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.

Disney Villain-Inspired Party Décor

smoothfoam art frames

If you’re throwing a party soon, then you have to check out this idea for fast, easy, framed décor. Earlier this year I threw a Disney Villains-themed tea party and I had the best time decorating for it. The stars of the show were the villain-inspired framed art I had put up on the walls.


Smoothfoam Décor Frames
Acrylic craft paints
White poster board
Paintbrushes – regular and foam
Packing tape, pushpins

I created these villain-inspired paintings on poster board, cut to 11″ x 14″ to fit the opening of the Smoothfoam frames. While those were drying, I painted each frame with a basecoat of black, using a sponge to get the paint into all of the grooves in the ornate frame design. I then used a small amount of acrylic paint in purples and greens to highlights the design of the frame by lightly brushing the paint onto the frame.

Add Dimension with Acrylic Paint on the details of an Ornate Frame - Smoothfoam JPriest

After the frames were dry, I tape my art inside of each frame using two strips of packing tape across the back of the frame. I then hung the frames on the wall at angles to go along with the Mad Tea Party theme.

Villains Inspired Disney Wall Art JPriest

These ornate frames are lightweight, which makes it easy to use them for temporary party décor, since they don’t need wall anchors as a wood frame might require. Don’t tell anyone, but I hung these on the wall with push pins from my bulletin board! Also since Smoothfoam is so easy to paint, these frames can be used over again for other parties by changing the paint color to match the theme.4 vILLAINS iNSPIRED Ornate Frames JPriest

I shared images of these Villain-inspired paintings for free download over on my blog so be sure to head over there to check them out:  Download Disney Villains-Inspired Art.


How to Make a Fairy Garden

I have loved the look of fairy gardens for some time, but with a rambunctious puppy in the backyard, there was no way a fairy garden would survive more than a day. Three major craft stores in my area now carry fairy garden items, so when I stumbled upon a bag of moss in one of the stores recently, I knew what I had to do. I had to make a fun faux indoor fairy garden! Here’s how to make a fairy garden with Smoothfoam:


6″ Smoothfoam disc
Aleene’s Turbo Tacky Glue
Green acrylic paint and foam paint brush
Lacquer mushroom picks, bottlebrush trees
Plastic ballerina, nylon butterfly
Hot glue gun, wire cutters

The key to this fairy garden is the lightweight Smoothfoam disc base. It’s solid enough to provide enough surface area to glue the moss down, yet porous enough to allow the wire ends of flower and mushroom picks to be inserted with ease. Change out the elements seasonally without worrying about the base crumbling – the Smoothfoam base will stay intact for years.

Smoothfoam Fairy Garden TOP JPriest

I plan to make several more of these with larger and smaller sizes of Smoothfoam discs to decorate for a fairy garden tea party I plan on having this summer. Display them under fancy glass cloches, on top of cake plates, or even under glass cheese and cake domes for a fun look on a dining table or mantle.

I hope you enjoyed this fun and easy project with Smoothfoam – The Crafter’s Foam! See more projects like this on my blog – Just JP.

Quick and Easy Mouse Ears Headband

I created this quick and easy mouse ear headband for a themed tea party I threw last month. This project is relatively easy to make and the headband is adaptable – I used a hook and loop type fastener on the balls. Remove the balls and hook something else to the headband, like a fun bow! This is a great project for halloween, costume parties, and even trips to theme parks.

Easy Faux Mouse Ears with Bow JPriest

You can also make other accessories to use on the headband, like the bow in the photos, using 1/2″ Smoothfoam balls. Here’s how to create a set of mouse ears on a headband in abut 15 minutes!


1-1/2″ Smoothfoam balls
Black headband
Black craft paint
Black hook and loop fasteners
Hot glue

Conversation Heart Statement Necklace

How to Make a Conversation Heart Necklace with Smoothfoam - Jennifer Priest

Conversation hearts are always a sentimental staple for Valentine’s Day and this year I am seeing them pop up in home décor and fashion more than ever. From jumbo conversation heart décor pieces to pillows to floral arrangements, conversation hearts are a sweet way to show the love and get into the St. Valentine’s spirit.

Smoothfoam is perfect for creating conversation heart crafts. I made a simple, kitschy necklace that moms can wear to the office or teens can wear to the high school dance. My daughter Katie loves this necklace and plans to wear it to school all week until Valentine’s Day. I guess I have to make another one for myself!


Smoothfoam 3″ Flat Heart
Pale pink craft paint
Paint brush
E6000 adhesive
Chain, jump rings, eye pin
ColorBox Archival Dye Ink – Strawberry
Letter stamps
Jewelry pliers

Katie Wearing a Conversation Heart Necklace for Valentines Day - Great for Teens

Paint the hearts with two coats of pale pink. Press a toothpick into the top of the heart to hold while painting (where the eye pin will be inserted later), then stick the other end of the toothpick into a scrap sheet of Smoothfoam for drying,

Coat the bottom of the eye pin with E6000, push it into the top of the heart, wipe away any excess glue and allow to dry.

