Carved Cheshire Cat Wallhanging

Smoothfoam carved cheshire cat wallhanging

 

I absolutely love this conversation between Alice and the Cheshire Cat from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland – the original cat was illustrated for the book by John Tenniel.

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat. “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

And wouldn’t this mad Cheshire Cat make a great wallhanging in your entryway? Your guests would know that they were in for some fun! This carving is actually pretty easy to make using a minimum of supplies. Don’t be scared by the artwork; because this is such a simple image made up of little white lines, everyone will easily be able to recognize the Cheshire Cat, no matter what your drawing skills!

Supplies:
12″ Smoothfoam Scrapbook Mount sheet
Sulky Stick’n Carve Printable Transfer sheets
Acrylic paint – chalkboard black
Proxxon Tabletop Hot Wire Cutter
Hot Wire Foam Factory Hot Knife and Engraving Tool
Paint pens – white, orange
Picture-hanging hook
Scissors

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 sheet, overlapping to make one continuous design. Trim off the excess transfer sheet.

Smoothfoam-were-all-mad-step-12.  Carefully carve out the Smoothfoam sheet with the tabletop hot wire cutter.

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3.  Use the Engraving Tool to carve the wording and other details into the foam. Be sure to carve the eyes, nose, ears and mouth of the Cat. This will make the painting much easier later. Peel off the transfer sheets when finished.

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4. Paint the foam black. Let dry.

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5.  Add details with the paint pens as shown.

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6.  Refer to the printed image of the Cat on the Sulky sheet and draw lots of little white lines with the white paint pen. After a few minutes of drawing, the cat  magically appear!

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7.  Glue a picture hanging hook to the back or display on an easel. Enjoy!

* Copyright:  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.

Carved Butterfly Wallhanging

Smoothfoam Carved Fanciful Butterfly Wall Hangings by Carmen Flores Tanis Main

If this project looks familiar, it’s because I explained how to make one single butterfly in a post back in September here. I love that butterfly and have had it brightening up an empty corner of my bathroom. And what’s better than one butterfly? A whole group of them! By changing up the colors and varying the text on each one, I now have a fun butterfly wall that will bring the springtime indoors.

Supplies:
12″ Smoothfoam Scrapbook Mount – one per butterfly
Sulky Stick’n Carve Printable Transfer sheets
Acrylic paints – black, light blue, medium blue, dark blue, metallic blue, lime green, metallic green
Proxxon Tabletop Hot Wire Cutter
Hot Wire Foam Factory Hot Knife and Engraving Tool
Paint pens – white, black
Silver 12-gauge wire
Wire cutters
White glue, paintbrush
Picture-hanging hook
Pencil

1. You can find complete directions and a link to download* my butterfly design here to make the first butterfly here.

2. Cut out two additional butterflies using the same directions as for the first butterfly. Remove the Sulky transfer sheets from each one. With a pencil, lightly draw a banner and the words of your choice on the two butterflies.

Smoothfoam Carved Fanciful Butterfly Wall Hangings by Carmen Flores Tanis Cut Outs 3. Use the engraving tool to carve the wording into the foam.
Smoothfoam Carved Fanciful Butterfly Wall Hangings by Carmen Flores Tanis Emboss

4. Paint the butterflies black. Let dry.

5. Dip the paintbrush into the medium blue, then wipe most of the paint off onto a paper towel and “dry brush” the blue on top of the black. Set aside to dry. Repeat for the second butterfly using lime green paint. Let dry.

6.  Paint the banner area on the blue butterfly with a few coats of blue metallic paint. Do the same on the green butterfly using the metallic green paint.

Smoothfoam Carved Fanciful Butterfly Wall Hangings by Carmen Flores Tanis Paint

6.  Add details with the paint pens as shown.

7.  To form the antennae on each butterfly, cut two pieces of wire to 5″ long. Twist one wire into a loose spiral and insert it into the top of the butterfly. Secure with a drop of white glue. Repeat for the second wire.

8.  Glue a picture hanging hook to the back of each butterfly.

* Copyright:  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.

St. Patrick’s Day Lucky Shamrock Sign

carved smoothfoam st patricks day sign

Everyone can always use a little extra luck, right? Well, here’s a fun tabletop decoration perfect for a Saint Patrick’s Day party, or as a cute gift for someone who just hit the jackpot. I used a hot engraving tool to add detailing to each letter, reminiscent of Celtic knots, and then outlined the word with a black paint pen to make everything pop. And although a four-leaf clover is the traditional symbol for good luck, I decided to add a little luck of the Irish with a three leaf shamrock instead. Hmm – I might just try my luck tomorrow and buy a lotto ticket!

