Have you ever wanted to unlock your door with a fingerprint? Control the indoor and outdoor lights with your phone? You can do those things and more with a smart home. We show you how to get a home with connected technology and remote-operated devices that are designed to improve and simplify your life. We sift through the many options, including smart appliances, new apps, and smartphone and tablet innovation, and only bring you those that can make your life better. We give you tips and tricks for navigating the new home technologies and help you with buying decisions.See More
Use supplies you have or try a new technique with these crafts from paper, fabric, or paint.
Frame complementary fabrics in various embroidery hoops, then hang them for an instant wall collage. Create more dimension by layering hoops and buttons.
Dress up an office wall with paper scraps. Glue paper-punched shapes or die cut embellishments to a piece of coordinating cardstock. Flowers and butterflies in bright blues and greens in this picture create a cheery space. Clip the paper on the clipboard and add riibon to the top of the clipboard.
A retro collage of fabric scraps looks great sitting on a shelf. Cut out repeating shapes from fabric (we used birds and hearts in various sizes) and use spray adhesive to mount on white cardstock; frame.
For artwork on a dime, paint an old wooden picture frame, cut mat or foam-core board to fit the opening, cover the board with a scrap of pretty fabric, and fit in frame.
A cinch to stitch in an hour, this pretty pillow puts scraps to good use.
Create conversation at the dinner table with this out-of-the-ordinary runner. A discarded book with soft, worn pages works best. Lay the pages flat on the floor in the length and width you'd like your runner. On the back, carefully tape the pages together. Use a crafts decorative-edge punch to create a border that suits your style.
Vintage mirrors with great shapes abound at flea markets. Score one for a few dollars, then turn it into a sophisticated magnetic message board. Remove the mirror from its frame, or use painter's tape to cover the frame. Spray several coats of magnetic spray paint on the mirror. Let dry between each coat. Then apply a layer of chalkboard paint and let dry.
A basic coiling technique is all it takes to turn skinny strips of fabric into a striking take on a doily. Cut or tear scrap fabric into thin strips. Roll them up bandana-style and coil into tight circles. Pin, then loosely stitch the coils together. Customize! One circle works as a coaster. A few stitched together make a sweet centerpiece.
Dress up glass vases with paper scraps. This vase is covered with modern black-and-white patterned paper. Cut the paper the correct height and circumference of the vase, allowing enough overlap to glue or tape. Wrap the paper around the vase and secure.
Why buy costly decorator fabric if you can paint the look yourself? For a chevron-motif pillow, trace a cardboard zigzag pattern onto yellow fabric using a white paint pen. Then fill it in with fabric paint.
Really? A funky bowl from glue and paper scraps? Believe it! Cut or tear strips of magazine, newspaper, or wallpaper. Make papier-mache mixture by stirring together 1 part white glue with 1 part water. Coat paper strips in the glue mixture and form over a bowl covered in plastic wrap. Apply two to four layers of paper. Let dry. Remove plastic wrap and bowl. Use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth the edges for a finished look.
An easy paint job takes wicker baskets from dull to delightful. First, coat your basket in acrylic paint or spray paint, then use a round brush to paint free-form flower stems on each side. Using the brush tip, paint flowers above the stems by dabbing petals in a circular pattern until you have your desired flower sizes.
Store the items that accumulate on your nightstand in their very own treasure chest. Purchase an inexpensive unfinished wooden storage box from a crafts store. Paint it a bright color. Freehand-paint a design on the base and lid, or use a stencil or stamp instead. Finally, glue a medallion, button, or large bead to the front of the lid to serve as a handle.
Add a new layer to your favorite photos and artwork by transforming their frames into something fresh and snappy. Cut a single piece of scrapbook paper to fit your frame. Use stamps from the crafts store to apply designs to the paper. Measure the dimensions of the frame¿s center hole, then cut from the paper. Apply spray adhesive to adhere the paper to the frame and seal it with decoupage medium.
Make this easy wall art by using your die-cutting tool to cut multiples of your favorite design in coordinating papers. Leftover stickers that you love also will work. Simply fill the 4x6-inch mat openings in a frame. To make it the perfect gift, choose a theme and color palette that suits your recipient. Your local scrapbooking store may have a die-cutting machine available for use.
Use up even the tiniest pieces of leftover or favorite fabrics with these wineglass charms. Cut small squares of selected areas of the fabric and insert each into a frame pendant. Earring-hoop wire threaded through the pendant loop makes it easy to attach the charm to a wineglass stem. Make several of them and wrap them up for a quick gift.
Brighten any desk with a funky set of handmade accessories. Mom will love these heartfelt handmade crafts. Easy-to-make, they are sure to be a hit. Wrap a repurposed can with cardstock and a collage photo strip to create a vase for this pen-and-pencil bouquet. For a clean look, apply colorful letter stickers (use your leftovers) to the photo mat in a white frame.
Brightly painted metal containers have magnetic appeal for attention-grabbing letters and symbols.
Create a whimsical wall hanging of your family tree using your favorite scrapbook supplies.
These glass votive holders adorned with a pretty paper vine are the perfect favors for your next party. Let them set the mood, then send them home with your guests as a special gift. Draw a trailing vine on the back of patterned paper, making the length at least twice the candleholder's circumference and curving the vine ever so slightly so the garland spirals. Cut it out and secure it around the holder with double-sided tape.
Need a quick gift? Round up scraps of pretty patterned paper and a few frames. Cut a piece of patterned paper to fit the frame opening. Die-cut or hand-cut an oversize monogram and, if desired, a mat. Mount the initial to the patterned-paper background with adhesive foam, add the mat, if using, and slide the assembly into the frame. Dress up the frame edge with ribbons and charms.
These easy-to-make decorated pencils are a great solution if you need a quick gift. Wrap plain pencils with patterned paper scraps and cover chipboard flowers in coordinating colors. Embellish flower centers with buttons, beads, round stamped images, or snapshots of your child. Add a few ribbons, and the bouquet is ready to be picked! For a yummy looking presentation, display your blossoms in a vase filled with candy.
Left with lots of scraps of your favorite patterned paper? Top clothespins with the pieces, seal the paper with decoupage medium, and adhere magnets to the backs. Make a coordinated set to give as a gift.
Give a memory that lasts. Use silly photos and bright patterned papers to create this gift. Decoupage the photos and papers onto wood discs and arrange them in rows on a sheet of white cardstock, leaving the middle open for a chipboard title. Give this fun display a shot of personality by embellishing with quirky accents.