Silk rose topiary ball

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I love creating with my favorite flower – the rose. This topiary is really easy to make with silk roses or whatever flowers you like! It makes a perfect DIY table décor for a wedding or a dinner party.

Smoothfoam silk rose topiary

You will need:

6″ Smoothfoam ball
Hot glue gun
Silk roses
Pearl floral sprays
Skewer
Glass candle holder

Remove the rosebuds from the stems. If the bottom of the blooms have pointed caps, use a skewer to make a pilot hole in the Smoothfoam ball. Glue the point into the hole. If the roses are flat on the bottom, glue them to the ball without poking into holes. Cluster the blooms closely as you cover the ball, leaving a small space open at the bottom to glue the covered ball to the candle holder. Poke a couple of pearl sprays into the ball, between the roses.

 

Felt flower photo holder

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It has been a long, snowy winter on the east coast. It seems like spring will never come. What to do until spring blooms? Make it happen! I created this cheery felt flower photo holder for my desk. Family photos always make me smile, so this project is an ideal way to display them! Make a trio to sit on a shelf, or make one for each child’s room in her favorite colors. This would be a great gift or crafty project for a get-together. Have fun and think spring!

Smoothfoam felt flower photo holder

You will need:
2” x 4” x 8” Smoothfoam block
Kunin Rainbow Classic Felt: Aqua
Kunin Fancifelt: Moroccan
White buttons
Fabri-Tac Adhesive
Scissors, ruler
3” circle template
Pencil, paper
Straight pins

1.  Cut the aqua felt as follows: 1-½” x 12” strip; 3” circle; ten 2” x 3” pieces; seven 1-¾” x 2-½” pieces; five 1-½” x 2” pieces.

2.  Cut the Moroccan felt as follows: 3” circle; two 2” x 4” pieces, one 8″x12″ piece

3.  Wrap and glue the 8″x12″ sheet of Moroccan felt around the block, and glue the 2″x4″ pieces to the top and bottom of the block. Wrap the 12″ Aqua strip around the block, 1-½” up from the bottom. Glue the strip in place in the back and on the sides, leaving the front unglued to slide photos in. Glue 3 buttons to the strip.

Flower Photo Holder how-to shots

3.  Fold the Aqua 2″x3″ pieces in half lengthwise and trim each to a petal shape with a slight curve, as shown. Repeat for the twelve other pieces – you’ll have 10 large petals, 7 medium and 5 small.

4.  To shape each petal, fold the edges of the base toward the middle. Add a dab of glue and press the edges down as shown.

5.  Glue the Aqua circle to the wrong side of the Moroccan circle. Glue the large petals side by side, around the outer 1/2″ edge of the circle. Layer and glue the medium petals, then the small petals in place as shown. Glue a button to the center of the flower. Glue the flower to the top of the block. If you want to create multiple flowers to switch out, adhere with Velcro dots instead.

 

Hand-carved St. Patrick’s Day decoration

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Many moons ago before I was married, I spent a wonderful month traveling throughout Ireland with my friend, Caitlin. We visited castles, cliffs and churches, saw Irish clog dancing, watched artisans blow glass and ate tons of potatoes. Once a sheep tried to jump into our rental car when we stopped to take a picture of the electric green landscape.

And all the time we had the best of luck – from winning one hundred pounds playing bingo to hitting perfect traffic as we rushed to catch the last ferry of the day to Inishmore Island. So in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, I carved this cheerful decoration from a sheet of Smoothfoam loaded with Irish motifs and a couple of puns. See if you can spot them!

smoothfoam carved st patricks decoration

Supplies:

12″ x 12″ Smoothfoam Scrapbook Mount
12″ x 12″ The Board Dudes cork tile
Sulky Stick’n Carve Printable Transfer Sheet
Folk Art Chalkboard Paint – Black
Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue
DecoColor Paint Pens – opaque white, dark green, light green, yellow, orange
Hot Wire Foam Factory Hot Knife & Mini-Scroll Table & Engraving Tool
Paint brush
Picture hanging hook

Carved-Lucky-You-Wall-Hanging-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis-Step-Out-1

1.  Draw the words “Lucky You” on a piece of paper to fit within the 12″ Smoothfoam sheet, allowing a 2″ border. Add a sheep and pot to the drawing. Put a sheet of Sulky Stick’n Carve on top of your drawing and trace the drawing with the permanent marker. Peel the backing release paper and apply the Sulky sheet to the center of the Smoothfoam sheet. Draw diamonds and shamrocks along the border.

