Here are some red, white and blue crafts, in honor of the Fourth of July next week! Click each pic to scroll through the patriotic craft ideas and project instructions from our fabulous designers…what will you make this summer?
Nothing says summer like a beautiful butterfly…that and swimming, popsicles, baseball, fireworks, cool nights on the patio…and our Vacation Bible School. My local church has the most awesome VBS ever! The entire church is transformed into another land – this year it’s a rainforest with a huge tree (10 feet around!) in the sanctuary. There are monkeys swinging from the rafters in the entry hall and lots of giant lizards everywhere.
I wanted to make dozens of butterflies and dragonflies to float among the monkeys and frogs all over my VBS craft room. But I didn’t have enough Smoothfoam on hand (note to self: get more Smoothfoam and start planning earlier next year!) so I just made this one beautiful metallic butterfly to hang in my studio. He’s so pretty and bright and when I turn on the fan, he flits around to keep me company and make me smile!
12″ Smoothfoam sheet
Smoothfoam balls – three 1″, two 2″ and one 3″
Metallic paints – green blue, gold, purple
18″ length of stiff wire (a clothes hanger works well)
Heavy duty craft glue
Purple fine glitter
Tulip dimensional pearl finish paints – green, white and gold
2# test fishing line
1. Cut two slits (1-1/2″ long by 1/2″ wide) on opposite sides of the 3″ ball, with the sides of the slit angled inward. This is where the wings will attach to the body.
2. Insert the wire through the centers of four of the balls in this order: 2″, 3″, 2″ 1″. Suspend the balls above your work surface by resting the wire ends on two objects, like bookends or vases. Sponge-paint all the balls with a random blend of blue and green and allow to dry.
3. Draw two wing shapes on the Smoothfoam sheet and cut out with foam cutter. Paint all sides blue and allow to dry. Use dimensional paint to draw outlines of shapes and dots as desired.
4. Add a generous amount of glue into each slit of the largest ball and press in a wing to each side; insert straight pins to secure. Support the wings in place as the glue dries by propping them on a couple of soup cans.
5. Push all the balls toward one end of the wire, leaving about 3″ of wire exposed at the top. Cut off all but about an inch of wire on bottom of body and curl it with pliers to keep the balls from sliding off (save the excess wire trim). Paint two blue dots for eyes on the top ball.
6. Glue and glitter the surface of the two remaining 1″ balls. Add one to the exposed wire at the top of the body. Insert a 3″ piece of wire into the other ball and poke it beside the first one to make the antennae.
7. Make two long loops of fishing line and place one around the base of each wing to hang. Tie the loops together about 18 ” above the butterfly’s body.
After seeing lots of wood chunky art online, I thought a Smoothfoam block might be easier to work with…and it was. Smoothfoam can be substituted in lots of wood crafts and it can be easily cut and shaped with a regular serrated kitchen knife – no woodworking tools required! So I’ve created this chunky art for my living room, using a nature theme in colors to complement my own home decor.
Smoothfoam block – 2″ x 4″ x 8″
Cardstock, die-cuts and vellum – K&Company: Brenda Walton’s Flora & Fauna
Americana Paints – Hauser Light Green and Chocolate Brown
Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad – Tea Dye
Stickles glitter glue – Crystal
Tim Holtz idea-ology Tissue Tape – Nostalgic
Claudine Hellmuth Studio Multi Medium
Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
Wooden spool, silver bobbin
Embroidery floss (one skein), seam binding, tassel
Ruler, pencil, scissors, paintbrush
Sandpaper – fine grit
Heat cutting tool or serrated knife
Silver brad, adhesive pearls, vintage buttons
Plastic bird egg
1. Cut the Smoothfoam block to 4-1/2″ long and sand the edges so they’re rounded and a bit distressed. Paint all sides with brown and let dry.
2. Thin some more brown paint with a little water and paint the spool and bobbin. After they’re dry, use a dry brush technique to highlight the spool and bobbin with a little green paint and let dry.
