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SWEET IDEA FOR CELEBRATING HANUKKAH

Friday is the first night of Hanukkah. Here's a quick decorating idea from crafter Coleen Miner on HGTV. You'll need cookie cutters shaped like the Star of David and blue hard candies. Crush the candies finely. Lay the cookie cutters on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil and spoon in the crushed candies. Bake for 8 minutes at 375 degrees until the candies melt. Let them cool completely, then peel off the foil. Stand the cutters on edge and place a tea candle behind them to illuminate the stars.

Over the top

Can't get enough of holiday lights? Watch What's With That Christmas House? Sunday night at 9 on HGTV. The show visits elaborately decorated homes across the country.

Form-fitting foam

A great use for expanding spray foam, from This Old House magazine: When packing breakables, spray the foam into a zip-top plastic bag, seal the opening, "then press the breakables on top to create a form-fitting, protective mold."

Don't fear lead

Don't panic if you see a warning on a box of tree lights cautioning that they contain lead. The lead in the wire sheath is a safety measure required by Underwriters Laboratories and conforms to industry and federal safety standards, says breakthechain.org, a Web site devoted to debunking urban legends and chain-letter myths. But California requires the label. To avoid separate packaging, many manufacturers put the label on all lights.

Decor under glass

Quick dec trick: Pile pretty ornaments in a bell jar, a fishbowl, a big mason jar, any clear-glass container. Blown-glass ornaments shown here: Martha Stewart Everyday at Kmart, $3.99.

Give a cottage

Katrina cottages - those charming, low-cost, hurricane-worthy improvements on FEMA trailers - will be built in a low-income neighborhood in Pass Christian, Miss., by community housing groups and Cottage Living magazine. To contribute to the magazine's cottage building fund, go to cottageliving.com. Cottage designer Marianne Cusato recently won the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum People's Design Award.

Up next:Yule Tools

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