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
Add a splash of color and style to your decor with decorative paper. Use paper to enhance wall art, lamps, pillows, serving trays, and more.
These whimsical paper roses adhered around the base of a simple white shade soften a geometric lamp and add a touch of charm. Sketch a circular swirl on drawing-weight paper (available at crafts stores). Cut to create a paper coil. Roll the paper tightly starting at the outside end of the coil. Release the coil slightly and hot-glue the end to retain the flower shape.
Create confetti curtains for your windows from cut paper. Cut out squares from different weights of paper with a die-cut punch (available at scrapbooking stores) or scissors. Sew the squares together, spacing regularly, to make a string as long as your window frame; tie knots at the top of each square and at the bottom of each string to secure. Hang each on a tension rod from curtain clips. These curtains are a great way to decorate a boring window without blocking out natural light. Get creative and use different colors for your garland depending on your room's color scheme or the season.
These delicate petals create an elegant centerpiece whether scattered down the center of a table or piled on a platter. To create, cut a flower shape or 3-inch circles from eight layers of tissue paper. Place in a stack. Next, poke a hole through the stack with a pin. Pull the paper off the tip of a twist tie and insert the exposed wire through the paper layers. Twist the wire to create the flower center. Make the flower bloom by gently pulling up one layer at a time.
Quilling is a simple yet elegant way to embellish home accessories, such as a white picture frame. To create, cut paper into 1/8-inch-wide strips with a ruler and crafts knife; vary the lengths of the strips. Load a strip onto a slotted quilling tool (find tools and kits at quilledcreations.com). Twist the tool to coil the paper tightly. Once coiled, pull the paper off the tool and release slowly to uncoil slightly to your desired size. When finished, the quills can be glued to objects, such as a picture frame, to add a beautiful decoration to an otherwise plain frame.
Create sentimental wall art for your home. Piece together diamond shapes of personalized scrap material that features fun colors, textures, typography, or images near and dear to your heart. Everything from book covers to beer cases to photographs will work for this project. Once you've compiled the art, purchase an inexpensive frame to pull the piece together.
Create personalized artwork on your computer. Type a favorite saying or song lyrics, then play around with font style, size, and color until you find the perfect fit for your room design. After printing it out, mount it on patterned paper and put it inside an inexpensive frame. This is the perfect way to make a fun piece of attention-grabbing art that fits the style and mood of your room.
Dress up a bland dresser by lining the drawers with bright, fun paper. Select patterned wrapping paper that matches your room and attach the paper to the bottom using double-stick tape. The paper gives a pop of color and personality to otherwise boring drawers.
A festive picture is all you need to put a modern twist on a centerpiece or serving dish. Print an image of colorful heirloom corn and cut it out to fit the dimensions of a long and narrow glass trivet. Brush a thin coat of decoupage medium on the trivet and adhere the image, gently rubbing it to smooth wrinkles. To clean, wipe the trivet with a lightly dampened rag. Create a serving dish you can use all year by choosing a nonseasonal image.
A clear-glass plate makes a clever frame for a profile shot of a pretty pumpkin or any other seasonal photo. Upload the image, size and cut to fit under the center of a plate, and adhere using decoupage medium. To clean, wipe plate with a lightly damped rag. Use the plates as decorative chargers or as wall art around your home.
Protect your tabletop and show your creativity with personalized coasters. Choose a favorite image and adhere it to the back of a clear coaster or, in this case, a pillar candleholder. These coasters are a creative, simple way to decorate for an upcoming holiday or to add a pop of color to the design of your room. To change the design, simply soak the coasters in water, peel off the paper backing, and start over.
Exotic Oriental papers transform the neutral furnishings and blue walls of this apartment from bland to beautiful. The first project: Add glam to an inexpensive lampshade by attaching a wide band of colorful paper with glue. Smaller bands of paper around the top and bottom edges give it a finished look. Keep clicking for helpful how-tos for all the paper projects you see here.
Create artwork to "ooh" and "aah" by covering inexpensive 12x12-inch artist canvases with attractive paper patterns. Wrap the canvas like a present with a 1- to 2-inch overhang. Attach the paper to the front with double-stick tape and secure the excess paper to the frame's back with electrical tape. If using multiple paper patterns, hid seams with decorative ribbon.
Paper just isn't practical for some purposes, such as soft and comfy throw pillows. Enter heat-transfer paper, which allows you to tattoo your favorite paper designs onto fabric. A copy center will reproduce a paper image onto an 11x17-inch sheet of transfer paper for cheap. Transfer the design to fabric using an iron and following the paper manufacturer's instructions. For an eye-catching change of scale, the patterns used on these pillows were enlarged by 250-400 percent before being copied to transfer paper.
Don't forget to dress your accessories in personalized designs. It took just five minutes to wrap this journal with a paper belt and a few seconds more to slip a leftover paper scrap into a photo pocket on the album.
For a high-impact, low-cost wall art solution, frame pretty paper in simple black frames. Add interest to the display by choosing different yet coordinating paper patterns and varying the size of the picture frames.
A colorful runner takes center stage in this dining room. Create stripes by attaching paper strips of varied widths using iron-on fusible webbing. The runner should equal the length of your table plus a 6- to 8-inch overhang on each end. To keep the runner straight, attach a few sections at a time, allowing each to cool under a heavy book before continuing.
Turn clear-glass bottles into a sweet centerpiece. Wrap several containers with thin strips of green paper and tie the strips ribbon-style. Dress up others by attaching pink-vinyl fabric with double-stick tape.
A yellow rose print becomes the base for this place mat. To add interest to the design, enlarge the pattern. (This rose print was enlarged 400 percent onto 11x17-inch paper at a copy center.) A 1-inch pink paper border with mitered edges neatly wraps things up. For a surface you can wipe down, spend a few dollars to have a copy center laminate each place mat, or do it yourself with laminating paper from an office supply store.
Prep for a party by suspending paper place cards on chair backs using no-frills shower-curtain hooks. Laminate the paper squares for reusable name plates. Use a dry-erase marker to write guests' names on each square. After the party, wipe off the names and store until the next gathering.
Get fast color with a light-diffusing, no-sew paper window treatment. Cut a 1x1-inch wood board to fit the window width. Attach two shades of green paper using iron-on fusible tape; trim to the same width as the board. Add a single pink sheet along the bottom of the green papers. Cover the seam with a 1-inch strip of dark pink paper. Glue the treatment to the board and secure to the window with screws. For added privacy, hang a roller shade or blind behind the paper.