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5 DIY New Year's Decorations

Homemade decorations will help you and your guests ring in the new year in style!
Homemade decorations will help you and your guests ring in the new year in style!
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A fresh new year is drawing near, and it's time to start planning your New Year's Eve celebration! Hosting a New Year's party is a great excuse to get your craft on. Handmade decorations will give your party a personalized feel and allow you the opportunity to customize the decor to your taste. You can do just one or two handmade touches or go for a totally DIY decor, depending on how ambitious you're feeling. Here are some modern, fun New Year's decoration ideas to get you started.

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Cut out paper circles in a variety of colors to make your streamers -- feel free to mix in other shapes, too!
Cut out paper circles in a variety of colors to make your streamers -- feel free to mix in other shapes, too!
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Paper streamers are fun and easy to make, and they're a great way to add some interest to a doorway or mantle. Cut circles from decorative or reclaimed paper and decorate them however you like. You can even get your kids in on the crafting! It's fine to use different-sized circles to add interest, but make sure you're working in pairs, since you'll be sandwiching two same-sized circles together to create your streamers. Trace around glasses and jar lids for uniform size.

Stringing the circles on clear fishing line will give the illusion that your decorations are floating in midair! The number of circles and length of fishing line will depend on where you're hanging your streamers. Measure the mantle or doorway, adding 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) to the width so you'll have a little slack for draping.

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Once your circles are cut, decorated and dry, string them on the fishing line by making a "circle sandwich." Just make sure that you leave a short tail on either end for hanging. Place one circle decorated side down on the table. Then, use white glue to draw a line down the center of your circle and around its perimeter. Lay your fishing line in the center line of glue and finish off the sandwich with another circle of the same size. Continue adding circles until you're happy with the way your streamer looks.

Let the glue dry overnight, and you're ready to hang! Tie the tails around nails or tacks on either end of the doorway or mantle.

Bouquets of noisemakers will make festive centerpieces until midnight arrives!
Bouquets of noisemakers will make festive centerpieces until midnight arrives!
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Who doesn't love a decoration that's functional, too? No New Year's Eve soiree would be complete without some noisemakers to blow at midnight. Rather than just setting them on a table or passing them out to guests, you can place fun noisemaker bouquets on tabletops throughout the party.

To create your bouquets, pick up some pretty noisemakers. The long, conical horns or paper blowout noisemakers both work well, but anything that's long and thin is fair game. Pick up a variety of colors, shapes and sizes, and mix and match to make festive centerpieces. Arrange the noisemakers in small vases that are filled about a third of the way up with colored marbles or pretty stones. At midnight, guests can select their noisemakers of choice from your arrangements!

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Use black-eyed peas to make centerpieces that represent good luck and prosperity for the coming year!
Use black-eyed peas to make centerpieces that represent good luck and prosperity for the coming year!
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Black-eyed peas symbolize good luck for the coming year, and they can also make an eye-catching centerpiece for your party's table or buffet.

Scatter pinecones and acorns on the table with a glass bowl full of uncooked black-eyed peas in the center. Nestle a tea light on top of a small, upside-down votive holder in your bowl of peas. The votive holder is key, because you want to make sure you're keeping a little distance between the flame and the peas.

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A fun variation on this would be to set one or two small candle holders and candlesticks in the bowl instead. Again, just make sure the peas aren't going to get scorched. Setting off your smoke detector can really take away from the New Year's Eve fun!

Personalized champagne glasses are perfect for toasting to a happy and healthy new year!
Personalized champagne glasses are perfect for toasting to a happy and healthy new year!
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Customized champagne flutes make wonderful party favors for your guests! Hit up the craft store for a festive stencil and a jar of glass etch. Make sure your stencil is one that you can peel and stick repeatedly. If you can only peel and stick it once, you'll need a stencil for each glass. A stencil of the year is a good choice!

To create your custom glasses, stick the stencil onto each champagne glass and paint on a generous amount of glass etch. Let the glass etch set according to the package directions, then remove the stencil and wash it off, again following the directions. Repeat for the rest of your glasses.

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If this is your first time using glass etch cream, you may want to pick up a thrift store glass or two to practice on before you start etching your champagne flutes. You'll also want to make sure you're working in a well-ventilated area and wearing rubber gloves, since the cream is harsh on the skin.

Brightly colored glitter is perfect for creating an eye-catching banner.
Brightly colored glitter is perfect for creating an eye-catching banner.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

All you need to make this fun decoration is a large, corrugated cardboard box, a box cutter, a marker, a paintbrush, white glue, glitter, fishing line and brown paper tape.

Draw out the numbers of the year or the letters of the words "Happy New Year" on your cardboard, and use the box cutter to cut them out. Paint white glue onto the front of your numbers or letters, using the paintbrush to get a generous, even coat of glue. Working over a piece of scrap paper or a tray, shake a liberal amount of glitter onto each number, then let them dry overnight.

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In the morning, shake off the excess glitter, and you're ready to string! Turn your numbers or letters over and arrange them in order. Then, use the paper tape to attach the fishing line to the backs of your numbers or letters. Make sure you leave a short tail of fishing line on either end for hanging purposes.

Once you're all taped up, you're ready to hang! Just wrap each of the end tails around a tack or nail in the wall to display your sparkly decoration.

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Sources

  • Brazil Travel Information. "New Year's in Rio de Janeiro and the Candomble Faith." (Dec. 2, 2010)http://www.braziltravelinformation.com/brazil_trip_planning_new_year_candomble.htm
  • Cantera, Christine. "New Year's Eve in France." WhyGo France. Dec. 7, 2010. (December 9, 2010)http://www.francetravelguide.com/new-years-in-france.html
  • Dice, Elizabeth A. "Western and Chinese New Year's Celebrations." Infobase Publishing. 2009.
  • Kaufman, Andrew et al. "Russian for Dummies." Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2006.
  • Travel + Leisure. "World's Strangest New Year Traditions." December 2008. (Dec. 2, 2010)http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/worlds-strangest-new-year-traditions

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