Christmas countdown calendar


Only 360 days until next Christmas! Here’s an interactive countdown calendar you can make for next year, or make one with your favorite papers to count down any occasion, any time of year. Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries…makes it more fun!

Smoothfoam countdown calendar


Smoothfoam 1” thick sheet
Smoothfoam 2” x 4″ x 4″ block
Coordinating scrapbook papers
Number stickers
Premium Tacky Glue
Paper trimmer
Craft knife
Fine sandpaper or emery board

Smoothfoam Christmas Countdown calendar blocks

1.  Cut two 1-3/4″ cubes from the Smoothfoam block. From the sheet, cut one piece to 4-3/4” x 3” and one piece to 4-3/4” x 6” to make the calendar stand.

2.  Cut twelve 1-3/4″ squares from the scrapbook papers and glue to the sides of the cubes. Cut and glue more paper pieces to cover the top, bottom and all sides of each of the 1/2” pieces of Smoothfoam. Let dry.

Smoothfoam countdown calendar numbered cubes

3.  Place number stickers on the cubes as follows:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 on one cube; then 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, and 0 on the other cube. With the blocks numbered this way, you can make every number from 1 to 43.


4.  Glue the two sheets together to make an L-shaped stand for the cubes. Embellish the stand with a contrasting strip of paper glued down the center. Create and print out a sign to glue to the top of the stand – mine says “25 Days Until Christmas Counting Down.” Your sign could be just a decorative element, or your child’s name, or anything you like!

5.  Distress all the edges of the cubes and stand by lightly sanding the paper.


“Snowman Sleigh Ride” Christmas decoration

Sleigh Ride
is one of my favorite Christmas songs, especially Karen Carpenter’s version. It’s such a happy song and makes me wish I lived in the snowy part of America instead of the sunny south, but only for a little while. We get enough snow here along the mighty Mississippi to say we’ve had it, but it rarely stays on the ground for more than a couple of days, which is fine with me.

snowmen sleigh smoothfoam christmas decoration

But you can’t have Christmas without snow, so I made these cute Smoothfoam snowmen riding in a sleigh to celebrate the season. This project came together very quickly and it will be displayed on my dining room hutch until after the New Year when the decorations come down. And the bonus? It won’t melt!


Three 3” Smoothfoam balls
Three 2” Smoothfoam balls
Smoothfoam 2″ thick sheet (cut to fit inside sleigh)
Black cardstock, red cardstock
Red Dew Drops – The Robin’s Nest
Hold the Foam Adhesive
Tulip Gold Dimensional Paint
Iridescent glitter
6 floral sprays
Red felt, white felt
2 large jingle bells
Heavy floral wire (or dried twigs)
Circle punches – 3/8″, 1¼” and ¾”
Ribbon, raffia
Hot foam cutter or ice pick
Chipboard and gold self-adhesive mylar (or gold paint)
Heavy-duty double-stick tape
Small straight pins
Sleigh container ( escued from the thrift store)
Small sharp scissors, toothpicks, paint brush

1.  Adhere Smoothfoam scrap inside base of container with adhesive. Dip ends of floral sprays in adhesive and insert around the inside edges.
TIP:  For best results, dip toothpicks, wire or twigs in adhesive before inserting into Smoothfoam. Use a pointed blade or skewer to make pilot holes if necessary.

Glitter smoothfoam balls snowman

2.  Cover all six balls with glue and dust with glitter, let dry.
TIP:  Insert a wooden skewer into the base of each ball and stand it up in a drinking glass to dry.

3.  Connect 3 balls together with toothpicks to make each snowman (I used one 2” and two 3” balls for the boy, and two 2” and one 3” ball for the girl).

mitten template

4.  Create arms with heavy wire or twigs. Cut eight mittens from red felt – you can click on the image above to print and reduce to size to use as a template. Glue two of the mittens together over the ends of each arm. Cut 3″ pieces of white felt and glue one around as a cuff for each mitten.