3. Tear a piece of blue patterned paper to 2-1/2″ by 4″ and tear a butterfly journal card to 2-1/2″ by 3 1/2″. Color the edges of both pieces with the distress ink pad. When the ink is dry, brush some Multi-Medium to collage the papers to the front of the block.
4. Tear smaller sections of the journal card, ink the edges and adhere to the sides of the block. Collage the bird, leaf and egg die-cuts to block as desired and let dry. Randomly apply tissue tape to all sides of chunky, tearing the ends.
5. Wrap a torn piece of tissue tape around the center of bobbin and glue it to the top of the chunky. Loop a tassel over the bobbin and glue the egg on top. Tie the seam binding in a bow and glue to the bobbin.
6. Adhere a black pearl for the bird’s eye, add amber pearls and buttons to embellish the chunky as desired. Highlight the bird and butterfly with Stickles glitter glue and let dry.
7. Wrap the embroidery floss around the center of the spool and secure the end with glue. Insert a brad through the clock die-cut and glue to front of spool, let dry. Glue the spool to the bottom of the chunky as a stand
I’ve been a lifelong fan of the art of Mary Blair, so I created an abstract flower box inspired by her bright colors and simple shapes which are always so cheerful and enchanting.
Once when I was riding on It’s a Small World, the ride broke down and we were stuck for fifteen minutes in our little boat listening to the famous song over and over again. But I loved every minute of it because I was surrounded by the art of Mary Blair.
Smoothfoam is the perfect foundation for adding color and whimsy to your home decor. This project is a little bit Mary Blair, a dash of Mary Mary, Quite Contrary, a touch of tiki…and it’s a great way to use up scraps of Smoothfoam that you might have leftover from previous projects.
You don’t need to worry about making the shapes perfect – a little wonkiness only adds to the charm!
Smoothfoam sheet – any size
Smoothfoam block to fit your planter box
Smoothfoam balls – 1″ and 2”
Wood planter box
Acrylic paints in bright colors
Scribbles 3D Paint – White
Green permanent marker
Hot wire foam-cutting tool
1. Paint the box white and let dry. Add second coat if desired.
2. Draw a strip of small rectangles on the front and sides of the box with the green marker, then fill in the rectangles with short lines so that they look like clumps of grass.
3. Cut the Smoothfoam block with the hot wire tool to to fit snugly inside the box.
4. Cut the green cardstock to fit inside the box on top of the Smoothfoam block.
5. Cut various shapes from the Smoothfoam sheet – circles, squares, oblongs, triangles, etc. with the hot wire tool.
6. Paint each shape and the Smoothfoam balls with 1-2 coats of desired color. Poke a skewer into each shape to use as a handle while painting. Let dry.
7. Slide the shapes into desired arrangements on to wood skewers as shown.
8. Doodle on each shape with the white 3D paint and let dry.
9. Poke each abstract flower through the green cardstock into the Smoothfoam block as shown.
This fabric-covered house is a perfect addition to your tabletop decor for your Fourth of July celebration. Use patriotic novelty fabric to make this freestanding house a warm and cozy home…you can create a whole Americana village for your holiday decor!
Two 5″ Smoothfoam cubes
America the Beautiful fabric – one fat quarter
Phoomph Fabric Bonding sheets (self-adhesive thick interfacing)
Red polka dot fabric
Assorted ribbons and rickrack
Hot glue gun
1. Cut one Smoothfoam cube in half on the diagonal – one half is for the house roof. Cut a small rectangular piece from the other half of the cube for a chimney, keeping the diagonal slant on the bottom to fit flush along one side of the roof later.
2. Wrap and glue a piece of patriotic fabric around the roof piece; allow to dry.
3. Wrap and glue a piece of blue fabric around the other cube for the house base; allow to dry.
4. Use the end of the Smoothfoam roof to trace two triangles on to the paper liner of the fabric bonding sheet and cut out. Peel off one side of the liner and adhere the bonding sheet to a piece of red polka dot fabric, then trim the fabric to the triangle shape, flush to the adhesive edge. Peel off the top liner and adhere the red fabric triangle to the end of the roof on top of the patriotic fabric. Repeat for the other side of the roof. The thickness of the bonding sheet adds a nice bit of extra dimension to the roofline.
