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    Say it and celebrate it with a DIY letter board.

    January 15, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, January 15, 2021

    DIY letter board | Schlage

    Keep reading for some DIY letter board tips and some of our favorite quotes for every time of year.

     

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    Do you love those customizable message boards? They make it so easy to show your personality with a quirky saying or welcome guests at holiday time. If you’re feeling crafty or need some message inspiration, Schlage has you covered. Keep reading for some DIY letter board tips and some of our favorite quotes for every time of year.

    4 ways to make a DIY message board

    Always Rooney used a frame, dowels and wood glue to build a simple message board. The Scrabble-style letters are made with some flat birch wood and stick-on letters.

    A felt letter board gives you all kinds of options beyond just the message. Choose your favorite colors or swap them out by season. Smart Fun DIY shares their hacks for making this one work.
    Another option is a magnetic board. 4 Men 1 Lady installed this one in their kitchen as a message center. We think it would make an excellent start for a holiday board as well. You can use magnetic letters or, because this one also doubles as a dry erase board, to share your favorite quotes.
    A framed chalkboard is another fantastic alternative for a message board and the perfect chance to show off your artistic abilities. DIY Network shows how they turned a thrift store frame into a new, and useful, piece of art.

    Message board ideas

    But what to put on your new message board? Here’s a selection of some of our favorite letter board quotes for holidays, every day and special events.

    New Year’s

    1. 365 new days. 365 new chances.

    2. May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s Resolutions.

    3. Have a cup of cheer.

    4. Dear 2020, Bye Felicia.

    5. Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

    Valentine’s Day

    1. Love is in the air. Nope, that’s bacon.

    2. You’re the exclamation mark in the happiest sentence that I could ever write.

    3. All my better days are the ones spent with you.

    4. A house is made of walls and beams. A home is built with love and dreams.

    5. You’re the cheese to my macaroni.

    St. Patrick’s Day

    1. Shake your shamrock.

    2. The leprechauns made me do it.

    3. Luck is believing you’re lucky.

    4. A good friend is like a four-leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have.

    5. Wishing you a pot o’ gold and all the joy your heart can hold.

    Spring

    1. It’s almost spring. I’m so excited, I wet my plants.

    2. The earth laughs in flowers.

    3. Alexa, skip to spring break.

    4. Some bunny loves you.

    5. How do I like my eggs? Cadbury.

    Mother’s Day

    1. Mom was right about everything.

    2. The beauty you see in me is a reflection of you.

    3. May your coffee be stronger than your toddler.

    4. When I don’t know how to do something, I A. Google it or B. Call my mom.

    5. Mom: A title just above queen.

    Father’s Day

    1. Raising kids is a walk in the park … Jurassic Park.

    2. A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.

    3. Without dads, we wouldn’t have dad jokes.

    4. When my father didn’t have my hand, he had my back.

    5. There’s nothing that dad and duct tape can’t fix.

    Summer

    1. Summer should get a speeding ticket.

    2. Boat waves, sun rays and lake days.

    3. Summer as an adult: You get to do the same old things but sweatier.

    4. Bold stripes, bright stars, brave hearts.

    5. Party like it’s 1776.

    Back to School

    1. The future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.

    2. Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

    3. Keep calm and study like Granger.

    4. Dear Tea, No disrespect but this is a job for coffee. – Finals

    5. Education is our passport to the future.

    Fall

    1. At this point, my blood type is PSL.

    2. Thanks, fall. My muffin top is now a pumpkin roll.

    3. You’re never too old to jump into a pile of leaves.

    4. Fall is that beautiful moment between sweat and hypothermia.

    5. Oh my gourd, I love fall.

    Halloween

    1. I put a spell on you and now you're wine.

    2. If zombies are chasing us, I'm tripping you. Nothing personal.

    3. If one door closes and another opens, your house is probably haunted.

    4. Creep it real.

    5. Trick or treat yo’ self.

    Thanksgiving

    1. Grateful for the big things, small things and everything in between.

    2. Gratitude changes everything.

    3. May your turkey be moist … and may no one use that word to describe it.

    4. Thanksgiving: Not a good day to be my pants.

    5. I’m only a morning person on Black Friday.

    Winter

    1. Sweaters, hot chocolate, cozy blankets, baking cookies.

    2. January is like Monday … but longer.

    3. To Do: Make snow angels. Go ice skating. Eat a whole roll of cookie dough. Snuggle.

    4. Hey Elsa? The cold actually bothers the rest of us.

    5. It’s like winter is really mad and keeps storming out of the room and then coming back yelling, “And another thing!”

    Christmas

    1. Just gonna go lay under the tree to remind my family that I am a gift.

    2. Deck the halls with shiplap and freshly cut pine garland, fa la la la la la la la laaaa

    3. Leave me alone. I’m watching Hallmark movies.

    4. Free reindeer poop.

    5. This Christmas instead of gifts, I’m giving everyone my opinion. Get excited.

    New Baby

    1. I’m growing a human. What did you do today?

    2. You don’t realize how many people you dislike until you have to name a baby.

    3. Pink or blue, we love you.

    4. Don’t tell a mom she looks tired. She knows that. Tell her she’s doing a great job. She may not know that.

    5. Nothing in this bag belongs to me. #MomLife

    Home

    1. I’m “I just used the hashtag #garagegoals” years old.

    2. Throw pillows are the stuff animals of grown women.

    3. Sorry about the mess but we live here.

    4. You call it empty nest. I call it new craft room.

    5. I’m at the “admires subway tile” phase of adulthood.

    Just Because

    1. If speaking kindly to plants helps them grow, imagine what speaking kindly to humans can do.

    2. May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.

    3. Less is more. Unless it’s kindness. Or sleep. Or toilet paper.

    4. Do more things that make you forget to check your phone.

    5. Be a fountain, not a drain.

    Home décor, holiday decorations, stylish details and simple how-tos. You can find all this and more at the Schlage blog. We’d love to see your best message boards, too. Share them with us on Instagram.

     

    6 easy steps for keeping your home clean with pets.

    January 12, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, January 12, 2021

    Clean home with pets | Schlage

    Check out these six tips for a stylish and clean house, even when you have pets. And because your Schlage writers and editors are huge animal lovers, we also share real-life insider hints to make your life easier.

     

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    They’re cute and cuddly and man’s best friend and we love them. They’re also messy. Whether you’re a long-time pet owner or adopted your first rescue during quarantine, we could all use a little help keeping our homes clean with four-legged friends. Check out these six tips for a stylish and clean house, even when you have pets. And because your Schlage writers and editors are huge animal lovers, we also share real-life insider hints to make your life easier.
    Cat in cat house in living room.

    Corral pet supplies

    To keep your home from feeling cluttered and dirty, invest in some storage for all your pet’s gear. You can camouflage it by having it blend in with the rest of your décor, maybe by matching the dog’s basket to the others holding hats and umbrellas in the coat closet. This might be a perfect opportunity to have some extra fun with your storage solutions, though. Choose dog tail hooks for holding leashes or a cat-shaped storage basket that’s almost too cute to pass up. This nautical storage would be gorgeous and effective for stashing fish food and supplies.

