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Must-Have Supplies for the Christmas Toolbox

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When it's time to start setting up all those treasured Christmas collections, I find it's also handy to have my Christmas toolbox nearby. I keep it filled with those miscellaneous supplies that always seem to be needed, all together so I don't have to go searching for stuff in the flurry of decorating. It's my Christmas decorating toolbox and if the truth be known, mine is actually a small crate.

1. Scissors

Getty Images/Yamada Taro
The most important thing in the toolbox! But you need more than one pair. Keep an old pair in the supply box that can be used instead of wire cutters. Use it to cut florist wires, garlands -- things that might need a little bit of rough handling.

A second pair would be one that can be used to trim ribbons, cut paper or clip tags.

2. Glues

Getty Images/Lew Robertson
A hot glue gun, white tacky glue and a small tube of Krazy Glue are things I am never without. Keep these handy for needed repairs and replacements, e.g. to fix the loose decoration on the wreath, glue the package back into the sleigh, etc.

Don't tell the avid glass collectors, but sometimes I will even use a drop of white glue under cap of an ornament, especially one that tends to be slightly loose or heavy.

3. Pipe Cleaners or Florist Wire

Some folks like to use florist wire, I like to use chenille craft pipe cleaners in Christmasy colors. Both can be used to hang ornaments, make loops on the back of wreath, along with a dozen other uses that come up in the midst of decorating.

4. Quake Hold

I love this stuff and can't tell you how often I use it to secure a piece of pottery or china steady on a shelf. It keeps it from rattling and when secured properly will definitely stop the piece from falling off a shelf.

Quake Hold is also used to keep all my smaller Santas in place, so they don't topple over like a set of bowling pins. Quake Hold won't harm wood or other surfaces, it can be peeled off easily.

5. Clear Fishing Line

Use this to suspend ornaments or other hanging Christmas decorations. This year I used it to help straighten a lightweight feather tree.

I was getting very frustrated at keeping the expensive tree completely straight, but a push pin and a length of fishing line solved the problem in moments.

6. Electrical and Duct Tape

Electrical tape to cover and secure cords outdoors.

Duct tape for just about anything that cannot be fixed any other other way. I'm pretty fond of camouflage duct tape, it disappears when used to keep greenery secure and blends in well when tacking down all the power strips and extension cords. I even use it to tape a power cord to the trunk at the back of the tree.

7. Suction Cups

Heavy duty suction cups are perfect to hang wreaths on a glass door or a mirror. A drop of Krazy Glue (let it dry) will make those hooks very secure. For some reason it can be hard to find thee clear plastic cups, that's why I'll always keep a couple of spare ones in the box.

WARNING: a razor blade will be needed to carefully remove it off the glass after the holidays.

8. Ornament Caps and Loops

© D.Blumchen
Sooner or later you'll break a glass ornament. If it's not shattered, use the parts. Keep the big main portion (if it's not completely broken) and think about using it on a broken ornament wreath.

Also take off the metal caps and loops to keep in the toolbox. Sooner or later you will need them to help shore up a heavy ornament piece or to repair another broken ornament.

If you very careful and never break an ornament, buy an extra set or two of the caps. They can be found at some craft stores and at D. Blumchen.

9. Assortment of Ornament Hangers

Keep a variety of ornaments hooks and hangers in the toolbox. Some wire, decorative and ribbon hangers for when you come up with that one more ornament to hang on the tree or embellish a wreath. A variety is needed because you just don't know what will work or look best at the time.

10. Paint Brush for Dusting

Getty Images/Thomas Northcut
Keep a good quality 1.5 - 2" wide paint brush, new and used just for dusting when unpacking those treasures.

Why quality? You don't want bristles to come off in the crooks and crevices of your porcelain or glass pieces.

11. Small Screwdrivers and Pliers

I like to keep a few extra real tools in the Christmas toolbox, especially those tiny screwdrivers to help remove those miniscule screws when replacing batteries. (Don't you hate those screwed on covers?)

12. Nice to have. . .

  • Zip ties: Use to attach garlands to bannisters.
  • Small hammer
  • extra light fuses
  • extra Christmas light bulbs
  • Swiffer dusters
  • push pins
  • Cord or string

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