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tips for hanging Christmas lights

Outdoor Christmas Lights

If you leave the hooks for your Christmas lights all year, you can hang the lights without a ladder. Screw a cup hook onto the tip of a broom handle and use the hook to carry the strand of lights up to the eaves. When the holidays are over, use the same broom handle to quickly bring down the string of lights without a ladder.

make a glitzy Christmas wreath

Decorate with Jewelry

Create the most glitzy wreath. Start with a styrofoam wreath, then simply stick costume jewelry pins or brooches into the styrofoam. The sizes and colors are your choice.

Good sources for inexpensive jewelry are thrift stores and garage sales. Best of all, the jewelry will not be damaged at all so you can actually wear it in between holidays.

scent your own pine cones

Scent Your Own Pine Cones

Add fragrance to pinecones by placing them into a plastic bag and adding several drops of scented oil. Close up the bag tightly for at least 24 hours before placing them into a basket or bowl, or adding them to the tree.

decorate anywhere with Christmas ornaments

Decorating with Ornaments

Ornaments are not just for the tree. Fill a bowl with color for the coffee table or dining table. Stagger them down the middle of the dining table on a gold runner, a pretty scarf, or strings of ribbons. Or, hang them from ribbons in front of a window.

Christmas ornaments can add color and sparkle to any section of the room, and there is enough variety that they can match any decor.

Christmas tree tips

Christmas Tree Tips

Whether the tree lot worker cut the end off the tree or not, it needs to be cut just before placing the tree into a stand. Water should be added immediately, or sap will seal the cut and not allow water up into the tree.

To keep the Christmas tree watered without water splashing on the floor, fill the tree stand with a few ice cubes.

The water level should be checked daily. If the tree stand goes dry, sap will seal the cut and not allow water up into the tree. The tree will eventually stop taking water, so dumping in a quart or more without checking first could result in water getting all over the floor.

An uneven tree can be made beautiful by trimming with rose pruning shears.

Remove the tree from your home if the needles get so dry that they fall off easily or if they get brittle. Until you get the dry tree out, unplug the lights.

To prevent needles from falling all over the floor when moving tree outside, place an old sheet or plastic dropcloth on the floor. Tip tree onto cloth, wrap up cloth around tree and drag tree outside. (Make sure there is no water left in the stand.)

embossed velvet pillow

Embossed Velvet

Plain velvet runners, tablecloths, etc., are inexpensive during the holidays. Jazz them up by embossing them.

Use a hard rubber stamp. Place the velvet on top of the stamp. (If the item is velvet on only one side, place the velvet side down.) Mist the fabric over the stamp lightly with water. Then, apply a hot iron. The iron should be held in one place for 15 to 20 seconds. Do not "iron" back and forth. The embossed pattern will disappear when the fabric is washed, but a then a different pattern can be added if desired.

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