Branch out from conventional tablescapes by using an extra-long tree limb as a platform for displaying ornaments. Simply knot lengths of twine around the branch and hang it from a row of five or six ceiling hooks.(Silver and green ornaments, from $23.75 for 12; codyfosterandco.com for stores. Cultural Intrigue ornament in bronze, from $4; lunabazaar.com. Chairs, $275 each; conranusa.com. Martha Stewart collection glasses, $36 for four; macys.com)
These simple gift tags, which cost less than a dollar each, take center stage when hung in vintage cages. The paper doves also look lovely dangling from chandeliers or even doorknobs. (Tags, $9.95 for 12; paper-source.com. Birdcages, from $10 each; ebay.com)
The shining star of this avian-themed tree? An egg-filled nest perched at the top.
Scraps of wrapping paper look pretty as a picture when tucked inside nickel frames. ($6.09 for four frames; amazon.com)
Save your mantel from a paper blizzard with this "tree." To craft it, you'll need two wood dowels. Cut them into five segments, starting with eight inches wide and enlarging each piece by two inches. Fold two yards of ribbon in half, then place the shortest dowel about six inches from the fold, spacing the rest about five inches apart from one another. Hot-glue so the dowels are sandwiched between the two ribbon tails. Attach your favorite greetings to the dowels with small binder clips and hang.
Make your season both merry and bright with these clever handmade ornaments, centerpieces, and other craft ideas. Use ordinary grocery-store matchboxes to count down the days till Christmas. Just hot-glue the tops of empty boxes to one another to form rows (start with nine boxes for the base, and decrease by two until you have a single box). Cut wrapping paper to cover each section; secure with hot glue. Next, hot-glue the rows in a pyramid shape as shown. Use number stamps (available at craft stores) to mark the boxes 1 through 25, then fill with candy and trinkets.
Reserve a special spot for treasured ornaments by showcasing them inside a shadow box: Line the frame backing with bright wrapping paper, then affix your decorations with double-sided adhesive pads. (Shadow box, $23.52; frames4everyone.com)
Spray-painted white, pinecones really pop against evergreen boughs.
To make your own photo arrangement, hot-glue a selection of black-and-white snapshots (use copies if you're worried about ruining the originals) to a wire wreath form. ($1.55 for 10" diameter; mainewreathco.com)
Grosgrain ribbons become eye-catching bows.