Abstract flower box – inspired by the art of Mary Blair


I’ve been a lifelong fan of the art of Mary Blair, so I created an abstract flower box inspired by her bright colors and simple shapes which are always so cheerful and enchanting.

Abstract flower box with Smoothfoam by Carmen Flores TanisI grew up as a Southern California kid, which meant spending lots of time at the theme parks like Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland.

Once when I was riding on It’s a Small World, the ride broke down and we were stuck for fifteen minutes in our little boat listening to the famous song over and over again. But I loved every minute of it because I was surrounded by the art of Mary Blair.

Smoothfoam is the perfect foundation for adding color and whimsy to your home decor. This project is a little bit Mary Blair, a dash of Mary Mary, Quite Contrary, a touch of tiki…and it’s a great way to use up scraps of Smoothfoam that you might have leftover from previous projects.

You don’t need to worry about making the shapes perfect – a little wonkiness only adds to the charm!


Smoothfoam sheet – any size
Smoothfoam block to fit your planter box
Smoothfoam balls – 1″ and 2”
Wood planter box
Green cardstock
Wood skewers
Acrylic paints in bright colors
Scribbles 3D Paint – White
Green permanent marker
Paintbrush, scissors
Hot wire foam-cutting tool

1.  Paint the box white and let dry. Add second coat if desired.

2.  Draw a strip of small rectangles on the front and sides of the box with the green marker, then fill in the rectangles with short lines so that they look like clumps of grass.

3.  Cut the Smoothfoam block with the hot wire tool to to fit snugly inside the box.

4.  Cut the green cardstock to fit inside the box on top of the Smoothfoam block.

5.  Cut various shapes from the Smoothfoam sheet – circles, squares, oblongs, triangles, etc. with the hot wire tool.

6.  Paint each shape and the Smoothfoam balls with 1-2 coats of desired color. Poke a skewer into each shape to use as a handle while painting. Let dry.

7.  Slide the shapes into desired arrangements on to wood skewers as shown.

8.  Doodle on each shape with the white 3D paint and let dry.

9.  Poke each abstract flower through the green cardstock into the Smoothfoam block as shown.



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