Baby shower centerpiece

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Hi everyone! I am so happy to be posting for the first time on the Smoothfoam blog!

My DD1 (darling daughter #1) is having her own DD1 later this fall, so of course I must use my craftiness to make her baby shower decorations. Her theme is a beloved girly theme park character, so I knew that I could make something amazing with Smoothfoam balls (and thank goodness she changed her mind, originally she wanted Pink Transformers, which just made my head hurt thinking about trying to make).

Anita Scroggins Minnie Centerpieces1

To make a baby shower centerpiece like this, you will need:

One 4-1/2″ Smoothfoam ball
Two 2-1/2″ Smoothfoam balls
3″ Smoothfoam cube
Clay flower pot
Wood dowel
Craft paints – black, pink, white
Crinkle-cut paper filler
Curling ribbon
Wire ribbon
Toothpicks
Craft glue
Corsage pins
Paint brush
New pencil

AnitaScroggins Miinnie Centerpieces2

1. Paint the clay pot pink, let dry, and then add polka dots by dipping a new pencil eraser into white paint – use it like a rubber stamp. Press the Smoothfoam cube into the pot – glue it to the bottom if needed to secure.

Anita Scroggins Minnie Centerpieces 4

2.  Attach the smaller balls to the larger balls with toothpicks and glue, trimming just a bit off of each for a better fit.

3.  Press a dowel into the bottom of the large ball to make it easier to paint black. Push the opposite end of the dowel into the cube to dry.

4.  When dry, add a wire ribbon bow on top, curling ribbon underneath and paper filler inside the pot to cover the cube. I used corsage pins to attach everything – this makes it much easier to move something if needed. Try using different fillers like tulle or extra-wide ribbon.

AnitaSCroggins Minnie Centerpieces 6

 

Steampunk dragonfly

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Well of course there’s such a thing as a steampunk dragonfly! He’s magical, industrial and metallically cool.

Steampunk smoothfoam Dragonfly

 

2-½” Smoothfoam egg
Four 1” Smoothfoam balls
Three 7/8” Smoothfoam balls
Toothpicks
Craft glue
Brown tissue paper
Americana Decou-page Medium
DecoArt Dazzling Metallics paint – Worn Penny
Adirondack Alcohol Ink – Ginger
Copper wire mesh
6 large safety pins
2 large upholstery nails with convex heads
Assorted sprockets, gears, springs, watch parts, eyelets
Scissors, paintbrush, large craft stick, sponge

1.  Trim off both ends of the egg and three 1” balls. Trim one side of remaining 1” ball for the head.

Dragonfly smoothfoam

2.  Using toothpick pieces and glue, connect the head, the egg body, three 1” balls and three 7/8” balls in a row.

3.  Tear brown tissue in small pieces and decoupage to body. Add Worn Penny highlights with the sponge.

4.  Use a large craft stick for a pattern and cut four wings from copper mesh. Trim any sharp edges and dab wing edges and centers with Worn Penny.

5.  Open safety pins and spread apart. Slide a spring onto the point, add glue and push into sides of egg for legs.

6.  Push upholstery nails into head for eyes. Use sprockets to attach wings to body. Add a sprocket and watch parts for mouth parts. Decorate body with other gears, watch parts or eyelets. Dab metal parts with alcohol ink or paint.

Glittered planter bowl

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This winter was the longest I’ve ever experienced.  I spent it dreaming of the coming summer…

I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”     —Emma Goldman

smoothfoam glitter bowl

One problem I’ve encountered year after year is how fast planters can dry out. Smoothfoam’s density ensures that moisture won’t leach out like it does with a clay pot. The extra bonus is that it’s lightweight and easy to paint and glitter. This is a quick and easy project that’s fun for the whole family to add some colorful sparkle to your patio or countertop.

Supplies:

Smoothfoam Half-Ball (any size you like)
Folk Art Extreme Gliitter paints (Chunky Gold, Chunky Silver, Rose)
Gold glitter glue
Screwdriver
Sponge brush

1.  Punch a few drainage holes in the base of the Smoothfoam half-ball with the screwdriver.

2.  Paint the outside of the half-ball with the three paint colors – blending and swirling as desired. Let dry.

3.  Doodle a scalloped border around the edge with gold glitter glue and let dry.

4.  Plant your favorite herbs or other plants inside and place a saucer underneath.

 

DIY Dollhouse

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A dollhouse is such a charming toy for children, but they can be expensive and take up a lot of room. Here’s a solution – create individual dollhouse rooms using Smoothfoam sheets! They are inexpensive, lightweight, and you can easily store them when your little one is done playing.

