Disney Villain-Inspired Party Décor

smoothfoam art frames

If you’re throwing a party soon, then you have to check out this idea for fast, easy, framed décor. Earlier this year I threw a Disney Villains-themed tea party and I had the best time decorating for it. The stars of the show were the villain-inspired framed art I had put up on the walls.


Smoothfoam Décor Frames
Acrylic craft paints
White poster board
Paintbrushes – regular and foam
Packing tape, pushpins

I created these villain-inspired paintings on poster board, cut to 11″ x 14″ to fit the opening of the Smoothfoam frames. While those were drying, I painted each frame with a basecoat of black, using a sponge to get the paint into all of the grooves in the ornate frame design. I then used a small amount of acrylic paint in purples and greens to highlights the design of the frame by lightly brushing the paint onto the frame.

Add Dimension with Acrylic Paint on the details of an Ornate Frame - Smoothfoam JPriest

After the frames were dry, I tape my art inside of each frame using two strips of packing tape across the back of the frame. I then hung the frames on the wall at angles to go along with the Mad Tea Party theme.

Villains Inspired Disney Wall Art JPriest

These ornate frames are lightweight, which makes it easy to use them for temporary party décor, since they don’t need wall anchors as a wood frame might require. Don’t tell anyone, but I hung these on the wall with push pins from my bulletin board! Also since Smoothfoam is so easy to paint, these frames can be used over again for other parties by changing the paint color to match the theme.4 vILLAINS iNSPIRED Ornate Frames JPriest

I shared images of these Villain-inspired paintings for free download over on my blog so be sure to head over there to check them out:  Download Disney Villains-Inspired Art.


Words of Wisdom for the Graduate

smoothfoam craft project words of wisdom for graduates

Need a quick gift or decoration for the graduation party? These DIY gifts for graduation are a fun idea that all your guests can participate in. Ask everyone to write down some words of wisdom for the graduate on little slips of paper, roll them up with ribbon and put them in the jar. A little money rolled in would be nice too! Congrats and best of luck to all the graduates! Learn how to make this Graduate Words of Wisdom jar below.

You will need:

3″ Smoothfoam ball
Craft paints – beige, black, brown and white
Black chalkboard paint
Jar with lid  (I found one with a banner shape embossed on the front)
Black cardstock
Embroidery floss in school colors, small round brad
Paper trimmer
Permanent markers – black, white
4″ squares of copy paper, pens
Heat knife
Wood skewer
Glue gun

Smoothfoam graduation gift project supplies

Cut away the bottom of the Smoothfoam ball with the heat knife, leaving a flat surface. Add a small button-size puddle of hot glue where the nose should be. Let dry, then layer another smaller pearl of glue on top.

Using the skewer as a handle, base-coat the ball with beige, let dry, then paint the face and hair as shown, let dry. Use a black marker to draw in the final details. Click here to download my face pattern to use as a guide.

smoothfoam ball painted face

Make a tassel from a skein of embroidery floss – click here to download an instructional diagram. Glue together a square of black cardstock to a rolled strip of the same cardstock to make a mortarboard (see supplies photo above). Attach the tassel with a small round brad in the center. Glue the mortarboard to the head.

Paint the embossed sign area on the front of the jar with the black chalkboard paint and let dry (or adhere a die-cut from chalkboard paper). Write a message or name on the sign with a white marker. Embellish the edge of the jar lid with paint or paper as desired.

Star-Spangled Wreath

smoothfoam 4th of july wreathWith summer almost here, I thought it would be nice to get a head start on some patriotic decorations!

To make a star-spangled wreath you will need:

14″ Smoothfoam wreath
Foil tape
22-gauge wire
Cereal box
Foam tape
Bamboo skewer
Blunt end of a small paint brush
Permanent markers



1.  Wrap the edge of the wreath with the foil tape.

2.  Cut the foil tape into 3″ pieces and cover the rest of the wreath. Smooth out any ridges with your fingers.

3.  Use the bamboo skewer to press line indents onto the surface of the wreath.

4.  Add detail with the end of the paintbrush – be careful not to poke through the foil tape. Color with the pens.

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5.  Hand or die-cut 18-20 assorted sized stars from the cereal box. Cover stars with foil tape and trim off excess. You only need to cover one side of the star. Decorate stars with the colored pens.

6.  Measure 5″ of wire. Wrap it around a pen to make a coil. Make enough coils for every other star.

7.  Use the foil tape to attach the coil to the backside of the stars and also the wreath.

8. Use the end of the paintbrush to maneuver through the coil, to help press the foil tape onto the wreath. Attach the other stars with foam tape.

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Attach a loop of wire to the back of the wreath with the foil tape and hang it for all to enjoy!


