is used for that. You can use white ceramic or glass bowls and dishes. For the glass set, use glass etching cream and a stencil for a great effect. Wrap up the set and away you go.

12. Primp those Pillows-Take your existing pillows and make them holiday ready with some simple organza. Take square or rectangular pillows and wrap the sheet of organza around the back until the ties meet the front. Now make a bow. The idea here is to use colors that work. So, if you have red pillows, use some gold organza. If you have plain white pillows, use red or gold etc. If you are handy with the sewing machine you can make some simple square slipcovers for your existing ones so you can change them back when the holiday is over. Using an old knit sweater is another fun cover for them. A neat idea for slip covers is velvet. Use an iron and a stamper. Take the backside of the fabric and place the iron there. On the good side of the velvet is where you'll press the stamper into. After you are done the pattern will be revealed either as one large centered detail or several small ones all over. Use this for chair covers too!

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