“April Showers” heat-carved wallhanging

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One of my favorite things about spring is the sight of brightly-colored umbrellas from people hurrying down the street, dodging puddles and trying so hard not to bump into each other. I decided to capture that moment by carving a trio of umbrellas into a Smoothfoam sheet and backing it with a painted square. Now wouldn’t this cheer you up on a rainy day?

April-Showers-Carved-Wall-Hanging-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis-Main

Supplies:
12″ x 12″ Smoothfoam Scrapbook Mount

12″ x 12″ white foam core
2 Sulky Stick’n Carve Printable Transfer sheet
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Craft paints – red, white, light blue, medium blue, dark blue
Black permanent marker
Hot Wire Foam Factory Hot Knife & Mini-Scroll Table & Engraving Tool

Paint brush
White glue
Picture hanging hook

1.  Click here to download* my artwork. Because the design is too large to fit on a single sheet of Sulky, I tiled it on two pages. Print the artwork on to the Sulky Stick’n Carve Printable Transfer sheets. Peel the backing release paper and apply the Sulky sheet pieces to the Smoothfoam block overlapping to make one continuous design. Trim off the excess transfer sheet.April-Showers-Carved-Wall-Hanging-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis-Step-Out-1

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

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

April-Showers-Carved-Wall-Hanging-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis-Step-Out-2 4.  Use the Engraving Tool to carve details into the foam. Peel off the transfer sheets when finished.

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

6.  Paint the umbrellas red and the letters white, let dry. Use the black marker to fill in the umbrella handles and letter shapes as shown.

7.  Paint the foam core light blue, brushing vertically from top to bottom. Let dry. Use a dry brush to add long strokes of medium blue paint. Repeat with dark blue paint. Mix a dollop of light blue paint with one tablespoon water to make a thin blue wash. Use the handle tip of a paintbrush to drip the blue wash on the foam core. Let dry.

8.  Glue the carving to the painted foam core and glue a picture hanging hook to the back or display on an easel.

* You are welcome to use my original artwork only for your own use or for a gift/donation. You may not use my designs for items intended for resale.

 

Smoothfoam swivel block collage

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I love how my swivel block collage looks with all its inspiring sentiments. Want to display some photos? Just attach them to the sides or back. Each block swivels and spins around so you can see the other sides. There are so many fun papers with matching embellishments, so I want to show off a whole collection in one place and not piece it out.

smoothfoam swivel block collage

You will need:

Three 2″ x 4″ x 4″ Smoothfoam blocks
One 2″ x 4″ x 12″ Smoothfoam block
Coordinating scrapbook papers/embellishments (I used Close To My Heart – Ariana)
Adhesive rhinestone flourishes
Inkpad in matching color
Mod Podge
Paint brush, pencil
Paper trimmer, scissors
3-D adhesive dots
Craft glue
CraZy Tackz – (tack with a hook)
Toothpicks or wooden skewers

1.  For the base:  Cut two 4″ x 12″ rectangles from the scrapbook papers. Glue to the front and back of the large Smoothfoam block with Mod Podge. Cut and glue two 2″ x 12″ rectangles of contrasting paper to the top and bottom of the block.  Cut and adhere a 2″ x 4″ rectangle to each side. For a perfect fit, trace around each block before cutting.

2.  For each block:  Cut two 4″ squares for the front and back, and four 2″ x 4″ pieces from coordinating papers and adhere.

3.  Smooth out any air bubbles and allow to dry thoroughly.  Trim off any excess paper from the edges and then distress the edges by sponging with ink.

4.  Arrange and adhere the matching die-cuts and embellishments to each block. Use 3-D adhesive dots to add dimension.

Smoothfoam  swivel diagram

5.  To make the blocks swivel, refer to the diagram given and connect the blocks with skewers or toothpicks. Do not glue.

6.  Glue the TackZ into each side that you would like to hang ephemera, keys, etc. I like to apply glitter to the stopper of the tackz for added effect.