    It’s not just about storage, though. Think about having a single location for all the supplies, even those your pet uses every day. For example, their food bowls, litter box and carrier might be corralled in the same room. Just like most people don’t like to see their kids’ toys strewn all over the house because it looks messy, you’ll want to keep Fluffy’s belongings collected.

     

    Editor’s Pick: Instead of having a giant tub of pet food sitting out all the time, I put smaller quantities in a ceramic jar near their bowl. It blended in with the rest of the kitchen and was handy for easy feedings. I picked the jar up at a thrift store, too, making it budget-friendly.

    Groom pets regularly

    When you groom your pets regularly, either by bathing or simply brushing, you’ll limit the hairy trail they leave behind. Extra-fluffy pets and doggos that like to roll in the leaves also collect plenty of debris in their fur. Brushing and checking for bugs regularly will keep them from tracking it throughout the house and bringing pests indoors.

    Dog getting groomed with brush.
    Editor’s Pick: I love this grooming glove for cats and dogs. We hear it even works on rabbits. Tripawd Gus sheds a ton for shorthair tabby and it helps keep the tumbleweeds under control. He loves the feel of it, too.

    Gus the cat taking a nap

    Here’s a second tip we learned too late. Plan to vacuum after brushing instead of the other way around. That way, any hair that escapes the glove or brush will get picked up right away and you only have to sweep once. And if you brush them before you get dressed for the day, you won’t have to lint roll your clothes, either.

    Create a dog washing station

    Part of keeping your home clean is keeping the worst of the dirt out in the first place. If you have an indoor/outdoor pet, create a cleaning station to wipe muddy paws before they hit the carpet. It might be fancy like this one by Oliver Designs or more simply made with things you already have around the house. A basket with old towels, paw cleaner and, of course, a few treats by the entryway is basic but can make a big impact on your overall cleaning routine.

    Editor’s Pick: Consider adding shake-friendly flooring and wall materials in your entryway. We didn’t have a true dog-washing station or a covered porch, which meant our Labrador, Vader, shook all the rain off right inside the door. The ceramic tile was easy to clean and saved the living room carpet, but I still wish we’d invested in wall tile or a similar covering that was easier to maintain.

    Design with pets in mind

    When you keep furry and feathered friends in mind when decorating your home, you’ll help keep them safe. You’ll also protect your home from the wear and tear that comes with pet ownership. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    Dog laying in bed with toilet paper.
    • Toilet paper covers: If your pet unfurled or shredded the roll during the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020, you know the struggle is real. A toilet paper holder that hides the roll could work for you. Other pet owner suggestions include a vertical dispenser, which can be harder for some pets to unravel, or placing the dispenser higher and out of paw’s reach. This last one is controversial, but we’ll say it anyway. Place the roll so it dispenses from underneath. It won’t work for all pets, but it’s worth a shot.

    • Patterned fabrics: Dark rugs and fabrics don’t always hide dirt as well as we think they will, and if you have a white cat, you’ll see every last hair all the time. Patterned fabrics will do a better job of hiding everyday messes while also adding style to your décor.

    • Easy-to-clean paint: When painting your walls, choose a satin or semi-gloss finish. These are easier to clean than most flat paints. They’re also relatively easy to touch up if claws and swinging tails cause damage.

    • Metal over wood: If you have a chewer on your hands – here’s looking at you puppy owners – consider furniture with metal legs instead of wood. They’ll be less likely to gnaw on them and even if they do, the damage will be less.

    • Indoor/outdoor rugs: They might not be as lush as a Persian rug, but most indoor/outdoor rugs now come in a range of colors and styles to fit the look of nearly any room. They’re also more durable and easier to clean, making it a good fit for nearly any pet.
    Editor’s Pick: When I found the super-mischievous Gus sitting in my crockpot – he knows how to open cabinet doors – I invested in these childproof locks. Now I don’t find cat hair in my pots and pans, and he’s safer being kept away from the cleaning supplies I store under the sink. Plus, they locks are the same color as my cabinets, so it still looks great.

    Gus the cat next to a pumpkin

    Choose your scoop wisely

    No one likes to scoop the litter box, but if you want to keep the odor down, you’ll have to do it often. How often depends on your cat’s biology and how many you have. If tracking is an issue, investigate different kinds of litter. We know cats can be picky about what touches those precious toe beans, but it might be worth some trial and error if it means you can sweep less and play more. Finally, get a small trash can with a lid. The lid controls odor and the small size means you’re forced to empty it regularly before the smell builds up too much.

    Cat toe beans
    Editor’s Pick: I’ve tried recycled newspaper pellets and more traditional clumping litter. There was less tracking with the pellets, although it didn’t eliminate the mess completely. My cats weren’t picky about using either one, but I ultimately opted for the traditional litter because it scooped better. Then I commissioned knitted reusable Swiffer pads from a friend for easy and environmentally friendly cleaning.

    Invest in a pet-friendly vacuum and use it frequently

    Vacuums that do more than just say they’re tough on pet hair will probably cost a bit more, but you’ll be glad you spent the extra money when it does the job right. Pick a model that works best with your home and type of pet. That means that if you have carpeted stairs and a Great Pyrenees dog, get a vacuum that’s lightweight or with a good attachment for collecting all that floof. If you have a bird, look for a vacuum that does a good job of collecting heavier material like seed and nuts. Maybe you want a vacuum that’s extra quiet so your skittish kitty doesn’t run for the hills every time you turn it on. Whatever you choose, use that vacuum on rugs, curtains, lamps shades and in your car, not just floors and couch cushions.

    Red chow chow dog on blue couch.

    Family Handyman recommends vacuuming daily when you have pets. To be honest, that sounds like a lot if you have a life, so maybe try to vacuum those high-traffic areas – your pet’s favorite rug or spot on the couch – daily and save the rest for later.

     

    Editor’s Pick: I use this small handheld vacuum for tight spaces and in between full vacuuming. It’s been great for picking up kitty litter that escapes the box and for quick spot cleans on the couch. Plus, as much as I love my hand-me-down Dyson, it’s heavy. This hand vac has been invaluable for cleaning the 18 stairs in my home. Yes, I’ve counted.

     

    Pet ownership is a lot of work, but we wouldn’t trade it for the world. Know how to go the extra mile for your fur babies. Visit the Schlage blog for tips on moving with pets, keeping them safe during holidays and even designing the perfect dog-friendly porch. Know a new pet owner? Congratulate them with something from our gift guide.

     

    Small ways to avoid a big mess: 9 quick steps to getting organized.

    January 8, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, January 8, 2021

    Quick organization routines | Schlage

    Instead of getting bogged down by the magnitude of the job, trying breaking your organizational goals into bite-sized tasks.

     

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    Declaring that this is the year you finally get organized can suddenly feel overwhelming. The intention is good, but now you have to make it happen. Instead of getting bogged down by the magnitude of the job, trying breaking your organizational goals into bite-sized tasks. Tackle smaller messes in just a few minutes every day to avoid more time-consuming deep cleaning sessions. These nine quick steps to organization can get you started.
    Dog watching man put clothes in drawer.