5.  Punch 3/8” circles from black and red cardstock. Glue on black circles for eyes and black or red for buttons. To make flirty eyelashes, cut some tiny wedges out of one side of a circle and glue above the eyes. Glue red Dew Drops for their smiles.

6.  Cut two 1” x  8” pieces of red felt for scarves and add dimensional paint dots to one side of each. When dry, wrap one around the neck of each snowman. Secure by threading a jingle bell onto 1/8” ribbon and tying the ends of the felt snugly around the neck.

snowman top hat diagram

7.  To make the boy’s top hat, cut a 3″ circle from black cardstock and cut wedges around the inside of the circle 3/8” from the edge. Cut a 3″ x 6″ additional rectangle of black cardstock, roll it into cylinder and secure with double-stick tape. Add double-stick tape to the inside bottom and top of the cylinder. Place the circle on the bottom of the cylinder and press the wedged edges up inside against the tape. Cut a 2-1/2” circle for the top of the hat. Draw a 2” circle on the back side and cut away the excess so that you have several tabs on the edge. Fold the tabs down into the hat.

8.  Wrap and glue a 1” ribbon around the hat just above the brim. Cut a 3/4” square from chipboard. Center the 1-¼” punch over the ¾” square and punch to make the buckle. Cover with self-adhesive mylar or paint it with gold paint. Attach to hatband.
Apply liquid glue around the inside bottom of the hat and place it on the snowman’s head.

9.  For the girl’s hair, cut a 1/2” x 8” strip of red felt and tie it around her head. Attach curls of raffia with straight pins.

10.  Add an additional toothpick at the base to insert each snowman into the sleigh foam.


Elf on a shelf


How cute is this handmade elf on a shelf? He’s ready to bring on the Christmas cheer!

Elf on a shelf


1” Smoothfoam ball
2-¼” Smoothfoam egg
Americana paints:  Flesh, Antique Gold, Kelly Green, Black, Tomato Red, Peony Pink
DecoArt Dimensional Effects paintable texture paste
Red felt
Peach craft foam
Red chenille stem
24 green 6mm acrylic faceted beads
Black button
Small green pompom
Paintbrush, toothpick
Serrated craft knife, wire cutters
Emery board, craft stick, skewer
Craft glue

Elf Parts

1.  Trim off both ends of the egg and one side of the ball with serrated craft knife. Sand the seams smooth and glue the flat side of the ball on top of the egg.

2.  Paint the egg (body) green and the ball (head) flesh.

3.  For his hair, apply texture paste to the head with a craft stick. Cut a pair of small ears from the craft foam and press them in to the paste on each side of his head. Let dry and then paint the hair gold.

4.  Paint his facial features with a toothpick or small brush as shown, or add some wiggle eyes.

5.  Roll up the end of the chenille stem for a hand and add 5 beads to the stem for one arm. Leave ¼” of the stem and cut. Repeat for the second arm. Do the same for the two legs, making a bigger loop for the feet and using 7 beads for each leg.

6.  Make pilot holes with a skewer on each side of the body, below the neck for the arms and in the front of the body for the legs. Push each stems into each hole with a dab of glue. Bend the legs and arms into position as shown.

7.  For his collar, cut a 3-½” x 1” strip of felt and cut triangles out of one side. Glue it around his neck. For his belt, cut a narrow 4” strip of felt and glue it around his body, overlapping at back. Trim shank from the button with wire cutters and glue to the center of the belt.

8.  For his cap, trace and cut a 2” circle from red felt and cut in half. Roll the half into a cone, overlap the edges and glue. Glue a pompom to the top and glue the hat to his head.


Christmas Cottage


There are two things I absolutely love – making gifts for my friends and decorating for the holidays – any holiday. Those two things come together in the mother of all holidays, Christmas! And as my granny would say, “It’s right around the corner” (silly me…when I was a child, I would walk to the end of her street to see if I could see Christmas…after all, it was right around the corner).