Stamp a sentiment on the front of the heart with red ink. Attach the heart to a length of chain with a jump ring. Ready to wear and enjoy!

Check out this tutorial video to see how to create this Conversation Heart Necklace:

Felt Heart Topiary

2015-01 Felt Heart Garland by Jennifer Priest 5

For Valentine’s Day décor, I created a fun felt garland for my mantle. The garland was cute but my mantle needed something more…

2015-01 Felt Heart Garland and Heart Trees by Jennifer Priest 2I created these mini heart-shaped topiaries using the leftover hearts from my felt project and Smoothfoam half-balls as the bases. I covered the Smoothfoam with paper flowers, but you can use buttons, sequins, or even glitter to cover the bases. Smoothfoam half-balls make great bases for all kinds of home and party décor projects – I hope this Valentine topiary craft inspires you to decorate your mantle creatively this February!


3-1/4″ Smoothfoam half-balls
4-1/2″ Smoothfoam half-balls
Paper flowers
Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Craft Paint
Paint brush
Washi tape, assorted colors
Bamboo skewers, 1 per topiary
Ribbons & trims
Hot glue gun
Felt hearts, 2 per topiary
Sewing machine

Here’s how to create this Valentine topiary craft project:


1.  Lay the two felt hearts face to face, matching the edges together. Sew a straight line down the middle, bisecting the hearts. Set aside.

2.  Insert a bamboo skewer into the round end of the Smoothfoam half-ball, perpendicular to the flat side of the ball. Trim with wire cutters if the skewer is too long.

3.  Paint the base and skewer with acrylic craft paint. Allow to dry.

4.  Open the flaps of the heart and apply a bead of glue into one of the folds. Press the skewer into the bead of glue and allow to dry.

5.  Wrap the rest of the skewer in washi tape if desired.

6.  Glue flowers to cover the Smoothfoam ball base.

7.  Tie ribbons and trims to the skewers at the base of each heart.

New Year’s Eve Cupcake Toppers

SMOOTHFOAM New Years Eve Ball Drop Cupcake Toppers by Jennifer Priest

Are you watching the ball drop tonight in New York City to ring in 2015? Create these fun “ball drop” themed DIY cupcake toppers for your New Year’s Eve Party!


Smoothfoam 1.75″ Diameter Balls, 12 Pack
Number stickers or die-cuts
Sequin strand
Hot glue gun
Heat gun

SMOOTHFOAM New Years Eve Ball Drop Cupcake Toppers by Jennifer Priest 2

Insert the toothpick into one side of the Smoothfoam ball. This will give you something to grip while creating the ball and will hold the ball in the cupcake once the ball is finished.

Apply a small amount of hot glue to one end of the ball and begin spiraling the sequin strand around the ball to cover. The sequin strands on these balls are what give them their shine, but you can use loose sequins or confetti as well.

Repeat the gluing process until the ball is covered. To remove glue gun strings, use a heat gun, taking care to avoid heating the sequins too long, which results in curling. Apply the numbers of the year with glue and allow to cool. Insert into the top of your cupcakes and celebrate the new year!

Spooky Halloween Cupcake Plate

Gather your friends and have a cupcake this Halloween! This mini cupcake holder is the perfect addition to your party décor and it goes together lickety-split.

DIY Halloween Cupcake plate by Jennifer Priest for Smoothfoam

The beauty of this project is you can make it for any occasion – simply change the colors and motif. Add buttons instead of google eyes with pastel colors for a baby shower cupcake plate or use pom poms instead of the google eyes for a red and green Christmas cupcake plate. How would you customize this cupcake plate for your next celebration?

Gather these supplies:

6″ Smoothfoam disc
8″ Smoothfoam disc
4″ Smoothfoam half-ball
2-1/8″ Smoothfoam ornament
3.5″ Smoothfoam tree
Black self-adhesive PrestoFelt
Westcott non-stick scissors
Glue gun
Foam paint brush
Bamboo skewer
Drill with 1/16″ drill bit
Googly eyes
Acrylic paints: green, orange, black, purple
Glitters: green, orange, black, purple
Heat gun

Drill a hole from the top to the bottom of each Smoothfoam piece. The skewer will be threaded through these holes to keep the cake plate together. Once the holes are drilled, paint each piece of Smoothfoam the color desired and allow to dry.

Paint each piece of Smoothfoam with a second coat of paint – this time, shake on the coordinating color of glitter while the paint is still wet. The paint will act as an adhesive for the glitter. Do this to each piece and then set aside and allow to dry thoroughly. To prevent the glitter from falling into the cupcake later, you can apply a very light coat of spray sealer to the pieces (be sure the label says the sealer is safe for use with craft foam).

After the pieces are dry, thread the half ball onto a bamboo skewer. Press the flat end of the ball onto the table and apply a bit of hot glue to the skewer about 1″ above the top of the half ball. Slide the 8″ Smoothfoam disc onto the skewer. Apply more hot glue to the skewer, about 1″ above the top of the Smoothfoam disc. Thread the Smoothfoam ornament onto the skewer. Apply more hot glue to the skewer, about 1″ above the top of the Smoothfoam ornament and slide the 6″ Smoothfoam disc onto the skewer. Trim the top of the skewer to about 2″ long. Apply hot glue to the remainder of the skewer and thread the Smoothfoam tree onto the top of the skewer.