    Create a daily to-do list

    At the end of each day, make a checklist of what you need to accomplish tomorrow. This will help you remember those small jobs, plus keep your mind decluttered while you’re balancing all the other responsibilities. If it’s a larger task, list the smaller steps you need to take to be successful. Not only will the project seem less daunting, but you’ll also feel better about the progress you make along the way and be more likely to actually complete it.

    Find a home for everything – and put it there

    If you don’t want to be surrounded by clutter, you need a designated spot for your belongings. And then you need to actually put them there. Bills won’t get misplaced, your keys won’t go missing and kids’ homework will (maybe) get turned in on time when they’re stored in the right place.

     

    Your home will also look cleaner when everything is in its designated place. Throw blankets and pillows should go in a basket or back on the appropriate chair or couch. Coats should go in the closet or on a hook. Shoes should go in the boot tray or rack in the closet. Small kitchen appliances can be stored after use to keep counters clear. Each of these tasks can be completed in a few minutes, but the result will look like you put in a lot more effort.

     

    If you aren’t sure where something’s “home” is, think about grouping like items together where you use them most often. This might mean toiletries in a bin for the bathroom linen closet, or you might give each person in the family their own basket for hats, gloves, sunglasses or umbrellas in the entryway.

     

    There are plenty of simple DIY organization solutions if you don’t already have what you. Try creating a landing strip for items you need to get out of the house quickly in the mornings, install a command center or repurpose items from around the house to work better with your new, cleaner lifestyle.

    Clear off surfaces

    One surefire way to feel like you’re constantly surrounded by clutter is to always see things on tables, countertops and desks. When you get up in the morning, remove anything that’s not immediately needed from your nightstand. Especially if you work from home, tidy up your desktop when you call it quits for the day. It’s hard to unwind and disconnect from work if you can still see those files when you should be relaxing. And of course, there’s the coffee table. Magazines that are more than a month or two old, dishes, the kids’ craft projects should all be cleared off regularly to keep your home looking and feeling sharp.

    Organize one drawer at a time

    Our gut reaction when it comes to getting organized is often one of being overwhelmed. Try not to fall into the trap of thinking you have to KonMari every closet in one night. Organize one drawer at a time. You might start with one dresser drawer. Once you’re through those, tackle each kitchen drawer individually, then each desk drawer and each file cabinet drawer. In most cases, you’ll finish the one-drawer job within a few minutes, maybe even while you’re waiting for the kids to finish brushing their teeth.

    Clean one bag

    Just like you’re going to tackle one drawer at a time, do the same with your bags. It could be a purse, backpack, computer bag or gym bag. Take out items you don’t need, restock things you use regularly like breath mints, wipe out any crumbs or lint, and deodorize as needed. Because we said gym bags.

    Take notes

    It’s a good idea to carry a small notebook or use a note-taking app on your phone. Use it to track your to-do and shopping lists, errands you need to run, people you need to call or email, and random ideas you get throughout the day. Most of us can’t remember all that information reliably and we feel less cluttered mentally when we have a backup.

     

    Just as importantly, keep these notes stored in one place. If you rely on scribbles on the back of a receipt or post-its throughout the house, you’re likely to feel disorganized as you endlessly search for that one note … I swear it was right here!

    Manage your calendar

    The benefits here are twofold. First, when you learn to budget your time better and can see what’s coming down the pike, you’ll be more likely to schedule and stick to your new organization routines. Second, you’ll be better able to spend time where it matters most.

     

    Use your calendar to RSVP to invites as soon as possible. That doesn’t mean always saying yes, though. Knowing when to turn down an opportunity can free you for more time with the family or recharge for your own health.

    Clean out your wallet

    If you keep receipts, ticket stubs or other scraps of paper your kids hand you throughout the day, you’ll want to declutter your wallet before it gets too unwieldly. File your receipts or scan them if you need them for future reference or reimbursements. If you still carry cash, make sure you didn’t spend the last of it and remove the heavy collection of coins. You might also clean and disinfect the wallet itself occasionally, too. We’re guessing it doesn’t happen often enough.

    Pick one thing and put it away

    If it’s all getting to be just too much, go for the easy win. Pick one thing and put it away. It could be tossing out that one piece of junk mail or putting the dirty bowl in the dishwasher instead of leaving it on the counter. Low-hanging fruit still tastes sweet.

     

    When you’re looking for more tips for getting – and staying – organized, the Schlage blog has you covered. We share not only how to keep your home clean and healthy, but also DIY projects to help make your organizational goals a success. Find us at Schlage.com/blog or on Pinterest and Instagram.

     

    Keep your home healthy with these 10 quick cleaning routines.

    January 7, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, January 7, 2021

    Quick cleaning routines | Schlage

    Don’t wait for April to do your spring cleaning. Build these 10 habits into your regular cleaning routine now.

     

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    Every year, countless Americans set the same New Year’s resolution: To clean and organize their home. One of the best ways to keep that resolution is to break it down into manageable, bite-sized jobs. Tackle small messes before they become big and overwhelming. Adopt the mindset that you don’t have to make everything perfect right now and chip away at your to-do list a little bit each day. With that in mind, don’t wait for April to do your spring cleaning, either. Build these 10 habits into your regular cleaning routine now.
    Little girl sweeping the floor.

    Clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces

    Disinfecting is top-of-mind for many of us these days and for good reason. Pay special attention to the items you touch frequently – there are probably more than you realize – and clean them regularly. Think remote controls, computer keyboards, light switches, door and cabinet handles, knobs and buttons on kitchen appliances and the nozzles on soap dispensers. Before using chemicals on anything, check the manufacturer’s instructions. Some cleaning solutions can damage finishes or cause electronics to malfunction. Here are Schlage’s suggestions for how to clean and disinfect door hardware.

    Make the bed

    It’s a quick job that starts your day on the right foot. If you get nothing else done all day, at least you can cross this one off your list. You’ll also feel better coming home to relax when you see a fresh, nicely made-up bad each night instead of a rumpled reminder of one more unfinished chore.

    Take off shoes and put them where they belong

    We step in a lot of questionable things throughout the day. If you don’t take your shoes off when you get home, you’re just tracking all that dirt and grime into your home. Get a stylish door mat for your porch or garage entry and remove your shoes when you come in. Go the extra … ahem … step and put them away immediately, whether that’s on a boot tray inside the door or in your bedroom closet. Your home will feel less cluttered and, therefore, cleaner.

    Clean as you go

    We said before not to let messes accumulate. The smaller ones are easier to tackle, so we recommend cleaning as you go about your day. When making dinner, wipe the counters and stovetop before food splatter has a chance to get baked on. When you’ve finished your morning bathroom routine, wipe down those counters, the sink and even the inside of the shower to minimize the appearance of water droplets and mildew.

     

    This rule applies to special projects, too. Whether gardening or working on a DIY project, clean your tools as soon as you’re done. It will help keep them in good working condition and your garage will look tidier. If it’s a craft project like scrapbooking or sewing, put your supplies back in their designated spot to stay organized.