diy dollhouse smoothfoam

I love that my daughter can change the rooms on whim by simply putting different wallpaper (scrapbook papers) on the “walls”. Since this is so easy to travel with, it can go to the park or a friend’s house on a whim. Here’s how to put one together.

smoothfoam dollhouse walls

Supplies:

3 Smoothfoam 12″ x 12″ Scrapbook Page Mounts
Glue stick
Scrapbook papers of your choice – 2 sheets for the walls and on1e for the floor
Washi tape

Instructions:

1. Glue scrapbook papers to two of the Smoothfoam Scrapbook Page Mounts.

2.  Glue flooring onto remaining Page Mount.

3.  Place one of the walls perpendicular to the other at the edges, right sides facing each other. Attach the two walls on one side with a couple strips of washi tape to help keep the walls sturdy when set-up for play.

Washi Tape Smoothfoam DIY dollhouse

4. To play with the dollhouse, place the floor piece on a flat surface. Open the two walls up and place then flush with the floor. Fill with dollhouse furniture and enjoy.

5. When play is done, fold up the walls, stack them with the floor and stow them away.

Tips:

  • Make a couple of rooms and line them up to create a complete house.
  • These rooms aren’t just for little girls! Children can create dinosaur scenes using plastic dinosaur toys and jungle-like background papers. Or how about a mechanic’s shop for fixing toy cars? The possibilities are as endless as your child’s imagination!

 

Vintage photo ornament

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Hello Craft Peeps! I want to bring to you a pretty project using an oval Smoothfoam shape and an antique fork or spoon – a vintage ornament that will look great hanging just about anywhere.

smoothfoam oval vintage ornament

Supplies:

Smoothfoam oval  (3-1/8″ x 7/8″)
Black acrylic paint
Black lace
Vintage photo
Gold beaded trim
Antique fork or spoon
Various metal charms and chain
Black twine
Hot glue gun

Here is what you have to do!!

1.  Paint the oval black and let dry. Trim your photo to the size of the oval.

2.  Glue black lace around the outside of the oval. Glue gold beaded trim around the front edge and add a metal flower charm to the front.

3.  Glue the black twine to the back of the fork and then measure how far you want the oval to hang from the fork – I placed it at about 3 inches. Glue the other ends of the twine to the back of the oval and adorn the fork with metal charms and embellishments.

4.  Add charms to the end of a short length of chain and glue to the back of the oval. Glue a piece of oval cardstock to the back of the ornament to cover.

smoothfoam vintage photo ornament

Steampunk trophy

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For my project this month, I wanted to create the letter “S” like a trophy for my name…or for Steampunk!

Steampunk S

 

I started with a 12″ x 12″ foam sheet.  I traced the letter “S” onto the foam and cut around the markings with my Hotwire Foam Cutter.  You could also cut the letter by hand with a craft knife, but I just received my new foam cutter and wanted to try it out.  Since practice makes perfect when using the foam cutter, I also used a sanding block to smooth my edges.

 

Hotwire Foam Cutter

 

To give my steampunk trophy the look of metal, I used 2″ aluminum foil tape (the kind used for insulation or automotive repair) that I cut into 5″ lengths (I like the look of the tape seams showing) and ran through my die-cutting machine with a swiss dot embossing plate. I applied the foil tape to the Smoothfoam on a diagonal and cut the excess with scissors and a craft knife.  I cut 3/4″ embossed strips to go down the width of the letter. To finish it off, I added a couple “faux screw” brads and a glued on a washer and nut.

 

Embossed Foil Tape

 

I sponged on black acrylic paint and carefully wiped the excess off, allowing some of the silver foil to show through.

For the base of my trophy, I cut a 5″ length from a 2″ x 4″ x 8″ Smoothfoam block.  I covered the top with paper from Authentique Paper’s Accomplished Collection.  The “Genius at Work” die-cut is from the same collection.

 

Steampunk vintage key decoration

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A skeleton key is such a versatile shape for a wallhanging or shelf decoration. It works with lots of different decorating styles too, from steampunk to vintage to industrial. This faux-rust technique is really quick and easy – it makes the lightweight Smoothfoam look like rusted heavy metal!

Smoothfoam Steampunk Vintage Key Decoration

Materials:

Smoothfoam sheet (any size)
Pen
Craft knife
Sandpaper
Black acrylic paint
Paint brush
Cinnamon
Clear spray sealant

Smoothfoam faux rust skeleton Key

Instructions:

1.  Sketch or trace a basic vintage key shape on to Smoothfoam sheet in whatever size you like. Cut it out with a craft knife.

2.  Sand all the edges of the key with sandpaper until smooth.

3.  Paint the key black. While the paint is still wet, sprinkle cinnamon in random areas to simulate rust. Let dry and then spray with clear sealant spray.