5. Cut a small rectangle from the patriotic fabric for a door and adhere it to one side of the house using another piece of the bonding sheet for dimension.
6. Fussy-cut “peeps” and other elements from the patriotic fabric and adhere to the house with fabric glue. Further embellish as desired by adhering the rickrack and ribbon with fabric glue, and the buttons with hot glue.
7. Use hot glue to embellish the chimney with fussy-cut fabric elements (mount to cardstock or use the bonding sheet for stability if desired) and/or buttons – then hot-glue the chimney to one side of the roof.
A decorative monogram letter is the perfect accessory for my new home. I love to create beautiful art and craft projects like this to place on tables or hang on doors.
Smoothfoam Scrapbook Page Mount – 12″ x 12″ x 5/8″
Silhouette Cameo (die-cutting machine)
Hot glue gun
Floral vine embellishments – Prima Engraver Collection
Beaded wire trim
Lace and fabric flower (mine is handmade)
1. Cut your desired monogram letter from cardstock using the Silhouette (or other die-cutting system or template) to the desired size – mine is just a little smaller than 10″ x 12″.
2. Trace around the template on to the Smoothfoam sheet and then cut the letter out of the foam with a craft knife. Glue the cardstock template to the back of the Smoothfoam letter for a little added support; allow to dry
3. Wrap and adhere burlap fabric around the letter with craft glue, securing the edges of the fabric to the back with straight pins as needed until the glue dries.
4. Use hot glue to add beaded trim, vine and flower in position as desired. Personalize your decorative monogram letter with your own favorite fabrics and embellishments!
This DIY burlap bulletin board and key rack is the perfect multi-purpose message center for any household…made with Smoothfoam!
Decorate your DIY bulletin board and key rack with your favorite background fabric, papers and embellishments.
One 12″ square Smoothfoam sheet
Three 3” Smoothfoam cubes
Burlap fabric – 15″ x 15″
Themed scrapbook papers with coordinating die-cuts or stickers
Clear, round Crazy Tackz (pin hooks)
Small sticky note pad
1/4″ wide ribbon – 12″ length
Thumb tacks, straight pins
1. Wrap and glue the burlap to the Smoothfoam sheet, securing the edges to the back side; place pins in the back to hold burlap in place while the glue dries. Cut the burlap into sections to create a decorative overlapping edges as shown, if desired.
2. To make a hanger, glue the ends of the ribbon to the back of the Smoothfoam sheet, near the side edges. Secure by gluing a thumbtack into each end, allow to dry.
3. Cut five 3″ squares from the scrapbook paper and glue them to the sides of one Smoothfoam block, leaving the back side uncovered. Check to make sure the paper design is going in the right direction on each side. Repeat with the remaining blocks.
4. Adhere a matching die-cut or sticker to each block as shown.
5. Glue the blocks evenly along the bottom edge of the Smoothfoam sheet. Poke a toothpick from the back into each block to secure.
6. Glue a pin hook into the bottom of each block, and also on the front of the burlap bulletin board as shown. Use one of these hooks to hang a pen on a ribbon.
7. Glue some jute string to the back of a small sticky note pad to hang from a pin hook in the center of the burlap message board.
Children love to claim their bedrooms and this fun DIY bedroom door sign couldn’t be more perfect for a girl, or in this case, two sisters sharing a room. Learn how to make these bedroom door signs below.