Carved-Lucky-You-Wall-Hanging-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis-Step-Out-2

2.  Use the Hot Knife tool to poke a pilot hole in the Smoothfoam sheet in each area which will be cut out.

Carved-Lucky-You-Wall-Hanging-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis-Step-Out-3

3.  Carefully carve out the design with the Mini-Scroll Table. You will need to unthread and insert the wire into each pilot hole to make each interior cut.

4.  Use the Engraving Tool to add details and texture to the sheet. Peel off the transfer sheet when finished.

5.  Paint the the carving black. Let dry before adding one more coat of paint.

Carved-Lucky-You-Wall-Hanging-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis-Main-2

6.  Color in your carving with paint pens as shown.

Carved-Lucky-You-Wall-Hanging-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis-Step-Out-4

7.  Color three green squares on the cork tile in the corners so the color peeks out from inside the carved shamrocks.

8.  Glue the carving to the cork tile and glue a picture hanging hook to the back or display on an easel.

 

Space alien wall decoration

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Welcome to the newest member of our Creativity Team – Laura Bray!
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Make some aliens for your child’s wall! This cute and fun space-themed art project will brighten any room. This canvas was created by our friends at Plaid Crafts and me for display in Plaid’s booth at the Craft & Hobby Association Trade Show last month.

Smoothfoam Alien Wall art

Supplies:

4-1/2″ Smoothfoam half-balls
Apple Barrel Craft Paint
Large canvas
Skewers
Small wood beads
Cardstock – white, dark blue
Paper plates
Tacky glue
Google eyes
Paint brushes
Small binder clips

1.  Paint the half balls with your favorite colors, and paint 1-2 wood beads to match each half-ball. Paint skewers white, and paint paper plates with metallic silver. Set aside to dry.

2.  Paint the canvas a dark blue. After it’s dry, use a small brush to paint stars in opaque white, leaving spaces for placing the aliens later. You could also paint small chipboard stars and glue them to the canvas, or you could look for poster paper that’s preprinted with a night sky pattern and glue it to the canvas.

3.  Glue 1 or 2 eyes onto each alien. Trim the skewers down to about 2″ long and glue a bead to the end for antennae. Poke 1 or 2 antennae into the top of each alien.

4.  To make a rocket ship for each alien, trim egg shapes from the white cardstock and slightly smaller egg shapes from the blue cardstock. Layer and glue together, then adhere the alien in the center. Cut a painted paper plate in half and glue it around the bottom half of the alien. Use binder clips to hold in place while the glue dries.

5.  Adhere the aliens in their ships to the canvas.

Sweetheart banner

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I know Valentine’s Day has passed, but there’s nothing wrong with year-round hearts. Wouldn’t this little banner be beautiful in a girl’s room, hanging in a window over the top of lace curtains ? I wish I had a little girl to share it with, but it will become part of my Sunday School classroom décor as a reminder to love one another.

Smoothfoam heart banner on lace curtainSupplies

12″ x 12″ Smoothfoam sheet
Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
Glitter – red and iridescent white
Beads in assorted colors and sizes
8 yards clear beading string or 2 lb. test fishing line
Ten 1″ long eye pins
Five 2″ long head pins
Round-nose beading pliers
5 jump rings
Card stock – pink and white
1″ wide heart paper punch
3′ of wide pink grosgrain ribbon
4′ of narrow pink grosgrain ribbon
Puffy heart embellishments
Marvy hot-wire foam cutter (or serrated craft knife)
Skewer, black marker, sand paper, paint brush

 

1.  Draw five 3-4″ wide hearts on the Smoothfoam sheet with a marker and cut them out. Sand any rough edges. Brush the hearts with white glue and sprinkle glitter to cover – make three with red glitter and two with white iridescent glitter.

draw-smoothfoam-hearts

Tip:  You can paint the hearts red first to avoid seeing white spaces when you add the red glitter.

2.  Dip eye pins into white glue and press one into the top and bottom of each heart; set aside to dry.

3.  Thread the beads on five pieces of 30” long clear line. Space them out in clusters, three per line in random positions on each line. Tie knots in the line above and below each clusters to keep the beads in place. Thread two small beads on the bottom end of each line and tie to the eye pins of each heart. Secure the knots with a little dab of glue.

4.  For the beaded dangles on the bottom of each heart, thread beads on head pins, make a loop at the top with pliers attach to the bottom eye pin of each heart with a jump ring.

5.  For the strands hanging between each hear, cut four 18” pieces of line. Punch twelve hearts from pink cardstock and 12 from white cardstock. Glue two hearts back-to-back at one end of each line. Thread two or three small beads above the hearts. Attach two more back-to-back hearts about three inches up and add more beads. Repeat once more for three little hearts on each line.

