Chicken in a Pot Centerpiece


A few months ago, I made one of my all-time favorite Smoothfoam projects – a little orange tree topiary. I have it sitting on my desk and one day, I realized that it reminded me of a chicken. With just a few changes, I took that tree design and adapted it to make this fun little mama chicken running around with her chicks.

Three 1-1/2” Smoothfoam balls
One 3” Smoothfoam ball
One 4” Smoothfoam ball
One 4″ Smoothfoam cube
One 6″ Smoothfoam disc
Ceramic flower pot
1/4″ aluminum tubing (found in the plumbing section of the hardware store)
Acrylic paints – red, orange, dark yellow, ochre
Craft foam sheets – red, orange, yellow
Hot Wire Foam Factory Sculpting Tool
Westcott Non-Stick Scissors/ Kraft Knife
Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue
Scribbles 3D Dimensional Paint – Bright Orange
Elmer’s Painters paint pens – black, orange
Metal shears, wire cutters
Paint brushes, plastic plate
Wood skewers

1.  Glue the Smoothfoam cube into the bottom of the ceramic pot. Use the sculpting tool to trim the Smoothfoam disc to fit inside the ceramic pot on top of the cube.Chicken-in-a-Pot-by-Carmen-Flores-Tanis

2.  Paint the disc ochre. When dry, press it into the pot on top of the cube. Doodle some flourishes on the top of the disc with Scribbles.

3.  Using the skewers as handles, paint the three 1-1/2″ balls dark yellow, the 3″ ball orange, and the 4″ ball red. Let dry.

4.  The pre-drilled pilot hole in the 3″ orange ball will become the chicken’s neck. With this in mind, carve a diamond-shaped groove into the ball (for the mouth) with the craft knife. Cut two triangles from the yellow craft foam for the beak.


5.  Cut a comb and waddle from the red craft foam, two wings and tail feathers from the orange, and two feet from the yellow. Carve corresponding grooves for each shape into the orange and red balls. Note – the pilot hole in the red ball should point straight down as this will become the hole for one of the legs.


6.  Cut a 6″  length of aluminum tubing for the first leg, insert it into the center of the disc in the pot and secure with glue. Poke a hole in one of the yellow foam feet and slide it onto the tubing. Fit the hole in the red ball onto the tubing. Cut a 4″ length of aluminum tubing for the neck. Fit it into the hole in the orange ball and poke the free end of the tubing into the red ball to attach the head to the body. Cut a 6″ length of aluminum tubing for the second leg and bend it into a gentle “S” shape. Poke one end into the red body and glue the second yellow foot into the other end of the tubing.

7.  Fit all the foam pieces into the grooves of each ball as shown and secure with glue.

8.  Add detailing to the eyes and beak with the black paint pen. Draw faces on the small orange balls to make the chicks. When dry, add the chicks to the ceramic pot.

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About Carmen Flores Tanis

Carmen Flores Tanis is a mixed media artist, crafter and designer who loves to make things! She specializes in combining humble materials in unusual and unexpected ways. A Designer Member of the Craft and Hobby Association, Carmen has on online craft supply store and teaches craft classes regularly in Southern California. Her secret to crafting happiness is "patience, practice and power tools."

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