Supplies:

2” x 4” x 12″ Smoothfoam block
Sulky Stick’n Carve Printable Transfer sheet
Proxxon Tabletop Hot Wire Cutter
Hot Wire Foam Factory Hot Knife and Engraving Tool
Acrylic paints – gold, dark green
Glitter – light green, dark green
Black paint pen
Paint brush / plastic dish
Scissors

Instructions:

1.  Click here to download my “Lucky Shamrock” 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.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Lucky-Shamrock-Decoration-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis-Step-1

2.  Carefully carve out the Smoothfoam block with the tabletop hot wire cutter. Unthread and re-insert the wire into each pilot hole to make each interior cut.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Lucky-Shamrock-Decoration-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis-Step-2

3.  Add details to the carving with the engraving tool as shown. Peel off the transfer sheet when finished.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Lucky-Shamrock-Decoration-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis-Step-3

4.  Paint the carving gold. Let dry.

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5. Paint the shamrock green. While the paint is still wet, sprinkle with dark green glitter. Add a little more green paint to the center of the shamrock and sprinkle with light green glitter. Tap the carving to remove any excess glitter. Let dry.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Lucky-Shamrock-Decoration-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis-Step-5

6. Outline the carved letters with black paint pen.

* 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!

St. Patrick’s Day Irish Blessing Plaque

smoothfoam irish blessing plaque

 

Materials:

Smoothfoam sheet
DecoArt® Americana Decor™ Chalky Finish Paints – New Life, Timeless
DecoArt® Americana Decor™ Crackle Medium
Sizzix® – Big Shot™ Machine
Sizzix Bigz Die – Butterfly, Flower, Leaf & Shamrock
JudiKins™ Color Sponge
Craft Attitude™ Printable Craft Film
Clearsnap® ColorBox Crafter’s® Ink – Evergreen
Paint brush, paper trimmer, patterned paper, glue stick
Sandpaper, large rubber stamp
Irish blessing subway art (downloadable)

Instructions:

Cut Smoothfoam sheet to desired size. If necessary, smooth rough edges with sand paper.

Press the rubber stamp’s pattern into the sheet (if needed, a hammer helps with this process). Use edge of stamp to distress edges/corners.

McGeeStPatricksSignHOW1

Paint the embossed sheet with Timeless (tan) chalky finish paint and let dry. Apply crackle medium and let dry. Then paint with New Life (green) chalky finish paint.

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Resize the St. Patrick’s Day graphic to desired size  (5” x 7” on mine). Reverse the image before printing onto Craft Attitude film. Mount the film to the center of the painted sheet using clear-drying glue stick.

Use color sponge and Evergreen ink to alter the color of a sheet of patterned paper, then die-cut 6 shamrocks from it.

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Arrange and glue shamrocks above and below text. Be sure to browse our blog for other St. Patrick’s Day crafts.

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Home is where the heart is

Smoothfoam-Carved-Home-Decoration by Carmen Flores TanisQuotes, words and letters are popular right now and it’s so easy to carve your own favorite word out of a block of Smoothfoam. I had been playing with the idea of a carving a little house, but I wanted to try something totally out of my usual color choices. I used a chalky -inish blue paint on the carving and was delighted to find that fabric markers worked well on the matte surface. This is a fun project that can be easily adapted to your own particular colors or your special word or name.

Supplies:

2” x 4” x 12″ Smoothfoam block
Sulky Stick’n Carve Printable Transfer sheet
Proxxon Tabletop Hot Wire Cutter
Hot Wire Foam Factory Hot Knife and Engraving Tool
Acrylic paints – Chalky finish baby blue
Fabric markers
Paint brush

Instructions:

1.  Click here to download my “Home” artwork* and print it onto the Sulky transfer sheet. Trim off the excess transfer sheet. Peel off the backing paper and press it onto the Smoothfoam block. Poke pilot holes with the hot knife into the interiors of the letters.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Home-Decoration-Step-1

2.  Carefully carve out the Smoothfoam block with the tabletop hot wire cutter. Unthread and re-insert the wire into each pilot hole to make each interior cut.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Home-Decoration-Step-2 3.  Add details to the carving with the engraving tool. Peel off the transfer sheet when finished.

4.  Paint the carving chalky baby blue. Let dry.

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5.  Add details with the fabric markers as shown.

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* 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!

Mixed Media Monoprint – Unlock Your Dreams

smoothfoam mixed media paintingI love getting to spend time around my creative friends – all of the Smoothfoam designers are so fun and inspiring. Today I am sharing a mixed media monoprint – unlock your dreams!

