Make Gazing Balls with Glass Pebbles

Smoothfoam-DIY-Gazing-BallGazing balls can really make a garden pop, but I’ve struggled with finding a mirrored glass gazing ball that I really like. And there is always the concern of the dog knocking it over and breaking it by accident. Then one day I was in the dollar store and saw all these bags of flat glass pebbles that are used as vase filler. Maybe I can’t exactly gaze at my reflection in them, but they would look great glued onto a Smoothfoam ball!

Creating these DIY gazing balls was really very easy and they’re much more affordable than traditional mirrored glass gazing balls. Flat glass pebbles/marbles are available in multiple colors in most craft stores too, so you can make accent your garden with whatever color you like. You can even create a mosaic style pattern using multiple colors of marbles.

I laid these balls at the base of some flowers pots on my gravel side yard patio but you can put them in pots, arrange them in flower beds, and more. The larger the ball is, the heavier it will be due to the weight of the glass marbles. It’s best to bring them inside during inclement weather.

Smoothfoam-Gazing-Ball-for-Garden-JPriest

To make a garden gazing ball, you’ll need the following supplies:

Smoothfoam balls  (mine are 6″ and 10″)
Acrylic craft paint
Paint brush
Flat glass marbles (aka glass pebbles)
Heavy-duty craft glue or hot glue

Here’s how easy it is to make DIY gazing balls:

1.  Paint the Smoothfoam balls to match the color of the marbles. The marbles are still see-through, even when tinted with color, so the paint color will show through them. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

2.  Apply glue to the flat side of each marble and press them to the ball, one by one, until the ball is covered.

Giant Crepe Paper Flowers

large crepe paper flowerWe are getting ready for a birthday party by decorating with lots and LOTS of giant crepe paper flowers – all for The Little Princess (aka my granddaughter). I will be making several different styles – here is the first one I made, using a Smoothfoam ball as the center. This large paper flower is 18″ in diameter and very sparkly!  And now I only have about 74 more to go.

Supplies:

3″ Smoothfoam ball
Crepe paper
8″ circle of chipboard
Heavy-duty craft glue
8.5×11″ sheet of paper-lined double-sided adhesive
Non-stick scissors
Coffee filters
Gold acrylic paint
Gold spray ink
Gold microfine glitter
Ribbon for hanging
Hot knife, paint brush, chop stick, stapler

how to make large crepe paper flower1.  Remove one side of the paper liner and press the adhesive sheet to the chipboard circle and trim away the excess around the circle. Gently score the second paper liner on top into three concentric circles. Remove just the outer circle first, to expose a ring of sticky chipboard.

2.  Cut ten 6″x10″ pieces of crepe paper for the outer layer of petals and trim out a curved edge as shown above. Gather each petal across the bottom, staple the gathers together to maintain the shape and press down to the sticky side of the chipboard.

make gathered crepe paper flower

3.  Space the first five petals evenly around the circle, then add five more petals in between.

4.  Remove the middle circle to expose the next ring of adhesive for the second layer of petals. Cut a few 5″ wide strips of crepe paper. and gather the bottom edge as you press a strip down to the adhesive. Add a new strip at the end of the first strip until you’ve gone all the way around.

how to make coffee filter fringe

5.  For the flower’s center, trim off the outer rings from 3 coffee filters and cut into the edges with scissors to fringe. Remove the last bit of paper liner, then layer and press the three fringes together in the center of the flower, leaving about a 2.5″ circle of adhesive exposed.

painted smoothfoam ball for flower center

6.  Cut the 3″ Smoothfoam ball in half with the hot knife and paint one half gold. Cover the surface with glitter while the paint is still wet. After it’s dry, shake off the excess glitter and add some craft glue to the back (for extra stability), then press it to the center of the flower.

rolled edges crepe paper

7.  Roll the edges of the petals using a chop stick, shaping as you go. Spritz the whole flower with gold metallic spray ink. Glue a ribbon to the back for hanging.

Painted globe – Fly me to the moon!

