Whimsical Christmas tree garland

.

My daughter announced that this year we must have a big Christmas tree. Well, a big tree requires some new decorations. I love whimsical Christmas tree garlands and decided that what this new big tree will need is a DIY ball garland full of bright colors.

Smoothfoam Christmas garland

I chose bright red and a yellow-green for a contemporary look, with dark green seed beads to add a dash of sparkle. This DIY ball garland would also look really cute across the mantle or above a doorway. You can paint the balls red and green with black seed beads for a Kwanzaa garland, or light blue and dark blue with silver seed beads for Hanukkah.

Supplies for 5′ garland:

Thirty 1″ Smoothfoam balls
DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints – Cherry Red, Citron Green
270+ #8 dark green seed beads (silver-lined)
Cotton string
Sponge brush, paintbrush
Scrap Smoothfoam sheet
Beading needle, thread
Scissors, toothpicks
Tape measure, awl

1.  Push a toothpick into each of the balls to use as a handle and paint 15 of the balls red and the other 15 green. As you finish painting each ball, push the other end of the toothpick into the Smoothfoam sheet to dry. Give each ball 3 coats of paint so they’re extra smooth and bright. Allow to dry thoroughly between each coat.

Paint Smoothfoam balls

2.  Use the end of a paintbrush handle to add polka dots to each of the balls. Make red polka dots on the green balls and vice versa. Allow to dry.

3.  Use the awl to carefully punch holes through the center of each ball.

4.  Thread the needle with 6″ of thread and tie the ends together into a knot. Cut a 6′ length of cotton string and place one end through the thread loop. The thread loop acts like a large eye of a needle, allowing you to use larger yarn or string than the beading needle’s eye can handle. Tie a knot on the other end of the string.

5.  Pick up a red ball with the beading needle and slide it down the string, then pick up 9 seed beads and slide them down. Continue stringing, alternating red and green balls with 9 seed beads between them. Finish your whimsical Christmas tree garland by tying a knot at the end.

Handmade Holidays Blog Hop – Cupcakes!

Handmade Holidays Blog Hop 2013 Logo.

Today is the last day of the Handmade Holidays Blog Hop – we hope you’re getting lots of great ideas for gifts and décor!

Check out the new blogs in the hop at the bottom of this post – and enter to win a huge prize package full of crafty swag!

Now here’s sweet gift for your friends who have a sweet tooth.

The best part about these cupcakes is that the calorie count is absolutely ZERO!  Perfect for these otherwise calorie-laden holidays…

Smoothfoam Cupcakes

 

You will need:

3” Smoothfoam ball  (one for each cupcake)
1” Smoothfoam ball  (one for each cupcake)
Decorative cord trim
DecoArt Americana Patio Paint – Red
Tacky Glue
Elmer’s Spray Adhesive
Clear Glitter
½” flat paintbrush
Small sponge dauber
Silver foil cupcake liners
Toothpicks, straight pins
Cardstock
1/8” hole punch, scissors

1. Cover the top half of the 3″ ball liberally with an even coat of glue. Use the center seam of the ball as a guide.

Smoothfoam Cupcake Step 1

2.  Starting at the hole at the top of the ball, attach the end of the cord with a straight pin.  Leaving about a ½” circle around the hole, coil the trim around the ball on top of the glued area. Secure the opposite end with a straight pin, then trim off the excess cord.

Smoothfoam cupcake topper

3.  Push the 1″ ball onto the end of a toothpick to use as a handle as you paint it red with the sponge dauber for a subtle textured finish. You can use any kind of red craft paint, or even a paint marker, but Patio Paint will leave a nice shiny finish. Let dry, then insert into the top of cupcake with the toothpick.

4.   Spray plain white cord trim with adhesive then sprinkle lightly with glitter.  Trim the toothpick in the base of the “cherry” to about 1” then insert into the top of cupcake.  Glue the bottom half of the ball into a cupcake liner.  I used 2 liners together for more stability.

5.  Print a sentiment from your computer (or use a sticker) on to cardstock and trim out into a mini flag or banner shape. Punch 2 small holes into one end of the flag, insert a colored toothpick, then push the opposite end into the top of the cupcake in between the coiled cord.

We hope you have enjoyed our Smoothfoam holiday projects…we literally had a ball making them for you! Enjoy the rest of the hop and be sure to enter to win the big prize!

Clearsnap     |     Craft Attitude – Johnathan Fong      |     Smoothfoam
Donna Salazar Designs      |     Walnut Hollow     |     100 Proof Press
Graphic45     |     ICE Resin     |     Stampendous     |     Jen Goode
Sizzix – Eileen Hull     |     Jamie Dougherty     |     Nathalie Kalbach
Kathy Cano-Murillo     |     Tanner Bell     |     Jennifer Priest
Jen Cushman     |     Adrienne Ford     |     Joanne Fink
Vicki O’Dell     |     Denise Hahn     |     Courtney Chambers
Tami Mayberry     |     Norma Rapko     |     Liz Hicks    |    Cheryl Waters

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Handmade Holidays Blog Hop – Peek-a-boo Santa

.
Handmade Holidays Blog Hop 2013 Logo
Welcome to Day 2 of the Handmade Holidays Blog Hop!

Lots of designers and manufacturers have come together to share great ideas for holiday gifts and décor.

Be sure to hop through all the blogs on the list at the bottom of this post – and enter to win a huge prize package full of crafty swag!

This “peek-a-boo” Santa is great to use on a plant stake, or tuck him into wreath or between the branches of the Christmas tree.

