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
Delight in memories of the beach long after your vacation ends with ocean-inspired decor.
Relive vacation memories when you snuggle up with a pillow. Scan a map or photo and print the image on transfer paper, available at office supply stores. Iron the image onto fabric. To save time, take the image to a copy center to have it copied onto the fabric for you. Sew your own pillow or attach the fabric to a small ready-made accent pillow.
Highlight your vacation with a bulletin board that serves as a scrapbook and tour guide. Cover the bulletin board frame with sand-color paint. Cut a map to fit the corkboard and use decoupage medium to adhere it. Create travel-inspired pushpins by gluing shells, miniature compasses, or other mementos onto flat pins to show where you've been (and to display matchbooks, ticket stubs, and photos you saved along the way).
Here's a variation on traditional alphabet blocks that serves as a centerpiece and game. Sand the sides and corners of 2-inch wooden blocks and paint them soft sea colors. Cut 2-inch squares from maps and photos and decoupage the squares on each block. Stack the blocks for a fun conversation piece or arrange them in a tray as a kind of puzzle.
For an ocean-fresh splash in the tub, string denizens of the sea along your shower curtain. Nab shells from a beach vacation or purchase some from a crafts store. Drill a small hole in the starfish (no need to drill holes in the sand dollars -- they have one), string them on cotton cording, and loop the cording through shower rings.
Display vacation or travel snapshots memory-book-style on an accordion-fold card, available at paper stores. Use gummed photo corners to attach photos. Decorate the front of the card with a sand dollar and prop it up with flowers or shells.
To show off a shapely conch picked up on the beach, pour sand in a glass cylinder vase. Arrange the conch to call attention to its natural beauty. Stand the vase on its own or rest another shell or two against the base.
Slip a map section into the window of a purchased photo album. Punch tiny grommets into all four sides of a photo, string cotton twine through the grommet holes, and tie the photo across the map around the album cover. Glue on a shell as a textural accent.