Smoothfoam-Painted-globe

I’ve been seeing a lot of painted globes lately – some decorated with lovely quotes, others with pretty designs. The light went on in my head when I realized that I could make my own globe with a Smoothfoam ball! My globe has two twists – it’s a look at the skies with doodles inspired by Wile E. Coyote’s crazy diagrams from the Roadrunner cartoons. This is a super easy project that combines a simple etched glass vase as a display. As a final touch, you can personalize it with a name or special quote for your favorite space buff…to the moon!

Materials:

8″ Smoothfoam ball (comes in two halves)
Black chalkboard paint
Clear acrylic sealer
Paint pens – white, yellow
Plain glass vase
etchall® Etching Crème
Craft glue
Orange oil cleaner
Sandpaper, aluminum foil
Paint brush, plastic gloves, cookie tray

Instructions:

1.  Glue the two halves of the Smoothfoam ball together and let dry.

2.  Sand the seam of the Smoothfoam ball as needed to smooth out. Wipe away the dust with a damp paper towel.

3.  Paint the ball with black chalkboard paint. TIP: Place the ball on top of a roll of masking tape to keep it steady while you paint. Let dry.

4.  Doodle all over the painted ball with the white paint pen. Think rockets, astronauts, satellites and martians!

Astronauts-and-Rockets doodles

5.  Seal the painted ball with a coat of acrylic sealer. Let dry and set aside.

6.  Doodle all over a clean, glass vase with the yellow paint pen. The paint will act as a mask with the glass etching creme. You can use any color – I just find the yellow easier to see. Let it dry for 20 minutes.

doodles on glass vase

7.  Place the vase on a tray, put on your plastic gloves and brush a thick coat of etching creme all over the vase. Let it sit 15 minutes. Read the jar for specific directions and precautions.etchall etching creme on glass vase

8.  Use the brush to wipe excess etching creme off the vase and put it back into the bottle – it’s reusable! Rinse the vase under running water to clean.

9.  Wipe the doodles off the vase with orange oil cleaner, then wash with soapy water and pat dry.

10.  Crumple up some aluminum foil and put it inside the etched vase for an added bit of shine.crumpled foil in etched glass vase

11.  Place the painted Smoothfoam ball on top of the etched vase to display. Enjoy!

smoothfoam painted globe

Baseball cap and hat rack

smoothfoam baseball cap rack Our son Dyllan loves hats. He has quite the collection, from cute to all-boy-edgy. But they were always getting misplaced so I decided to make him a homemade hat rack using Smoothfoam. Now he has a place to put all his basecaps, hats and beanies!

Materials:

Four 1″x6″x12″ Smoothfoam sheets
Six 1″ Smoothfoam balls
Clothespins
Acrylic paints – black, red, white
Foam paintbrushes
Bubble wrap
Black duct tape
22-gauge wire, toothpicks
Scissors, tacky glue, metallic marker
Wood skewers (cut into 3″ pieces)

Instructions:

Join the four Smoothfoam sheets together, end to end, to create one 4-foot plank, using toothpicks and glue. Cover the seams between the sheets on the back with duct tape to secure, then paint the whole plank black and let dry.

Dab some white paint on the bubble wrap, flip the wrap over onto the Smoothfoam and press down. Lift to reveal distressed polka dots. When dry, finish the edges with duct tape.

paint stamp smoothfoam with bubble wrap

Paint the balls, skewers and clothespins red. When dry, push a skewer into each ball and poke the balls into the sheet at even intervals. Secure with glue at both ends of the skewer.

Glue the clothespins along the bottom edge of the hat rack, in between each ball peg. If desired, add a strip of duct tape to the bottom of the rack, further securing the clothes pins. Embellish the tape with the metallic marker.

Make loops of wire, twist and secure to back of the baseball cap hat rack with the glue and duct tape for hanging.

smoothfoam hat rack

Christmas in July – Blog Hop!

smoothfoam Robins Nest blog HopSmoothfoam has partnered with The Robin’s Nest and The Designer Crafts Connection to bring you a Christmas in July blog hop with a terrific prize giveaway!

By leaving a comment on any designer blog(s) in the hop, you’ll be entered for the chance to win a selection of both our products, valued at $85.00 (shipping within the US only).

