Yarn-wrapped open heart frame

 

SMOOTHFOAM string art

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, but there is still plenty of time to create a perfect, one-of-a-kind gift for that special someone in your life! Inspired by the retro resurgence of 1970’s string art, this yarn-wrapped open heart frame is quick and easy, needing no special tools, so the kiddos can definitely help. It looks great as reverse string art – or you can glue a photo on heavy cardstock to the back to peek through the heart opening.

Place this plaque on a shelf or mantle to brighten up your Valentine’s Day celebration or attach a ribbon to the back to hang on the wall or the front door. It’s a lovely way to greet your guests as an alternative to a wreath!  This project goes together in under an hour, so you could make several to give as gifts to the special people in your life.  Change the color of the yarn and the wording to match your décor – the possibilities are endless!

Materials:

Smoothfoam 12″ Scrapbook Page Mount
1.5″ Joy embroidered letters – L O V E
Dry and wet adhesives – heavy duty (I use Tombow)
8″ heart pattern
Hot wire cutting tool or serrated knife
Acrylic craft paint, paintbrush
Decorative yarn
Scissors, paper, pencil, emery board

smoothfoam sheet

Position and trace a heart pattern in the lower right corner of the Smoothfoam sheet with a pencil. I made my heart the old-school way by folding a piece of paper in half, drawing half a heart and cutting it out.

cut heart out of paper

Cut out the heart from the Smoothfoam with the knife or hot wire tool. Remove any rough edges with an emery board (nail file)

cut heart from smoothfoam sheet

Remove the heart to save for another project. Paint the front and sides of the sheet with a color to match your yarn.

paint smoothfoam sheet

Apply heavy-duty adhesive tape on the back of the sheet around the edges. This will help hold the yarn in place.

02-16 SMOOTHFOAM LOVE PLAQUE 5

Secure an end of the yarn to the back of your sheet and begin wrapping it around, through the heart cut-out. Dab some quick-grab liquid adhesive on the outer corners to prevent the yarn from slipping. Continue wrapping until the entire surface is covered. Cut the yarn and glue the end down in back.

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Glue your LOVE letters in place on the front.

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY and thanks for stopping by!

Mini Rose Topiary

Mini Rose Topiary smoothfoam

This mini rose topiary is perfect for Valentine’s Day and all year round – it can be easily adapted to be larger, depending on the space you want to decorate – I just happen to like miniatures. Try using larger Smoothfoam balls with silk flowers inserted into a pail, vase or other decorative containers.

How to make a Mini Rose Topiary

Supplies:

2″ Smoothfoam ball
Mini paper roses  (I used about 60)
Red spray ink  (I used Tattered Angels)
4″ wood dowel  (the width of a Tinker Toy stick)
Small wood spool  (with a hole that fits the dowel)
Green acrylic paint, paintbrush
Fast-drying craft glue
Red and cream ticking material
Crinkle ribbon
Small wood heart

Directions:

Spray the roses and the heart with red ink. Allow plenty of time to dry.

Paint the Smoothfoam ball  and the dowel green, let dry.

Poke a hole into the end of the ball. Squirt a little glue in the hole and insert the painted dowel.

Starting at the top of the ball, glue on the roses, one by one, until covered. After the rose ball is formed, you may want to go back and re-mist the flowers with more ink for additional coverage.

Cover the wood spool with the ticking material and glue the end in place. Tie a small piece of crinkle ribbon around the ticking and glue the wood heart on top.

Insert the rose ball into the wood spool.

Sweet Valentine Lollies

smoothfoam valentine lollipopsMy daughter and I love to create handmade Valentines for her class each year. A few years ago, we made faux lollipops with a “You Are Sweet” tag and they were a huge hit. I thought I would share a tutorial for making a similar version using Smoothfoam hearts.

Supplies:

Smoothfoam hearts
Acrylic craft paint
Glitter
Skewers
Decorative paper straws
Ribbon
Craft glue

Instructions:

Heart Step One

Insert a skewer into the base of a Smoothfoam heart to use as a handle. Paint each heart with base coat of your choice of colors. Allow to dry. Use a Smoothfoam block or disc to stick the hearts into to dry.

masking stripes on painted smoothfoam heart

Paint a design on the front of the heart with a second color – use foam stamps or draw your own doodles, or mask a heart with painter’s tape to paint stripes. Try sprinkling glitter on top of the paint while it’s still wet. You may need to touch-up some of the base color after pulling off the painter’s tape.

To assemble the lollipops, apply a small amount of craft glue to one end of a decorative straw and run the skewer that is attached to your heart through it, adhering the glued side to the heart.

smoothfoam Heart Valentines

Click here to download, print and trim out some Valentine messages for the tags. Tie a ribbon and glue a tag to the straw.

If you want to get really fancy, you can add a cello bag over the lollipop – just make sure they know it’s not real candy!

Valentine Printables

Valentine’s Day Door Decoration

Smoothfoam valentines day decoration

It’s almost time to decorate our front door again – for Valentine’s Day!  This year’s project was inspired by the great dimensional letters made by Smoothfoam and an extra large wood tag shape. Together they make for a fun and unique way to decorate your front door and share the love!

