An inspiring block of quotes for the new year

recycled art calendar lisa fulmerWith beautiful images from last year’s calendar, I created this inspiring block of quotes for the new year. Each side of this 5″ Smoothfoam cube is covered with a lovely painted scene that just oozes fresh air and serenity.

art block lisa fulmer

A glue stick and a paper trimmer is all you need to cover the block with images, then you can frame the edges with some coordinating washi tape. You can find a nice variety of small metal tags at the craft store, each engraved with a different meaningful sentiment. After dipping some pearl-head straight pins into copper alchohol ink, push them into the block to secure a tag on each side of the cube. This easy DIY project adds character to your desk, coffee table or bookshelf – along with inspiring reminders for the new year.

smoothfoam block lisa fulmer

Make a quick and easy card holder

smoothfoam cardholder lisa fulmer

If you make and sell greeting cards in a spinner rack at craft fairs like I do sometimes, this quick and easy card holder project is for you! It’s nice to have the option of featuring a special card or two on a little display cube. This idea is also great for holding a photo, note, business cards, coupons or a postcard on your desk. Or if somebody sent you a lovely handmade greeting card, keep it on display for a while to admire.

Cut six squares from your favorite scrapbook paper to fit a Smoothfoam cube (mine is 3″). Adhere a square to each side with a regular glue stick – it’s easier to apply the glue to the cube, not the paper. Press the paper down firmly and make sure there’s glue all the way to the edges; let dry. Use round-nose jewelry pliers to bend a 12″ length of thick wire into a coiled triangle as shown, starting from the center. Coat the bottom of the wire with a little craft glue and pierce it down through the top of the cube. Done!

smoothfoam cube note holder

Photo cube ornament

smoothfoam-cube-ornament

This photo cube ornament is quick and easy to make with your favorite papers, punches and embellishments. I started with a 3″ Smoothfoam cube and 3″ squares of scrapbook paper. You can drill a hole through the center of the cube with a hot wire tool or just use a large wood skewer. Push it carefully through the cube from top to bottom, pull it out and push it through a few more times all around the original hole to make it a bit larger. Be prepared to wipe up some foam crumbs.

smoothfoam cube

You can adhere the paper to each side of the cube with tacky glue or a gluestick, but I just used pearl-head straight pins in the corners. Push them in at an angle toward the center of the cube. Cut slits or punch a small hole in the center of the papers you choose for the top and bottom. Punch out shapes from cardstock for framing small photos and embellish however you like. Fold long pieces of ribbon in half and push the folded end (loop) through the hole with the skewer from the bottom up to the top. Tie off the ribbons with knots or bows at the top and bottom to secure in place for hanging.

smoothfoam-cube-ornament-top

Mother’s Day Ribbon Topiary

smoothfoam-Mother'sDay-Topiary

“A mother is a person who, upon seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” ~Tenneva Jordan

For Mother’s Day, make a special brunch and adorn the table with a cheerful centerpiece that Mom can enjoy for months. Ribbon topiaries don’t need water and are totally non-fussy. These DIY topiary centerpieces can easily be customized for other holidays or celebrations.

You will need:
4″ Smoothfoam cube
2″ Smoothfoam ball
Green acrylic paint
Ribbons in a variety of colors
Decoupage medium
Patterned papers or tissue
Glazing medium
Sequin pins
Ruler, sponge brush, scissors
1/4″ wood dowel rod, cut to 12″ long
Small hand saw
Phillips screwdriver or knitting needle

Obermeyer-Mother'sDay-Topiary2

Paint the cube and dowel green, allow to dry. Collage favorite papers to the cube using decoupage medium, allow to dry. Brush glazing medium on the cube to protect your collage and give it a glossy finish. Allow to dry.

Use the screwdriver or knitting needle to pierce a pilot hole into the Smoothfoam ball. Push the ball onto the dowel. Pierce another hole into the center of the top of the cube and push the dowel and ball inside.

Cut several 2-3″ lengths of each color ribbon.

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Roll each ribbon into a cylinder and pin it to the ball. I pinned a mixture of orange and yellow ribbons for blossoms, then I filled the spaces in between with green ribbon for leaves.

