Introduction: 10 Life Hacks You Need to Know for Christmas!

Picture of 10 Life Hacks You Need to Know for Christmas!

10 amazing tips and tricks, for Holiday challenges!

Step 1: Watch the Video!

In this video you'll see how to;

- Convert a bag of chips into decorative wrapping paper
- Protect your wrapping paper from unraveling in storage
- Send Christmas letters without having to buy envelopes
- Make custom festive pancakes in any shape
- Avoid the challenges of packing tape sticking to itself
- Make your house smell like fresh cut pine
- Decorate sugar cookies with no mess to clean up
- Prevent your Christmas lights from tangling in storage
- Make custom chocolate garnishes for entertaining
- Turn your Christmas morning garbage into custom cards

Step 2: Snack Pack Gift Wrap

Picture of Snack Pack Gift Wrap

If you're in need of a last minute gift idea, check this out. 

Grab an empty bag of chips, and search around the house for something you think could work as a gift. 

Clean the chip bag and turn it inside out, then carefully place your gift inside and twist the bag at the top. 

All you need to do now is grab a ribbon, tie a bow, and your instant gift is ready to go. 

Now, if you don't have a ribbon handy, it's no problem.  Just cut the top inch off the chip bag and tie that on instead.  It should be just enough, to get you by in your time of need.

Step 3: Paper Keeper

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If you've got rolls of wrapping paper that you want preserved, head to the kitchen and finish up some left overs, so you can salvage the aluminum foil. 

Now cut the foil into a square, that's a couple inches longer than a toilet paper tube. 

Next you'll need to make a cut down the side of the toilet tube, so you can wrap the foil around the outside, and fold the edges inward to hold it in place. 

Push the foil in at the ends, and now you've got a decorative clasp that will clamp around your tube, and hold your wrapping paper in place. 

Your decorative wrap is preserved, for another year.

Step 4: Better Letters

Picture of Better Letters

With internet and email becoming so common, you may not have any envelopes to send out Christmas letters. 

Rather than going out and buying some, just take your letter, and crease it in the center, then fold opposite corners into the center line. 

Fold the 2 edges next, then with a slight turn, the tips are folded in to complete a rectangle. 

When you tuck these two corners into the flaps underneath them, your letter has just transformed, into its own envelope. 

All you need to do now is address it, add a stamp, and your letter is ready for posting.

Step 5: Posh Pancakes

Picture of Posh Pancakes

To make a fun and festive breakfast, start by pouring your pancake mix into a cleaned out condiment bottle. 

Now dip some large metal cookie cutters, into a small tray of cooking oil, and set it on a pre-greased and pre-heated cooking pan. 

Now just pour in some pancake batter and give it a minute to cook. 

When the batter is firm, go ahead and remove the cookie cutter with a clean pair of pliers, and your pancake will hold its shape. 

Now just finish them up in the usual way, then make a whole bunch more.

Add some butter and a drizzle of maple syrup, and you've got a festive and impressive, holiday breakfast.

Step 6: Grab Tab

Picture of Grab Tab

When you're wrapping packages, you know the frustration that comes when you can't find the edge of the tape.  Then when you do find it, it's surprisingly difficult to get it up. 

The solution, is a simple bread clip. 

There's a good chance you have one of these lying around, and all you need to do is just tuck it under the edge of the tape. 

This custom "Grab Tab" will save your spot without damaging the tape at all, and makes a nice little handle for pulling the tape up when you need it. 

If you don't have a bread clip, try using a penny instead.

Step 7: Air Care

Picture of Air Care

Your Christmas tree may be fake, but you can still enjoy the scent of a fresh cut tree. 

Just take the air filter from your furnace, and pick up a bottle, of pine essential oil. 

And remember that a little goes a long way. 

Now add 10-20 drops on the backside of the filter, then place it back into position. 

Open up your air register, then sit back, and enjoy the fresh piney aroma.

Step 8: Nicer Cookie Icer

Picture of Nicer Cookie Icer

When the cookies are baked and ready for frosting, it can be a pretty messy job.  And no matter how hard you try, they still look like they were frosted by a 4 year old. 

You can win this challenge by pouring your frosting into a few different condiment containers. 

Screw the caps on tight, and now you've got a much nicer cookie icer. 

This will give you so much decorating precision, that your imagination is the only limitation. 

There's no sugary mess to clean up, and if you press the cap back on, your frosting will stay good for days.

Step 9: Light Saver

Picture of Light Saver

When the season's over and it's time to take the Christmas lights down, you know that throwing them in a bin just means you'll have a major rats nest to deal with next year. 

Try using a simple extension cord holder instead. 