Vintage-Inspired Mirrored Dressing Table Tray

smoothfoam mirrored tray

I have been seeing a lot of elegant mirrored dressing table trays recently and I thought that Smoothfoam would make a perfect base to create a vintage-style DIY mirror tray with a Robin’s Egg Blue modern twist! Place on your dressing table to organize perfumes and jewelry – it’s a lovely gift for that special lady in your life!

Here’s what you will need:

12″ Smoothfoam disc
Four 1-1/4″ Smoothfoam balls
12″ x 24″ perforated aluminum sheet (I used the Mosaic pattern from MD Hobby & Craft)
Metal shears
Protective gloves
Heavy-duty craft glue
Design Master Colortool Spray – Robin’s Egg
12″ round mirror
Dark brown acrylic paint
Wood skewers, rubber bands, needle-nose pliers

smoothfoam disc smoothfoam ballsPut on the protective gloves and carefully cut two 2″ wide strips from the aluminum sheet that will frame your DIY mirror tray. Trim around the pattern for a scalloped top edge, and trim the bottom edge straight.

trim perforated aluminum sheet

Using needle nose pliers, turn over and crimp tightly each of the metal tabs that stick out from the top to ensure there are no sharp edges. Wrap the aluminum strips around the Smoothfoam disc to give the metal a little curl, measure the fit and trim off excess as needed. Try to match the pattern where the ends meet.

make a mirrored tray with smoothfoam

Apply a generous layer of glue around outside edge of the Smoothfoam disc. Wrap the first strip of metal in place, then the second strip. Quickly secure with rubber bands as shown and let dry completely.

spray paint smoothfoam

When the glue is dry, remove the rubber bands and spray paint the tray, along with the 4 Smoothfoam balls. Work outdoors or in a well-ventilated area and use several light coats to get full coverage and avoid drips; let dry completely.  TIP:  Insert skewers into the bottom of each ball (there’s a pilot hole) and poke into a cardboard box lid to keep the balls from rolling around while spraying.

antique finish on smoothfoam

Give the tray and the balls a distressed, antique finish by dipping a wet paper towel in brown paint and rubbing the color into nooks and crannies. Then buff the surface with a clean paper towel.

use smoothfoam balls for tray feet

Remove the skewers from the balls and trim them down to just under 3″ long. Add some glue to one end and poke 2″ of it back into the ball. The four balls will be feet for your tray. Push the opposite end of each skewered ball into the bottom of the tray with a little glue and let dry. Glue the mirror down inside.

antique mirrored tray with smoothfoam


Smiley Face Graduation Pencil Topper

smoothfoam Smiley Face Graduation Pencil Topper

What every graduate at any age needs – a smiley face graduation pencil topper! And because this little guy’s feeling really special, he needed a bow tie.

Smiley Face Graduation Pencil Topper parts

To make the Smiley Face DIY Pencil Topper you’ll need:

2″ Smoothfoam ball
Sanding block or fine sandpaper
Acrylic paints – yellow and black
Black cardstock or chipboard
Red twine
Black brad
Black gingham ribbon
Craft glue, craft knife, skewer

Lightly sand away the center ridge from the Smoothfoam ball. Cut a small portion off the top of the ball (opposite the pilot hole) with a craft knife for a flat top.

Paint the ball yellow and let dry. Paint the top portion black and then paint the face; let dry.

Use a skewer (or awl or knitting needle) to carefully enlarge the pilot hole at the bottom of the ball, big enough to fit snugly on a pencil top.

Make a small tassel with the red twine. Make a small bow tie with the ribbon and glue it to the front of the pencil, just under the eraser.

To make the mortarboard, cut a 2″ square piece of black cardstock. Punch a small hole in centerand insert the ends of the tassel and brad.

Glue the mortarboard on top of the ball, let dry, then push your Smiley Face Graduate DIY pencil topper on top of a pencil.


Favorite Herbs – Mixed Media Wallhanging


smoothfoam mixed media wallhangingSummer is almost here…well, it’s actually pretty hot here in Tennessee already. I’ve been working in my yard, discovering how things have multiplied and moving plants that came up where they shouldn’t have.

One of the nice surprises was that my sage and basil herb plants weathered very well over the winter. And the mint…what can you say about mint except that you can’t kill it.

I decided to do a little homage to these hardy plants with a mixed media wallhanging for my kitchen. Smoothfoam made it quick, simple and very easy.