Tower of Blocks Centerpiece

Smoothfoam tower of blocks centerpiece

I love my new tower of blocks as a centerpiece for my table or kitchen island – it shows off all the cool monoprints I’ve been making. Create a themed tower of blocks for party table decoration!

I have been doing a lot with monoprinting on cardstock and now I have a PILE of cool prints and didn’t know what to do with them all. So this project was designed to use a bunch of prints in a creative way. Check out the monoprinting tutorials online to see all the possibilities for printing your own themed or patterned papers using acrylic paints and stencils.

Supplies:

8″ Smoothfoam cube
5″ Smoothfoam cube
3″ Smoothfoam cube
Gel Press™ Printing Plate
Acrylic paints
Stencils, paint brushes, brayer
White cardstock
Craft glue
Permanent markers
Stamps, inkpads

Mono Print

After your monoprints are dry, trim them into squares to fit each side of your Smoothfoam cubes. Treat the monoprinting like a background and then stamp your favorite focal image on top.

smoothfoam cubes

Glue a square to each side of the cube, plus the top, and let dry.

stamping on monoprinted paper

Color the corners of each cube with a marker and you’re done! Stack the cubes in a tower – glue in position if you want, or leave them loose for more versatility. A single decorated cube makes a great riser for a little statue or art piece. I love pears, so I added a faux pear to the top.

tower of smoothfoam cubes

Valentine Conversation Heart Bouquet

smoothfoam heart bouquet

Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine – love, thou art every day my Valentine!
—Thomas Hood

Who doesn’t love conversation hearts for Valentine’s Day? This bouquet is a quick craft, perfect for kids – it takes just about an hour to make, including drying time.

You will need:
3″ Smoothfoam cube
Conversation heart stickers
Pipe cleaners in an assortment of pink, red, hot pink and metallic
Sponge brush
Pink acrylic paint
Screw driver or knitting needle
Narrow Valentine-themed ribbon
Scissors, ruler
Tacky Glue, glitter glue

Let’s Create!

Paint 5 of the 6 sides of the cube. Allow paint to dry.

Glue a 14″ length of ribbon around the top edge of the cube.

Punch a hole at the top center of the cube with a screwdriver or knitting needle.

Obermeyer-Valentine-Bouquet3Prepare each conversation heart flowers by peeling the liners off of two heart stickers and pressing the pipe cleaner between them. Push the pipe cleaner stem into the hole on the cube. Add about a dozen more such flowers.

For variety, you can twist together two pipe cleaners and shape the top third into a heart to tuck into the cube.

Embellish the cube with glitter glue dots.

Valentine’s Day Heart Décor

Smoothfoam heart decor valentines dayValentine’s Day is a favorite of mine! But I find that it comes and goes too fast and I never seem to accomplish everything I want to before the day arrives!

I found some (almost) vintage tissue paper in my stash. It is a colorful pattern by Mary Engelbreit. I love the cheerful colors and thought this heart décor project would be one way to keep some of it around for even longer.

Hope you enjoy the rest of January and have an awesome “hugs & kisses” February – cheers!

Smoothfoam supplies

You will need:
3″ Smoothfoam cube
6″ Smoothfoam disc
Decorator tissue paper
Decoupage medium
1″ flat brush
Circle and heart punches and die-cuts
Rubber stamp – “XO”
Red chalk inkpad
Cardstock in desired colors
Dimensional adhesive dots
Wood skewer
Scissors
Hot wire foam cutter or serrated knife

Instructions:

1.  Wad up a sheet of tissue paper into a ball, then smooth it back out on a flat surface and tear off any straight edges.

2.  Carefully cut a heart shape out of the Smoothfoam disc with the hot or serrated knife.

3.  Brush decoupage medium to the heart (insert the skewer into the bottom edge for a handle) and press sections of tissue paper it into the medium. Cover the front, back and sides.

4.  After the medium and tissue is dry, brush a top coat of medium to seal.

5.  Repeat for the cube using a contrasting tissue paper. Trim away any excess tissue paper from both pieces. Push the bottom of the skewered heart down into the center of the cube.

6.  Embellish the cube and heart with cardstock flowers made from circle punches and a die-cut hearts stamped with “XO.”

Here is a variation using a larger Smoothfoam heart and cube. The chocolate embellishments are 1″ Smoothfoam balls cut in half, then painted and embellished with two paper circles and a rhinestone.

