Lighted Bottle

This was a gift we received from our daughter-in-law, Catherine, a few years back. It’s an attractive holiday decoration for end tables, mantles and other areas.

WHAT YOU NEED

— A wine bottle or a similar bottle

— A cork

— A short string of mini lights

— Paints and brush

— A drill

WHAT YOU DO

If using a wine bottle, you’ll need to wash it out and get all the labeling off. The trickiest part is drilling a hole near the base of the bottle that is just wide enough to work the lights through. I’d do that before I spent any time decorating the bottle. Once the hole is prepared, decorate with paint. Let it dry. Work the lights through the hole in the base and use the cork to hold the top of the string in place at the mouth of the bottle. Plug in and enjoy.

WHAT IT COSTS

This is difficult to estimate, since the bottle and cork are being repurposed. The short light string will probably run anywhere from $1.99 to $3.99. The cost of the paint will depend on what you already have on hand.

— Jim Hendricks

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Blue Christmas

Here’s a quick centerpiece for a table that has the feel of a snowy day.

WHAT YOU NEED

• White plastic table cover

• Bowl

• Ribbon (2 spools)

• Blueberry candy canes

• Small white ornaments (12)

• Blue ornaments (24)

WHAT YOU DO

Place the ornaments in the bowl, then add the candy canes. Use the ribbon on the tablecloth to accent the piece.

WHAT IT COSTS

The table cover, bowl, ribbon and candy canes were purchased at the Dollar Tree ($5 for all), while the blue ornaments came from Family Dollar ($4) and the white ones came from Hobby Lobby ($2).

Total cost of this quick and easy table decoration — $11.

YOU MIGHT WANT TO ...

Use whatever container and ornaments already on hand and in any color. By doing so, the price will be simply $2 for two spools of ribbon and $1 for the candy canes, which come in a wide variety of flavors.

— Mary Braswell

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Red Christmas

Here’s a table centerpiece in traditonal Christmas colors.

WHAT YOU NEED

• White plastic table cover

• Crystal dish

• Peppermint candy

• Plain red pillar candle (3x3)

• Glue

• White glitter

• Greenery

WHAT YOU DO

Take the pillar candle, paint the glue on it and roll it in glitter. Wait for it to dry and then assemble.

WHAT IT COSTS

The table cover was purchased at the Dollar Tree ($1), while the candy was purchased at CVS ($1) and the pillar candle, white glitter and greenery were purchased at Michael’s ($6.98). The crystal dish and glue were already on hand in the home.

Total cost of this quick and easy table decoration — $8.98.

YOU MIGHT WANT TO ...

Use whatever clear or transparent dish you can find around the house.

— Vicki Harris

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Luminary in a Jar

I’ve always liked luminaries, which usually consist of a lighted candle in a brown or white bag with some sand in the bottom to hold the candle and give it weight. This is a little different take on the tradition based on a suggestion I saw on Lowe’s website.

WHAT YOU NEED

— A jar

— Mosquito screen wire

— Floral or other lightweight wire

— A candle

WHAT YOU DO

Cut out a square of the screen so that it extends above the mouth of the jar. Fasten the screen at the top of the jar with thin wire, such as floral wire or some other light gauge, by encircling the jar and screen and tightening. Place the candle in the jar and light it.

WHAT IT COSTS

The Ball jar (smooth) was from Michael’s, $2.29. The charcoal-colored mosquito screen comes in a 36-by-84-inch roll from Lowe’s — $6.98. The floral wire was also from Lowe’s — $2.76. I had a tea candle at home, but packs of 24 can be purchased for about $5. Other small candles typically run 75 cents to 99 cents.

YOU MIGHT WANT TO ...

If you’re worried about safety, you can always opt for a LED flameless tea light. They’re a bit more expensive (Hobby Lobby has a pack of 16 for $9.99). You also can use jars you have around the house instead of purchasing any. The screening may appear to be a lot, but for this outdoor decoration you’ll wnat to line several of these along the entranceway to your home or along the sidewalk, so you’ll use it.

— Jim Hendricks

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Cranberry vase

Sparkling silver and cranberry reds give this a festive look, good for a table or for displaying on the mantle during the Christmas holidays.

WHAT YOU NEED

— A 9-inch vase, clear

— A sprig of silver leaves

— A sprig of red cranberries

— 2 pounds of red glass gems

— Floral tape

WHAT YOU DO

Use the floral tape to bind the stems of the berries and the silver leaves. (I had to clip the cranberry sprigs to make them even.) Pour in enough gems to fill at least half the vase — enough to cover all of the floral tape you used.

WHAT IT COSTS

Here’s where it pays to keep an eye on those advertised specials. The vase ($5.99), silver sprig ($5.99), berry sprig ($1.99) and floral tape ($1.99) were all from Hobby Lobby. In checking prices this past week, I found both the vase and the silver piece were at half-price. The red glass gems were from Michael’s — $6.99 for a 3-pound bag. I found it took almost a bag for each set.

Total cost for this quick and easy Christmas decoration — $14.96 to $20.96

YOU MIGHT WANT TO ...

I originally made several of these for table decorations for my son’s Steven’s wedding rehearsal dinner, but we’re using them on the mantle and other places because they fit in with Christmas so well. For the rehearsal dinner, we added a 6-inch flat mirror that each piece was placed upon — $2.99 at Hobby Lobby.

— Jim Hendricks