Touch up any areas of paint and glitter as needed. Cut strips of black adhesive felt into a scalloped border with scissors. Apply the border to the edges of the Smoothfoam dics. Apply a line of hot glue to the top edge of each Smoothfoam disc and apply google eyes to the entire edge of each Smoothfoam disc. Use a heat gun to remove any glue gun strings on the cupcake holder. Add cupcakes and enjoy!

Smoothfoam Halloween CupCake Stand by Jennifer Priest of hydrangeahippo

DIY Baby Shower Centerpieces


My sister recently threw a baby shower for a friend. It turned into a HUGE project and she enlisted my help, being that I’m the “crafty one” in the family. Smart lady…

The theme of the shower was “bath time,” which was adorable! My sister made blue gelatin cups with rubber duckies on top, blue punch with more rubber duckies floating on top, and other baby bath touches throughout the party. My sister gave me an assignment for the bath time baby shower décor – create a bath time-themed centerpiece that included bubbles and rubber duckies.

Thank goodness for Smoothfoam! I created these DIY baby shower centerpieces using various sizes of Smoothfoam balls to create “bubbles” floating above a baby bathtub that I made from a Smoothfoam half-ball. The mom-to-be loved the theme of the shower and had a wonderful time! Next time you need party décor, consider Smoothfoam. Really, the possibilities are endless!

Bathtime Baby Shower Centerpiece


Smoothfoam balls
Smoothfam half-ball
Baby blue spray paint
Baby blue tulle
Mini rubber duckies
Hot glue
Bamboo skewers
Craft knife


1.  Use a craft knife to shave a piece off the bottom of a Smoothfoam half-ball to make it flat so the ball will sit on a tabletop without rolling.

2.  Attach Smoothfoam balls, between 1″ to 4″ diameters, to bamboo skewers adding a dab of hot glue to the end of the skewer before inserting it into the ball. Insert the other end of each skewer into the half-ball, filling the Half Ball as shown.

3.  Spray blue spray paint over random sections of the centerpiece and allow to dry.

4.  Cut pieces of blue tulle and insert into the spaces between the “bubbles.” Secure with hot glue if desired.

5.  Add rubber duckies to accent, securing with hot glue.

Smoothfoam and Clearsnap Blog Hop

Smoothfoam Clearsnap Collage
Welcome to the Clearsnap and Smoothfoam Blog Hop!

Hop along to each blog in the list to see inspiring ways to use Smoothfoam with Clearsnap’s ink, created by our team of designers.

Smoothfoam’s smooth surface is a perfect surface for applying ink!

Be sure to comment on each blog in the hop, then use the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post to enter to win a prize pack of Smoothfoam and Clearsnap goodies!

Pin your favorite projects to Pinterest so you can come back to them later and make them!

Clearsnap Blog
Suzanne Austin – What’s in a Lousyananut
Julie McGuffee – Life in the Craft Lane
Jennifer Priest – Hydrangea Hippo
Lisa Fulmer –  Lisa Liza Lou
Meihsia Liu – Simply Paper Crafts
Anita Scroggins – The Flamingo Chronicals
Steph Ackerman – Live Laugh Scrap
Carmen Flores Tanis –  Flores Tanis Studio
Tami Sanders – tami sanders * paper crafter
Beth Watson – Beth Watson
Sabrina Alery – The Honor Roll
Marilyn Gossett – Marilyn Gossett Designs
Denise Hahn – In My Blue Room




a Rafflecopter giveaway


How to Decorate a Hawaii Scrapbook Album

Hawaii Scrapbook Album Collage

My parents went to Hawaii on vacation and asked me to scrapbook the adventure for them. One of the challenges of making a scrapbook for people who don’t scrapbook is that it really has to be a practical, stand-alone piece. I knew this trip was very special to them, so I wanted to make a book that looked amazing sitting on the coffee table, but that was could be handled and viewed regularly. That means the book needed to be lightweight and not very bulky, which is a challenge given that alot of the Hawaii-themed items I had in my stash were heavy (wood) or bulky (flowers, buttons, and such).

Then I spotted this amazing African Mask on the Smoothfoam website. It was perfect for the island theme I was aiming for and was lightweight and easy to paint.


The texture of the painted Smoothfoam gave the effect of stone, an added bonus!!

I first painted a layer of brown acrylic paint on the front of the Smoothfoam African Mask. After allowing that to dry thoroughly, I painted the details of the mask using various colors of acrylic paint with small paint brushes. I used metallic gold paint on the eyebrows, forehead, and chin to add a bit of shimmer and depth to the piece. After allowing to dry, I attached the mask to the front of the album with hot glue.


Smoothfoam African Mask
Acrylic paints: Brown, Gold, Green, Lime Green, White, Yellow, Coral
Paint brushes
Glue gun

For more details on how this book came together, including a video tutorial of the making of the entire cover, please check out my blog at hydrangeahippo.com.