‘Tis the Santa season for many of us and he is popping up everywhere!  Where will we find him at your house, I wonder…?

Smoothfoam santa wreath embellishment

You will need:

6” Smoothfoam ball
1” Smoothfoam ball
3” Smoothfoam ball (optional)
Craft paints:  black, red, beige
2 wiggle eyes
White jumbo chenille stems
Black glitter ribbon
Tacky glue
Wide, flat paintbrush
Craft knife
Bamboo skewers, wax paper
Toothpicks, straight pins

Paint Smoothfoam ball1.  Push a bamboo skewer into the small hole in the 6″ ball to use as a handle while you paint the top half of the ball beige for Santa’s head and paint the bottom half red for his body. Use the seam around the center of the ball as your guide.

TIP:  Smoothfoam requires no prep and its smooth surface makes it easy to paint. Red paint is often transparent however, so 2 or 3 coats may be required. Let paint dry thoroughly between coats. Dry with a hair dryer if you’re in a hurry! 

Smoothfoam ball Santa head

2.  Wrap black ribbon around the center of the ball. Overlap the ends then secure with a straight pin.

3.  To make Santa’s nose, push the 1” ball onto a toothpick and paint it red. Let dry, then push the opposite end of the toothpick into Santa’s head above the belt. Glue the wiggle eyes in place above the nose.

Smoothfoam Santa plant stake

4.  Bend a 6” length of jumbo chenille into the shape of a mustache and attach it beneath the nose with a straight pin. Use a skewer to make pilot holes on either side of the head, then push one end of a 9”-12” length of chenille into each hole to bend into a beard as shown. Add one more tuft of chenille to the top of Santa’s head to finish. Push Santa on to a skewer to use as a plant stake.

Smoothfoam Santa head stand

Option:  If you want Santa to be freestanding, carefully cut a 3” ball in half, then paint one half black. Secure the painted half to the base of the Santa ball with a toothpick.

Smoothfoam ironing tip

TIP:  To smooth out the cut side of the ball, wrap it with wax paper, secure a skewer pushed into the top (rounded part), then carefully go over the cut surface with an iron on medium heat. The wax paper will prevent the foam from sticking to your iron.

 

Here are the blogs participating in the hop today:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Handmade Holidays Blog Hop – Frosty Wreath

.
Handmade Holidays Blog Hop 2013 LogoWelcome to the Third Annual Handmade Holidays blog hop!

The best crafters, designers, and makers have come together to create and share a series of thoughtful, handmade projects for the holidays during this 3-day event. Our goal is to inspire you to create something from the heart this holiday season and to share how to use our products in fun, innovative ways. We intend this hop to serve as a resource to you for this holiday season and for years to come.

Hop along to each blog in the list below. Each day, from today through Sunday, we’ll be posting a brand new list of blogs to hop to. Comment on each blog, share your favorite posts over social media, and then use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of each post to enter to win the Grand Prize filled with crafty swag from the companies on the hop!

We’re ready to inspire, share, and create – are you ready to hop?

 

Smoothfoam Frosty Wreath

Bring the sparkle of frosty mornings into your home for the holidays with this easy-to-make wreath using Smoothfoam balls and lots and lots of glitter!

You will need:

Twelve 3” Smoothfoam balls
6” Smoothfoam Snowflake
Glitter – Pink, Turquoise and Clear
White/silver tinsel boa
2-1/2″ wide white sparkle deco mesh ribbon (4 yards )
Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
Elmer’s Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive
Wide, flat paintbrush
Bamboo skewers
White wire coat hanger
Wax paper, straight pins
Scrap block of Smoothfoam

1.  Push a bamboo skewer through the center of each ball.

2.  Working with one ball and one color of glitter at a time, cover the surface of 6 of the balls with a liberal, even coat of Tacky Glue. Hold the ball over a piece of wax paper then cover the entire surface with lots of glitter, turning the ball as you pour. Pour excess glitter back into its container.

3.  Push the end of the skewer into a block of Smoothfoam. Let dry thoroughly.

4. Wrap the tinsel boa around the center of the other 6 balls.  Pin the ends of the boa together to secure.

5.  Untwist the top of the wire coat hanger. Cut off the crimp ends and then straighten.  Cut a 12” length of deco mesh. Overlap the ends about 1” then thread the end of the wire across the center of the folded mesh as shown to create a bow.

smoothfoam holiday wreath

6.  Bend one end of the wire over to form a loop. Push a glittered ball onto the wire then add a bow. TIP:  Wrap a small piece of wax paper around the glittered balls as you push them onto the wire to protect the glittered surface.

7.  Continue adding the balls to the wire, alternating colors and balls covered with the boa.  Insert a bow between each ball.  Push the balls together so the bows are sandwiched tightly between.

8.  With the wire on a flat surface, carefully bend the ends toward each other into a circle. Push the straight end through the loop end, then bend to secure. Coat hanger wire is very strong, so you may need to use some standard pliers.

9.  Spray the snowflake with adhesive then sprinkle with clear glitter to add extra sparkle to the center of your wreath. No need to glue – the ribbon loops will hold the lightweight snowflake in place.

Hopefully we’ve inspired you to create your own frosty wreath. We used pink and blue for the colors for this one, but change the colors to complement YOUR holiday home!  There’s no right way or wrong way when crafting – only techniques and ideas to share.  Don’t forget to visit the other blogs participating in the hop and enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s the list of participating blogs for today – come back tomorrow!