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26 Handy Hints to Get You Through the Holidays
From decorating to cooking to organizing, the holidays can be overwhelming. Family Handyman is here to help with our favorite holiday hacks for your home.
Food Containers for Ornament Storage
Lazy Susan Tree Stand for Wood Floors
Peel Apples Super-Fast
Peeling apples is a breeze when you put a drill to it. Get your pies made quicker with the power of a drill to help peel. Check out how we peel apples with a drill.
Crack Nuts with Hand Tools
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.
Easy-Clip Tree Ornaments
Drill-Powered Cheese Grater
Maybe you’re preparing a mountain of spaghetti or need to add fresh Parmesan to 100 salads. By simply modifying a run-of-the-mill rotary cheese grater, you grate cheese as fast as you’d like! See how it’s done here.
Toilet Paper Roll Wrapping Paper Sleeve
Tighten the Tree Stand With a Drill
Tightening tree stand nuts by hand is tiring and takes forever. Here’s an alternative: Cut off the little Ls at the end of the tree stand bolts with a hacksaw. ( Be sure the hacksaw blade is installed correctly.) Chuck the ends of the bolts into a variable-speed drill to tighten them into the trunk. You’ll be out from under that prickly tree in no time. P.S. It’s a fact of Christmas: The tree stand gets overfilled and water stains the carpet or the hardwood floor. To prevent this, a reader suggests placing a plastic water heater tank catch basin between the stand and the floor. Or, you can use a snow saucer.
How to Add an Outdoor Outlet
In just a few hours, you can solve these problems forever by adding an outlet or two. Do it safely and easily with this simple through-the-wall technique.
Unexpected Hiding Places for Holiday Gifts
Make Cardboard Storage Spools for Your Holiday Light Strings
Dowel Ornament Storage
Testing Holiday Lights
Better Holiday Light Clips
Make inexpensive, long-lasting holiday light clips from common electrical cable wiring staples. Snip the staple in half and fasten it to your fascia or trim with the remaining nail. These clips hold the wire securely, but it’s still easy to slip the wire behind the clip. If you have metal fascia, use stainless steel screws so they won’t rust. Got some light strings that aren’t working? Here’s how to repair them.
Store Holiday Lights on Hanger
Add Spices in a Flash
Are you tired of slowly cranking your pepper mill and getting just a few flakes out? Adding a cordless drill to the process speeds things up! All you need is a drill and a socket.
Concrete Form Wrapping Paper Storage
Make Holiday Light Storage Stands
Storing holiday light strings without wrecking them is tough. Here’s a great idea: Just screw a dowel to each end of a wooden base cut to the size of a large plastic bin. Then wrap your lights around the dowels in a figure eight and place the stand in the bin. You’ll be amazed how many light strings you can wrap around the stands without them getting tangled or damaged. Check out these other great storage ideas.
Easy Ornament Storage
Gift Wrap Rack
Here’s a terrific way to keep rolls of wrapping paper and ribbon handy, dust-free and unwrinkled. Simply glue a bunch of 30-in.-long pieces of 3-in. PVC waste pipe with all-purpose PVC glue. The rack can sit right on your worktable and you can store it underneath or in a closet. Learn more about working with PVC plastic pipe here.
Speedy Cleaning Before Houseguests Arrive
To make this drill brush you’ll need: a drill, a washer, a bolt, a long machine screw and a brush head replacement. Learn how to put it all together here.
Store Your Artificial Tree in a Tube
Need more more storage space for your tree and other Christmas decorations? Check out these great garage cabinets.