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
Most of these crafts are for adults to make for their kids, but with a little help, kids can get in on the fun, too. Jazz up their space with these festive projects.
Make the birthday girl feel special with her very own table accessories for her big day. This place mat and napkin are easy to make using screen-printing materials and tools from Plaid's Simply Screen.
Make this T-shirt in multiples to give to all your girlfriends!
Need a quick Halloween costume? Create this Zorro-inspired mask from green crafts foam. Embellish it with rub-ons, paper flowers, gems, and feathers. Punch holes in the sides for ribbon ties. The result? A super-cute disguise!
Create a clever organizer for markers and other crafts supplies while practicing spelling at the same time. This portable storage container started life as a metal lunch box. Simply cut letters from magazines and glue them onto flat magnets.
Combine sewing and scrapping skills to create this 14 inch square photo-embellished pillow. You can decorate a purchased pillow cover or make your own. Here are the embellishment steps:
1. Print 3x3" photos on iron-on ink-jet fabric sheets, cut them out, and iron them on a 12x9" felt sheet.
2. Hand-stitch around the photo edges with floss.
3. Punch holes in felt and fabric strips and attach the strips to the edges of the felt sheet with brads.
4. Hand-stitch or glue (with fabric glue) the embellished felt sheet to a pillow cover.
5. Adhere felt die cuts to the pillow cover with fabric glue.
6. Finish by stuffing the pillow cover with fiberfill or a purchased pillow form and, if necessary, stitching the cover closed.
Jazz up a cotton T-shirt with a free kitty iron-on. Print the download as an iron-on transfer. Stitch mismatched buttons directly to the shirt for kooky eyes. Add a fun saying by attaching ribbons and rickrack in letter shapes with fusible-web tape.
Give simple bathroom necessities flair with foam shapes, stickers, beads, and ribbon. Your teenager's morning routine will be a little more fun.
Put paper scraps to use and create a frame-worthy piece of art with your child. Use a photo as reference as you sketch the child's head and shoulders on background paper. Fill in your outlines with paper scraps in colors that match his or her hair, skin, and favorite shirt.
To make eyes: Cut circles from papers that match your child's peepers and layer them on white ovals.
To make a background: Layer a torn piece of paper over the bottom third over your collage for a horizon.
Use a quick photo collage template to design this cute tag for party favors. Print out multiples and glue them to cardstock. Punch a hole at the top of each and string a ribbon through each hole to attach them to your favors.
Help your fashion-savvy teenager stay organized with an embellished makeup bag. Glue foam cutouts as a base, then add buttons, beads, and other eye-catching detail.
Lay down the table rules in black and white, or in this case, blue and yellow, with sun-printed place mats. The process is simple: Place items on blue light-sensitive paper. (Available at art stores and online, light-sensitive paper comes in a variety of sizes.) Set the assemblage in the sun for a few minutes. The paper that's exposed to the sun will turn pale blue, while the part blocked from the sun will remain medium blue. Then dip the paper in water, which makes the colors reverse so the exposed areas turn bright blue and the covered areas turn a pale blue that's almost white.
Try creating designs in a desktop publishing program and printing them on acetate transparencies. (A copy shop can do this for you.) The resulting sun print will have a clean line and is limited only by your imagination.
Let the paper dry. To make the place mats durable and easy to clean, have them laminated at a copy shop.