Your guests will love these party snack ideas from Country Living's top entertaining experts. Simply unwrap these perfectly paired picks and-voilà!-instant crowd-pleaser.
Plus: 35+ holiday appetizer recipes »
1. Picholine Olives
First, set out a bowl of these green olives for guests to snack on. (Don't forget a plate for the pits!) "Mild in strength, this variety improves martinis, too." - Rosanna Bowles, tableware designer
Blog Posts by Country Living
Your guests will love these party snack ideas from Country Living's top entertaining experts. Simply unwrap these perfectly paired picks and-voilà!-instant crowd-pleaser.Read More »from 10 Easy Party Snacks
Your gift-wrapping will be as sweet as the package inside with these brilliant ideas from Country Living's favorite online shops, store-bought kits, and clever crafters.Read More »from 7 Gift Wrapping Ideas You'll Want to Steal
Plus: Make your own keepsake with these DIY ornament ideas »
1. Peppermint Package
Cushion your presents with candy! Replace boring Styrofoam with swirls of minty goodness, then wrap your gifts in the red-and-white color combination for an eye-catching display.
2. Mix Tape
Graphic designer Joy D. Cho dresses up Kraft paper with festive masking tape, alternating horizontal and vertical strips to mimic ribbon. A snowflake fashioned from frayed candy cane colored paper straws becomes the crowning glory.
Infuse new life into a thrift-store shirt and brooch. Not only is the result eco-friendly, but, as gift wrap designer Jenn Playford points out, when you remove the brooch and unpin the shirt, you've got three gifts in one.
4. Name Game
There's no need for gift tags with Personalized Gift Wrap from
Whether they're placed in a vase or hanging from a tree, glittering ornaments add the perfect finishing touch to your holiday home decor. Here are 7 new ways to decorate with your ornament collections.Read More »from 7 Ways to Decorate with Ornaments
Plus: Don't miss our Christmas tree decorating tips »
1. Hang Ornaments from a New Kind of Tree
2. Make a Hanging Bud Vase
3. Bake a Sparkly Star Cookie
Also check out: Easy holiday crafts for less than $5 »
4. Display Golden Ornaments
These savvy Christmas gift ideas say ooh-la-la for very little moolah. (In fact, most cost less than 30 bucks!)Read More »from 10 Gift Ideas Under $100
Plus: Christmas gift ideas, decorations, recipes & more! »
1. Cider Mix
Show off your great taste: Perky Moose's caramel-rich cider mix drinks like dessert. (13 oz.; perkymoose.com, $6.50)
2. Key Magnets
Artist Trina Lucido repurposes keys into highly attractive stocking stuffers. (chickspicksbyhillary.com, $14 for set)
Psst: See all 45 Gifts Under $100! »
3. Camera Case
Prime Nakamura's felt protector is the very picture of clever design. (uniquevintage.com, $16)
Glittery bugle beads and oversize rhinestones yield a crowning achievement. (pier1.com, $18)
5. Lidded Jar
Apothecary chic meets schoolhouse charm in Creative Co-op's chalkboard-labeled ceramic vessel. (866-323-2264 for stores, $22.99)
6. Tablet Cases
Handicraft goes high-tech, courtesy of nifty needlepoint covers for the iPad (left) and Kindle (right). (landsend.com, $29.50 each)
Are chickens safe in my backyard? How big should my fish bowl be? Country Living's resident vet, Dr. Robert Sharp, answers the most pressing questions about birds, fish, bunnies, and more.Read More »from 5 Unusual Pet Questions, Answered!
Plus: 70 More Pet Questions, Answered! »
A: First, make sure owning live poultry isn't prohibited in your area. Then, purchase day-old chicks from a feedstore or an online source, such as mypetchicken.com, which offers chicks for about $3 each. Assuming it's eggs you're after, you'll only need to buy female birds.
Plus: How to Build a Chicken Coup »
More than just a present, these craft kits will pass along the joy that comes from making a one-of-a-kind piece.Read More »from 8 DIY Christmas Gifts
Plus: Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas »
1. Kaleidoscope Kit
A build-your-own kit makes a fantastically fun present for a crafty kid or child-at-heart. ($34; uncommongoods.com)
Plus: Old-Fashioned Gifts Kids Will Love »
2. DIY Gift Tags
Whether stamped on a paper label, imprinted on artisan soaps, or inked on a box concealing a delicate handcrafted ornament, this stamp kit lets crafters make their wares even more unique. ($19; yellowowlworkshop.com)
3. Make-Your-Own Envelopes
This template converts wrapping paper, wallpaper, or newspaper into fabulous envelopes. ($17; spoonsisters.com)
4. Build a Birdhouse
Your pal will be proud to show off their charming handiwork to the neighbors. ($24; amazon.com)
5. Custom Embroidered Notebook Paper
Notebook Paper Embroidery Gift.