6.  Lay out the wide ribbon. Tie one of the large hearts in the center of the ribbon, and then tie the remaining large hearts on either side, about 5″ apart. Tie the smaller hearts in between. Secure the knots with a drop of glue.

7.  Glue puffy hearts to the top of the large heart strings and tie little bows with the narrow ribbon on to the small heart strings.

Hang in a sunny window and enjoy!

 

Using Smoothfoam as a canvas for mixed media

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Did you know that Smoothfoam is a great surface for mixed media art? Recently I demoed mixed media techniques with stamps and ink pads in the Smoothfoam booth at the Craft & Hobby Association Show.

Smoothfoam birds nest mixed media art  by Jennifer PriestTo prep my 12″x12″ Smoothfoam sheets for my demo, I painted them with a single coat of acrylic craft paint. Pre-painting the Smoothfoam surface is akin to gessoing a canvas before painting it – by prepping this “canvas,” stickers adhere to the surface better and inks dry faster.

Jennifer Priest demo CHA Smoothfoam booth

I gathered my best collection of pigment ink pads, rolling stamp wheels, and patterned rubber stamps and set to creating. I printed out a few favorite images from The Graphics Fairy on to Craft Attitude (printable inkjet film) to transfer on to the finished Smoothfoam sheets. I didn’t exactly know what my final project was going to look like, but I was ready for anything!

Dress form Smoothfoam mixed media by Jennifer Priest

Here’s a video tutorial showing how I created a Valentine-themed Smoothfoam canvas, using similar techniques that I demoed at CHA.


These are the basic supplies you’ll need to get started on your own “faux canvas” project:

Imagine creating custom centerpieces for a wedding with photos of the happy couple, or a commemorative plaque for a retirement party. How about lightweight holiday and home décor that can be changed out easily each season?  What would you create?

Cake pop pens – Valentine’s Day party favors

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Who doesn’t love cake pops? They’re fun and festive! That’s what my friend Cindy envisioned when she encountered a large bouquet of skewered Smoothfoam balls in my studio one day. We thought it was a great idea! So to make them useful, I gave them an ink pen “stick.”  We thought a centerpiece like this would be nice in a shop or doctor’s office to keep the patrons from running off with their pens.

But now I want to go crazy and make these Smoothfoam faux cake pop pens as party favors for weddings, birthdays, baby showers…and any other holiday! Learn how to make these festive Valentine’s Day party favors below.

Smoothfoam cake pop displaySupplies:

One 8″ Smoothfoam hollow dome
Nine 2″ Smoothfoam balls
DecoArt Americana Paints:  True Red, Mississippi Mud, Baby Pink
Washi tapes
1″ circle punch
Pink cardstock
Pearl trim
9 ink pens with caps
Course crystal glitter
White all-purpose acrylic latex caulk
Tacky glue
Chopstick, spatula or palette knife, skewers
Disposable plastic containers

1.  Invert the dome and poke nine holes in it with the chopstick – poke one in the top middle, then make three even rows of three. Paint the outside of the dome red; let dry.

2.  Squeeze some caulk into a container and blend in brown paint to get a nice chocolate shade. Apply to the dome with a spatula or palette knife, like you’re frosting a cake, covering the holes and leaving some of the red to peek out at the bottom. Sprinkle with glitter and allow to dry thoroughly. Glue 2 rows of pearl trim around the bottom edge.

3.  Paint the balls red using a skewer for a handle. Let dry thoroughly.

4.  Mix more paint and caulk to frost each cake pop – 5 brown and 4 pink. Sprinkle most with glitter, leave some plain. Seed beads would also make cute sprinkles. Let the pops dry.

5.  Wrap each pen with washi tape, coiling it around from the bottom up to just where the cap fits on top. The cap end of the pen will stick into the centerpiece.

Smoothfoam cake pop party favor pens

6.  Punch 1″ circles from cardstock and glue a small spiral of pearl trim on top, and adhere to the top of each cake pop with a dab of caulk.

7.  Press each cake pop gently through the frosting into each hole in the dome. Display the dome on a plate or on top of a 12″ red paper doily.

*Optional:  Make themed tags for each pen pop favor.  Glue below the pop onto the pen.

 

Owl mailbox – Valentine’s craft for kids

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I love creating crafts with kids in mind, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for it. You can take the most basic supplies and turn them into something spectacular! Recently I created this Owl Mailbox for Kids Crafts 1-2-3 Magazine and it was featured on the cover! This would be a great craft for kids in elementary school or for a scouting troop – such a cute way to store and display all your Valentine’s Day cards. Make sure the grown-ups are using the craft knife!