You can find these at hardware stores for about a dollar and a half. 

When your lights are wrapped, plug the two ends of the cord together, and now your guaranteed, to be tangle free. 

By the way, if you can't find one of these cord wrappers, try making one out of a piece of cardboard.  It will work just as well, and nothing beats the price of free.

Step 10: Shavings for Cravings

Picture of Shavings for Cravings

When you're entertaining friends with a nice warm chocolaty drink, go one step further by grabbing a potato peeler and their favorite chocolate bar. 

Carefully shave down the side of the candy bar and you'll see it creates a decorative chocolate garnishing. 

You can use these tasty shavings to deliciously garnish their drink, or decorate anything else you can think of. 

Your friends will be super impressed, and wondering why they never thought of this.

Step 11: Upcycled Appreciation

Picture of Upcycled Appreciation

Rather than letting all that wrapping paper go to waste, try removing little decorations like ribbons and bows, then use something like glue or spray adhesive to attach the wrapping paper back to the box your present came in. 

Now cut a rectangle about the size of a postcard, and reattach the bows and ribbons. 

Just like that, you've got an impressive "thank you" card to return your appreciation. 

Your family and friends will be blown away, and hey, it's better for the environment anyway.

Step 12:

Picture of
Well there are a few ideas that will hopefully make your Christmas a little merrier. 

If you liked these projects, perhaps you'll like some of my others.  Check them out at

By the way, if you haven't watched the video yet, you can still see it below;


tn. (author)2013-12-03

the letter idea is cute - but not legal in canada. Canada Post will not carry letters unless they are in proper envelopes.

lame, but there it is.

MarkP47 (author)tn.2015-12-21

can you not send postcards in Canada then?

tn. (author)MarkP472016-07-03

Postcards, yes - one flat card.

But not a folded up sheet of paper. They'll fire it right back at you with a snarky comment to put it in an envelope.

tn. (author)tn.2013-12-03

"your friends will be super impressed and wondering why they didn't think of it"

not my friends - they'll be all "oh - yeah - king of random, right? i saw that one."

LiamOSM (author)tn.2013-12-03

Same story here. Especially Vsauce vids, none of my friends can talk about a topic covered in a vsauce video because we all start pulling facts from the same video and the conversation ends quickly. Turns into a joke :P

Melia1661 (author)2016-01-02

Im sorry, but step 2 is kinduv gross. but you can use things like old paper bags. and i didnt mean to be rude! happy holidays!

FrozenWarrior (author)2015-12-23

Merry Christmas!!!!

obtunder (author)2013-12-07

Very interesting and clever ideas all around, but I must say of "Step 6: Grab Tag" that for many, many years now, a roll of tape does not leave my hands after having been used until I have folded a slight bit of the end (or a corner) back on itself and stuck it to itself. The tape end is always easy to find, and easy to peel away for the start of the next usage. Anyway, if you really want to use some sort of object to accomplish this same task, anything at all would work just fine: a scrap of paper or plastic from a bag, or any little bit of small scrap that is at hand.
Thanks for your posting! I love to read of all the clever ideas people have for solving everyday problems.

rlievens (author)obtunder2015-12-22

I dissagree. Like he said the bread clip doesn't damage the tape. Folding it back on itself or sticking it to a piece of paper will. You will first have to cut that part off before you can use that piece of tape.

elanna (author)2013-12-04

The pancake one is cool too.

michael_click (author)elanna2015-12-21

It works for scrambled eggs as well.

MimArt (author)2015-12-20

Love these ideas.. If your chocolate shavings end up on a plate and not the coffee or cake, etc., try picking the biggest curled ones with a toothpick. It's nearly impossible with fingers. Then just let the chocolate slide off the pick to its intended destination.. Merry Chocolate!

yoemilio (author)2015-12-20

Muchas gracias.


jacrook22 (author)2015-12-20

Well, dang it! I can't believe I never thought of this before! Thanks, ever so!

kjlpdx (author)2015-12-20

just fold the end of the tape on itself to make a handle.

Save envelopes from monthly bills that you pay online and never use the usps mail. They go thru sorting machines much better

that was amazing it really helps me fell merry and I'm the Christmas mood ??⛄️☃

thundrepance (author)2015-12-20

love the squeezable frosting bottles!! ☻☺

dlebryk (author)2015-12-20

Amazing - genius. Simple easy to do ideas that work. Thank you.

Ggungaby (author)2015-12-20

Thanks for this!

weldor (author)2015-12-20

Oh, NO! You said 'Merry Christmas'! How insensitive of you! ; ). I am sure you meant to say "Merry ChristmaKwanzaaChuka?

