The cutest critter crafts you’ve ever seen!

DIY-Crayon-Holder-The-WILD-LIFE-Movie-jenniferppriest

Have you ever heard of an echidna? It’s also called a spiny anteater sometimes. This little guy uses your crayons for his spines! Visit Jennifer Priest’s blog to learn how to make this adorable (and functional) creature using a Smoothfoam half-ball for the body – she made a video tutorial as well – check it out:




Speaking of cute critters, how about a party ant? Every picnic in the park or barbeque at the beach deserves a happy little conversation starter like this guy. Visit Sue Eldred’s blog to see how she created him with mini Smoothfoam balls.

smoothfoam party ant decoration

Summer kids’ crafts – make a menagerie!

smoothfoam animals

Smoothfoam’s got you covered when it comes to keeping the kids busy this summer. Pull out the paints, glitter, yarn and pipecleaners and make a menagerie of cute “pets” that are way easier to take care of than the real ones. Click the links below to get the how-to instructions for each critter.

Click here to see lots more animal-themed projects – have fun!

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.

Doggie Note Holder

SMOOTHFOAM Doggie Note HolderThis doggy note holder is a fun weekend craft or an easy DIY gift for the kids to make – how cute would this little pup be on your desk or kitchen counter?

Materials:

12”  Smoothfoam rod
Four 1″ Smoothfoam eggs
2” Smoothfoam egg
2” Smoothfoam ball
Self-adhesive craft felt
Light brown craft paint
Wiggle eyes, black pom pom
Brown or black chenille stem
Craft knife, scissors, sandpaper
Tacky glue, hot glue gun, toothpicks

1.  Cut a 5” length from the Smoothfoam rod. Cut off the top of the 2” egg at the seam. Trim one side of the Smoothfoam ball to fit the bottom of the egg section.

2.  Cut a 5″ square of felt, then remove the backing and adhere it around the rod. Cut out and adhere two circles of felt to fit the ends. Cut out 4 droopy ear shapes, remove the backings and put two together, felt sides out, for each ear.

3.  Sand the edges of the cut egg and the ball to get a good fit and glue together to make the dog’s head. Paint the head and the smaller eggs (for feet) with two coats and let dry.

4. Attach the head and feet to the body with pieces of toothpicks and secure with glue. Glue the ears, wiggle eyes and pom pom nose to the head. Make a collar for the neck with a strip of felt and a charm.

5.  Curl the chenille stem and make a hole at the end of the dog’s body for the tail. Push the stem into the hole and secure with glue.

6.  Use a craft knife to carefully cut two or three slits across the back of the doggie to hold notes. Notes can also be pinned to the body instead, like a bulletin board.

Carved Butterfly Wallhanging

Smoothfoam Carved Fanciful Butterfly Wall Hangings by Carmen Flores Tanis Main

If this carved butterfly wall hanging 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. Learn how to make these DIY butterfly decorations below.

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 carved butterfly wall hanging design 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. Now your DIY butterfly decorations are ready to hang!

* 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.

Easter Bunny Tabletop Decoration

smoothfoam easter bunnyTake a hop into Spring with this Easter bunny tabletop decoration – a whole pot of bunnies! Just add some eggs and personalize the front of the pot with a name or sentiment.

You will need:

2-1/2″ Smoothfoam ball
Two 2″ Smoothfoam balls
1-1/2″ Smoothfoam ball
1″ Smoothfoam ball (cut in half)
Floral foam (cut to fit in the pot)
Chalky paints:  yellow, aqua, teal, pale yellow, pale pink, vintage white
Fine-point black marker
Wiggle eyes, powder blush
Ribbon or paper for bows
Paper shred
Low-melt hot glue gun
Paintbrush, scissors, wood skewers
Heart punch and cardstock (pastel shades)
Candy, mini fuzzy chicks

Instructions:

To paint, insert a skewer into each ball using it as a handle. Refer to the photo given and paint each ball the appropriate color. Paint the your pot teal if desired.

Die-cut or punch two hearts from each color of cardstock. Glue them together for rigid bunny ears. Cut each heart in half and round off the top edge. Bend up the point of each ear about 1/4″.

Paint a pink nose on each bunny head (ball), blush the cheeks and the inside of the ears. Glue on a pair of wiggle eyes to each and add face details with the black marker.

Glue a pair of ears to the each bunny head with the folded point facing to the back.  Glue an embellished bow in front of the ears.

Glue the piece of floral foam into the pot. Cut the ends off of the skewers, staggering the lengths. Poke each skewer into the pot, spacing the bunnies as shown. Stuff the paper shred around the bunnies and push down into the pot. Glue a chick or two into the shreds and add some candy.

Bitty Bunny Easter Craft

smoothfoam easter bunnyThis is a fun and easy foam Easter bunny craft that kids can make to decorate the dinner table. Learn how to make your own DIY Easter bunny below.

Materials:

One each – 1″ and 2″ Smoothfoam eggs
1” Smoothfoam ball
Acrylic paints: gray, white, pink
Gray felt scraps
1/8” wide ribbon
Wiggle eyes
Small pompoms – pink, gray
Gray yarn
Tacky glue
Sandpaper or emery board
Craft knife, paintbrush, scissors, bamboo skewers

Instructions:

1.  Cut 1” egg in half. Trim small ends and flatten on table top. Trim top and bottom from 2” egg. Sand the bottom of the ball and seams and edges of all pieces.