Two Smoothfoam blocks 2″x4″x12″
TCW stencil – Flower Frenzy
Delta Creative stencil – 2.5″ Squiggle Alphabet
Tulip sponge pouncer
Mod Podge Matte
Tissue paper – 2 colors
Rick rack – 2 colors (36″ length for each)
100 plastic silver beads
2 plastic crystals
20-gauge colored wire
Acrylic paint markers -2 colors
Angled sponge brush
Skewer or piece of 16 gauge wire
Needle nose pliers
1. Before starting your kids’ room door sign, lay out a sheet of parchment paper as a work surface. Cut the tissue papers into small squares. Decoupage the tissues on to each block (image 1) using the angled sponge brush and Mod Podge. Allow to dry.
2. Pour a bit of paint onto the parchment paper. Place the Flower Frenzy stencil on top of the block and lightly dab paint on the stencil (image 2) with the pouncer. Gently lift and shift the stencil to to cover the whole block. Allow to dry. Wash off the stencil and repeat with another color on the second block.
3. Draw a guide line 1/2″ up from the bottom on each block. Position the letter stencils for your name along the line on each block (image 3) and trace inside the stencil with a pencil (image 4). Color the letters with the acrylic paint markers and. Allow to dry.
4. Glue the rick rack around the front edge of each block and allow to dry.
5. To prepare for hanging, decide which block will hang on top of the other. Punch two holes straight through each block, from bottom to top, with the skewer or 16 gauge wire; each hole should be about 3″ in from each side (image 5).
6. Cut a 30-40″ piece of 20 gauge colored wire (image 6). Bend one end of the wire into a loop with the needle nose pliers. Thread the wire through a crystal bead and through the left hole in the bottom block (image 7). Add 2.5″ of silver beads to the wire above the block, and then thread it through the left hole in the bottom of the top block (image 8). Thread on 12″ of silver beads, then push the wire through the right hole of the top block and then thread another 2.5″ of silver beads under the top block. Push the wire through the right hole of the bottom block and add a crystal bead. Trim excess wire leaving a 1/4″ piece to bend into a loop to finish.
This sign could also read “Natalia’s Room” with the name on the top block and the word “room” on the bottom block. Try a star stencil instead of a flower to make kids’ door name signs for boys.
Did you know you can carve your own DIY ink stamps out of Smoothfoam? All you need is a hot knife or other heated cutting tool and your creative mojo. Smoothfoam’s surface creates a really cool, rugged texture when you apply stamping ink – I love this distressed look!
Since July 4th is coming up, I thought I’d show you how to make carved foam stamps you can use to show off your patriotic spirit.
Stars and stripes are pretty simple to design. Make all different shapes and sizes and have fun!
Smoothfoam block (any size)
Heat carving tool
Blue fabric – 5″x9″
Wide red ribbon
Red embroidery floss
Dimensional and flat glue dots
Red and white buttons
ClearSnap ColorBox Crafter’s Ink in red and blue
1. For the star-shaped DIY ink stamps, draw a star (approx. 1″ wide) on to the Smoothfoam and carve away the area of foam around it with your heat carving tool. Carve an outline into the solid star to create a double star as shown.
2. Cut another piece of the block down to a square (approx. 2″ wide) for the square background stamp.
3. Stamp 3 squares with red ink and stamp 4 stars (separately) with blue ink on to white cardstock. Allow to dry (or heat-set if necessary). Cut out all 7 shapes, allowing a thin white border on the outer edges, and set aside.
4. Trim and score another sheet of cardstock to fold into a 5″x7″ greeting card.
5. Trim the blue fabric on all sides with pinking shears and wrap around the front panel of the card as shown. Adhere to the card with fabric glue, allow to dry.
6. Wrap and adhere the wide red ribbon around the front panel over the fabric. You may wish to glue another piece of cardstock to the inside of the front panel to cover the fabric and ribbon edges. Allow to dry.
7. Layer a star on top of each square with dimensional glue dots and adhere each square to the front of the card with flat glue dots or fabric glue, as shown.
8. Tie embroidery floss through button holes and adhere buttons to center of stars with dimensional glue dots. Adhere the last star to the ribbon border. You can use this same technique to create carved foam stamps in a variety of other shapes.