The holidays come with a ton of stress for some people. We have accumulated several simple DIY projects and helpful hints to assist in relieving the stress from your holiday season. A simple, fairly inexpensive way to store Christmas tree ornaments from year to year is to hot glue plastic cups onto plywood cut the size of a plastic tote. This will allow you to simply drop the ornament into a cup then stack the plywood pieces into the tote, helping to avoid the clutter that scattered ornaments can cause. To avoid spending money on a ton of tags for Christmas presents, you can make your own with things you have around the house. Go to your local hardware store and pick up a handful of green paint swatches. Cut them in the shape of a Christmas tree and add some ornaments. You can use scrapbook embellishments (like we did), or just different colored markers to create the ornaments. Do you feel like there is a room in your home that could use some decorative touches but the budget is tight? Create a Christmas tree using a paper plate and some tissue paper. Fold the plate into a cone shape and staple then cut evenly along the bottom. Now drizzle the cone with glue (one section at a time) and use the eraser end of a pencil to place the tissue paper pieces on the cone. You can make them any color you would like. To add a little depth, use one color for the tree and sporadically place one or two pieces of a different color paper to represent lights or ornaments. Need some extra ornaments to enhance your tree but don’t want the added expense? There are three extremely inexpensive but beautiful ways we have found to make snowflake ornaments. The first is using hot glue. Lay out some wax paper and draw the snowflakes then just hot glue over your drawing. Sprinkle some glitter on top, add a small loop of fishing string to the top (to hang with) and let them dry overnight. Another extremely inexpensive way to create your own snowflakes is using old toilet paper rolls. Cut strips approximately ¼” to ½” wide and hot glue 6-8 together to form a snowflake. Spray paint them white and sprinkle with glitter. Allow to dry overnight and now you have gorgeous snowflake ornaments to add to your Christmas tree. You can punch a hole in the top of one strip and string yarn through to hang. The third snowflake DIY option is using popsicle sticks. If you have children, these are very readily available; if you do not have children, they are inexpensive to purchase at most craft stores. Simply glue them together in the form of a snowflake, spray paint, sprinkle glitter, and allow to dry overnight. Once dry, you could create a hanging mechanism with either yarn or fishing line to glue on the back. We found a very inexpensive way to create décor resembling Christmas tree ornaments outside. Spray paint a large bouncy ball in silver and, once it dries, place a large red ribbon on top. Viola, you’ve got a gorgeous addition to your outdoor décor.

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