Materials: 

Smoothfoam 4″ letters –  X’s and O’s
Unfinished Wood Co. large wood tag shape
Americana Décor Chalky Finish Paints – Romance, Innocence
Americana acrylic paint – White Wash
Colorbox Crafter’s Ink – Fire
ART-C Groove Tool
ART-C Adhesive Alphabet Stencils
Beacon 3-in-1 Adhesive
Rubber stamp
Paint brushes, pencil, scissors
Valentine patterned fabric

Instructions:

1.  Paint the wood tag with red chalky finish.  Let dry.

McGeeValentineDoorTagHow1-19

2.  Spell out “love rules” and “without rules” with self-adhesive stencils. If you prefer, use stencil your lettering on the wood directly. I am stencil-challenged, so I prefer to trace the letters as a template with a pencil, and then fill in with a paintbrush.

McGeeValentineDoorTagHow2-21 McGeeValentineDoorTagHow3-23

3.  Smoothfoam letters have small raised areas on them from the molding process, and sometimes the back edges of the lettering are a bit rigid. I like to smooth all those areas before I paint. An easy way to do this is with the ART-C Groove Tool and the sanding disc. You can see the difference in these two “O” letters.

McGeeValentineDoorTagHow4-15

McGeeValentineDoorTagHow5-17

4.  Paint letters with pink chalky finish. Let dry.

McGeeValentineDoorTagHow6-25

5.  Ink stamp with red pigment ink, stamp surface of painted letters and let dry.

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6.  Cut a strip of fabric and tie it through the hole in the tag. Dovetail-cut the ends of the fabric strip.

7.  Glue the letters to the tag.

McGeeValentineDoorTagHow8-27

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.

DIY Valentines Mailbox

DIY-Valentines-Mailbox-for-Classroom-Jennifer-Priest

For the Valentine’s Day party at school this year, I wanted my son to have a very unique and fun container for all of his Valentines. The teachers actually call these Valentine holders “mailboxes,” but most of the time they look nothing like mailboxes.

DIY-Valentine-Mailbox-with-Smoothfoam-Jennifer-Priest

Each kid sets up the mailbox on their desk and then everyone goes from desk to desk, depositing their Valentines into each mailbox. A real mailbox is too heavy to bring to class and the ones I’ve seen at dollar stores are too small. I created this easy-to-carry, lightweight DIY Valentines Mailbox with Smoothfoam!

DIY-Classroom-Valentines-Mailbox-by-Jennifer-Priest-Matthews-Crafts

A Smoothfoam sheet as a base gives this project strength and durability, but makes it lightweight enough that the kids can carry it to school and home, no problem. Customize the mailbox with die-cuts, glitter, and more.

Here’s what you’ll need to make these Valentine holders:

1″ x 6″ x 12 Smoothfoam sheet
Smoothfoam star
Red glitter
Red acrylic paint
Hot Glue Gun
Red felt, patterned felt
Scissors, ruler, pen
Chipboard, poster board
Rotary paper trimmer
Pin, buttons, beads, ribbon
Foam paint crush

The entire mailbox is built around the 6″ x 12″ Smoothfoam base. Watch the video to see how to create this fun, desktop mailbox for Valentine’s Day! Use it as a centerpiece or decoration until the Valentine’s party at school.

For more projects like this, check out my blog at Just JP.

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

Faux Cupcakes for Your True Love

Smoothfoam Cujpcakes

The best kind of cupcakes for your diet are the Smoothfoam kind. These cupcake crafts have no calories and will last forever – perfect for Valentine’s Day and your New Year’s resolutions! Learn how to make faux cupcakes below.

Supplies:
3″ Smoothfoam balls
Craft paints, brush
Toothpicks, floral pins
Cupcake liners
Assorted paper flowers, ribbons
Self-adhesive pearls, rhinestones
Glue

Smoothfoam Cupcakes in Progress

I started by painting my Smoothfoam balls pink. I like to use toothpicks to help with this step – sticking three picks in each ball (like the legs of a stool) gives you something to hold on to while painting AND lets the ball stand up to dry.

After the paint dries, remove the toothpicks and glue a cupcake liner to the bottom of each ball. Decorate with paper flowers, ribbons, pearls and rhinestones. I like to use small floral pins to hold the ribbons on my projects so that I can change them out for different occasions or seasons.

Carved Sweetheart Valentine

Smoothfoam-Carved-Sweetheart-Valentine-Carmen Flores Tanis

Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it – so here’s a fun, easy way to make a giant Valentine’s heart for your sweetie. I used pink and gold, but you can change the colors to any other color combination. If you’re not quite to the “madly” stage with your honey, you can change the wording in the center to a phrase such as “You’re Sweet” or “Be Mine” – just like everyone’s favorite candy conversation hearts!

Supplies:
12″ Smoothfoam Scrapbook Mount
Acrylic paints – gold, pink, champagne
Proxxon Tabletop Hot Wire Cutter
Hot Wire Foam Factory Engraving Tool
White glue, paintbrush, plastic dish, scissors, pencil
Picture-hanging hook

1.  Click here to download my heart design*. Because the pattern is so wide, you will have to print it on two pages, then cut and tile them together. Trace the hearts onto the Smoothfoam sheet with a pencil.

2.  Carefully carve out the Smoothfoam sheet with the tabletop hot wire cutter.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Sweetheart-Valentine-Step-2 by Carmen Flores Tanis

3.  Glue the smaller heart onto the larger heart. Let dry.

4.  Use the handheld hot wire tool to engrave the details into the foam as shown.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Sweetheart-Valentine-Step-5-by Carmen Flores Tanis

5.  Paint the front and back of the heart in champagne and let dry. Paint the alternating stripes and edges gold, and paint the center heart pink. Brush gold paint inside the wording to make the letters pop.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Sweetheart-Valentine-Step-6 by Carmen Flores Tanis

6.  Glue a picture hanging hook to the back or display on an easel.

* 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.

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.