It's a festive thing.
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Cutting out paper snowflakes by hand is always a game of chance. And while kids’ one-of-a-kind examples look charming, using a template allows you to create spectacular snowflakes that double as party décor (like this backdrop for an hors d’oeuvres buffet). Made from squares of wrapping paper, butcher paper, or text-weight poster paper, they’re easy to cut into multiple sizes.
Photography: Aaron Dyer2 of 7
This shiny lampshade liner casts a soft light that’s right at home in a bedroom or living room. To make one yourself, detach a drum shade from its base and lay it on its side on the back of metallic paper. Line up the paper’s bottom edge with the shade’s, then trace its top edge with a pencil while rolling along the paper; cut. Apply spray adhesive to the back of the paper and smooth it onto the shade; let dry. Reattach the shade to the base.
Metallic foil paper, by Hygloss, 20" by 26", in Gold, $21 for 24 sheets, dickblick.com
Super 77 spray adhesive, by 3M, $11, homedepot.com
Tripod table, in White, westelm.com
Hat Trick three-piece vase set, cb2.com
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Deliver a tasty twist on a Hanukkah tradition with handmade gelt.
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Shiny and New
You needn’t spend a fortune to deck out your New Year’s party. Instead, customize a few basic party supplies. Number, letter, and dot stickers convert balloons into “almost-midnight” clocks, create festive messages, and act as “confetti.” Party horns create a garland when wrapped with metallic origami paper and secured with double-sided tape, then threaded with a needle and monofilament. (Tie a knot in between horns to keep them from slipping.) Finish with a few other metallic decorations (like the silver star fan, top right), and you’re ready to usher in 2016.
Round Mylar balloons
Letter, number, and circle stickers
Fringed party horns
Photography: Aaron Dyer5 of 7
Star anise, whole allspice, and even kitchen twine can be put to use as stencils. Place the items on top of sugar cookies, then dust with confectioners’ sugar, or a mix of 2 parts confectioners’ sugar to 1 part cocoa powder. Remove the stencils with tweezers or your fingers to reveal a pattern. The dusting is delicate, so be sure to serve the cookies in a single layer.
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Ordinary vases become elegant Hanukkah décor with this neat trick. We created a design by using an iron and rubber stamps to heat-emboss shapes onto velvet. Slip a sleeve on for your celebrations; slip it off afterward to store easily.
1. Cut a piece of velvet fabric into a strip that’s the circumference of the vase by its height plus 1 inch. Gently pull exposed threads along both edges to create fringe. Trim fringe to fit height of vase.
2. Spritz velvet and stamp with water.
3. On a flat surface, lay velvet face-down on a geometric stamp (we used a square on its side and a circle). Set an iron on medium-high against back of fabric, 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat to make a pattern.
4. Wrap velvet around vase and secure with double-sided tape.
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