Quick and easy DIY memo board

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I love to be organized. It doesn’t always happen, but I try. I find I’m more organized if there is crafting and cuteness involved, and this quick and easy Smoothfoam memo board fits these requirements perfectly!

smoothfoam-Memo-Board

 

Supplies:

12″ x 12″ Smoothfoam Sheet
16″ X 16″ piece of linen fabric
Stapler & staples
12″ x 12″ piece of scrapbook or decorative paper
Ribbon
Hot glue gun

1.  If you want to embellish your memo board, you should do it first. I printed one of my bird illustrations on an iron-on sheet and followed the manufacturer’s instructions to apply it to my linen. You could also appliqué a shape, stitch a few buttons, or use a stencil and paint. Leaving it plain works too!

2.  Lay the foam sheet in the center of the linen square. If you have embellished your linen, check on placement in relation to the sheet.

3.  Pull the linen tightly around the board, stapling it in place as you go.

Smoothfoam-Memo-Board-fabric-wrap

4.  Once you are done attaching the fabric to the foam sheet, mark two inches on either side of the top of your memo board and staple a ribbon hanger onto the back.

5.  To secure your staples and cover up the messy back, hot glue a piece of scrapbook paper to the back of the board.

Add a package of super cute stick pins and you have a great gift. How about making one for your favorite mom for Mother’s Day? Everyone knows moms need all the help they can get with organization!

Click here to download a hand-illustrated version of this tutorial.

 

Every home needs a gnome

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Remember the little gnome home I made last month? Here’s how you can make a cute little gnome to take up residence!

Smoothfoam Gnome Home

Materials:

1″ Smoothfoam ball
Two 3” Smoothfoam eggs
DecoArt Americana paints – Tan, Milk Chocolate
Scraps of craft foam, burlap, paper towel and felt
Two 1-1/2″ tear-drop shape wood cut-outs
Cotton ball
Button
Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
Paintbrush, craft stick, toothpick
Serrated craft knife, scissors, 1/4″ hole punch
Black felt-tip pen, white pen

Smoothfoam Gnome

1.  Trim off the bottom of the ball and both ends of the eggs. Glue the large ends of the eggs together for his body and glue the ball to the top for his head. Sand or trim the bottom of the gnome as needed so that he stands up straight.

2.  Paint his head Tan and his body Milk Chocolate; let dry.

3.  Wrap a burlap rectangle around the body, trim to fit and glue in place.  Turn down the top edge for a collar.

4.  Cut two arms from craft foam using a craft stick for a pattern. Wrap a scrap of paper towel around the arms for sleeves, trim to fit and glue just under the collar to secure. Dab each sleeve with both paint colors; let dry.

5.  Glue the arms to the body as shown. Cut pointy ears from craft foam and glue them to the head.

6.  Use the wood teardrop to trace and cut four pieces of burlap for shoes.
TIP:  If you can’t find teardrop shapes in the wood craft aisle of your local craft store, try cutting them out of a wood heart shape.

7.  Glue a pair of burlap pieces to the teardrops, then glue the teardrops to bottom of body. Glue the second set of burlap pieces to the tips of the shoes first and extend the flaps up on to the body as shown.

8.  Draw his eyes as shown with the black and white pens. Pull apart a cotton ball and glue bits to his face for a beard, hair and mustache. Punch a dot from tan and red craft foam.  Cut each dot in half and glue one half to the face for his nose (tan) and mouth (red).

9.  Fold a glue a cone shape from a half-circle of burlap to make his hat and glue it to his head. Cut a strip of felt for his belt, glue it around his body and glue a button in front for a buckle.