    Avoid pileups

    Do you fall victim to these three common home maintenance jams? Piles of laundry, stacked dishes and heaps of mail can make your home feel messy, not to mention leave you frazzled. Instead of leaving all your laundry for a weekend marathon, commit to doing a load twice a week. Also commit to putting away clean clothes as soon as they’re dry. You’ll feel better about not stringing the chore out for days.

     

    Lots of experts recommend running the dishwasher every day. Depending on the size of your family, that might not be realistic. Personally, we don’t have enough dirty dishes at the end of the day to make it worth the water. Still, making sure there are no dirty dishes on the counter or in the sink can go a long way toward keeping your kitchen spotless and inviting.

     

    Because we all have things we need or want to do when we get home at the end of the day – start dinner, play with the kids, put our feet up with a glass of wine for a few minutes – we don’t think it’s necessary to open every piece of mail immediately. However, it does help to do a cursory sort sooner rather than later. An editor at The Spruce put a shredder near her door to eliminate the eye sore of junk mail piles. A basket at your entryway’s landing strip is also helpful for containing the mail that still needs attention.

    Get rid of junk drawers

    Junk drawers are great for collecting miscellaneous items. However, they can also hurt our organization goals when they cause us to keep things we don’t need. According to Apartment Therapy, one of the reasons Scandinavian-style homes often look so clean is because they don’t have a ton of storage space. That forces them to dispense with the clutter and only keep what’s necessary. Try ditching the junk drawer and find a legitimate home for your items. If you can’t figure out where to store something, re-evaluate how much you actually need it in your life.

    Get an upstairs/downstairs basket

    If you’re tired of making hundreds of trips up and down the steps every day just to put things away, place a basket at either end of your stairs. As you find another toy that needs to go down to the play room or a book that belongs up in the office, toss it in. When the basket gets full, make one trip and put each item where it belongs. That’s fewer steps for you and less clutter accumulating on the floor or ledge by the stairs.

    Start at the top

    When cleaning, it’s usually a good idea to start at the top and work your way down. That could mean cleaning the ceilings, then touching up any scuffs on the wall, then the baseboards and finally the floor. Maybe it’s dusting the top bookshelves and working your way down, letting the dust settle before you vacuum the floors. Yours truly always wipes down the kitchen counters before vacuuming so that any crumbs that fall still get picked up.

     

    Use the same concept if you’re cleaning a house with pets . Groom your furry friends first, then vacuum to catch any hair or clippings that might have escaped.

    Limit hard-to-clean textiles

    With so many textures, colors and patterns, fabrics are a great way to add style and comfort to your home. We’ve recommended upholstered headboards more than once, especially if you’re into Art Deco style. Unfortunately, they can also collect a lot of dust and be difficult to clean. Make it easier to maintain your home’s cleanliness by choosing textiles strategically. Opt for area rugs where you need cozy toes instead of wall-to-wall carpet. Choose an accent wall or large artwork instead of a headboard or bed canopy.

    Shine mirrors regularly

    A dull mirror is a surefire way to make the rest of your home also look dull. Whether it’s just a buildup of dust and everyday dirt on a foyer mirror or toothpaste splatter in the bathroom, take time to buff your mirrors regularly. Use a microfiber cloth, coffee filter or old T-shirt instead of a regular rag, which can leave lint behind and ruin your hard work.

     

    Need help keeping your DIY New Year’s resolutions? We can help. Also watch the Schlage blog for a new home improvement checklist each month. These small steps spread out over time will help you stay organized and keep your home looking great now and for years to come.

     

    Home improvement projects to complete in January.

    January 6, 2021 6:15 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, January 6, 2021

    January home improvement checklist | Schlage

    Use this checklist of DIY and home improvement projects to keep everything working efficiently, looking stylish and protecting your family.

     

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    A new year brings new opportunities, even for your home. Use this checklist of DIY and home improvement projects to keep everything working efficiently, looking stylish and protecting your family. We also have some ideas to help you plan for the future, impact your community and make smarter purchases on the things you need for your home.
    Modern farmhouse winter front porch.

    Indoor home checklist

    Check these items off your to-do list when heading outside just doesn’t sound fun.

    Modern farmhouse living room.

    checkbox Check safety devices and replace batteries.

    This includes smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well as fire extinguishers, radon detectors and smart locks. Make sure they’re still working and install new ones as necessary.

     

    checkbox Protect pipes from freezing.

    Frozen pipes can burst, which can then lead to leaks, flooding and headaches. Insulate your pipes and keep your thermostat consistent and no lower than 55 degrees, even if you’re away. Keeping your garage door closed can help, too.

     

    checkbox Improve lighting.

    Long winter nights can feel less dreary with better indoor lighting. Change your bulbs or install new lighting in a dark corner. Clean your lampshades or switch to ones that let more light through. The extra illumination will not only improve your mood but can improve your security, too. Place your lights on an automatic timer to make your home look lived in.

     

    checkbox Refresh play spaces.

    Organize board games, clear out toys the kids don’t use or were replaced with recent gifts and raise the coziness of your home theater. There’s still a lot of winter left, so now’s a great time to give these spaces a lift.

     

    checkbox Organize closets.

    Declutter to start the new year with a fresh outlook. Your bedroom closet is the obvious place to tackle, but don’t forget linen and storage closets, entryway and coat closets, and even that weird little one in the basement that looks like the entrance to a troll house.

     

    checkbox Create a healthy kitchen.

    If this is the year you eat healthier, set your kitchen up to help you succeed. Beyond clearing the junk food out of the pantry, look at your floorplan. Do you have enough workspace so you can prep healthy meals? If not, find ways to clear the countertops. Purge unused appliances and solve your storage dilemmas for all those serving utensils, Tupperware lids and baking sheets. Improve cabinets with pull-out shelving and lazy susans to help you find things more easily so it’s less of a hassle to cook.

     

    checkbox Maintain hardware.

    Clean your door hardware to start and use it as an opportunity to inspect it really well. If it doesn’t latch correctly, the knob tends to come off in your hand or there are dings and scratches in the finish, consider replacing it. It’s a quick and simple job, perfect for the post-holiday bustle.

     

    checkbox Conquer hidden dirt.

    All those places that rarely see a rag – under the toaster oven, behind the fridge, beneath the couch cushions, behind the toilet? Now’s the time to give them a good scrub, vacuum and shine.

     

    checkbox Update or create a home inventory.

    A home inventory can be extremely useful for insurance purposes. After the holidays is a great time to update it and make sure new items are recorded.

     

    checkbox Organize paperwork.

    Focusing on two areas here. First, cull through warranties and instruction manuals. Toss those that are no longer valid or that go with items you don’t own anymore. Second, collect financial records and anything else you’ll need to do your taxes. Remember your digital records as well as paper copies.

    Outdoor home checklist

    With colder weather, it’s good to keep your outdoor to-do list short. Even in winter, though, here are four things you’ll want to take care of to keep your home safe.

    Modern farmhouse exterior during winter.

    checkbox Maintain trees and bushes.

