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When the holidays are just around the corner, it's time to start digging out those boxes of lights and decorations. It's fun to decorate and this collection of hints will make it even easier. Check out our clever tips for hanging outside lights, keeping your tree from toppling over and how to store your holiday decorations more efficiently. Start your holiday season off right with these festive ideas!
Instead of poking nails into aluminum soffits and fascia when you're hanging holiday lights, clip the wires to the bottom lips of the fascia with clothespins.
Winding the lights around your Christmas
tree can be a pain. Here's a great way to rotate the tree in
its stand—without scratching up your
hardwood floor. Put a bath rug
underneath the tree stand, fabric side
down, rubber side up. You can easily
turn the tree to string your lights and
place your ornaments just where you
want them. It makes "undecorating"
the tree a breeze
too. Fold the rug under
the tree skirt to keep it
Tightening tree-stand nuts by hand is tiring and takes
forever. Try this, our favorite Christmas tree hint from
our archives: Cut off the little L's at the end of the tree
stand bolts with a hacksaw. Chuck the ends of the
bolts into a variable-speed drill and tighten them into
the trunk. Your tree will be secure, and you can get
out from underneath the tree and get decorating.
If you've had trees fall over—because they were top heavy with
ornaments or got tipped over by the cat, here's an
easy solution: Cut a 2-ft.-diameter circle out of plywood,
screw your tree stand to it and then staple plastic sheeting to
the plywood. The wooden base will give your tree solid footing so that
even the cat can't topple it (not that she won't keep trying). The
plastic let's you slide the tree around on the carpet for easy decorating
and protects the carpet from any watering spills.
Do you like the convenience of an artificial tree
but dislike storing it because it takes up so darn
much space? Try this idea. Use two 8-in.-
diameter concrete form tubes, wrap each layer of the tree in
twine and store half the tree layers in one tube and half in
the other. Mark the layer numbers on each tube and stow
the tubes in your garage rafters. A perfect solution!
If you love decorating
your house with
tons of lights inside and
out, here’s a great idea.
To keep all the
lights from getting
tangled and make
it easy to string
them around your
yard, roll the strings
of lights onto a
portable hose reel
that has wheels and a handle.
You’ll be able to pull the lights around your yard
and roll off as many as you need without any help from
elves (or anyone else). Ho ho ho.
Try using plastic
lights to your deck
railing. It makes
up and taking
them down a
Artificial Christmas trees are assembled in color-coded layers.
After a few years, the colors rub off (or you lose the
instructions), and putting the tree together gets confusing.
Try this simple trick. When you disassemble the tree at the
end of the season, do it one level at a time. Once all the
branches from one level are off, duct-tape them together and
number each layer with a marker. Next year, the tree will go
together in a snap!
Zip ties are a simple
way to string holiday
lights on banisters and
fences without marring
the railing with nail
marks. A pack of 20 zip
ties costs $1.60 at home
centers. You'll find
them in the electrical
supplies aisle. After the
holidays, snip the ties
off with scissors.
A plastic snow saucer, the
kind with the flat area in
the center ($6 at discount
stores), is great for keeping
overflowing Christmas tree
water from staining your
floor. Place a carpet remnant
under the saucer to
prevent scratches on wood
Do you keep all your tape, twine and ribbon spools in a
drawer? That can look messy, waste a lot of
space and make it hard to find things.
Try this great organizing idea.
Screw a paper towel holder to the
window trim in your craft room.
Stick rolls of the things you use
most often on the holder. You'll know
right where everything
is, and you can pull off the amount you need
without the spool jumping out of your
hand and rolling across
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
Share what's on your mind and see what other DIYers are thinking about.
November 28, 11:40 AM [GMT -5]
Handy clips for outdoor lights: Where do you pick up picnic clips from?
November 28, 11:37 AM [GMT -5]
@MikeFL: This is a great idea. I thought of the PVC aspect but couldn't figure out how to attach it to the house in an easy fashion. Sounds very promising. This would also work for going up the roof to the peak, too!
November 26, 9:17 AM [GMT -5]
For indoor and outdoor decorating, I have used red, green and white pipe cleaners. Less expensive than tie wraps and reusable year after year.
December 06, 8:54 PM [GMT -5]
When the labels wore off my tips on the artificial tree, I bundled each layer usually 3 together with different colored zip ties.(2 sets of 3 for each row) I used 5 different colors and then repeated the same sequence until I was done, come next Christmas cut the zip ties spread the branches and put up your tree. The colors will start with the bottom row and reverse your way to the top in the same sequence.
December 05, 9:00 PM [GMT -5]
For my older artificial tree, I "repainted" the tips of each branch size with permanent magic markers. You can buy a set of 8 colors and easily keep them sorted.
December 05, 8:32 PM [GMT -5]
JCB1950 is sooo right i did this a few years ago the tree has never fallen since, also bonus no more arguing with the wife, we joke that there is no noise when the tree goes up anymore...MERRY CHRISTMAS
December 05, 5:34 PM [GMT -5]
I got tired of sorting and untangling my outdoor light strings so I bought enough 3/4" PVC pipe to go from one end of my front eaves to the other. I used screw in hooks about 8ft apart just under the roof on the house. I also bought "outdoor" (black) cable ties to strap the light strings to the pvc pipe (most are 10ft) sections. Make sure to end a string with the end of each pipe. That way you can connect the pipes and the light string while installing them. Some pvc pipes come with one end enlarged to allow another to fit into it. If yours doesn't have the one flared end, buy an inline coupler for each section. NOTE: Do not glue the sections together..Just remember to make the runs so ends match (I number matched mine). This goes up easily. It is easy to trouble shoot lighting sections. The pipe can be cut and made to fit angle roof lines with no problem. After all the fun is over, simply unplug the light sections, disconnect the pipes and you have easliy storable sections ready for the garage, the attic, a shed or other 10' storage place. Work Safe!!
December 05, 3:53 PM [GMT -5]
I like to put live poinsettias around my tree - in lieu of a velvet or decorated tree skirt, I purchased a 4.88 round vinyl holiday tablecloth and cut a hole in the middle, and slit going to the edge. I can put the decorative side up, or the white flannel side up. Either way, I have a pretty tree skirt and I can water my poinsettias without worrying about water leaking on the carpeting. Incidentally, it also protects the floor from puppies who decide to mark their territory under the tree...
December 05, 2:37 PM [GMT -5]
For attaching garland to stair rails, shoe strings work very well, do not scratch, and we all have a drawer full of them somewhere in our homes.
For the tree stand, take a 4ft square piece of plywood, preferable formica coated and cut the corners off so you have a hex shape. Mount your stand to the plywood. This makes the most sturdy tree stand on carpet and you can slide the tree around the room if needed.
November 14, 9:20 PM [GMT -5]
Great decorating tips, thanks. When I am hanging ornaments and run out of decorating hooks, I use a paper clip and open it up. You can use silver, gold or colored ones to hang your ornaments and many other things around the house. If wires are on the floor and you need to get them up a little higher, use a paper clip opened and put a map pin or anyother tack to put in the wall and hang the paper clip on it.
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