Close to home with Mary Beth Breckenridge
Putting up your holiday decorations this weekend? Here are some clever tips from The Family Handyman magazine:
- Use spring-type clothespins to attach outdoor light strings to aluminum soffits and fasciae.
- Inexpensive plastic zip ties can be used to attach light strings to banisters and fences. After the holidays, snip the ties with scissors.
- Plastic picnic tablecloth clips work great for attaching lights to a deck railing.
- Keep outdoor lights from tangling by rolling them onto a portable hose reel that has wheels and a handle. You can pull the reel around the yard when you're decorating and roll off as much as you need.
- Buy an outdoor remote control switch so you can turn lights on and off from inside your home or car.
- If you have a hard-surface floor, putting a bath rug under your tree allows you to rotate the tree to decorate it. Lay the rug rubberized side up, and fold it under the tree skirt to hide it.
- Set the tree stand in a plastic snow saucer to keep water from overflowing and staining the floor. A carpet remnant under the saucer will keep it from scratching a wood floor.
- Reduce the storage space needed for an artificial tree by stashing it in 8-inch-diameter concrete form tubes. Wrap each layer of the tree in twine and store half the tree layers in one tube and half in another. The tubes can be stored in garage rafters.
- Another tree-storage tip: As you disassemble each layer, duct-tape the metal ends of the layers together and number each layer with a marker. That will make assembly easier next year.
- Screw a paper-towel holder to the window trim in your craft room, and use it to hold tape, twine and ribbon spools.
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