Home Help: Cre­ate a happy home­made hol­i­day

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TIP OF THE WEEK

One of the best ways to kick off the hol­i­day sea­son is to dec­o­rate. And while it’s easy to load your cart with beau­ti­ful decor from your fa­vorite store, Christ­mas is more per­sonal when dec­o­ra­tions are home­made.

Cre­ate a mag­i­cal man­tle: Drap­ing a fes­tive gar­land is one way to achieve a dis­tinc­tive dis­play. Do-it-your­self ban­ners and gar­land have be­come in­creas­ingly popular as a great way to per­son­al­ize your decor. To make your own, start with a heavy fab­ric, like burlap or the kind used for up­hol­stery, and cut enough pen­nants for your fa­vorite hol­i­day say­ing. Adorn the banner with plas­tic snowflakes and holly sprigs to fi­nal­ize the fes­tive look.

Trim a tree like a pro: Give your Christ­mas tree a fresh look by chang­ing up the or­na­ments and adding a theme. Start by choos­ing a spe­cific color scheme, such as red and gold. Don’t have enough dec­o­ra­tions to match your new theme? It’s easy and af­ford­able to cre­ate your own by us­ing items al­ready around the house. You can even spray paint old or­na­ments so they fit into your new color scheme.

Add el­e­gant ta­ble top­pers: If you are host­ing get-to­geth­ers for fam­ily and friends, add a sparkle to your ta­ble. Not sure where to start? First, choose two or three col­ors. Se­lect a ta­ble cloth, ta­ble run­ner or place­mats in your color pal­ette and con­sider the ar­range­ment for the mid­dle of the ta­ble. Try re­plac­ing the tra­di­tional red and green with gold and sil­ver ac­ces­sories: can­dles, nap­kin rings, small fig­ures in the plates and other dec­o­ra­tive ac­cents.

— Brandpoint

HOME-SELL­ING TIP

While stag­ing your home for po­ten­tial buy­ers, real-es­tate pros ad­vise that it’s best to tone down the per­son­al­ity — fam­ily pho­tos can be dis­tract­ing to peo­ple walk­ing through your home. Other po­ten­tial dis­trac­tions can in­clude “themed” rooms, mem­o­ra­bilia and col­lec­tions: Buy­ers want to be able to imag­ine them­selves in­hab­it­ing the space, and this can be hard if there’s too much clut­ter in the way.

— More Con­tent Now

DEC­O­RAT­ING TIP

Win­ter is the sea­son to con­gre­gate around the fire­place — which can be tough, if your house or apart­ment doesn’t have one built in. Don’t let that stop you, though: Elec­tric fire­places are a an at­trac­tive and fes­tive way to add some warmth to your liv­ing space (and a place to hang your stock­ings!). Stores like Best Buy and Home De­pot ver­sions for $100 to $1,000 in a wide range of sizes, col­ors, styles and ma­te­ri­als.

— More Con­tent Now

GAR­DEN GUIDE

Is your green thumb itch­ing for a gar­den­ing project dur­ing the slow win­ter sea­son? Start­ing a gar­den­ing jour­nal can be a great way to get a jump-start on plan­ning your gar­den for spring­time. Be­gin think­ing about what you’d like to plant, and sketch out a map of how you want to lay ev­ery­thing out. You might also start keep­ing track of what you plant each sea­son and how things turn out, and clip out ideas from gar­den­ing pub­li­ca­tions that in­spire you, even though it’ll be awhile un­til warmer weather re­turns.

— More Con­tent Now

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