Smoothfoam owl valentines kids craft

Materials:

Empty cardboard oatmeal container
Creative Hands 8″ x 12″ Craft Foam Sheets:  2 Brown 2 Tan, 1 Orange, 1 Red, 1 Yellow (or let the kids pick whatever colors they like!)
Two 1″ Smoothfoam balls
Aleene’s Fun CraftFoam Glue
Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
2 wiggle eyes
Pencil, scissors, ruler
Broad-tip black marker
Serrated kitchen or craft knife

1.  Slice off a small piece from the end of each Smoothfoam ball and glue a wiggle eye to the flat area of each ball; set aside to dry.

2.  Cut a rectangle of tan craft foam large enough to wrap and cover the outside of the oatmeal container. Apply foam glue to back of the foam and set aside to let glue set up.

3.  Click here to download owl feather templates as a PDF, and print out at 125%. Trace and cut out:
–  Two wings, three chest feathers and one head feather from brown craft foam
–  Two middle wing feathers from orange craft foam
–  Two top wing feathers and two bottom wing feathers from tan craft foam
–  One beak and two feet on yellow craft foam
–  One small hears shape from red craft foam

Apply foam glue to back of wings, chest feathers, wing feathers, beak and feet pieces; set aside to let glue set up.

4.  Glue the large piece of tan craft foam to the outside of the oatmeal container. Glue all the rest of the craft foam pieces into place as shown.

5.  Cut a small slot into the bottom of each eyeball, squeeze a little Tacky Glue into the slots and press each eye on to the top rim of the container as shown. Glue the edges of the brown head feather piece to the eyeballs and let dry.

6.  Draw nostrils on the beak with black marker. Write the child’s name on the heart and glue to the owl’s chest.

 

Smoothfoam Valentine – Bee Mine!

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Add this sweet little honey bee to a “Bee Mine” bouquet for your Valentine!

Smoothfoam Valentine Bee Mine

Materials:

1″ Smoothfoam ball
2-½” Smoothfoam egg
DecoArt Americana Paints:  Bright Yellow, Black
Chenille stems:  black and yellow
Wiggle eyes
Black acrylic beads
Scrap of stencil plastic
Valentine sticker – “Be Mine”
Sandpaper, paintbrush, skewer
Serrated craft knife, wire cutters
Black marker
Glue gun, craft glue

1.  Trim off a bit from the large end of the egg for the body, and one side of the ball for the head.  

2.  Sand off the seams on both the ball and egg and paint them yellow, then let dry. Paint black wide wiggly stripes on the body as shown, and paint the back of the head black, leaving a wiggly heart-shaped area in yellow for the face. You can wiggle the edges of the lines with either a small paint brush or use a black marker after the paint is dry.

3.  Glue the head to the body. Poke holes in the top of the head with a skewer to insert two short pieces of yellow chenille stem for the antennae. Slide black beads on the ends – secure each end with a little craft glue.

Smoothfoam Bee ornament

4.  Glue the wiggle eyes onto the face. Add the nose and mouth with the black marker.

5.  Poke three holes in the body near the head on each side.Cut the black chenille stem into six small pieces, add glue to the holes and slide the stem pieces into the holes.  Slide black beads onto the ends of the stems.

6.  Cut heart-shaped pieces of the stencil plastic for wings and glue to the back.

7.  Adhere the “Be Mine” sticker to the front of the bee. Pin a small ribbon loop to the back of the bee to hang or poke a skewer up through the bottom to use like a plant stake.

 

Valentine’s Day Wreath

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After seeing a heart embellishment in my local craft store that looked like jointed strips of wood, I decided to recreate it with Smoothfoam to put a Valentine’s Day wreath.

Smoothfoam Valentines Day Wreath

Materials:

Smoothfoam disc (any size)
Plaid Apple Barrel Craft Paint – Barn Red
Burlap ribbon, red gingham ribbon
Grapevine wreath
Artificial ivy
Craft knife
Paint brush
Marker
Ruler
Hot glue gun

draw cut heart smoothfoam1.  Draw or trace a heart in the size you like on to the Smoothfoam disc.

2.  Cut out the heart roughly with a craft knife, so the edges to look like rough-cut wood.

smoothfoam faux wood panel

3.  Use the ruler and the rounded bottom of marker to make indentations in the Smoothfoam to mimic the grooves in planks of wood, then paint the heart.

4.  Layer and wrap burlap and gingham ribbons around the heart as shown.

Smoothfoam faux wood panel heart

5.  Glue the heart to one side of the grapevine wreath, then embellish the rest of the wreath with ivy and more burlap ribbon.