Rainclouds can bring the blues, but when they are teeny tiny and raining over brightly colored flowers like in this project, then rainclouds bring can smiles and cheer.
You’ll have fun putting together this little bouquet which features carved Smoothfoam flowers and clouds. And if you’ve never tried carving Smoothfoam before, then the easy shapes in this project are a great way to practice and to get hooked on the fun!
4” Smoothfoam cube
Smoothfoam sheet: 12” x 12” x 5/8″
Silver wire: heavy (18-gauge) and fine (24-gauge)
Acrylic paints: white, apple green, pink, lavender, dark aqua
Silver dimensional paint
Small metal flower pot
Flower-shaped cookie cutters (2-3” in diameter)
Paintbrush, plastic dish, wood skewers
Heavy wire cutters, jewelry inside-cutter pliers, round-nose jewelry pliers
Permanent marker, pencil
Hot wire foam cutting tool
1. Working outside in a well-ventilated area, use the hot wire tool to trim the 4” Smoothfoam cube so that it fits into the flower pot. TIP: Hold the tool steady in one hand with the wire pointing vertically (like a scroll saw) and move the foam with the other – in the same way that you cut intricate paper shapes with scissors. The hand with the tool stays steady and the hand with the material moves. Although the tendency is to move the foam quickly, the slower you work, the smoother the edges of the cut will be.
2. Before you put the Smoothfoam into the flower pot, brush the top with a coat of apple green paint and sprinkle with green glitter while still wet. Set aside to dry, then gently press it into the metal flower pot.
3. Push the cookie cutter into the sheet of Smoothfoam so that you get a nice outline of the flower. You don’t need to push too hard – just enough so that you can see the shape impressed in the foam. Do nine flowers in assorted sizes plus a few extra for practice cutting. Use the permanent marker to draw three simple cloud shapes.
4. Use the hot wire tool to cut out the flower and cloud shapes.
5. Paint the various flower shapes with pink, lavender and dark aqua. Paint the clouds white. Set all aside to dry. TIP: Poke a wooden skewer into each shape as a handle to keep your hands paint-free.
6. Once the flowers are dry, add details with the silver dimensional paint. Let dry throughly.
7. To make the flower stems, use the heavy wire cutters to cut six 8” pieces of 18-gauge wire. Make a little spiral at the end of each wire using the round-nose jewelry pliers. Poke the untwisted end of one of the cut wires through the center of a flower shape and slide the flower shape until it fits snugly against the spiral. Add a drop of white glue at the base of the wire to secure the flower shape in place. Let dry. Repeat for the remaining flower shapes and then poke all the flower stems into the metal flower pot to make a little bouquet.
8. Cut nine 5” pieces of 24-gauge wire using the side cutter pliers. Fold each wire loosely in half around a pencil and then holding the two ends of the wire in one hand, twist the pencil with the other hand like a propeller until the wire ends twist together. Remove the pencil from the wire loop and use the side cutter pliers to trim the wire ends neatly. Pinch the wire loop to form a tear shape. Insert three wire loops into each cloud to form raindrops. (Tip: use a drop of white glue at the end of each wire to secure it in place when you insert the wire into the cloud shape). Repeat for the remaining two clouds.
9. Cut three pieces of 18-gauge wire 8” long using the heavy wire cutters. Bend each wire into a gentle “J” shape. Poke the short end of the “J” into the top of one cloud and add a drop of white glue to secure. Insert the free end of the wire into the metal flower pot so that the cloud hangs over the flowers. Repeat for the remaining two clouds.
10. For a finishing touch, use the silver dimensional paint to write “April Showers Bring May Flowers” on the side of the pot. Now your flower pot garden will always bloom brightly even when it really is raining outside!