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Spring baby chick

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“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”  —Proverb

After the horribly long winter many of us across the USA have had to endure, I wanted to make a fun centerpiece that wasn’t necessarily just for Easter, but would herald in spring in general. Baby chicks are the epitome of spring cuteness, don’t you think? This one is quick and easy to make.

smoothfoam-spring-chickSupplies:

12″ Smoothfoam half-ball
8″ Smoothfoam half-ball
Fiskars Round-n-Round Large Squeeze Punch
Aleene’s All-Purpose Turbo Tacky Glue pen
Scrapbook papers – yellow and orange tones
4 toothpicks
Darning needl3, ice pick or awl
Sequin pins
Black buttons
2 straight pins with white heads

1.  Punch circles out of the paper. You will need 6 sheets of 12″x12″ paper.

2.  Glue the circles onto the 12″ Smoothfoam half-ball, allowing the circles to overlap like feathers.

pilot hole

3.  Flip over the the 8″ half-ball and make 4 pilot holes with the needle along the edge, then push a toothpick part way into each hole. Add some glue around the edges.

4.  Turn it back over and press it down on to the larger half-ball at a slight angle, pushing the toothpicks down inside until secure. Wipe away any excess glue.

5.  Glue the rest of the circles onto the head in the same overlapping pattern, covering the gap between the head and the body.

6.  Pin the buttons in place for eyes. fold a bright scrap of orange paper in half and cut to form a beak. Pin it in place with sequin pins.

 

Ladybug family for your garden

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Spring has officially sprung (well maybe), so I created this cute ladybug family – mama and baby – to keep my flowers company in the garden! It’s a quick and easy project that can completed in an afternoon, and will make you smile each time you look at them.

smoothfoam-ladybugs

Materials:

12″ Smoothfoam half-ball
8″ Smoothfoam half-ball
Two 1-1/2″ Smoothfoam balls
Two 1″ Smoothfoam balls
Americana Paints – Country Red and Lamp Black
Americana Spray Sealer – matte finish
Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
2 pairs of small black buttons
2 pairs small white buttons (slightly larger)
Several medium black buttons
18 gauge wire – two 10″ lengths and two 8″ lengths
Ruler, pencil, wire cutters
Paint brushes – 1″ Wash and #4 Round

1.  Paint both half balls with Country Red, let dry.  Paint the four small balls with Lamp Black, let dry. Apply a second coat if necessary.

smoothfoam-lady-bugs-red-paint

2.  Draw the head and wing lines on both ladybugs and fill in with Lamp Black paint, let dry. Apply another coat if necessary. Stack a small black and white button together for each eye and glue to the face as shown above.

smoothfoam-ladybugs-red-black-paint

3.  Insert the 8″ pieces of wire into the smaller balls for the baby’s antennae; repeat with the 10″ wires for the mama ladybug. Poke the antennae into the top of each ladybug. If desired, you can secure the wires inside the Smoothfoam by dipping the wire into a bit of glue before inserting.

4.  Glue the other buttons to each ladybug’s body.

5.  In a well-ventilated area, spray several light coats of sealer to both ladybugs. This will seal the Smoothfoam, so it can be displayed outdoors.

Tuck your ladybugs in to your garden and ENJOY!

 

Heat-carved Smoothfoam flowers

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Nothing announces the beginning of spring quite like the scent of daffodils, the lush beauty of purple and white thrift and giant blossoms swaying in the breeze…wait a minute..the best giant blossoms at the beginning of spring are made from Smoothfoam and they’re available all year long!

smoothfoam flower bouquet

I gave these flowers an antique look because that’s my style. If you want a brighter colored bouquet, just leave off the antiquing step. Use this heat-carving technique to make new flowers for each season. I’m going to place these in my guest room to bring a cheery welcome our visitors who are coming in a couple of weeks. I know they will love them!

