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.

Smoothfoam-were-all-mad-step-2

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.

Smoothfoam-were-all-mad-step-3

4. Paint the foam black. Let dry.

Smoothfoam-were-all-mad-step-4

5.  Add details with the paint pens as shown.

Smoothfoam-were-all-mad-step-6

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!

Smoothfoam-were-all-mad-step-5

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.

Lake Life Sign

Smoothfoam Lake Life Sign

I’ve been looking at assorted “lake life” signs for the past few years in search of something for our cottage, but hadn’t found just the right one yet. Suddenly it came to me that Smoothfoam letters would be the perfect way for me to create my own. Its smooth surface is ideal for decorative painting, and it takes special finishes (like crackle) well, too – so you can get a rustic or weathered feel on your finished projects.

Materials:  

6” x 12” Smoothfoam sheet
Smoothfoam letters to spell “LAKE”
Acrylic paints – tan, white, dark green, foliage green, Hauser green, medium green, dark/navy blue,  light blue, dark brown, grey-tan
Crackle medium
Adhesive
Paintbrushes, emery board

Instructions: 

Paint the top and sides of the Smoothfoam sheet tan and let dry, then ppply a coat of crackle finish. Let dry.

painting smoothfoamPaint a lake scene as shown – with pine trees and a border of sand around the water.

paint a scene on smoothfoam

The top layer of your painted scene will crackle to reveal the tan base coat below, giving the finished piece an aged and weathered effect.

Sand down any rough or raised edges on each Smoothfoam letter with an emery board, then paint tan and let dry. Apply a coat of crackle finish and let dry.

paint smoothfoam letters

Paint white on top of each letter and allow it to crackle as it dries. Glue the letters to the background sheet. Paint the word “Life” beneath the Smoothfoam letters in white.

paint on smoothfoam sheet

I used an adhesive hook and loop fastener to hang my finished sign on the wall, but you could also add a ribbon hanger to the back.

lake life sign

String art mandala

smoothfoam string art mandala

A Smoothfoam disc is a nice foundation for string art with push pins – instead of having to hammer nails into wood, you can just push in straight pins to anchor the string design. You have to be a bit more gentle when wrapping and pulling the thread, but it’s fast and easy. I love how this string art mandala turned out – plus it’s so lightweight, it hangs on my cupboard with just a couple little adhesive foam squares.

Supplies
– Smoothfoam disc
– Craft paints, paintbrush, pouncer
– Short ball-head straight pins
– Thick thread

Paint the disc however you like – I painted a coat of mint all over, then a circle of purple in the center, then I added yellow texture with a fingertip pouncer.

painted smoothfoam disc

Push in the straight pins at an angle (toward the center) evenly around the perimeter of the disc. I like appliqué pins the best because the ball-head is small and the pins are short.

Tie a loop knot at the end of the first color of thread and pin it to the back of the disc, keeping the thread attached to the spool. Let the spool drop to the floor and wrap the threadaround to the first pin on the front of the disc, then start winding the thread around each pin at opposite sides, turning it as you go to create a “spirograph” pattern. Go around the perimeter 2-3 times to thicken the lines, then clip the thread and pin another knotted loop to the back to secure.

To add a second thread color, push in more pins in a smaller circle, inside the first and repeat the threading process.

string art mandala

Mixed Media Memories Wallhanging

 

smoothfoam mixed media wallhanging

I have been on a mixed media spree of late and Smoothfoam sheets are an amazing surface to create wallhangings to celebrate memories and showcase your favorite embellishments.

Supplies:

1″ x 6″ x 12″ Smoothfoam sheet
Assorted chipboard embellishments
Gesso, paintbrush
Low-temp glue gun
Ink sprays
Fluid acrylic paints
Metallic Lustre Cream Paints, Liquid Glass, Crackle Medium (from DecoArt)

SF Memories MM board 1

Start by gluing a layer of chipboard elements to the Smoothfoam and then paint the entire surface with a coat of gesso.

SF Memories MM board 2

Add the second layer of chipboard elements and coat this with gesso as well. Let everything dry well.

SF Memories MM board 8

Layer colors on – starting with spray inks, then after that dries, paint areas with fluid acrylics, then let those dry. Create the last layer of color with the Metallic Lustre – I added bits and pieces of color all over the piece randomly.

SF Memories MM board 5

Try adding Crackle Paint to a few of the pieces for some visual interest.

SF Memories MM board 6

Add gloss to some pieces with Liquid Glass, then when it’s dry, accent it with Metallic Lustre.

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.

Mini bulletin board

 

smoothfoam mini bulletin board

A mini bulletin board to hang on your door, cabinet or wall is a simple but effective way to display photos, notes, and small artwork. One of the things that I love about Smoothfoam is that it’s lightweight and makes for easy projects for your home or dorm room.

Supplies:

Smoothfoam disc
Craft paints in bright cheerful colors
Washi tape
Picture hanging hardware
Tacky glue
Foam paintbrush
Photos and push pins

smoothfoam mini bulletin board with washi tape

Paint your entire Smoothfoam disk one color. When dry, accent the edges with a pretty metallic paint. Add your washi tape to the outer rim. Attach your picture hardware to the back of the disk by pushing into the foam and securing in place with the tacky glue.

Pin your photos and enjoy!

Beaded Mandala Wallhanging

Beaded Mandala wallhanging

Smoothfoam is a great surface for a beaded mandala wallhanging because it holds the pins tightly. A stencil makes it easier to lay out your beads.

Materials:

12″ Smoothfoam disc
13” circle of burlap
Mandala stencil
Fabric or craft paint
Assorted wood and glass beads
1″ head pins, straight pins
Tacky glue, hot glue
Rope
Scissors, sponge, paintbrush, black pen

Instructions:

Center and glue the burlap to the disc. Snip into the burlap around the edge of the circle and wrap around the edge of the disc, overlapping the snip pieces as you glue. Use straight pins to hold the burlap in place until dry.

Center your stencil on top of the disc and pin down. Use a damp sponge brush to apply paint through stencil and let dry.

Hot-glue rope around edge of disc. Pin beads into the surface as desired within the stencil design.

Dot some paint with the end of the paintbrush to accent points in the design, then outline stenciled areas with black pen.