    Although we don’t think of landscaping in January, you’ll want to inspect trees and bushes for winter storm damage. Knock heavy snow from branches. If there are weak spots in the branches or trunk, trim them or call in a pro to remove them before they fall and cause damage to your home, car or someone visiting.

     

    checkbox Inspect for storm damage.

    Especially if you had harsh December weather, check the exterior of your home for damage caused by ice, snow and wind. Keep an eye out for missing shingles, damage to brickwork and siding, and leaks.

     

    checkbox Start planting

    Yes, you can grow flowers and vegetables in January. What you grow depends on your zone. For the really cold regions, focus on indoor herbs. Warmer locales can start seeds for tomatoes, peppers and onions indoors and have them ready to transplant when the temps rise.

     

    checkbox Remove holiday decorations.

    When you’re ready to call an end to the festivities, pack everything up and take this chance to get rid of décor that doesn’t bring you joy. If you didn’t display it this year, donate it. For the items you do keep, label boxes clearly, wind light strings neatly and organize everything as much as possible to make next year’s holiday even easier.

    For the future

    Some projects require a bit of extra planning. Start thinking about these tasks for upcoming months.

    Cozy decor with wooden blocks spelling home.

    checkbox Plan major remodeling and decorating projects.

    Start with a dream list, then whittle it down based on your plans for the new year and what you can handle. Do you plan to sell your home in the next 12 months? Will your family grow or will kids move out? Is retirement and downsizing on the horizon? Are you going to adopt a puppy and need better fencing? You might also want to create a budget and a strategy for saving up for those bigger jobs.

     

    checkbox Set fun New Year’s resolutions.

    Skip the “lose 10 pounds” goals and try something like “learn how to refinish an old side table” or “grow a vegetable garden.” Then check out this step-by-step guide to keeping your DIY resolutions.

    For the greater good

    Lend a helping hand to someone in need or just to make them smile.

    Person shoveling snow.

    checkbox Shovel a neighbor’s driveway.

    Whether it’s an elderly neighbor worried about slipping on ice or someone who just hates to be in the cold, clearing their drive is an incredibly nice gesture. Make them happy, keep them safe, maybe get a plate of thank-you cookies for your effort.

     

    checkbox Make time for yourself.

    In the holiday chaos, you might have forgotten what it’s like to just relax. Carve out some time and a calming spot at home to do something just for you.

    In case you missed it

    We get it. Some things just don’t get done when you want them to. Here are a few home DIY projects you probably wish you’d taken care of earlier this winter.

    Modern farmhouse exterior with snow on roof.

    checkbox Update your emergency kit

    Restock your first aid kit and make sure you have plenty of back-up supplies in the event of extended power outages from winter storms. At a minimum, you’ll want a flashlight with extra batteries, portable cell phone charger, non-perishable food and water, and spare blankets.

     

    checkbox Prevent ice damming.

    An ice dam traps the snow and can cause leaks around your roof line. Use a roof or snow rake to remove the snow and ice after each storm.

    Time to buy

    Looking for a great deal on home goods, electronics or tools? Some items are best purchased at specific times of the year. Here are some of the items Consumer Reports says are great buys in January.

    New kitchen stove.

    checkbox Appliances: Wall ovens, humidifiers

     

    checkbox Electronics: Televisions, sound bars

     

    checkbox Fitness equipment: Elliptical machines, treadmills

     

    checkbox Home goods: Bedsheets, scales

     

    We know there’s a lot on this list and you might not have much experience with some of the tasks. Find advice and how-to guides for a variety of DIY projects at the Schlage blog.

     

    7 amazing remodels that came out of 2020.

    December 30, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020

    2020 remodels| Schlage

    Here are some home renovation projects from 2020 you’ll want to remember.

     

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    Who really wants to look back at 2020? What are the highlights for those typical year-end top-10 lists? While things have been difficult to say the least, some of us were able to make lemonade out of some pretty sour lemons. We used our extra stay-at-home time to learn new DIY skills and finally tackle some of the projects on our list. The best part, we transformed our homes to make them work for us better than ever. Here are some home renovation projects from 2020 you’ll actually want to remember.

    Better kitchens for more homemade meals

    When restaurant dining areas closed, homecooked meals became the norm rather than the exception. We took to the kitchen like never before, but unfortunately, many homeowners came to realize that their kitchens just didn’t work for them. The layout was bad, they didn’t have the right tools or the space was just plain uninspiring. That’s why kitchen remodels top our list of favorite 2020 upgrades.

    Pretty Handy Girl

    Brittany of Pretty Handy Girl had her work cut out for her with this tiny, closed-off 1950s kitchen, but we love how she brought the best of Mid-Century Modern style to this space. One of the biggest tasks was knocking out some walls, which made the newly remodeled kitchen feel larger and brighter with more natural light. Brittany then relied on light fixtures, graphic wall décor and cabinets to capture that popular mid-century vibe.

    After she knocked out that wall, there was only one door to contend with and Brittany installed a Schlage Latitude lever with Century trim on it. The straight lines of the hardware fit right in with the overall style, and the Matte Black finish was the perfect complement to the dark finishes of the open shelving and granite countertop. If ever there was a transformation that was both modern and classic, this is it.

    I Spy DIY

    Jenni’s original kitchen was one tone – ugh. The gorgeous remodel, on the other hand, hit all the right notes. It’s a beautiful mix between soft and bright with dark and bold. The porcelain tile backsplash over the stove and natural wood complement the black cabinets better than you might expect. Even Jenni said the black cabinetry was a bit of leap of faith for her. To make them look even more high-end, she added brass cabinet pulls.

    Which brings us to another highlight. Mixing metals was done to perfection here. Those brass pulls play well with the brass in the light fixture over the butcher block and the undertones in the natural wood. Meanwhile, the stainless steel faucet complements the appliances and grays in the flooring. And finally, black. We already mentioned the black cabinets, so it makes perfect sense to pull that in again with the lighting over the door, pot racks and a Matte Black Schlage Custom™ Dempsey lever with Rosewood trim.

    Reworked space for business and pleasure

    Like kitchens, home offices were in high demand this year. In many homes, that meant carving out workspace where there wasn’t one before. Working from home and e-learning required dedicated areas for focus and productivity instead of open floor plans and new levels of privacy. To find those, we renovated creatively.

    Homemade by Carmona

    Ursula of Homemade by Carmona took a deep closet that wasn’t being used to its fullest potential and turned it into the perfect nook office. There’s so much to love about this remodel. The shelves were handmade, and the desk drawers are actually repurposed cabinet bases. On top of it all, it’s the fine details that make this look like an intentional space, not just somewhere you randomly stuck a table. The brass on the lighting fixture, chair legs and door knob trim help tie it all together.

    If you’re wondering about those doors, Ursula used bifold doors, which are great for spaces where you don’t have much swing clearance. She then added non-turning Schlage Custom™ Hobson glass knobs with a Satin Brass Collins trim. Learn more about non-turning door knobs with this guide.