Smoothfoam faux rust key wallhanging

Steampunk perpetual calendar

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Steampunk,” as a term for the genre, first made an appearance in the 80s and since then, it has grown into a hugely popular style for crafting and mixed media art. My perpetual steampunk-style calendar was created on one 12″ sheet of Smoothfoam. Expand it into a triptych wallhanging by adding more Smoothfoam panels (shown at the bottom of the post). Hope you enjoy this project – if you are a fan of steampunk, it was created just for you!

Smoothfoam steampunk Perpetual Calendar

You will need:

One 12″ x 12″ Smoothfoam Scrapbook Mount
12″ x 12″ scrapbook papers (I used Tim Holtz – Destinations)
12″ x 12″ cardstock:  slate, dark brown
Decou-Page sealer
DecoArt Metallic Lustre Wax:  black, copper
Rags for application
Craft glue
Black pigment ink pad
Embellishments: 1-1/4″ filigree butterflies, 1-1/2″ filigree squares, 1″ metal washers, brass paper fasteners, 3″ doll eyeglasses, paper roses
Tissue papers: matte gold, metallic gold
19-gauge wire, two pieces bent into 1/2″ u -pins
2 CraZy TACKz
Die-cut gear shapes – (I used Cricut/Close To My Heart – Artiste)
Die-cutting machine
Paper trimmer, scissors
Paintbrush, wire cutters
Click here to download a PDF pattern for large gears and wings

1.  Wad the matte gold tissue into a ball, then unfold and flatten out. Apply Decou-Page to the Smoothfoam sheet, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Tear tissue into large pieces and adhere to the entire surface. Tear large strips of the metallic gold tissue and adhere, leaving in wrinkles. Allow to dry thoroughly, preferably overnight.

Smoothfoam decoupage wrinkled tissue

2.  Apply copper wax randomly to the tissue-covered Smoothfoam surface, allowing the gold tissues to show through in spots. Repeat with the black shimmer wax. Apply the shimmer wax to the paper wings and to the filigree elements to get the desired effect.

3.  Cut out clock images from the Tim Holtz papers and die-cut the gears from cardstock.  Cut out the larger gears by hand from the pattern provided above. There are 22+ of the smaller gears that are adhered to the perpetual calendar pages.

4.  Color the edges of the embellishments and die-cuts with the black pigment ink pad.

5.  Arrange and adhere embellishments to the textured Smoothfoam sheet.

For the calendar:

1.  Background:  Cut one 6-1/2″ square and one 6″ square from patterned cardstock.  Adhere the smaller square to the larger square. Center and adhere to the board.

2.  Months:  Cut six 1″ x 2″ rectangles – center and adhere the word “January” (print out on the computer or use calendar stickers). Repeat with February and adhere to the backside of the January card. Repeat for the remaining months.

3.  Days:  Cut sixteen 2-1/2″ x 3″ rectangles. Print and adhere the numbers 1-31 as for the months, using the front and the back of each card.

4.  To make a hanger for each card, center and glue the bottom half of a 1-1/2″ gear to the front of the January card. Repeat; gluing one gear to the front of each card.

To finish: 

1.  Cut the prongs off of the brass paper fasteners and glue the round pieces to the corners of the calendar as shown. Repeat the process with two more brads, adhering one to each center of the two large gears.

2.  Center and glue the CraZy TACKz to the calendar.  Hang the perpetual calendar cards on the hooks.

3.  Center the eyeglasses above the calendar cards. Make two pilot holes for the wire u-pins. Secure the eyeglasses to the board with the u-pins.

4.  Display on an easel or glue a saw-tooth hanger to the back for hanging on the wall.

Smoothfoam steampunk triptych calendar

 

Hand-carved dragonfly plaque

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One of my favorite visions of summer is the yearly return of dragonflies. There’s a point when the sun is about ready to set behind our woods;  it’s just dark enough as a backdrop to see the dragonfly wings capture the remaining sunlight. You can see them feeding on mosquitoes, dipping and swirling, their wings glistening in the late-day sun. The colors are ever-changing and they are never still, fluttering in the light as long as it lasts.

Dragonfly

I‘ve had a fixation on dragonflies since I was a child…my Granny called them “snake doctors.” I used to try to get close enough to see if they really were ministering to puny snakes, but I was too afraid of snakes to get really close. I like to think that my love of them is because their flitting about from here to yonder represents the way some creatives move from one medium to another and back again.

The Southern Hawker is one of the dragonflies with transparent wings, so it picks up color from its surroundings. I can make them any color I like and today I chose greens, blues, golds and purples – my favorite color combinations.