Christmas Cottage

My sweetie and I have been married 43 years. In that time, we have collected ornaments from our travels across the United States, we’ve managed to accumulate tons of Christmas lights, and in the last few years we’ve added many quality items to our stash. And it’s a big stash. I love to add a new element each year, but I’m running out of room, so I decided to create our 2013 keepsake using Smoothfoam with paper and embellishments from The Robin’s Nest. Their little Dew Drops add a lacy appeal to the roof lines and the Smoothfoam keeps it lightweight.

This cute little Christmas cottage can stand alone or have more pieces added each year to make a whole village. Wouldn’t it look great on a mantel? You could also make several and use them to surround your Christmas tree before all the presents are wrapped and then again after they have been opened. Nothing is as sad as a Christmas tree with no gifts under it.


One 6″x12″ Smoothfoam sheet
Two 6″x12″ Smoothfoam sheets, cut to three 3-1/4″ x 4-3/4″ pieces
Card stock – red, green, striped
Dew Drops in assorted colors and shapes
Green and white acrylic paints
Beacon Hold the Foam Adhesive
Beacon Quick Grip Adhesive
Viva Décor Gold Pearl Pen
Transparency sheet
1-3/4″ circle punch
8″ gold cord
Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad – Pine Needles
Cosmetic sponge, paint brush
Black marker, toothpick
Hot foam cutter or sharp knife
Ruler, large metal washers
Small sharp scissors
Cellophane tape

Note:  All card stock edges are sponged with Pine Needles ink. For elements that are glued directly to the foam, use Foam adhesive. For embellishments and paper-to-paper, use Quick Grip adhesive.

glue smoothfoam pieces

1.  Paint the 6″x12″ Smoothfoam sheet (main house) with two coats of green; let dry. Glue the three Smoothfoam rectangles together (doorway), let dry, then paint the same.

2.  Mix a small amount of white into the green paint and use it to stamp swirls all over the house, including the side edges. Use the gold Pearl Pen to trace some of the stamped swirl lines. Set aside to dry.

3.  Draw two curves at the top of the doorway block and cut away the excess.

4.  Cut eight small shingles (1-1/4″ x 1″) from dark green card stock. Use the Gold Pearl pen to color along the 1-1/4″ side of each. Use a toothpick to drag the gold lines toward the top of each shingle to create a woodgrain effect. Adhere to the sides of the doorway, beginning at the bottom and overlapping each piece. Glue gold cord to the corners of the doorway.

5.  Cut the door from striped card stock. Add a bar across the middle and attach a round gold Dew Drop for the door knob. Lightly draw a small circle on the upper portion of the door. Arrange green and red Dew Drops to form a wreath and glued to the block.

tape and trim 6.  Cut two 1-1/2″ x 3″ pieces of red card stock. Score a line 1/2″ from the long edge. Mark 1/4″ increments on the scored edge and trim a small triangle at each mark. Bend the card stock to fit the curve of the doorway roof. Place small strips of cellophane tape to the underside of the cut edge with the adhesive facing out (provides a base for the Dew Drops to stick). Trim off the excess.

7.  Adhere the pieces to the doorway roof, adhering flush at the back with a slight overhang in the front, and gently fold the cut strips down. Place red Dew Drop circles in the center of each flap and white Dew Drop diamonds to cover the adhesive tape between the red circles on each flap.
Cut a 1-1/2″ square from the same paper used for the roof. Score a 1/4″ strip in the middle. Fold and adhere to the roof top.

8.  For the main house roof, cut two 1-3/4″ x 6″ strips of red cardstock. Follow the directions doorway roof, the only difference is that these pieces will be centered from front to back on the roof.

9.  Cut a small piece of card stock for the lower window and punch a 1-3/4″ circle for the top window. Draw lines with the black marker on a piece of transparency film and cut shapes the exact size of each window. Adhere all to the house and use the gold Pearl Pen to make dots around the outer edges.

