About Jennifer Priest

I have been teaching papercrafting classes online and at events, charity crops, and local retailers for 9 years. My love of sharing, a passion for teaching, and a happy, whimsical design style drive my creative endeavors. I love to try new things and experiment with techniques that are quick and affordable.

DIY Topiary with Smoothfoam Balls

smoothfoam topiary ballsI love topiaries – so with my kitchen remodel, I wanted a few for my new space. I’d never imagined that topiaries were so difficult to find in the store, but I went to 4 different home décor shops and none had topiaries. But that’s okay, because with Smoothfoam, it’s easy and affordable to make custom topiaries in any size!

I created these fun, mossy topiaries with Smoothfoam balls, moss from the dollar store, and upcycled glass candle jars. All told, this cost me about $4 per topiary, which is considerably less than the prices I saw for a potted faux ball topiary in the home décor shops.

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Here’s what you’ll need to create this DIY moss topiary project:

Smoothfoam balls in various diameters
Wood dowels
Glass jar or pot (spray paint it gold if desired)
Spanish moss (for crafting)
Hot glue gun (low-temp)
Green acrylic paint
Foam paint brush
Craft knife, scissors

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Each faux ball topiary requires two Smoothfoam balls. One ball will sit in the jar to serve as the base. The other ball will sit atop the dowel as the topiary. If you want a double topiary, use three Smoothfoam balls.

Paint each ball green. Glue one ball into the jar. Cut a slit in the ball to fit the dowel. Apply hot glue to one end of the dowel and push it into the ball. Cut a slit in a second Smoothfoam ball, add glue to other end of the dowel and push the second ball on to it.

Glue moss to cover the ball in the pot. Apply hot glue to the topiary ball in sections, pressing on moss to cover. Once the entire ball is covered, trim the moss with a pair of scissors for a uniform look.

I hope you enjoyed this fun DIY moss topiary project. These would look great for wedding centerpieces, on your mantle, or even in your kitchen. To see more projects like this, visit my blog at Just JP.

Pretty and Romantic Pearl Wreath

Smoothfoam diy pearl wreathSpring is in the air! When I saw these new wreath forms from Smoothfoam, I was so excited by the possibilities. I have always wanted to make a pearl wreath. They look elegant, are beautiful any time of year, and are great DIY wedding wreaths, or décor for Easter and Mother’s Day.

Most other foam wreath forms are too thick and heavy to start with – so the added weight from the pearls makes for an extra heavy wreath to hang. Smoothfoam wreath forms are lightweight, but very dense and strong. The narrow width of this form allows you to really add lots of decorations without compromising the wreath shape. I’m using pearls, mini lightbulbs, and other thicker embellishments to make fun wreaths for every room in my house.

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Here’s what you’ll need to make this project:

12″ Smoothfoam wreath form
100+ assorted pearl beads
Hot glue gun (low-temp)
Ivory felt sheet
Scissors
Ivory satin ribbon

Watch the video above to see how I made this wreath.

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Wrap the wreath form with satin ribbon to cover. This Smoothfoam wreath form has measurements printed it on it to help with positioning your design. Secure the ribbon in place with hot glue. Add a loop of ribbon to the back of the wreath to create a hanger.

Mix the pearls up in a bowl or on a plate. Randomly glue the pearls to the wreath form, varying the size and color of the pearls. If you run out of pearls, you can cover the gap with handmade felt flowers.

To make the felt flowers, cut 3 circles from the sheet of felt. Cut each circle into a spiral. Roll the spiral up from the end, into a rose type flowers. Secure in place on the wreath with hot glue. Hang and enjoy!

To see more projects like this, visit my blog at Just JP.

 

DIY Valentines Mailbox

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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.

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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!

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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 these DIY classroom mailboxes 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.

Smoothfoam Christmas Ornaments – 3 Ways!

smoothfoam-Christmas-Tree ornamentsCreate a modern take on Christmas by creating colorful ornaments the easy way: with Smoothfoam! Today I am sharing a bright idea to decorate and create ornaments with Smoothfoam trees as the base. These are fun, quick, and a great craft to make with the kids.

A few years ago I started a tradition of buying ornaments for Christmas for the kids. Each year, every child in the family chooses an ornament, we tag it with the year, and then add it to their collection. When they start a family of their own or get their first place, I’ll gift the box to them filled with all of their heirloom ornaments. Read more about this tradition here: Holiday Ornament Tradition.

