28 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.
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Food Containers for Ornament Storage
Wreath Hanging Hack
Typically, we rely on everything from metal wreath holders to staples, nails and even thumbtacks to hang holiday wreaths on the door, yet each of these familiar methods causes leaves scars on the door. Skip those old methods and try a less damaging tactic by using removable plastic hooks. Place an upside-down Command Hook on the interior side of your door, loop your wreath’s ribbon (or some fishing line) around the hook and drape it over the front of the door. You can also use a wreath hanger for an easier way to hang your wreath.
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.
Crack Nuts with Hand Tools
The holiday season can bring out varieties of nuts for guests to enjoy but what if you don’t have a nutcracker around? Hand tools can help crack nuts. We suggest some pliers to get the job done.
Lazy Susan Tree Stand for Wood Floors
Holiday Light Hangers
Illuminated Holiday Jars
Create illuminating holiday jars with cranberries, greenery and floating candles. Place the greenery (we trimmed ours from a bush outside) followed by fresh cranberries in a jar. Fill the jar with water allowing the cranberries and greenery to float. Add a floating candle to the top, and voila–you have a simple and inexpensive centerpiece to add color and light to your holiday table.
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.
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
How to Add an Outdoor Outlet
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.
Store Holiday Lights on a Hanger
Save yourself the stressful task of untangling a messy string of holiday lights by wrapping them around a hanger before putting them in storage. Try to keep the string of lights neat as you wrap it around the hanger, starting on one end and working your way across to the other end, with as little overlap as possible. If your string of lights is quite long, you can continue wrapping a second layer neatly over the first, again with as little overlap as possible. This will help to keep the cord organized and free of tangles when you unwind it for the next holiday season.
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
Using a 6-ft. cardboard cement form cut in half, I created two wrapping paper storage containers. I cut the cylinder in half and cut pieces of heavy cardboard for the base of each, attaching them with duct tape. Then I spray painted them to look presentable.
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.
Easy Ornament Storage
Hose Reel for Holiday Lights
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 pipe with all-purpose PVC glue. The rack can sit right on your worktable and you can store it underneath or in a closet.
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.