    Anthony Carrino

    We so often choose older homes for their character. Anthony Carrino did exactly that with this 100-year-old firehouse and then ramped up the character with his own flair. Your eye is probably drawn to the eclectic décor, especially the antlers and gold-print wallpaper, that has a more modern feel. But a closer look reveals he’s kept many vintage touches. An original firepole remains in the corner, the brass bar cart is definitely a nod to the 1920s and that door hardware? The Schlage Custom™ Alexandria knob with Collins trim is almost as classic as they come.

    Before

    With such a collection of styles in one room, what’s to keep it from looking chaotic? For starters, all those warm finishes tie it together. The gold of the fireman’s pole is mirrored in the wallpaper, bar cart and door hardware. And those tones play nicely with the warm browns in Anthony’s comfy chairs.

     

    That this is an office space is almost lost, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We’ve all grown used to making a home office out of nothing or, now that we’re spending more time there, personalizing our office to be more comfortable and enjoyable. Quite simply, we love this example of a home office that captures the homeowner’s personality and style.

    DIY doors for a new welcoming statement

    Many of us found ways to make small projects pay off big this year. For some it was a garden project or upcycling old coffee tables, but for others, it was updating doors. We often forget about doors during interior remodels, but we bet you’ll remember these before-and-after transformations.

    Yellow Brick Home

    It’s hard to believe that this hallway started out as part of a dark, dank basement. Kim and Scott of Yellow Brick Home took this den area from an unfinished space with cinder block walls to a complete rental apartment with two bedrooms, a bathroom, laundry and kitchenette.

     

    To save money, they needed a way to hide their utilities instead of relocating them, too. All of those changes meant doors, doors and more doors. To brighten up the basement space, they chose these beautiful five-panel doors in an airy white. Dark door hardware adds a bit of drama and style without making the hall feel gloomy again.

     

    The transitional-style Schlage Custom™ Hobson knobs with Matte Black Century trims are the perfect complement to their 100-year-old house. They stay true to the home’s architecture without feeling outdated. In the end, it’s hard to even remember what this basement looked like before.

    Jenna Sue Design Co.

    When Jenna bought a 1940s fixer upper, the house came with what we’ll generously call a diverse mix of doors. In the course of updating the home, this DIYer recognized the importance of doors for overall sophistication and found new ones that not only created a more cohesive style but matched the era of the home as well. The finishing touch of this makeover is the glass Schlage Hobson knob with Century trim. Just like we saw in the Yellow Brick Home above, it’s a classic look that’s hard not to love.

    In areas where multiple doors can be seen, like in this hallway, Jenna chose matching hardware and door paint colors. But this home remodel also shows where you can branch out with your style. With each room designed uniquely, Jenna chose different looks for inside the rooms. Case in point: this Schlage Georgian knob with Brookshire trim on a dark door. Between the hardware style and Antique Brass finish, it’s the perfect fit for traditional homes.
    If you read Jenna’s blog to the end, you’ll even see how she updated an interior door with one of our smart locks, the Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt. Because she plans to rent the house on Airbnb, the extra security is perfect for a supply closet where she can stash anything she doesn’t want guests to have access to. The keyless entry on this door will simplify their cleaning and turnover process, making the rental property easier to manage.

    Seeking Alexi

    Changing a closet door can’t really do that much, can it? DIYer Alexi shows it’s absolutely possible. The first before picture shows a dark, outdated hollow core door. We’ve all seen them and none of us loves them. Then she painted it a lighter color to match the walls and added the Schlage Latitude lever with Century trim.

     

    But Alexi wasn’t done yet. The final product is a sophisticated gray that works beautifully with other décor in the entryway. She also added some trim on the door, giving it architectural interest. It’s an ideal way to make hollow core doors look expensive even when you’re on a budget.

    After & Before

    With a whole new year ahead us, it’s time to stock up on inspiration. Get more ideas and how-to tips at the Schlage blog or follow us on Pinterest and Instagram. You can also check out our guide to accomplishing your DIY resolutions to make 2021 your best year yet.

     

    Twists on cookie classics to make your home smell like the holidays.

    December 18, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Friday, December 18, 2020

    Kids making Christmas cookies | Schlage

    This holiday season, make your home a haven with the classic smells of Christmas cookies.

     

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    Real estate agents say their smell can help sell your house quicker. A deep breath at holiday time might take you back to Grandma’s kitchen. We’re talking about cookies. So why is Schlage talking about baked goods? Because we believe that our job isn’t just about making high-quality door hardware. It’s about helping you make your house a haven, somewhere you can relax, enjoy family and feel at home. And yes, sometimes that means baking cookies.
    Happy children baking Christmas cookies.

    Bite-sized Christmas cookie history

    Feasting around what we now consider holiday time dates back to for winter solstice celebrations, when you basically stuffed yourself silly in anticipation of winter famine, according to History.com. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages when Christmas festivities became more popular than those for the solstice, however, that Christmas cookies were added to the menu.

     

    It was during this time that spices, along with sugar and butter, were available a bit more readily in Europe. They were still incredibly expensive, though. Deciding it was worth it to splurge on the celebrations, this was the one time families bought ingredients like cinnamon, ginger and lard. Basically, everything you need for the perfect yuletide treat.

     

    A few centuries after the Middle Ages, in 1796, the long-titled "American Cookery: or, The Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry and Vegetables, and the Best Modes of Making Puff-pastes, Pies, Tarts, Puddings, Custards and Preserves, and All Kinds of Cakes, from the Imperial Plumb to Plain Cake" cookbook was published. Generally considered the first American cookbook, it included a recipe for “Christmas Cookery,” otherwise known as cookies. These were not quick treats you’d whip up at the last minute. According to the original cookbook, they were “hard and dry at first” and needed to be stored in a damp room for a few months before they were edible.

     

    If you’re looking for some classic Christmas cookie recipes with a twist, here are some of the tastiest to be found. Even if you’re baking with inexperienced, pint-sized bakers, we promise you won’t have to wait months to eat them. So enjoy the taste of the holidays, the smell of home and joy of cooking with family.

    Iced Christmas sugar cookies.

    Sugar cookies with a twist

    • It’s time to play with your food. Taste of Home shows how to make a sugar cookie puzzle with cut-out trees, snowmen and more to set the scene.

    • There’s something about these sugar cookies that will leave even the most experienced taste testers trying to figure out your secret ingredient. Food & Wine shows us how to make cardamom sugar cookies for a bit of spice to tickle the tongue and the nose.

    • Keep the recipe classic but make the look unique. Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe or store-bought dough to make cookies in various sizes, then stack them to form a Christmas tree. Get the recipe from Taste of Home.
    Christmas shortbread cookies.

    Shortbread cookies with a twist

    • Shortbread is delicious. Chocolate is delicious. Put them together and you have a treat no one will be able to turn down. Try this chocolate shortbread recipe from Cookies & Cups.

    • What’s Cooking Good Looking brings us a vegan and gluten-free shortbread recipe. But just because there’s no flour or butter, don’t think there’s no flavor. Try their recipe for pine nut and peppercorn shortbread.

    • We didn’t think shortbread could have a kick to it, but this one proved us wrong. Slide Willow Bird Baking’s toasted pecan shortbread in the oven and don’t forget the spiked toffee sauce.
    Christmas gingerbread cookies.