1″ thick Smoothfoam sheets:  three 8″ squares plus three 6″ squares
3 sheets 12″x12″ newsprint
Craft glue
Craft paints – sage green and cream
Patterned cardstock cut to 5-3/4″ x 6-3/4″ (3 pcs); 6″ x 6″ (3 pcs); 8″ x 8″ (3 pcs)
Two 3-yard lengths string
Double-stick tape – 1/2″ wide and 1″ wide
Ink pads (I used Peeled Paint, Tea Dye and Rusty Hinge from Ranger)
Alphabet stamps
KellyCraft Get-It-Straight Laser Square and Multi-Mat Docking Station
Craft foam adhesive



Mix craft glue 50/50 with water. Brush this mixture onto the 8″ squares of Smoothfoam.

Crumple the newsprint into three balls, then smooth out each sheet and decoupage it to each square.

Brush the glue inside the edges of the paper and wrap the sides, bringing the excess paper around to the back of the square. Repeat with the additional two pieces of 8″ Smoothfoam and set aside to dry.


decoupage newsprint to smoothfoam sheets

When the 8″ decoupaged squares have dried, paint the front, sides and back with cream.

Paint the 6″ squares with sage green and set aside to dry.

Click here to download a low-res PDF of the three herb images and print out on 3 sheets of plain copy paper (one herb per sheet). Line up a 5-3/4″ piece of card stock along the line above the herb and tape the edge securely. Run this layered sheet back through the printer so the herb prints again in position on the card stock. Remove the card stock from the copy paper and trim 1″ off the top so it’s square. Repeat for the other two herbs.

print herbs on paperherb images printed on patterned cardstockPlace the printed card stock on the Laser Square Multi-Mat. Position the laser line along the bottom of the paper and use it to line up the letters below each herb and stamp them in place.

using Kellycraft Laser Square multi mat
stamping herb namesInk the edges of each printed card, then adhere to center of a 6″ piece of cardstock with 1/2″ double-stick tape. Ink the edges of the 6″ Smoothfoam and then glue the matted image to the front.

Ink the edges of the 8″ Smoothfoam squares and use craft foam glue to adhere the 6″ Smoothfoam squares on top of each.

Place strips of 1″ double-stick tape on the back sides of each 8″ Smoothfoam square. Lay them all face down in the order you like at 1″ apart.

Place a length of string on the tape on each side, leaving the excess string at the top, tying it into a knot, then a bow for hanging.Smoothfoam string Cwindham

Position the 8″ cardstock squares on the back of each Smoothfoam sheet to secure the string.

Smoothfoam project back Cwindham


Sweet Spring Bird Wreath

smoothfoam yarn wreath

One of my favorite things to do to get ready for spring and summer is to fix-up my yard. In the warm months, my family likes to use the backyard as an addition to our home. We eat many meals, read, and relax outside as much as we can. Creating a beautiful environment with pretty décor makes the yard a more inviting place and encourages everyone to get outside and enjoy the nice weather.

One charming way to make your backyard feel like a retreat is to hang sweet & colorful ornaments from tree branches. This mini spring bird wreath will bring joy and color to your yard. This spring door wreath craft is also a nice way to bring a touch of nature indoors or use it to decorate a special gift.


4″ Smoothfoam round wreath
Decorative bird (try the dollar bins of your local craft store)
Green felt scraps
Craft glue


1.  Wrap yarn around the Smoothfoam wreath and secure the ends to the back with glue.

2.  Cut leaves from green felt. You only need a little, so this is a great project to use up small scraps.

3.  Arrange leaves and buttons around the base of the wreath to represent flowers. Use my project photo as a guide for placement, or create a placement that is pleasing to you.

4.  Glue buttons and leaves in place. Glue the bird to sit inside the wreath.

5.  Tie a ribbon around the top of the wreath to use as a hanger.

Sweet Spring Bird Wreath


Quick and Easy Decoupaged Necklace Stand

smoothfoam necklace display stand

I’m always in search of stands on which to hang the necklaces I create. My solution: Create one with Smoothfoam! I decoupaged mine with brown paper bag strips, but tissue paper or scrapbook paper would work well, too. And it’s easy to make them in different sizes.

12” Smoothfoam Scrapbook Page Mount
2”x 4”x 8” Smoothfoam block
Paper bag, torn into strips
Decoupage medium
Sheet of printer paper
Craft knife, pencil, scissors, awl

1.  Make a pattern for the stand by folding a sheet of paper in half lengthwise. Draw an outline as shown and cut out the pattern. I made mine about 8” high.

trace pattern on smoothfoam

2.  Unfold the pattern and trace it on the sheet of Smoothfoam. Cut out the shape with a craft knife. Cut a piece of the block about 6” long.

3.  Decoupage the shapes with strips of paper bag. Let dry and determine the placement of the bust on the stand. Make holes in the bottom of the bust and top of the stand. Push toothpicks in both pieces to connect the two shapes. Add glue to hold if desired.