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This year, we’re going to try our hands at making ornaments! Smoothfoam is easy to paint, decoupage, drill, cut, and more. Because Smoothfoam is lightweight and won’t break like glass, it’s the perfect surface for making ornaments with the kids or that are cat-proof. Here are a few more ornaments I created with Smoothfoam to make a bright, fun set:

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Gather the following supplies to create these Smoothfoam Holiday Ornaments:

Smoothfoam tree
Hot glue
Acrylic paint
Paint pens
Paint brushes, pencil, ruler
Sequins, eyepins (for jewelry)
Scissors
Embroidery floss
Silver cord

 

Watch the video above to see how I made all these fun ornaments. You can buy Smoothfoam online or at your favorite local craft supply retailers.

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

Rainbow Glitter Snowflakes

Rainbow-Glitter-smoothfoam Snowflakes-JpriestHow about making some rainbow glitter snowflakes for non-traditional home décor? I love the intricate cuts on the Smoothfoam snowflakes and wanted to use them to create a decorative accent for the holidays.

I was inspired by the bright, non-traditional holiday colors of ornaments at a local theme park and decided to embellish these Smoothfoam snowflakes in similar colors with glitter.

 

Here’s what you’ll need to make this project:

Supplies:

6″ Smoothfoam snowflakes
Glitter in various colors
Aleene’s Repositionable Tacky Spray
Paper plates
ColorBox Color Catcher  (spray booth)
Tag or scrap of paper to scoop glitter
Tombow Xtreme Mounting Putty

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And here’s how easy it is to make DIY rainbow glitter snowflakes – working outside or in a well-ventilated area, just spray the top of a snowflake with the Tacky Spray, and then sprinkle away! Sprinkle one color on the outside tips, then work in a circular motion to sprinkle additional color(s) until you get to the center. Tap off the excess and let dry.

After I finished adding glitter to the snowflakes, I used the mounting putty to temporarily adhere the snowflakes to my front door as an alternative to a holiday wreath.

Thanks so much for stopping by the Smoothfoam blog today. To see more projects like this, please visit my blog at Just JP.

Glow-in-the-Dark Cat Eyes

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Eyeballs are everywhere when it comes to Halloween time! Here’s a fun way to make unique glow-in-the-dark eyeballs for a Halloween wall display using Smoothfoam half-balls. Inspired by my cat, I painted these eyeballs to look like cat eyes. I think the slit-shaped iris also makes the eyes a bit spookier! You can change up the colors to make them even more fun – try swapping out the black paint for purple or neon pink.

Smoothfoam half-balls are incredibly versatile for many crafts – including party and home décor projects. Today’s project is another way to use these fun Smoothfoam shapes.

These eyeballs also don’t have to stay indoors. Consider laying them in your grass so it looks like eyes peeking out of the ground, or adhere them to an outdoor wall or your front door! I used mine in a display over the fireplace in my living room.

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These are super effective at stopping my kids from waking up in the middle of the night to watch cartoons in the living room … hmm, I wonder why? Mwahahahaaaaaa!

Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

Supplies:

Smoothfoam half-balls in various diameters
Glow-in-the-dark paints
Black patio paint
Paintbrushes
Mounting or earthquake putty

Helpful Hint:  DecoArt Patio Paint is my favorite to use with Smoothfoam because it glides on so easily and smoothly, and a little paint goes a long way.

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Thanks so much for stopping by the Smoothfoam blog today. For more crafty goodness, please visit me at Just JP.

DIY Piñata-Inspired Bulletin Boards

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So I have a confession:  I am a little obsessed with all things “piñata” right now since I discovered how to make tissue paper fringe really easily. I even tried to piñata the cat! All kidding aside, I have been wanting to make a bulletin board with Smoothfoam sheets for a long time. I could paint it or cover it with fabric or decoupage pretty papers on it, but none of those ideas really floated my boat. Instead, I decided to piñata the Smoothfoam Sheets to make a festive bulletin board! And yes, piñata is now a verb!

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I used 6 x 12 Smoothfoam sheets to make three piñata bulletin boards, which I mounted to the wall using Tombow Xtreme Putty. The Smoothfoam makes a great surface for pinning important notes and the tissue fringe is just so fun! Brighten any office with these fun bulletin boards. Here’s how:

To create this project, gather the following supplies:

Three 6″ x 12″ Smoothfoam sheets
Colored tissue papers
Sizzix 3-D Flowers by Eileen Hull
Sizzix Big Shot Machine
Tombow MONO Liquid Glue
Tombow Xtreme Putty
Westcott Brand Scissors
Acrylic craft Paint
Paint brush

These bulletin boards are a great way to liven up your office for the upcoming Mexican Independence Day on September 16 or leave them up for Dia De Los Muertos in October. I plan to leave mine up all year long, as a fun way to decorate the wall in my office.

Thanks for stopping by the Smoothfoam blog. I’d love to know how you would create bulletin boards with Smoothfoam sheets for your home or office. Tell us in the comments section! And for more crafty goodness, please visit me over at Just JP.