Smoothfoam Vintage Valentine Decor

Shabby Chic Signpost

smoothfoam shabby chic signpost

Create a shabby chic signpost with chalk paint and embroidered letters.

Materials:

Smoothfoam sheet
3″ Smoothfoam cube
Joy embroidered letters (I used 1.5” script and 1″ block letters)
Chalky finish paints – 3 colors
White craft paint
16″ long dowel (3/8” diam)
Wood bead to fit dowel
Corrugated cardboard coffee cup sleeves
Tacky glue
Craft knife, metal ruler, sandpaper
Paintbrush, bamboo skewers

Instructions:

1.  Cut sections from the Smoothfoam sheet with craft knife and metal ruler (each 2 ½” wide) at varied lengths – 7″, 8″ and 9”. Notch the ends randomly with the knife to look like torn, weathered wood. Sand along the sides to distress further.

2.  Push a skewer into the center of each sign to use as a handle (this also starts a pilot hole in each sign for assembly later) and paint each sign a different color. Paint the Smoothfoam cube and the wood dowel white. Brush the edges of cube and paint the wood bead with a contrasting color.

3.  Tear the corrugated cardboard into rough squares, smudge with paint and then glue a square to each side of the cube.

4.  Glue letters to each sign to spell a word, let dry.

5.  Use the skewers to push pilot holes through the center of each sign and then carefully thread the signs on to the dowel. Glue the bead to the top of dowel.

Faux Concrete Succulent Decoration

SFFauxConcreteSucculentPlanter

Christmas is over and now my mind is officially in THINK SPRING mode!! I am not a winter girl. I despise cold weather, snow, dark days…all of it. Even with the recent warmer-than-normal weather here in North Carolina, I’m already ready for some HOT sunshine and time on our porch and in my gardens. I decided to make myself a little faux concrete succulent planter to get me through until I can get into my real garden. Once spring finally arrives, it will move to my porch for display. Learn how to create this and other succulent crafts with Smoothfoam supplies.

Materials:

4″ Smoothfoam cube
Makin’s Clay – White
Makin’s Ultimate Clay Machine, Cutting Mat and Clay Tools
Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint – Relic
Tacky Glue
Pepper, spanish moss, jute twine
Craft knife, scissors
Faux succulent

 

Instructions:

Carefully use a craft knife to hollow out one side of the Smoothfoam cube, leaving about 1/2” on all sides.

McGeeFauxConcretePlanterHOW1

Thanks to Lisa Haney for planting the original seeds for this clay technique. She created faux stone with Makin’s Clay and pepper, and I took it a step further to create faux concrete!

Mix 120g of White Makin’s Clay with Relic Chalky Finish Paint until thoroughly mixed. The chalky finish paint has a drier overall feel and texture, so when mixed with the clay, the result really does feel a bit like concrete or terra cotta.

Add about 1 tbsp. of pepper. Mix thoroughly.

McGeeFauxSucculentPlanterHOW2

Roll in Ultimate Clay Machine, starting at setting #1 and stopping at setting #3 (or hand roll to about 1/8″ thick).

Use the Smoothfoam cube as a template and cut out squares of clay to cover cube.

Working on one side at a time, apply tacky glue over the entire surface of each side and place a clay square on top. Press gently to adhere. Move to next side, using fingers to join the sides at each corner, allowing the seams to be imperfect for a more “true concrete” effect. McGeeFauxSucculentPlanterHOW3

For the top, hollowed-out area, apply tacky glue around edges, then place clay square over, and use your fingers to gently press down in center and adhere the clay around the edge, with remaining clay down in hollowed out area. It does not matter if the clay doesn’t completely covered the hollowed-out area, as it will be covered by spanish moss and the succulent.

McGeeFauxSucculentPlanterHOW4

While the clay is still fresh, sprinkle pepper across each side and press in with your fingers to add texture. Gently brush away excess and repeat on all sides. Let dry for 24 hours.

McGeeFauxSucculentPlanterHOW5

Tie jute twine around the cube.  Add the spanish moss and faux succulent. Place the faux concrete succulent planter on your desk or windowsill and begin daydreaming about truly warmer days to come!

smoothfoam faux concrete cube