Word for the Year: Connect

how to carve words out of smoothfoam

Each January, I like to choose an “action word” to use as a goal or inspiration for that year. Last year I selected the word “grow” and boy, did I ever! My business and schedule grew tremendously, I’m happy to say. This year I carved the word “connect” from a block of Smoothfoam and added details with twisted wire and Smoothfoam balls. It will serve as a visual reminder to myself to connect more with my family and friends, to network more for my business, and to “connect the dots” in my artwork by bringing together diverse techniques from different media. Choose your own favorite action word and carve it using the following tools and techniques!


2” x 4” x 12″ Smoothfoam block
Two 1” Smoothfoam balls
Three 2” Smoothfoam balls
Sulky Stick’n Carve Printable Transfer sheet
Hot Wire Foam Factory Hot Knife & Mini-Scroll Table
Stamps and ink pads
Tacky glue
Craft paints – sky blue, yellow, red, navy blue, orange
Silver wire – 16 gauge
 and 12 gauge
Wire cutters, round-nose pliers
Paint brush, skewers


1.  Click here to download the “Connect” artwork* and print it onto the Sulky transfer sheet. Because it is too long to fit onto one sheet, it’s tiled into two sections. Cut the sheet in half between the two lines of text. Peel off the backing paper and press the two pieces together to fit on the Smoothfoam block. Trim off the excess transfer sheet. Poke pilot holes with the hot knife into each area of the block that will be cut out.


2.  Carefully carve out the design on the mini-scroll table. Unthread and re-insert the wire into each pilot hole to make each interior cut. Peel off the transfer sheet when finished.

Carved-Word-of-the-Year-Connect-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis-step-23.  Add details to the carving with the engraving tool.


4.  Paint the front of the carved letters yellow and let dry.


5.  Stamp a pattern on to the letters with a contrasting color ink pad – I used orange.


6.  Paint the sides, back and inside areas of the carving sky blue.


7.  Using the skewers as handles, paint each Smoothfoam ball with yellow, orange, red or navy blue acrylic paint. Let dry.

8.  Cut a 14” length of 12-gauge wire. Use a skewer to poke straight through each ball from the pre-drilled pilot hole at one end. Thread the Smoothfoam balls onto the wire. Secure with glue if necessary.

9.  Cut a 18” length of 16-gauge wire and twist one end around the 12-gauge wire right next to the first Smoothfoam ball. Wrap the wire loosely around the ball. Secure the wire in place by twisting the end around the 12-gauge wire on the other side of the ball. Repeat for the rest of the balls.Carved-Word-of-the-Year-Connect-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis-Step-9

10.  Poke the wire ends into the top of the carved block. Add a drop of glue at each end to secure.

* You are welcome to use my original artwork for your own use or for a gift/donation only. You may not use my designs for items intended for resale – that is a copyright infringement. Thank you!

Baseball Time Photo Display

smoothfoam photo display block

Here in North Carolina, baseball season for our little guys is in full swing! When I saw this Smoothfoam baseball, I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it – a fun way to display our grandson’s baseball photos!


2″ x 4″ x 8” Smoothfoam block
2-5/8″ Smoothfoam baseball
Natural Makin’s Clay
Mod Podge Mod Molds – Alphabet
Americana Décor Chalky Finish Paints
Paint brushes
Tacky glue
Craft Attitude Printable Craft Film
Glue stick
Card stock (coordinate color with your team’s uniforms)
Red fine-point marker
Paper trimmer
Sandpaper or emery board

paint smoothfoam block paint smoothfoam baseball

Paint the Smoothfoam block in your desired color and let dry.

Sand way the center seam on the Smoothfoam baseball and paint it white or off-white and let dry. Use the red marker to highlight the raised stitches on the baseball.

On your computer, type various baseball-themed words in different fonts in desired color to fill 2″ x 8” sections for the top and 2″ x 4″ sections for the sides of the block. Print out on Craft Attitude film, following manufacturer instructions – be sure to reverse your text before printing. Trim out and use glue stick to adhere the film to the sides and top of block.

mount photos on smoothfoam craft attitude on smoothfoam

clay letters in silicone molds

Create the letters for your desired verse with the clay and molds. The mold is flexible, so the clay will pop right out after pressing it inside – you don’t need to wait until the clay dries to remove the letters.

When the letters are dry, draw baseball stitches on each with the marker, then glue them into your verse on a strip of card stock.

Mat your photos on card stock and glue them on the block, then glue the verse underneath.

Press a toothpick into the pilot hole of the baseball, then push the ball into the lower left corner of the block – secure the ball to the block with a little glue.