    Gingerbread cookies with a twist

    • Leave it to Marth Stewart to take a classic and make it even classier. These simple gingerbread tree cookies are elevated with her lemon icing. When you want the smell of Christmas, you can’t go wrong with gingerbread and citrus.

    • Combine gingerbread with thumbprint cookies using this recipe from Tablespoon. Of course you can make your own gingerbread, but we appreciate this recipe’s hack of using boxed mix. Simple never smelled so good.

    • Making gingerbread houses is a tradition in many families. Crying over architectural cookie failures is a tradition in others. If that’s you, try this graham cracker gingerbread house hack from Happiness is Homemade.
    Gingerbread cookie sitting on mug of hot chocolate.

    Cookies inspired by holiday drinks

    • We asked around the office and snickerdoodles came up as a favorite Christmas cookie. We wonder what they’d think of Tablespoon’s chewy chai snickerdoodles with just the right amount of spice to keep it interesting.

    • When the kids are opening presents and you’re still trying to wake up, why not pair your morning brew with cinnamon clove coffee cookies? In Katrina’s Kitchen has the recipe to wake up your taste buds.

    • There are plenty of cookies out there that are inspired by hot cocoa, but why not shake things up a bit with a salted caramel hot chocolate cookie? Beyond Frosting shares their luxurious recipe, although we’ll admit we don’t understand their tips on storing them. We’re pretty sure these cookies will be gone quicker than Santa can say, “On, Rudolph!”

    • Eggnog cookies have been on our baking wish list for over a year and we promise it’s finally going to happen this winter. Recipe Girl has the recipe that makes us want to bite, sip, repeat.
    Box of Christmas cookies.

    Cookies inspired by cake and candy

    • The Middle Ages taught us that the holidays are a time for indulgence (read above if you skipped over what you thought was a boring history lesson). Since we’re being extravagant in the kitchen, it’s time to make triple chocolate cheesecake cookies from Tablespoon.

    • Does your family set out a gumdrop tree at Christmas? It’s nostalgic but it might also not be the most sanitary tradition. Bake the candy in a cookie instead. Get the coconut gumdrop cookie recipe – yes, coconut – from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles.

    • Fruitcake gets a bad rap, but maybe we can save that reputation by making it into something slightly different. Make fruitcake cookies with The Seasoned Mom.
    Christmas potpourri

    More welcoming scents

    There are other great ways to bring your favorite holiday scents to the home. It seems like every year there’s another baked good-inspired candle on the market, and they keep smelling more and more like the real thing. We’re also seeing more scented artificial fire logs. There’s the obvious pine and cedar, but don’t stick your nose up at cinnamon, pumpkin spice or, if you’re feeling daring, chicken.

     

    If flames aren’t your thing – we know they don’t always mix well with pets – try adding fresh greenery around the house or make a pomander. Make a simmer pot on the stove with oranges, cinnamon and cloves, or hang a sachet of Christmas-inspired herbs in a closet.

     

    Keep the holiday spirit high. Decorate your home for Christmas or try some of these cold-weather family-friendly activities with ideas and inspiration from the Schlage blog.

     

    13 ideas for decorating with snowmen this winter.

    December 15, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, December 15, 2020

    Snowman decor | Schlage

    These DIY snowman ideas will help you enjoy the season no matter what Mother Nature’s mood is.

     

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    Too cold to play outside? Too warm to have actual snow? These DIY snowman ideas will help you enjoy the season no matter what Mother Nature’s mood is. There’s a little something for everyone, from the upcycler and the curb appeal pro to the kiddos and everyone in between. It’s time to cue Bing and Rosemary, and let it snow!
    Black and white holiday mantel with black snowman decor.

    Because snow is just upcycled water

    Tin can snowman

    Save your cans from soup, vegetables or the Thanksgiving cranberry sauce. Then paint them white, add a face and in no time, you’ll have the simplest snowman container. Fill it with candy canes, use it as a pencil holder to make your child’s desk more festive or store wooden spoons and other utensils in it to liven up your kitchen counter.

    Creamer bottle snowmen

    Coffee drinkers, rejoice! You can recycle your creamer bottles and turn them into a snowman … or an entire snow family, depending on how much java you drink. This tutorial uses felt and other fabrics to give the snowmen some personality, but you could just as easily use paint, spare buttons or other unused household items.

    Bottlecap snowman ornament

    Don’t toss the caps from vintage soda or more adult beverages. Instead, string them together and decorate them for some refreshing décor. If you have enough bottlecaps, you might make one that represents each member of your family or group of friends.

    Wine cork snowman

    And while we’re talking upcycling from drink containers, turn your wine corks into a snowman face that will warm up any gathering.

    For a warm winter welcome

    Snowman wreath

    Why stop with one wreath when you can have three? Stack the wreaths to make a snowman for your front door or any expansive wall space, indoors or out. This DIY can get quite large if you want it to. Connect the wreaths with zip ties and add a hat, scarf, lights or anything else to bring your snowman to life. Store-bought greenery or grapevine wreaths work equally well.

    Ornament wall décor

    Purge some of those extra glass ball ornaments or pick some up at the store for a sparkly snowman you can hang on the wall. The only other materials you need are superglue and whatever details you want to add your personal touch. This one is great as wall decoration or to use instead of a traditional winter wreath.

    Snowman porch post

    Skip the garland this year and transform your porch post into a snowman. We admit this really only works if your posts are already white, but if you love the idea, we think you should go for it regardless. Simply use the post as your base for a snowman face, hat, scarf and any other finishing touches that welcome guests with a smile.

    For when the kids have had their fill of sledding

    Clothespin snowmen

    A wooden clothespin easily becomes a multipurpose snowman. Display them as décor standing up on a table, just because they’re cute, put them to use holding your kids’ artwork or clip them to a branch as tree ornaments. These clothespin snowmen are as simple as a tiny pom nose, drawn-on eyes and smile, and a piece of yarn as a scarf.

    Shovel snowman

    We were inspired by Craft Bits’ shovel-turned-snowman for the front porch but thought it would be extra adorable in miniature (because most things are). Repurpose your kids’ small beach shovel to display on their bedside table, over the mantelpiece or even on a tree. We could see these being an easy craft for a kids’ holiday party, too.

    String art snowman

    It’s a classic for a reason. Use a balloon, string and glue to keep the kids happy and occupied, while you get some homemade holiday décor out of the deal. Muy Ingenioso has a helpful Spanish-language how-to video, or you can find instructions in English from Daily Dose of DIY.

    More ideas for long winter nights

    DIY wooden snowmen

    We love this one because you can scale it however you want. This tutorial shows how to use wood slices to make an adorable snowman for your tabletop or mantle. And while they used wood scraps from the great outdoors, you can also buy the slices at a craft store. Want something bigger? Use logs, purchased or from your fireplace woodpile, for a DIY log snowman. Its size would be perfect for a front porch or entryway. Or go smaller with this tree slice snowman ornament.