Don’t tarry along the way through this Christmas wonderland – the deadline to enter to win is July 28, 2015. Click here to hop through all the participating designers’ blogs – have fun!

DIY Whale Nursery Mobile

Smoothfoam Whale nursery Mobile

 

Whales are a huge trend right now and they are perfect for a nursery or child’s room. Boys and girls both will love watching the gentle giants swim above their beds.

Supplies for a DIY Whale Mobile

Smoothfoam airplane shapes
6″ Smoothfoam disc
Acrylic paints – black or gray, plus white (or any color combo you want, go for it)
Fishing wire, long needle
Mini pom poms
Scrapbook paper

smoothfoam airplane shape as whale

Instructions to make a DIY Whale Mobile

1.  Paint the airplane shapes in black or gray (on the top of the plane shape) and white (on the bottom). The Smoothfoam Airplane has a mold line that allows you to do this perfectly without any measuring! Set aside to dry, then paint small eyes on either side.paint smoothfoam airplanes

2.  Thread pom poms and whales onto strings of fishing line with a long, sharp needle. Vary the lengths of the fishing line and make at least 5 strings (3 with whales, 2 with only pom poms.) When threading the whales and poms poms, it’s helpful to knot the fishing line below and above where you want the pom pom or whale to hang to prevent slipping.

3.  Thread strings through the Smoothfoam disc. Make sure you put one string with a whale in the middle and then space the other four evenly around the edge of the disc, with two whale strings opposite one another to help the mobile be balanced.

4.  Cut 4 more pieces of fishing line, measuring 6″ long. Knot one end and then thread one line at the edge of the top of the disc, repeat this evenly around the top of the disc. Imagine a square on top of the disc-you want the line coming out at each corner. Gather and knot all four ends of fishing line together to create a hanger for the mobile.

5.  Cut 1″ strips of scrapbook paper and glue around the edge of the disc to give the mobile a finished look. Ribbon or washi tape could be used instead.

smoothfoam whale nursery mobile

Shabby Chic Angel Bride Decoration

Smoothfoam angel bride decoration

Smoothfoam is a great surface with many uses – it’s perfect for making a table decoration for any theme, like this shabby chic angel bride. This angel can be adapted to many other holiday or seasonal themes in addition to bridal or wedding. I think she would be beautiful in Christmas colors; maybe holding a birds nest or something appropriate for the holiday.  Enjoy!

You will need:

6″ x 12″ x 1″ Smoothfoam sheet
6″ Smoothfoam disc
8″ Smoothfoam disc
1/2″ Smoothfoam sheet (any size or scraps)
Hot wire foam cutter (I use Marvy)
Solid cardstock: cream, light peach, pink
Ink pads:  light brown, light pink
Cosmetic wedge sponge
Extra-fine point permanent black marker
Acrylic paints  black, blue, white
Paint brushes
Embossing machine and folders
Hot glue gun, tacky glue
Embellishments:  flowers, yarns, pearl-string, netting (cut in strips)
Ribbons:  1/4″ sheer pink, 1-1/4″ sheer cream

Instructions:

Emboss cream cardstock, then cut circles and strips to glue on the top and edges of each Smoothfoam disc. Ink the edges with light brown and glue the 6″ disc on top of the 8″ disc.

Click here to print my pattern* for the angel bride shapes. Cut out the pattern and trace around the body onto the 1″ Smoothfoam sheet.  Trace the arms and wings on the 1/2″ thick piece of Smoothfoam. Use the hot wire cutter to cut out each shape.

hot wire to cut smoothfoam

Trace around the head and shoulders onto the peach paper, cut out and glue the paper to cover the Smoothfoam.  Outline her facial features with the marker. Paint her eyes blue and her lips pink. Blush the cheeks with the pink ink pad.

Trace around the dress and arms patterns onto the cream cardstock. Cut out and emboss if you would like to have textured pattern as shown in the photo. Glue the paper to the matching Smoothfoam shapes. Distress the edges using the ink and sponge.

Cut out the wings from cream and pink cardstock using the pattern. Glue the layers together, then glue the wings to the angel’s back.