10.  Adhere the doorway block to the house and add additional Dew Drop embellishments. Glue a couple large metal washers to the bottom of the house to prevent it from blowing over in a breeze.


Christmas ornament with dimensional paint

With Tulip 3D Fashion Paints, you can add lots of texture to Smoothfoam’s surface. This little Christmas ornament looks a bit like embroidery on a knit sweater – cute!

painted embroidery christmas ornament

1.  Brush a coat of red acrylic paint on a 3″ Smoothfoam ball (put a pencil or skewer in the pre-drilled hole to use like a handle) and let dry.

2.  Apply red 3D paint in a herringbone (zig zag) pattern over the surface of the ball and let dry.

3.  Draw a snowflake on one side of the ball with white 3D paint using short lines and dots, then let dry. Repeat on the other side.

4.  Glue the ends of a loop of sheer ribbon into the hole and secure with a straight pin. Tie another length of ribbon into a bow and pin to the ball at the base of the loop.


Last-minute gift idea: Monogram plaque featured on “When Creativity Knocks”


Wouldn’t this monogram plaque look great hanging on your bedroom door or on the wall as part of a collection of family portraits? It’s easy to make with a Smoothfoam disc and alpha letters – I show you how in this episode of When Creativity Knocks.



Christmas Topiary

Merry Christmas! I love this time of year. It’s when I can really explore my creative side and make new décor for my home that is festive and beautiful, like this Christmas topiary.

christmas topiary smoothfoam

You will need:

One 6″ Smoothfoam ball
One 4″ Smoothfoam cube
Red pearl garland
Clay pot
Wood skewer
Mod Podge
Green craft paint
Paint brush
Hot glue
White glitter
Floral stems
Red ribbon
Green tulle

1.  Press the skewer into the ball to use as a handle. Brush the ball with Mod Podge then sprinkle white glitter all over the ball and let dry.

2.  Wind the pearl garland around and around the ball and apply hot glue as you go to secure. Wrap some green tulle around the ball and knot at the bottom.

3.  Paint the clay pot and let dry. Glue the Smoothfoam cube inside the pot and press the ball on the skewer into it, leaving the ball a couple inches above the cube. Push floral stems into the cube around the ball and add a festive red bow.


Snow dove Christmas wreath


The glitter of snow, the music of the season filling the air and the wish for peace on earth inspired this design for Christmas. The dove is a beautiful symbol of peace—perched inside a sparkly vine wreath, it’s a lovely addition to holiday décor or perfect for tree ornaments.

Christmas snow dove wreath with Smoothfoam

You will need:
One 1-½” Smoothfoam ball
One 2” Smoothfoam ball
White Kunin felt
½” wide sheer white ribbon
Pearl strand trim
White tear-shape Dewdrops flat-back gem
2 pearl-head corsage pins
Eight 4” white feathers
10” glittered vine wreath
Fabri-Tac Adhesive
4” Westcott scissors
Measuring tape
Ruler, pencil


1.  Cut a 4” and a 6” circle from the felt. Notch the 4″ circle as shown to decrease the bulk when it’s wrapped around a ball.

2.  Cut a slice off one end of each foam ball. Place the 1-½” ball, round side down, in center of the notched circle. Wrap and glue the notches around to the flat side, pressing out any gathers. This is the dove’s head.

3.  For the dove’s body, place the 2” ball, round side down, in the center of the 6” circle. Wrap the felt around the ball, adjusting the gathers evenly in the center of the flat side. Glue the centers of the gathers to hold in place. Insert four feathers into the center of the gathered felt for the tail. Make tiny slit on each side of the body and glue a feather into each slit for wings.

4.  Push pearl-head pins into the head for eyes. Glue the teardrop gem between the eyes for a beak. Tie a 12″ length of ribbon around the neck. Wrap a strand of pearls twice around the neck and glue to secure.

5.  Place dove in the center of the wreath. Weave a long pearl strand in and out of the wreath. Tie a long piece of ribbon into a bow and glue it to the wreath.