Here’s how I made it:

Supplies

Two 12” Smoothfoam Scrapbook Mount sheets 
1 sheet Sulky Stick’n Carve 
ColorBox Spritzers Dye Ink:  Glacial Lake, Golf Course, Deep Grape
Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid – Sea Foam Green
12” x 12” sheet patterned cardstock
Smooch Pearlized Accent Inks:  Kiwi, Garpe Soda, Pool, Gold Lamé
PanPastel Artists Pastels:  Turquoise Shade 580.3, Pthalo Green Shade 620.3,Violet Shade, 470.3, Dairylide Yellow 520.3, Bright Yellow Green 680.5
Inka Gold Metallic Pastes:  Jade, Aquamarine, Champagne
Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
Aleene’s Repositionable Spray Adhesive
The Crafter’s Workshop Dragonfly Harmony stencil
Self-adhesive chipboard nameplate
Dew Drops embellishments
Table top easel for display
Paint brush, baby wipes, craft mat
Iron, old credit card, craft knife with new blade

Trim inside the border to make sure you keep the wings attached to the frame.

1.  Click here to download and print this dragonfly outline on to the sheet of Stick’n Carve. Adhere to one Smoothfoam sheet and cut away the background with the craft knife, leaving the frame with the wings and body attached. My dragonfly wings are approximately 8″ wide. I trimmed the overall sheet down to create 1” border on three sides and a 1-3/4” border at the bottom to accommodate the nameplate.

painted cutout

2.  Remove the Stick’nCarve sheet and paint the Smoothfoam carving with Golden Glazing Liquid (any craft paint you have on hand will also work) and allow to dry. Paint the inside and outside edges of the Smoothfoam carving with Inka Gold – blend the colors as desired to create depth.

3.  Spray the spritz inks on to the carving and blend with a baby wipe. Allow to dry, then intensify the colors around the edges with PanPastels.

Apply Smooch

4.  Paint details on the dragonfly with the Smooch inks and allow to dry thoroughly. Highlight the edges of the carving with Inka Gold.

nameplate

5.  Paint the chipboard nameplate with Inka Gold. Print out the dragonfly name and adhere it to the backside of the nameplate. Glue the nameplate to the wide portion of the frame. Adhere Dew Drops to cover the holes of the nameplate.

stencil swirls

6.  Use the stencil to apply Color Box Spritzers to the cardstock in colors that will contrast with your colors for the Smoothfoam carving. Put a light coating of Aleene’s Repositionable Adhesive on the back of the stencil. Place it on the cardstock and apply color, moving the stencil as necessary to cover the entire paper. Allow the paper to dry and iron it if it needs smoothing.

Tip:  For a smooth finish, spray the color onto a baby wipe and rub it around with a circular motion. For a more textured background, spritz the color on, then use the wipe in the same circular motion. The Spritzer spray dots and splashes will remain visible.

7.  Spread a thin coat of glue on the back of the second sheet of Smoothfoam with an old credit card. Position the cardstock on the sheet and smooth down. Place a book on top for weight; allow to dry. This sheet will be the background for your carving.

Inka Gold Edges

8.  Paint the edges of the background sheet with Inka Gold, blending colors as desired, allow to dry. Glue the carved dragonfly to the background sheet. When dry, place the finished piece on an easel for display.

 

Hand-carved “May Flowers” wallhanging

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At first glance, this wallhanging might seem like a reminder to pick up a bouquet at the store, but it’s actually the second half of a pair of carved Smoothfoam panels which I made to illustrate the saying “April Showers Bring May Flowers.” You can see last month’s “April Showers” panel here.

May-Flowers-Carved-Wall-Hanging-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis

For the April panel, I used primary colors and tried to evoke a dreary rainy day with a drippy painted blue sky background. For my May panel, I chose bright secondary colors and added a cork tile as a nice earthy background for the flowers. Try carving one for yourself – you’ll have fun!

Supplies:
12″ x 12″ Smoothfoam Scrapbook Mount

2 Sulky Stick’n Carve Printable Transfer Sheet
s
12″ square cork tile – The Board Dudes
Craft paints – light green, medium green, pink, purple, lavender
Paint pens – black, white, green
Hot Wire Foam Factory Hot Knife & Mini-Scroll Table & Engraving Tool

Paint brush
White glue
Picture hanging hook or stand
Computer/printer

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 off 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.

May-Flowers-Carved-Wall-Hanging-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis

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.

4.  Use the Engraving Tool to carve details into the foam including a scalloped border. Peel off the transfer sheets when finished.

5.  Paint the frame of the carving light green. Let dry before dry brushing a light coat of medium green paint in the scalloped areas.

6.  Paint the flowers pink and the large text shapes purple. Let dry. Paint the letters lavender.

May-Flowers-Carved-Wall-Hanging-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis7. Add details with the paint pen as shown.

8.  Glue the carving to the cork tile 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.