    Snowman globe

    We think you’ll appreciate this one particularly if you’re an East Coaster transplanted to a warmer climate. A Mason jar snow globe will have you feeling right at home. Add your personal touch by giving your snowman some woodland friends, a forest to live in or mini twinkle lights to brighten those cold winter nights. If you’re thinking, “This is great, but it would be better if I could eat it,” try this ice box cake snow globe dessert from The Decorated Cookie.

    Snowman coaster

    Whether you’re hosting a holiday party or just don’t want the kids’ drinks to leave a ring on the coffee table, this snowman coaster craft is as seasonal as it is practical. Most of this DIY is done with fabric glue, but you could easily turn it into a simple holiday sewing project if that’s more your style.

    Find more holiday décor ideas from Schlage on Pinterest or at our blog.

     

    10 first home ornaments you should make this weekend.

    December 11, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Friday, December 11, 2020

    house key ornament | Schlage

    Whether you're scrambling for the perfect gift with meaning, just moved in to a new home or have some downtime for crafting during the holiday break, consider making one of these sentimental ornaments for someone you care about.

     

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    If there are two things we love, it’s transforming something from ordinary to extraordinary and making those around us feel welcome and special. The holidays are a great time to do both. Whether you're scrambling for the perfect gift with meaning, just moved in to a new home or have some downtime for crafting during the holiday break, consider making one of these sentimental ornaments for someone you care about.
    Engraved house key ornament

    1. Small embellishments, big impact

    It doesn't take much to make this ornament. With just a piece of cardstock and a couple of embellishments, Diane of In My Own Style created an ornament that will be special for years to come.

    2. Tree with meaning

    Here's a unique twist to that idea from Meredith of Unoriginal Mom. We love how her Christmas tree tells a story with each sentimental ornament she's made.

    3. Classic salt dough ornament

    Salt dough ornaments like this one from The Gilbertson Family are quick and easy to make and the creativity options are endless! This is the perfect project you and your kids to accomplish on a Saturday afternoon.

    4. Mold some memories

    For an even simpler take, try molding your key into your favorite color of clay. Check out this easy tutorial from That’s What We Did.

    5. Stamped with style

    Here's another variation of the clay-molded key from Amy of One Artsy Mama. We're loving her choice of ribbon and metal stamped banner.

    6. Unique snowflake

    Maybe you're one of the many families that has moved a LOT through the years. Take some inspiration from This Old House and use this skeleton key DIY to create your own memorable key snowflake ornament.

    7. Heartwarming touch

    Pleasure in Simple Things shows how to make your key ornament even easier by simply attaching it to something you might already own, like this IKEA heart. You don't have to be super crafty to make an ordinary key adorable.

    8. Model home

    If you enjoy intricate details, try painting a replica of your home on the key like This Idyllic Life. Model makers will appreciate the challenge and effort.

    9. Do you want to build a snowman?

    It doesn't get much cuter than Crafts by Amanda’s snowman keys! If you have kids, let each personalize their own for an even more special touch.

    10. Key for Santa

    Growing up, yours truly didn’t have a chimney. When we asked how Santa got in to deliver presents, my parents said they left him a key for the front door. That seemed reasonable enough to keep believing, so if that sounds like your curious youngsters, make Santa his own magic key like Salvage Sister & Mister.

    Just in case you missed the original Schlage tutorial, find out how you can make a glitter key with photo in our blog archive.
    DIY glitter house key ornament.

    The great ideas don’t stop there, though. Find more inspiration for the holidays and family-friendly winter activities at the Schlage blog or follow us on Instagram and Pinterest.

     

    Find the perfect gift for long-distance friends and family.

    December 10, 2020 10:15 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, December 10, 2020

    Gifts for long-distance friends and family | Schlage

    Try these tips for picking out gifts for long-distance friends and family, along with a few of our favorite suggestions.

     

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    Whether it’s because of COVID or simply because Americans are more mobile than ever before, it’s not uncommon to have family and friends spread across the country or even living abroad. While that could mean you have a free place to stay on vacation, it can also make holidays and birthdays difficult. How do you show them you care when you aren’t nearby? Try these tips for picking out gifts for long-distance friends and family, along with a few of our favorite suggestions.
    Woman sitting on the couch opening package.

    Stay close with technology

    Technology makes it easier than ever to bridge physical distance. When buying the latest electronics for long-distance loved ones, pick gifts they’ll find easy to use. If it doesn’t work with smart devices they already own or are too difficult to incorporate into their current lifestyle, it’s likely to stay in the box or worse. You want your gift to bring joy, not cause headaches. We like these gadgets for staying connected with friends and family.

    Smart photo frame.

    Smart photo frame

    Digital photo frames are nothing new, but this one from Nixplay connects to WiFi. That means you send pictures and videos directly to the frame for easy sharing. Not only do you not need to load the frame before you wrap it up, but you can continue to update it with your latest snapshots securely and in real-time.

    Echo Show

    Echo Show

    Everyone could use an easy way to make video calls these days. What sets the Echo Show apart from your average laptop or tablet, however, is everything else you can do with it. In addition to chats, your loved one can enjoy movies and TV shows, listen to their favorite playlists on Amazon Music and ask Alexa all kinds of questions. The Echo Show is compatible a variety of other smart devices, too, including the Schlage Connect™ Smart Deadbolt with Zigbee technology.

    Make small gestures for lasting impact

    When you don’t see someone every day, reaching out can sometimes feel awkward or like another item on your to-do list. The good news is that staying connected doesn’t have to be a big commitment like a two-hour phone call, plane tickets or expensive trips to the post office. Choose small, heartfelt gifts that keep giving every time your loved one uses it.

    Engraved spoon.

    “Coffee together” engraved spoon

    Good things come in small packages and, if we’re honest, with a bit of caffeine. These engraved spoons are a small gesture that will put a warm smile on someone’s face each morning. We chose “Still having coffee together,” but there are several other messages to choose from.

    Long distance friendship lamp.

    Long distance friendship lamp

    If you live with someone, a smile from across the room can say a lot. If you’re miles apart, it’s a little harder to show in-the-moment affection. This stylish wood friendship lamp can help. A tap on your lamp makes theirs light up. You can even pick different colors for everyone in the family or friend group.

    Remember what brought you together

    Take inspiration from what brings you together in the best of times. For example, what hobbies or movies do you share when you’re not separated? Find creative ways to replicate your favorite experiences, even from a distance.

    Personalized cutting board

    Personalized family recipe cutting board

    When we can’t spend holidays together with family, one of the things we often miss most are homecooked meals. Engrave this customized cutting board with Grandma’s biscuit recipe or Dad’s special sauce blend. It’s not quite the same as cooking side-by-side, but it’s still a nice taste of home.

    Book club box

    Book club box

    This subscription box sends a book your bestie. They also get couple of gifts, each numbered to be opened at specific points in their reading. Get one for yourself too, and we bet you’ve never shared a book quite like this before. There are also boxes for kids, young adults, mystery lovers and travel junkies, to name a few.

    Whether the people on your list live right next door or in another country, use Schlage’s Gift Giving Guides to find the right present for them. New to our guides this year are ideas for self-care gifts, things to make it easier to work from home, gifts that support important causes, sustainable goods and kitchen gadgets.

     

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