Back to School Pencil Sign

smoothfoam pencil sign

Back to school time is approaching FAST and my teacher friends always like new, cute and crafty items to hang on their classroom doors!

I created this teacher’s pencil sign so my friend Mrs. Hill could welcome her new students and parents back to school in style – and maybe it will help her have an easier transition from teaching first grade to teaching third grade!

Here’s what you will need to make your own classroom signs for teachers:

12″ x 36″ Smoothfoam sheet
Americana Paints – Bubblegum Pink, Graphite, Mustard Seed and Desert Sand
Tombow Xtreme Permanent Adhesive Runner
Ranger Foil Tape Sheets
Rub-on stylus, ruler, pencil, paint brush, scissors
Hot knife cutting tool
24″ length of grey ribbon
Yellow chevron stripe scrapbook paper
Paper trimmer
2″ alpha stickers

supplies to make pencil sign

Here’s how to make this teacher’s pencil sign:

1.  Measure a 10″ x 25″ rectangle from the Smoothfoam sheet. To create the pencil point, measure in 5″ from right side along the top and bottom long edges. Measure to the 5″ center along the short side edge.  Connect the dots to create a point! To create the eraser, draw in rounded corners from left side along the short edge.

2.  Cut out the pencil shape with the hot knife.

smoothfoam painted PENCIL SIGN

3.  Measure in 4″ for the eraser and then another 2-1/2″ for the metal band. Paint the eraser with Bubblegum Pink, the pencil point in Desert Sand, and the edges of the pencil shaft in Mustard Yellow. Paint the pencil lead in Graphite. Let dry and add a second coats for each color as needed.


4.  Measure and cut scrapbook paper to fit the 10″ x 14″ pencil shaft. To tile two sheets together so the pattern isn’t interrupted, trim around the chevron stripe at the end of one sheet, then glue the sheets to the pencil with tape runner.


5.  Measure and cut the foil tape sheet to 2-1/2″ x 12″ and peel off backing paper. NOTE: Foil tape tends to curl up and stick to itself, so be CAREFUL with this step and work slowly. Attach the foil to the Pencil between the shaft and eraser. Smooth it down with the flat end of your stylus. Emboss a pattern across the band using the ball end of the stylus. Since the base is Smoothfoam, this step is EASY!

6.  Adhere the ribbon to the back of the pencil for hanging and place your alpha stickers on top to spell out your teacher’s name or the word WELCOME!


Autumn Apple Décor

Apple decor teacher appreciation giftsYes, Smoothfoam makes fake fruit! And apple craft projects are perfect for the upcoming fall season. Stock-up now! Here are three great fall apple crafts that use Smoothfoam apples:

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Back-to-school season begins very soon and it’s always nice to start the year off right. Why not give your child’s new teacher a gift that will look adorable on her desk the entire school year?


Smoothfoam apple
Red craft paint
1″ length of wood skewer
Green felt for leaves
Clear plastic gift box or bag
Apple for Teacher Printable Tag


1.  Paint the apple red – 2 or 3 coats will give you really good coverage. Be sure to allow the paint to dry completely between coats.

2.  Cut 2 small leaf shapes from green felt and glue to the top of the apple.

3.  Push the wood skewer into the top to create the stem.

4.  Place your apple in the gift box or bag, tie with a ribbon, and print out a sweet gift tag.


Poison Apple smoothfoamPoison Apple for Halloween

Paint your apple as instructed above using black paint. Add leaves and stem. Be sure to create your own little tag to let people know it’s a poison apple! Poison apples make unique Halloween decorations. They are also a creative accessory for a witch or Snow White costume.

apple decor smoothfoamApple Décor for the Table

Try yellow and green paints to create different types of apples. Smoothfoam apples are great for fall centerpieces or they look cute sitting in bowl or basket. Individual apples could also be used as place card holders on your festive Thanksgiving table!


Decorating with Seashells

Smoothfoam Shell Gift Basket


For me, vacations are all about the beach – and I haven’t left a beach yet without a pocketful of shells! I’ve crafted with found shells for literally more than 60 years, but for special ideas for decorating with seashells like these, I head to the craft store for hard-to-find shells. Smoothfoam shapes are a wonderful foundation for so many different kinds of seashell decorations. Find some wonderful seashell craft ideas below. PLEASE NOTE: Shells conduct heat from the glue gun very quickly. Use caution when handling to avoid burns.

To make this shell basket above, you’ll need:

Low-temp glue gun
Smoothfoam 8” half-ball
6-7 scallop shells

Glue the shells around the outside of the half-ball. Overlap shells as shown for better coverage. Fill with whatever decorative items you like, such as netting and more shells.

Smoothfoam Shell Mirror



To make this shell mirror, you’ll need:

Tacky glue and low-temp glue gun
Smoothfoam 12” disc
8” round mirror
Assorted shells

Adhere the mirror to the center of the disc with tacky glue. Arrange and glue shells around the outer edge of the mirror with the glue gun.



Smoothfoam Starfish Tree Supplies

To make this starfish tree, you’ll need:

Low-temp glue gun
Smoothfoam Cupcake
½” wide burlap ribbon
5 Helmet starfish (graduated sizes to stack)

Wrap the burlap ribbon around the outside of the cupcake for the base, then glue the largest starfish on top. Glue the remaining starfish on top, ending with the smallest.



Smoothfoam Starfish Tree