Smoothfoam 12″ x 12″ sheet
Gel Press printing plate
Brayer
Stencils
Acrylic paints, paint pen
Dimensional paints (I used Liquid Pearls)
Embellishments, crystals, chain
Adhesive

monoprinting on Smoothfoam

I started by painting a base coat of color to the Smoothfoam sheet. I then spread a second glossy color on the Gel Press with a brayer and pressed the stencil on top. I pressed the Smoothfoam sheet on to the stencil/plate to make a monoprint.  I repeated the process with several colors and stencil designs to create a varied  background.

stenciled background

I stenciled some key shapes and wrote a sentiment on the surface with dimensional paint. I embellished my piece with some bling and a key on a chain.

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Stenciled Heart with Crackle Paste

stenciled smoothfoam heart lisa fulmer

Smoothfoam is a great surface for so many techniques, and one that is super fun is stenciling with crackle paste! With Valentine’s Day coming up, hearts are in season, but who said they have to be pink and red? I decided to show my love with a little purple and mint green.

Supplies:

Smoothfoam flat heart – 3″ or 6″
Craft paints – purple, mint
DecoArt Media Crackle Paste
Stencil
Paint marker
Washi tape, ribbon
Self-adhesive gems
Tropical Punch beads and long headpin
Short straight pins
Glue, paintbrush, wedge sponge, palette knife

Paint the top and sides of the heart purple, let dry. Mix a dab of mint paint into a heaping teaspoon of crackle paste to tint.

Anchor the stencil on top of the heart with a few pins and make sure it’s completely flat.

crackle paste through stencilSpread the paste smoothly across the stencil with the palette knife.

crackle medium smoothfoam heartCarefully remove the pins and stencil and scrape excess paste off the edges of the heart. Let dry for at least a couple of hours.

Use a paint marker to color in desired areas of the stencil design. Embellish with a few gems.

beads bling smoothfoam heartPlace beads on the head pin and push into the top of the heart as shown.

washi tape smoothfoam heartPress a long strip of washi tape all around the top edge of the heart to give it a more finished look.

ribbon hanger smoothfoam heartTo hang, glue a ribbon loop to the back of the heart and secure with pins.

Carved and Painted Holiday Ball

Smoothfoam-Carved-Holiday-Ball-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis_Main

Here’s a fun and modern way to invite the holiday season into your home. I carved the words “JOY TO THE WORLD” around a Smoothfoam ball and then painted it with metallic paints. I used a 6″ ball, but you can use a larger size and make a really dramatic centerpiece. I love this piece so much that I think that I just might leave it on display year round!

Supplies:
6” Smoothfoam ball
Heat carving tool
Metallic paints – silver, dark silver, blue, green, gold
Silver paint pen
Clear acrylic sealer
2″ blue painter’s tape
Sanding stick or sandpaper
Paint brushes, plastic dish, pencil
Short can or small bowl to use as a stand

Instructions:
1. Sand the seam of the Smoothfoam ball as needed to smooth out. Wipe away the dust with a damp paper towel.  TIP: Place the ball on top of a roll of masking tape to keep it steady while you work.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Holiday-Ball-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis_step-1

2. Wrap a strip of blue painter’s tape around the center of the ball being careful to align it to the seam line. This will help you to draw a nice even stripe around the ball.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Holiday-Ball-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis_step-2

3. Trace the edges of the tape with a pencil. Draw a second line 1/4″ outside each of the two drawn lines to make a nice border. Remove the tape. Write the words “Joy to the World” in the wide area in between the lines. You can use stencils too if you prefer.

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4.  Use the heat carving tool to engrave the wording and other details as shown into the foam.

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5.  Paint the ball with silver paint. Let dry.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Holiday-Ball-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis_step-5

6. Continue painting the ball as shown adding the blue and green paint. Let dry. Smoothfoam-Carved-Holiday-Ball-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis_step-6

7. Working in sections, brush on dark silver metallic paint and then quickly wipe it away with a paper towel. Paint will remain in the crevices and give you a nice antiqued effect. Brush each of the letters with dark silver paint.

8. Brush gold paint onto the narrow stripes and the star. Scribble on each letter with the silver paint pen to add additional detailing.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Holiday-Ball-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis_step-7

9. Brush on  a coat of clear acrylic sealer for shine and protection. Let dry.

10. Display the ball by placing it on the short can or small bowl.

Winter Wonderland Christmas Trees

SMOOTHFOAM CHRISTMAS TREES

Thanksgiving is officially over and Christmas will be here in just a little over 20 short days! I got busy this past weekend decorating my house for the holiday season and discovered that I did not have anything for my mantle. I love Christmas trees, so I created this winter wonderland treescape with some paint, stencils and molding paste. One of the things that I like about Smoothfoam is that it’s easy to cut so you can create a finished piece that looks like a high-end wood decoration that you would buy at a home décor store!