Luckymama (author)weldor2015-12-20


Heaven forbid we offend anyone these days! I guess I'm a rebel too...Merry Christmas

weldor (author)Luckymama2015-12-20

And a Merry Christmas to you and yours. I'm gonna assume you don't drive a Prius either. I know I don't. 55 Ford F350 dually with a 300hp 390 cid engine under the hood and 6.13:1 gears in the back. drinking up the dinosaurs.

mountainfish (author)2015-12-20

I haven't got a penny. Will a ha'penny do? ..... Oh, wait. Never mind. I haven't got a ha'penny either.

Seriously, though. KOR- you have done some of my favorite instructables over the years. I wanted to thank you for all of them. And Merry Christmas.

Tampaguy (author)2015-12-20

Great information, and (as usual) super clever ideas for Christmas. Thanks! I'll be doing a number of them...

ElaineK1 (author)2015-12-20

Quick wrapping, no tape required - use foil. It's shiny and fits odd shapes easily. It's also recycleable! Yes... I ran out of tape...

SparkySolar (author)2014-10-19

Thank you for your Instructable

Nice job.


aunt margie (author)2013-12-08

I'd like to do this but I can't figure out how to do it. I follow up to "fold opposite corners into the center line". "Fold the 2 edges next" is where I get lost. What edges? I have a 6-sided figure. The two longest sides are the longest sides of triangles that resulted from folding the corners. Are those longest sides the "edges"? If I fold them, where do I fold them?? I can't make anything "complete a rectangle". If I took an origami class the teacher would pay me to go away.

I have a picture I took of what it looks like at that point, but I can't figure out how to add the image to this post.

Could somebody help me out here? I'd love to be able to do this -- I don't think the U.S. Postal Service insists on an envelope, because I often receive newsletters that are just folded in half and held together with little sticky circles folded over on the open edges.

BlackSheep1 (author)aunt margie2014-10-01

try the illustrated instructions here -- also, it has pictures of the other side, which help:

armydillo (author)aunt margie2013-12-16

Check the step by step here:

blackweb (author)2013-12-12

Wrapping paper rolls...just cut an empty. Toilet paper or paper towel up one side and slip it on the roll.

The Green Gentleman (author)2013-12-05


Purple Chez (author)2013-12-05

I loved these!!! It's fun reading someone's instructions for building a steampunk bread machine, but these are simple things I can actually use.

elanna (author)2013-12-04

My favorite is the cookie icer. I will def be doing that this year!

mgonzalez1 (author)2013-12-04

The potato peeler on a chocolate bar just blew my mind.

Antzy Carmasaic (author)2013-12-03

great collection of nifty ideas...

Sashanbad (author)2013-12-03

(blush), it is so easy if you locate video, and watch. :0) Awesome King! Love the ideas. Keep up the great work. Plz disregard previous post, (which I deleted, lol)

sdhardie (author)2013-12-03

...pliers? haha

rmiller999 (author)2013-12-03

My goodness! King of Random, you are amazing. What great ideas. Thanks a bunch!

mole1 (author)2013-12-03

Love it! Especially the icing idea.

RadiantLux (author)2013-12-03

I really enjoyed these tips! The video was very nicely produced.

vpurcell (author)2013-12-03

OMG! I love these -- but especially that bread clip one! I save them hoping to figure out something to do with them - and this is it!!!!!

crkalino (author)2013-12-03

Great ideas!

rettigjim (author)2013-12-03

My solution to the tree lights storage challenge is a bit simpler. Any sort of rope or string can be stuffed into a bag without tangling if you start with one end and finish with the other end. So, starting with one end, I simply stuff a string of lights starting into a gallon size plastic storage " zip lock " bag and then pull I it out next year. Guaranteed not to tangle !

rettigjim (author)rettigjim2013-12-03

Typo: Please ignore the second "starting" in the the third sentence.

rosewood513 (author)2013-12-03

I absolutely love this. Your tips are fantastic this is a winner as far as I am concerned. I am sending this to all my friends. I already made the envelope, I love making my own envelopes. Great Job!!!
Thank you.

JamesRPatrick (author)2013-12-02

After watching the chip bag one I thought this was going to be a joke video, but the other ones seemed quite handy.

pojken (author)2013-12-02

I like the one about the thank you card. :)

Horef (author)2013-12-02

nice :D

Mr. tony stark (author)2013-12-02


About This Instructable




Bio: Random Weekend Projects
More by The King of Random:5 Ways to Start a Fire, Using Water How to make a Batarang like "The Dark Knight"How to Make Ninja Stress Balls
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