12 Simple Holiday Hacks That'll Make Your Life Easier

By Megan Beauchamp for eHow

Between trimming the tree, decorating your home and wrapping gifts, the season of joy can easily turn into an ordeal that's more stressful than merry. Make this holiday season festive and efficient with 12 clever ways to save time, money, and last but definitely not least, sanity. We say simplify the season and cut corners whenever possible.

1. Turn Store-Bought Flowers Into A Holiday Centerpiece

Image: Matt Mattus

Image: Matt Mattus

No need to place a special order to get a professional-looking centerpiece for your holiday table. You can easily make an impressive floral arrangement using a simple $10 bouquet from the grocery store and greens from your yard or neighborhood. You may just put your local florist out of business.

2. Make A Gas Fireplace More Like A Wood-Burning One

Image: Trisha Sprouse

Image: Trisha Sprouse

Not everyone is #blessed with a wood burning fireplace, but that doesn't mean you can't make the most of what you've got. Get that old fashion fireplace experience with this simple tutorial. You'll be enjoying crackling embers, glowing orange flames and that authentic scent of burning wood in no time.

3. Use A Piece Of Reclaimed Wood As A Holiday Card Display

Image: 17 Apart

Image: 17 Apart

This year, don't settle for a pile of holiday cards on the coffee table. Instead, make a mantle-worthy display to showcase the beautiful cards you receive from your family and friends. If you're comfortable using power tools, you can tackle this project in an afternoon, and you'll enjoy the holiday cheer all the more for it.

4. Sew A Stocking In 5 Minutes

Image: Amy Sinibaldi

Image: Amy Sinibaldi

Decorate your mantel in record time with mini homemade stockings. They add a bright pop of color to a stark fireplace when strung together as garland, as pictured. Bonus: You can also make them as gift card holders for last-minute gifts (or even as ornaments!).

5. Make A Chic Wreath From A Foil Baking Sheet

Image: Lucy Atkins

Image: Lucy Atkins

No one will ever guess that you made this designer-looking wreath using a foil baking sheet and gold spray paint. So go ahead, decorate the halls on the cheap. We won't tell anyone your DIY secret. But you'll be so proud of your handmade holiday decor, you'll probably want to announce it to everyone yourself with a perfectly styled Instagram post.

6. Upcycle Wine Bottles Into Festive Lighting

Image: 17 Apart

Image: 17 Apart

Turn empty wine bottles into Pinterest-worthy home accents with this tutorial. Place the illuminated bottles on your mantle, on your dining room table in lieu of candles, or in an empty fireplace to add a modern twist to your holiday decor.

7. Turn A Tomato Cage Into A Christmas Tree

Image: 17 Apart

Image: 17 Apart

Celebrating the holidays in a small space? Make your own evergreen stand-in using a tomato cage and ivy bunches. Accent with a festive bow to add extra holiday cheer to your apartment. (This DIY is also ideal for procrastinators who waited until the week of Christmas to get a tree).

8. Make A Simple Beaded Wire Home Accent

Image: Lucy Atkins

Image: Lucy Atkins

Choose your favorite holiday sentiment, such as Joy, Love or Family, and use jewelry wire and beads to create a beautiful yet simple adornment for your mantel, front door or tree. The best part? You can display this homemade home accent all year long.

9. Turn Cardboard Into A Faux Fireplace

Image: Debbie Williams

Image: Debbie Williams

Calling all apartment dwellers: If you don't have a traditional fireplace to decorate for the holidays, fret not. Make your own cardboard faux fireplace using inexpensive materials from your local hardware store. This cost-effective DIY is easy to assemble and gives you a festive mantle to deck for the holidays.

10. Create A Curtain Rod Wrapping Station

Image: 17 Apart

Image: 17 Apart

Turn the back of a closet door into an organized gift wrapping station to keep scissors, wrapping paper and ribbon at your finger tips -- unruly spools of ribbon and unraveled rolls of wrapping paper will be a thing of the past. Santa's elves couldn't wrap a present more efficiently themselves.

11. Perfectly Wrap A Present

Image: Tonia Larson

Image: Tonia Larson

When it comes to wrapping a present, it's all about proportions and crisp edges. With these simple tricks, your presents will be looking perfect under the Christmas tree.

12. Opt For Free Printable Gift Tags

Image: Lucy Atkins

Image: Lucy Atkins

Skip the expensive gift tags and opt for these free printable versions. This simple yet modern design will look great tied around the neck of a bottle of wine as a hostess gift, adorning a present under the tree, or atop a homemade gift fit for a foodie.