Here’s what you need:

Two 12″ x 28″ Smoothfoam sheets
Acrylic craft paints – light green, dark green, gray, dusty blue, sea green, cream
Americana Gel Stain – Oak
Molding paste
Stencils
Palette knife, paintbrush, toothpicks
Pencil, marker, ruler
Glue, chunky clear glitter
Hot wire cutting tool
Mini wood snowflakes

Here’s how to make it:

SMOOTHFOAM CHRISTMAS TREE cutting

1.  Measure the first Smoothfoam sheet to an 18″ by 6″ piece for the base and a 12″ by 8″ piece for a front tree. Cut apart with the hot wire tool. Mark the top center of the smaller piece, then cut a triangle by slicing from the bottom two corners up to the top center mark.

2.  Measure and cut the second Smoothfoam sheet into an 18″ by 12″ piece for three back trees and a 12″ by 8″ piece for a front tree. Mark the top center of the larger piece, then mark in 2″ from the bottom at left and right and cut into a triangle. Measure 2″ up from the bottom of the this triangle, then cut from each mark out to the top left and right edges to create two smaller triangles. Cut one last triangle from the remaining piece of the sheet.

3.  Paint each triangle tree a different color. Let dry and apply a second coat if desired.

stencil painted sMOOTHFOAM sheet

4.  Mix cream paint with molding paste and lightly spread the mixture across your stencil with the palette knife on to each painted tree. I used harlequin, lace and damask stencil patterns for a variety. Set aside to dry. Spread more of the tinted molding paste to the base sheet and sprinkle with clear glitter, then set aside to dry.

distress smoothfoam painted christmas trees

5.  Distress each stenciled tree with the stain by brushing a small amount across the surface then wipe off the excess with a damp paper towel. Leave some areas darker and some areas lighter.

use toothpicks to assemble smoothfoam pieces

6.  Insert two toothpick halves into the bottom of each tree. Apply a line of glue to the bottom edge, then insert into the base and push down to set. Repeat with other four trees in position, 3 taller trees in back andd 2 shorter trees in front. Glue wood snowflakes to embellish the trees. Let the glue dry several hours or overnight.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my Winter Wonderland Treescape tutorial!  I think I might leave it up all winter long! Check out the Smoothfoam Facebook page for more inspiration!

Vintage-Inspired Halloween Pumpkins

smoothfoam carved pumpkin decoration

There is just something about vintage halloween decorations that makes me so happy. One can’t but help smile at the sight of flying witches, scaredy cats and grinning pumpkins all printed in orange in black on old costume boxes and metal noisemakers. Thus inspired, I had fun coming up with this cute design of three jolly pumpkins all ready to brighten up a Halloween table!

Supplies:
2” x 4” x 12″ Smoothfoam block
6″ Smoothfoam disc
Sulky Stick’n Carve Printable Transfer sheets
Proxxon table top Hot Wire Cutter Thermocut 115/E
Handheld Hot Wire Cutter Thermocut 12/E
Dimensional paints – black, crystal
Acrylic paints – black, bright orange
Paint pens – white, orange
White glue, paintbrush, scissors

  1.  Click here to download* my pumpkin trio design. Print the pumpkins onto a Sulky transfer sheet. Peel off the backing release paper and apply the adhesive sheet to the Smoothfoam block. Trim off the excess transfer sheet.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Pumpking-Trio-Step-1

2.  Carefully carve out the Smoothfoam block with the table top hot wire cutter.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Pumpking-Trio-Step-2

3.  Use the handheld hot wire tool to carve the outlines and other details into the foam. Peel off the transfer sheets when finished.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Pumpking-Trio-Step-3

4.  Paint the foam block black. Let dry.

5.  Outline the pumpkins with white paint pen. Color each pumpkin with bright orange paint. Add sparkle to each eye with a drop of crystal dimensional paint. Scribble the dimensional paint on the back of the block to add texture. Let dry.

6.  Paint the Smoothfoam disc black. Let dry. Add details to the side with the white paint pen as shown. Draw a simple spider web on the top of the disc with black dimensional paint. Let dry.

7.  Glue the pumpkin stack onto the painted disc. Let dry.

* Copyright:  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.