Supplies

Smoothfoam 12″ square sheet
Smoothfoam block (large enough to pack the base of your container)
Craft paint, assorted colors
Acrylic paint, Burnt Sienna (for antiquing step)
6 large buttons
3 yards string, jute or twine – cut into 18” lengths
Floral wire
6 wood skewers
Tag
Ink pads
Glue dots
Flower stamp
Basket and filler
Ribbon, 18″ lengths of two colors
Fine point marker
Wire cutters, scissors, foam cutter or heat tool
Small hole punch
Paintbrush

1.  Draw flowers (three large, three small) on the Smoothfoam square. Cut them out and use the heat tool to make indentations in each leaf, beginning at the center and going toward the end of each petal. Paint both sides of each flower and set aside to dry.

heat carving smoothfoam flowers

2.  Coil 18” of coated floral wire around a 2-3” cylinder to make each coil. Strip off the cover 2” from one end of each piece. Attach a skewer, point down, to the base of each coil with plain floral wire.

jute and wire coils

3.  Apply Burnt Sienna acrylic paint to each flower. Quickly remove most of the paint with a paper towel, leaving a little paint in the crevices. When dry, tie a piece of string through each button and attach to the flower centers with glue dots.

antiquing with burnt sienna paint

4.  Insert the uncovered portion of the coil into the flowers.

assemble smoothfoam flowers

5.  Pack the inside of the basket with a Smoothfoam block, broken up into pieces to fit the contours. Insert each flower into the Smoothfoam and cover the base with filler. Stretch or compress the springs until the flowers are arranged the way you want them.

6.  Trim out a tag and sponge color on the edges with the ink pad. Stamp with a flower stamp all around the outside and add a sentiment. Punch holes and thread both ribbons through. Tie the tag on the basket handle.

Click here to learn how I made the little Easter eggs to put inside the basket at the base of the flower bouquet.

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Romantic floral photo block

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Hello crafty peeps! I want to share with you a fabulous project I created using a Smoothfoam block with the Prima paper line, Stationer’s Desk.

smoothfoam-photo-blockWatch my video below for full instructions!

Supplies:

Smoothfoam 2″ x 4″ x 8″ block
Patterned papers
Craft glue or Mod Podge
Xyron 1.5″ Create-a-Sticker
Hot glue gun
Brown ink or inkpad
Silver acrylic paint
Small picture frame
Scrap felt
Scrap lace
Quilt batting
Paint brush
Scissors and paper trimmer

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Vintage Easter egg decoration

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Vintage images are so appealing, and they’re perfect for the Easter holiday. The Easter and spring vintage collections that are available as downloads are very pretty. I’ve been wanting to try some Craft Attitude film with Smoothfoam. It worked beautifully and I was able to create my own vintage Easter egg similar to the decorative eggs I have always admired in high-end gift shops.DQuartermainSFVintageEgg

This is such a quick and easy project with lots of charm – try other holiday or seasonal vintage images and Smoothfoam shapes for vintage decorations all year long!

You will need:

5-1/2″ Smoothfoam half-egg
1 sheet Wood Attitude film
1/2 yard ivory eyelet trim
1/2 yard ivory cream braid
1 yard sheer ribbons – pink, ivory
½ yard vintage or ivory pearls
5 paper flowers
6 oval ivory pearls or beads
6” length white floral wire
Glue stick
Fabri-Tac adhesive
Scissors
Computer and inkjet printer

1. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, choose your digital imagery and print it on to a Wood Attitude film sheet (in reverse if necessary). Trim out the image with the paper liner in tact, then peel back one small corner of the liner.

2.  Cover the egg’s surface smoothly with a liberal amount of glue stick. Place the image, printed film side down, on to the glued area, then carefully peel off the whole liner. Smooth the image on to the egg with your fingers or an old credit card.

Craft Attitude vintage image Smoothfoam egg3.  Glue the braided trim around the edge of the egg, beginning and ending at the bottom. Glue the pearl trim just inside the braided trim. Glue the eyelet trim behind that, around the outermost edge.

4.  Make a double bow with the ivory ribbon and glue it to the bottom of the egg. Glue a pink bow on top of the ivory bow. Use the floral wire to twist flowers and pearl beads around the bows, and embellish the top of the egg as shown.