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9 Handy Holiday Decorating Tips

If there's a chill in the air, that means the holidays are coming! Here's a collection of clever hints and tips that will make your holiday decorating faster, easier and more fun!

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Hang a Wreath on a DoorFamily Handyman

Hang a Wreath on a Door

To hang a wreath on a door—without leaving an ugly nail hole—drive a small screw into the top of the door, leaving the head protruding slightly. Tie a piece of fishing line to the screw, tie the other end to your wreath and then drive the screw in completely. Need help hanging decorations on your walls? These tips make it easy.

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Easy-Clip Tree OrnamentsFamily Handyman

Easy-Clip Tree Ornaments

The wire hooks that come with Christmas tree ornaments can be hard to use and can scratch the ornaments. Instead of wire hangers, use plastic-coated paper clips to hang your ornaments. The paper clips are stronger and easy to use, and best of all, they won't scratch the ornaments, so you can leave them attached when you pack the ornaments away at the end of each season. Don't want to deal with a traditional Christmas tree this year? Check out these ingenious alternatives.

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Use a Christmas Light Tester to Check Holiday Lights

Use a Christmas Light Tester to Check Holiday Lights

Find a holiday light problem and fix it fast with this simple tester and repairer. You don’t have to test every bulb! A simple tester helps you fix holiday light strings fast. Click to learn more.

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Holiday Light Hangers

Holiday Light Hangers

Instead of poking nails into aluminum soffits and fascia when you're hanging holiday lights, clip the wires to the bottom lip of the fascia with clothespins. But be careful up on the ladder. Click here to learn more about ladder safety.

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Lighting Tips

Lighting Tips

Test your lights before you go to the effort of stringing them on the tree. When the season is over, coil them into a 5-gal. pail to keep them tangle-free for next year. Need a better way to store extension cords? Check out this great idea from Wordless Workshop.

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Zip-Tie Your Decorations

Zip-Tie Your Decorations

Zip ties are a simple way to string holiday lights on banisters and fences without marring the railing with nail marks. Zip ties are sold at home centers. You'll find them in the electrical supplies aisle. After the holidays, snip the ties off with scissors.

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How to Repair Christmas Tree Lights

How to Repair Christmas Tree Lights

Burned-out holiday lights, even the cheap kind, are often fixable with a small investment of time and money. Here’s how to diagnose and fix common problems. Click to learn more.

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Hang Lights from GuttersFamily Handyman

Hang Lights from Gutters

If your house has gutters, you can hang lights from them without leaving the ground. All you need are an 8-ft. 1x2, a strong magnet and some galvanized steel plumber's hanger strap.

Cut the hanger strap into 7-in. sections, bend the sections into hooks, and attach the hooks to the string of lights every 5 ft. or so.

Screw the magnet to the 1x2, and hang the hooks on the gutter one at a time. This is a bit more difficult on a two-story house: You have to screw two or three 1x2s together to reach the gutters, and 'grabbing' the hooks with the magnet as they hang far above you is trickier. But it's still better than climbing a ladder.

DANGER! Stay away from power lines.

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Easy Outdoor Light ControlFamily Handyman

Easy Outdoor Light Control

The glow of outdoor holiday lights is cheerful, but going out in the cold to plug them in and unplug them is a pain. But, if you use an outdoor remote control switch, you can control them from inside your home or car. You can buy these devices at home centers or online. All you do is plug the switch into any outdoor outlet and use the small transmitter to control it.

Outdoor lights aren't just for Christmas. Learn more about year-round outdoor lighting here.