Summer Travel Map – Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

DIY-Travel-Map-of-California-using-Smoothfoam-Sheets-JPriestHello! Today I’m sharing a idea for a DIY push pin travel map made with Smoothfoam sheets. Maps have been trending in home décor and I’ve seen cork maps and cork cutouts of maps in stores with pretty hefty price tags. I love the idea of customizing your décor to reflect your own life, not what a magazine or showroom tells you your home should look like. This summer travel map project is inspired by this trend, but also by my love for customization; you can make the map be about any part of the world where you’ve traveled!

I chose to make a map of my home state, California. We plan to move out of state in a few years, so we’ve been trying to visit all of the landmarks in California as much as possible. A fun way to remember your trips is to create a hanging display of them on the wall.

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Using a Smoothfoam sheet as the base of this map makes it highly pinnable, not just to Pinterest, but you can also put pins in the Smoothfoam to mark the places you’ve visited. Add flags to the pins with the location name, date you visited, and names of the people you traveled with.

To create a custom DIY push pin travel map, gather the following supplies:

– 6″ x 12″ Smoothfoam Sheet
– Acrylic craft paints
– Paint brush
– Printed or diecut map of the area
– Pushpins

I used an electronic cutter to cut the outline of California from a piece of paper, creating a stencil that I used to paint the image of the state onto the sheet. If you don’t have an electronic cutter, print out a map from the internet, sizing it to fit on the 6″ x 12″ sheet. Cut out the map, trace onto the Smoothfoam, and then paint within the traced lines. Use pins to hold the map or stencil in place while painting or tracing. Click below for a slide show of each step.


Cut out little flags to adhere to pins to mark all of the places you visited. Place extra flag pins in an envelope on the back of the map to use as you visit more places. Attach your travel map to the wall with removable adhesive strips.

If I ever go to Europe, I am so making one of these again!

Thanks for stopping by the Smoothfoam blog today. For more crafty goodness, visit my blog at Just JP.

 

Make Gazing Balls with Glass Pebbles

Smoothfoam-DIY-Gazing-BallGazing balls can really make a garden pop, but I’ve struggled with finding a mirrored glass gazing ball that I really like. And there is always the concern of the dog knocking it over and breaking it by accident. Then one day I was in the dollar store and saw all these bags of flat glass pebbles that are used as vase filler. Maybe I can’t exactly gaze at my reflection in them, but they would look great glued onto a Smoothfoam ball!

Creating these DIY gazing balls was really very easy and they’re much more affordable than traditional mirrored glass gazing balls. Flat glass pebbles/marbles are available in multiple colors in most craft stores too, so you can make decorative garden balls that accent your garden with whatever color you like. You can even create a mosaic style pattern using multiple colors of marbles.

I laid these balls at the base of some flowers pots on my gravel side yard patio but you can put them in pots, arrange them in flower beds, and more. The larger the ball is, the heavier it will be due to the weight of the glass marbles. It’s best to bring them inside during inclement weather.

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To make a garden gazing ball, you’ll need the following supplies:

Smoothfoam balls  (mine are 6″ and 10″)
Acrylic craft paint
Paint brush
Flat glass marbles (aka glass pebbles)
Heavy-duty craft glue or hot glue

Here’s how easy it is to make DIY gazing balls:

1.  Paint the Smoothfoam balls to match the color of the marbles. The marbles are still see-through, even when tinted with color, so the paint color will show through them. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

2.  Apply glue to the flat side of each marble and press them to the ball, one by one, until the ball is covered.

Minions Birthday Party Décor

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My kids love the Minions, so when we heard that a new Minions movie was coming out, it was pretty much a done deal that we would be hosting a Minions party. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to locate yellow party supplies. Why buy supplies when you can make them with Smoothfoam? I created this Minions Birthday Party Décor using Smoothfoam as a base to serve our snacks and refreshments on. Check out my video tutorial!

 

Rather than buy pricey chargers or platters in bright yellow, a color I can’t imagine I’d have another use for, I decided to use Smoothfoam as a presentation plate for the Minions themed party snacks. Because Smoothfoam can be painted, it can be transformed into any color. Once I am finished using these Smoothfoam sheets (12″ Scrapbook Page Mounts)  for the party, I can paint them another color for my next project.

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Smoothfoam also provides a great base for inserting party picks, signs identifying the food item, or for decorative items like pennants. Smoothfoam accepts adhesive well, making it easy to decorate with paper die-cuts to match the party theme.

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Thanks so much for stopping by the Smoothfoam blog today. Be sure to stop by my blog to see the reveal of the full party, which we created for under $75!