Stitch a meaningful letter or quote, for a custom message that easily turns into a framed keepsake. ($14; thecuriosityshoppeonline.com
Find new purposes your flea market finds with these fast and simple craft ideas.
Plus: 5 Ways to Transform Ordinary Objects »
1. Mason Jar Soap Dispenser
Repurpose the classic Mason jar as a soap or lotion dispenser in your bathroom.Get the step-by-step how-to »
2. Rake Stemware Holder
Take advantage of your vertical wall space by hanging a rake head and suspending stemware from its tines.
Get the step-by-step how-to »
3. Crate Shelving
Old blueberry crates-like the six that make up this ruggedly good-looking shelving unit-are the perfect size for displaying and storing Mason jars.
Get the step-by-step how-to »
4. Photo-Imprinted Throw Pillow
Create a personalized throw pillow using your own favorite photograph.
5. Oar Curtain Rod
Add a nautical touch to your window treatments with a vintage oar-turned-curtain-rod.
Get the step-by-step how-to »
6. Framed Flash Cards
Elevate one of these educational tools to the level of art, Read More »from 10 Upcycled Craft Projects
This year, save some cash and adopt a use-what-you-have approach to decking the halls. We scored tips from The Farm Chicks' Serena Thompson's book, The Farm Chicks Christmas.Read More »from 7 Inexpensive Christmas Decorations
Plus, try 14 Homemade Food Gifts
1. Dress Up A Barn
Turn even the most prosaic scene into a winter wonderland. A couple of smart touches - mini wreaths, coconut-flake "snow" - bring Christmas cheer to a nostalgic toy barnyard.
(To find a similar barn, usually for under $10, search eBay using the phrase "vintage toy barn." For similar cows visit anwo.com. For a similar wreath visit amazon.com)
2. A Homespun Tree Stand
DIY Christmas Tree Stand
Hide an unsightly tree stand in a timeless galvanized tub. "Not only does it look adorably rustic," Thompson says, "but the tub can hold enough water to nourish your tree for days at a time."
3. Colorful Cabinets
Colorful Christmas Cabinets
Give cabinets a festive feel - jolly fast. Thompson recommends dressing up kitchen cupboards with patterned wrapping paper (don't worry, it's a cinch to remove after the New Year). Just
Want to give your loved ones something truly personal this year? Use these online tools to create unique and fun gifts from family photos.Read More »from 7 Gifts Made from Family Photos
Plus: Great Holiday Gifts for Less Than $20!
1. Photo Postcards
Turn a snapshot into a postcard for a unique holiday memento that's a new take on the classic Polaroid. ($15 for seven; photojojo.com)
2. Framed Collage
Framed Photo Collage
Reinvent your favorite snaps as an elegant collage with just a click of the mouse. This framed photograph arrives ready to hang on the wall. ($40; 11" W x 14" H; pinholepress.com)
3. Playing Cards
Photo Playing Cards
You'll have the winning hand every time with these custom playing cards. ($20 for one deck; snapfish.com)
Plus: Classic Holiday Toys Gifts Kids Will Love
4. Cookie Tin
Photo Cookie Tin
Bring something sweet to the holiday cookie exchange with a tin that can be personalized with any photo. ($14; 7 1/4" D x 2 3/4" H; personalizationmall.com)
A custom message and photo makes leaving a note extra special. ($13; 4" W x 6 1/2" H; pinholepress.com)
Bring a twist to your holiday dinner table with these cool crafts and fetching finds.Read More »from 6 Ways to Spice Up the Thanksgiving Table
Plus: Ideas for the kids' table too!
1. Perfect Place Setting
Thanksgiving Table Setting Ideas
For favors sure to spark conversation, turn acorn caps into adorable mini-candles by filling them with melted wax and inserting short wicks (allow one hour of cooling time). To assemble a complete glow-on-the-go kit, stash the tiny lights, plus a few matches, in a wood box tricked out with a striker, a.k.a. a strip of sandpaper glued to one side. The final touch: Personalize the lid with a sweet frame stamp and a handwritten note.
Learn more about this craft idea here.
2. Lovely Tablescape
Lovely Tablescape Ideas
Think outside the vase. Vintage wooden spools offer a novel way to display dried leaves or branches. (If using fresh flowers, seek out spools with hollow cores wide enough to accommodate floral tubes.) The vessel that contains our loose arrangement of dahlias and pomegranates? It's a ceramic utensil holder.
Get more tablescape ideas here.