Anchor the angel to the discs with toothpicks and glue.

Glue yarn to her head for hair and trim as needed. Tie a knot in the middle of each strip of netting and glue each knot around her waist until you get the desired fullness. Glue flowers to her head, arms and base as shown.  Further embellish with ribbons and pearlstring until you are happy with the way she looks.

smoothfoam shabby chic angel bride decoration

* My pattern is for your own personal use or gift/donation only. Reselling my design is a copyright violation.

Pac-Man vs. Poké Ball…Game on!

smoothfoam pacman sign
I have two boys and they are huge into gaming. Of course I am “old school” and played Frogger, Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga. The boys are from the world of Mario, Pokémon and so much more! My goal with this sign project that I made for them was to show the superiority of my games…Pac-Man vs. Poké Ball. I think the photo tells the story in one big bite!

Materials:

6″ Smoothfoam disc
8″ Smoothfoam disc
1″ x 6″ x 12″ Smoothfoam sheet
Acrylic paints
Heavy-duty craft glue
Craft knife, pencil, paintbrushes

Instructions:

1.  Draw two intersecting lines through the center of the 8″ disc and cut away the right side with a craft knife for Pac-Man’s mouth. I made my cut a little jagged to make it seem like my Pac-Man has teeth. You can use a hot knife for a smoother cut.cutting pacman mouth in smoothfoam disc

2.  Paint this disc with two shades of yellow to add a little variation and let dry. Paint around the outside edge with black and add the eye to the front, let dry.

3.  For the Poké Ball, paint the 6″ disc white and let dry.

4.  Mark the center with a circle. I used a lid to trace around, then used a ruler to draw lines across the center.smoothfoam poke ball

5.  Paint the top part red and the middle area black. Let it all dry, then paint around the edge with black. Let dry.

6.  For the sign backer, paint the Smoothfoam sheet black and let dry. Glue both discs to the sheet.

 

Bracelet Stand

bracelet stand

This quick and easy bracelet stand is great for displaying and selling your work at a show or even for storing your personal jewelry. Hang your bracelets on the arms or stack them around the posts.

Materials:

12” Smoothfoam rod
2” x 4” x 12” Smoothfoam block
Two ¼” x 6” lengths of wood dowel
Fabric or burlap, scrap of felt
Acrylic paint
Scissors, paintbrush, tacky glue, straight pins

Instructions:

Mark holes four inches from each end in the centers of both Smoothfoam pieces. Poke holes at marks and stick the dowel pieces in the holes to enlarge.

Wrap the Smoothfoam with fabric or burlap. Roll up the rod in the burlap and place the seam over the holes. Clip and glue the burlap down over the ends. Cover each ends with a glued circle of felt. Wrap the block with the seam at the bottom (holes on top). Fold the ends like gift wrap and glue to secure. Use straight pins to hold fabric until glue dries, as needed.

Paint the dowels, let dry. Cut small holes through the fabric where you made holes in the Smoothfoam and glue dowels in place.

Decorative Display Board

Smoothfoam Display Board

My project started as a memo board and then…while I was looking for some push pins, I stumbled across a collection of little pretties. Tucked away in a cabinet, along with a lot of other embellishments, were these little metal frames that I’d been hoarding since my K & Company days.

I added those frames along with some other little pretties onto my board. Love!

Memo Board Products

To make my decorative display board, I used:

Smoothfoam 12 x 12 Scrapbook Page Mount
Wood laser-cut frame
Gingham fabric
Dimensional paper flowers
Cream acrylic paint, paintbrush
Craft knife, cutting mat, ruler
Spray adhesive
Fabric glue

Directions:

Paint the wood frame cream and let dry.

Trim the Smoothfoam sheet to 1/4″ larger than the center opening of the frame.

Apply spray adhesive to the front of the Smoothfoam and lay it on the wrong side of the fabric. Wrap the fabric around to the back and secure with glue.

Glue the frame on to the front of the fabric panel, then decorate the top and bottom of the frame with the flowers.

Push decorative garment pins in to the foam at an angle to hang your own little “pretties.”