With temperatures dropping and the sun setting earlier and earlier, winter is the perfect season for do-it-yourself projects to stave off cabin fever and give yourself an outlet for creativity. Not to mention the fact that if you have kids, you’ll have plenty of helping hands for whatever project you decide to take on. The only real question is which project should you start with?

In light of the holiday season, we’ve compiled a list of 12 holiday-inspired DIY projects - one for each day of Christmas, leading up to the big celebration with family and friends. You can pick and choose from the list the projects you like for your home and timeframe, and save the rest for a dreary January day. From handmade decorations to home updates to accommodate guests (a coat of fresh paint never hurt!), we’ve got you covered; all you’ll need is some time and supplies to make your Christmas season brighter and merrier than ever!

The First DIY of Christmas

DIY Christmas exterior decor for your lawn care
Exterior decor via Architecture Art Design

Greet guests (and Santa) with DIY, homemade yard signs! Even in climates with no snow, they’re a great way to bring some holiday cheer to your yard and they’re super easy to make. Plus, you can store them in the attic and pull them back out for next year. Awesome project to get the kids involved in, too!

The Second DIY of Christmas

DIY decor this Christmas with nothing but construction paper and holiday cheer
DIY decor that you can make with the kids via Croissant and Lavendar

No holiday door is ready to greet guests without a Christmas wreath, but buying a new one every year can get expensive. There are tons of DIY wreath options out there; find a few of your favorites, try them out on different doors, and save the ones you like best for next year!

The Third DIY of Christmas

Put a foux fireplace in the living room for Santa to visit
Foux Fireplace via HGTV

Christmas is no fun without a fireplace to hang stockings by, but if your home doesn’t already have one (or you live in an apartment), they’re not the easiest to add on. Why not try your hand at a fun, DIY fireplace? Whether you use candles or try your hand at some chalkboard art, you’ll add some extra festivity near the tree.

The Fourth DIY of Christmas

A DIY mantel in the living room to hang your stockings up
No mantle? No problem. Via Serenade My Soul

If you don’t have a fireplace but you have a space where a mantel would look really nice for holiday decor and stockings, you can easily add a more permanent shelf to double as a mantel for now and after the holidays, too. Make sure you choose a design that matches your own interior design after the decorations are put away, but don’t be afraid to show off your DIY skills!

The Fifth DIY of Christmas

Craft your own DIY stockings! Hang them right by the fireplace mantle
Custom Stockings for the Fireplace Pinterest

What would a mantel be with no stockings? While you can go the traditional root and simply use a nail to hang stockings, a much less damaging method is to use stocking hangers, and there are tons of DIY options out there. Whether you’re looking for a more classy look or want to include family pictures, handmade stocking hangers can be a keepsake you enjoy pulling out to use for years to come.

The Sixth DIY of Christmas

Interior homemade DIY frames for Christmas
Hand crafted Homemade DIY projects Pinterest

Holiday cards can make a beautiful display during the holiday season and you can spruce them up even more by creating your own DIY card display! Easy to use this year and store for the next, you can make as many as you need for the holiday cards you receive and you can always update the style if you decide to go with a particular theme next year.

The Seventh DIY of Christmas

Get an artificial tree, trimming it with tinsel and decorations inside your living room
Don't deal with tree stump removal and get an artificial tree. Balsam Hill

Artificial trees don’t have to look like they’re not real - with a little thought and creativity, you can easily create the perfect Christmas scene and still store your tree for next year! Kids are helpful with the decorating too.

The Eighth DIY of Christmas

Gingerbread home: kitchen remodeling with a yummy treat
Kitchen treats: Gingerbread House Heaven

Fall back on two classic Christmas traditions by creating a wintry Christmas village out of gingerbread houses. Add some fake snow and trees, along with a strand of Christmas lights and the sweet home creations and you’ve got yourself a classy, delicious display.

The Ninth DIY of Christmas

A DIY homemade kitchen spice rack
DIY kitchen spicerack: GuidePatterns

Holiday cooking comes with the use of a lot of holiday spices, and what better way to prepare than by creating a homemade spice display? Better yet, spices can be traded out depending on the meal you’re cooking or even the season.

The Tenth DIY of Christmas

Kitchen countertops can always use some love during the holidays
Shelving behind kitchen countertops via Decoist

If you’re a more experienced DIYer, you might want to consider a bigger project, like transitioning into open shelving in the kitchen to display your holiday dishes. Great for seasonal displays or just nicer dishware, it can make a huge difference in your kitchen just in time for guests.

The Eleventh DIY of Christmas

Bedroom options for guests and weary travelers
Guest Bedrooms via Homeyou

Especially if you have guests arriving soon, you may have just enough time to complete a holiday update of your guest rooms, like a fresh coat of paint or something as simple as giving it the resort treatment to make your guests feel as comfortable as possible. Whatever you choose, the guest room offers an easy way to show off your handiwork without putting your efforts front and center!

The Twelfth DIY of Christmas

Home theater installation for the holidays: the gift that keeps on giving
Home theater installation Loghome

Finally, whether you’re looking for a long term project or just something for the holidays, the kids in particular will love a DIY home theater for watching holiday classics with the family. Home theater installation isn’t too tough a DIY project and the returns will last all year long.

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