2.  Paint all pieces gray. For ease of painting, push skewers into bottoms of pieces. Let dry by standing in a jar. Glue head to body. Glue half-eggs onto body for feet.

3.  Mix gray and white paints and stipple the bunny’s tummy. Cut arms and ears from felt. Paint ears pink in centers. Add pink dots for cheeks with the end of a skewer.

4.  Poke small holes in head and glue ears in holes. Glue arms to sides of body. Glue ribbon around neck and glue a bow over the ribbon. Cut small pieces of yarn and glue to head between ears. Glue wiggle eyes and pompoms to bunny.

5.  Add details with a permanent pen if desired.

Easter Bunny Blocks

SMOOTHFOAM BUNNY blocksI love the look of the 2×4 wood block crafts that are all over Pinterest these days, so my Smoothfoam Easter bunny blocks are the perfect quick and easy project to craft up for the holiday – and no power tools needed! Smoothfoam is one of my all time favorite materials to use as a base instead of wood. It comes in a variety of shapes, is easy to cut and carve and paints up like a dream!

Display your Easter bunny block family on a table or shelf. Make these Easter bunny art projects for a co-worker or teacher, or craft a set with the kids or a special friend. HOPPY EASTER!!

Start with 3 Smoothfoam blocks (2″ x 4″ x 12″).  Bunny Dad is 12″ tall, use a hot wire tool to cut a second block to 10″ tall for Bunny Mom, and cut the third block to 8″ for Bunny Baby. Sand away any melted strings with a nail file.

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Paint the three blocks black. Apply a crackle medium and let dry according to package directions. Paint each block with a white topcoat. As the paint dries, the cracks will appear.

Cut a nose from pink felt, two eyes from blue felt and two ears from white felt for each bunny and glue in place.

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Cut 18 pieces of wire 6″ long. Twirl each length around a pencil, then insert three on each side of the the bunnies noses. Secure with a small dot of glue at base.

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Detail each Bunny’s eyes with dark gray and white paints as shown and let dry. Paint a line for the mouth with dark gray.

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Embellish each bunny block with a ribbon bow tie for Dad and hair bows for Mom and Baby.

Spring Chickadee

smoothfoam easter chick

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s Party!” — Robin Williams

Several of my neighbors raise chickens in their backyards. The anticipation of waiting for each little spring chickadee to hatch is behind the inspiration for this project to decorate your Easter table or to celebrate spring in general. It’s also a fun way to use your scraps of spring-themed paper.

You will need:
One 3″ Smoothfoam ball (cut in half)
One 6″ Smoothfoam disc
Two 12″ x 12″ sheets of spring-themed paper
One 1″ circle punch
Tacky glue
2-1/2″ googly eyes
3 yellow pipe cleaners
20″ length of 1″ wide yellow polka dot ribbon
Straight pins, scissors, toothpicks

Punch 60 circles from your spring paper. Working concentrically from the outer edge into the center, glue the circles to the disc, overlapping the circles slightly as you go.

Take three toothpicks and push them deep into the back of the half-ball for the chick’s head. Spread some glue onto the back. Center the head over the disc and push down, allowing the toothpicks to pierce into the half disc. Glue folded paper circles to cover the seam between the half-ball and the disc. NOTE: The head is brown as I had painted it for another project which I never finished. You do not need to paint the head.

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Continue to glue the circles to the head the same way as the disc, overlapping each circle slightly like feathers.

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Bend two of the pipe cleaners into feet by bending a zigzag in the middle of it and the holding the ends together and twisting. Use your scissors to pierce two holes at the base of the disc and push the twisted end of the feet into each hole.

Obermeyer-Smoothfoam-Chickee copy

Begin pinning and gluing the ribbon onto the side of the disc between the feet. Glue the ribbon all the way around the disc. Pin down any bits that seem to be curling.

Eyeball the placement of the googly eyes and glue into place.

Bend half of the third pipe cleaner into a loop. Bend the other half into a second loop and twist the ends together. Pierce a hole with your scissors between the eyes, but slightly down for the beak. Push in the ends of the pipe cleaner beak.

Your chickadee will stand up, though he is a bit wobbly as a newborn chick.

Bird Ornament

smoothfoam Bird Ornament

These easy bird ornaments are fun for the whole family to make. Hang them from the tree or place in a wreath or holiday centerpiece.

Materials:

1-3/4″ Smoothfoam egg
Two 1” Smoothfoam eggs
1” Smoothfoam ball
Acrylic paint
Glitter
Tacky glue
Small acrylic jewels: two rounda and two diamonda
Craft knife, sandpaper, paint brush

1.  Sand the seams of the Smoothfoam pieces smooth. Cut the 1” eggs in half lengthwise, sand and rough edges and cut side. The pilot hole on the ball will be used for the bird’s beak.  Sand the bottom of the ball (head) and the top of the large egg (body) where the ball will be glued.

2.  Glue the ball to the large egg. Glue the half-eggs on the sides of the large egg for wings. Glue another half-egg for a tail.

3.  Paint the bird with the color of your choice. Add glitter while the paint is wet and glue on any embellishments that you like.

4.  Glue two diamond-shaped jewels together in the pilot hole for the beak. Glue round jewels (or beads) on the head for eyes.

Push an eye pin down into the bird’s back for a ribbon hanger or poke a toothpick in the bottom for adding to a wreath or centerpiece.

Green Bird Smoothfoam Ornament