About Laura Bray

I’m a professional craft designer and lifestyle blogger. I try to live my life with intention and fill it with creativity and good food. I wish I could say I channel Lucille Ball, but I’m really more like Ethel.

Bon Voyage centerpiece

smoothfoam travel Centerpiece

Graduations and vacations are almost here.Yay! Today’s project would make a great centerpiece for a graduation or bon voyage party – celebrate your graduate who’s about to go out into the world or your friends who plan to travel the globe.

Supplies:

12″ Smoothfoam half ball
Smoothfoam airplane
Acrylic craft paint
Striped paper straw

paint smoothfoam ball

Instructions:

Paint the half ball in blue. Allow to dry completely and then sketch in the continents to make it look like the globe.This can be as realistic or whimsical as you want. You could also decoupage pieces of a paper map onto the ball if you prefer.

Paint the Smoothfoam airplane.

Push a paper straw into the bottom of the plane. It’s easier if you cut the ends of the straw at an angle to make them pointed. Push the other end of the straw into your globe.

smoothfoam painted airplane

If you liked this project, I hope you will visit my blog for more. Happy Travels!

Make a Spring Nature Display

painted smoothfoam easter eggs

Spring is almost here and new life is sprouting up everywhere. Why not celebrate it by creating a nature display with Smoothfoam eggs? (Because no one wants to steal an egg from a cute little bird’s nest!)

Supplies:

Smoothfoam 2-1/2″ Half Chick Egg
Wood plaque
Acrylic craft paint
Hot glue

Instructions:

Paint the wood plaque with acrylic paint and set aside to dry.

Paint the half-egg light blue, then load a soft brush with brown paint that has been thinned with water. Flick the paint over the half egg, speckling it with brown paint. Set it aside to dry.

Hot glue the half egg onto the painted, wood plaque.

smoothfoam speckled egg

Create a nature display with your egg plaque, an abandoned nest, or other items you picked up in nature…or hang it on the wall with some bird photos.

Sweet Valentine Lollies

smoothfoam valentine lollipopsMy daughter and I love to create handmade Valentines for her class each year. A few years ago, we made fake foam lollipops with a “You Are Sweet” tag and they were a huge hit. I thought I would share a tutorial for making a similar lollipop Valentine craft using Smoothfoam hearts.

Supplies:

Smoothfoam hearts
Acrylic craft paint
Glitter
Skewers
Decorative paper straws
Ribbon
Craft glue

Instructions:

Heart Step One

Insert a skewer into the base of a Smoothfoam heart to use as a handle. Paint each heart with base coat of your choice of colors. Allow to dry. Use a Smoothfoam block or disc to stick the hearts into to dry.

masking stripes on painted smoothfoam heart

Paint a design on the front of the heart with a second color – use foam stamps or draw your own doodles, or mask a heart with painter’s tape to paint stripes. Try sprinkling glitter on top of the paint while it’s still wet. You may need to touch-up some of the base color after pulling off the painter’s tape.

To assemble the lollipops, apply a small amount of craft glue to one end of a decorative straw and run the skewer that is attached to your heart through it, adhering the glued side to the heart.

smoothfoam Heart Valentines

Click here to download, print and trim out some Valentine messages for the tags. Tie a ribbon and glue a tag to the straw.

If you want to get really fancy with your lollipop Valentine craft, you can add a cello bag over the lollipop – just make sure they know it’s a fake foam lollipop, not real candy!

Valentine Printables

Smoothfoam Beads

Smoothfoam Beads Necklace

Everyone knows children love to use beads for necklaces, key fobs, and all manner of projects, but have you tried to paint wood beads with kids? It’s messy, right? The beads roll around (inevitably after they have been covered in a thick coat of paint). We won’t even mention how messy fingers get either. I believe kids crafts should be fun for the kids and not make parents crazy and that’s where Smoothfoam beads come in.

Smoothfoam Beads Keychain

If you use 3/4″ Smoothfoam balls as beads, you can stick a toothpick into them to hold while painting and poke into a block of Smoothfoam while drying to eliminate the mess.

Supplies:

3/4″ Smoothfoam balls
Toothpicks, wood skewer
Acrylic paints

Instructions:

Carefully push a hole straight through the center of each ball with a skewer. This step is best done by a parent for safety reasons!

Once you have a hole, stick a toothpick inside the ball. If you have small children, make sure the end that the child will hold is flat, not sharp!

Hand the “bead” over and let the child go crazy painting it. Encourage them to make designs like polka dots by using the end of the either paint brush handle.

Smoothfoam Beads.

When the beads are completely dry, use them to create beautiful necklaces or almost any other craft that requires beads. Make a big bag of them, all at once, so always have a good supply to use in your crafts. Bonus – Smoothfoam beads float!Smoothfoam Beads II

DIY Faux Glass Owl Ornaments

smoothfoam Owl Ornaments I love all the beautiful, European glass ornaments that are on display during the holidays, but I hate how much they cost. And they are breakable, so if you have young children or a pets, spending a lot on a glass ornament can feel like a complete waste of money. But I have a great solution! I created these faux glass ornaments from Smoothfoam owls! Can you believe it? They look delicate and breakable, but they aren’t. Here’s how to make some DIY owl ornaments for yourself.

smoothfoam Owl Ornament

Supplies:

Smoothfoam owls
Metallic paint: green, pearl, cream
Feathers in colors to match the paints
Craft glue
Glitter glue
Small screw eye hooks
Ribbon

smoothfoam faux glass Owl Ornament

Instructions:

Paint each owl with the metallic paint. I used three coats to get a smooth, glass-like effect, allowing it to completely dry between coats.

Glue the feathers on each owl.

Accent the owl’s eyes, beak, and talons with glitter glue.

After the glitter dries completely, twist a hook into the top of the ornament and thread a ribbon thorugh it for hanging.

faux glass smoothfoam Ornament

Candy Apple Ornament

smoothfoam Candy Apple Ornament

These candy apple ornaments make a sweet gift for your favorite sweetie! Of all the handmade holiday gifts out there, I think ornaments are at the top of my list. There’s something about unpacking your ornament box and sifting through your collection, carefully picking each one up, thinking about who gave it to you and where you were in your life, before finally hanging it on the tree.

Supplies:

Smoothfoam Apple
White air-dry polymer clay
Craft paints – red, white
Craft glue
Glitter – red, white
Small hook screw
Red & white striped paper straw
Ribbon

Candy Apple Ornament Close-Up copyInstructions:

1.  Paint the apple red. While the paint is still wet, cover it in red glitter. Set aside to dry.

2.  Following the instructions on the package, roll out a small amount of white clay to about 1/8″ thick to make a  3″ scalloped circle to cover the top of the apple. The edges need not be perfectly shaped.

3.  Glue the clay over the top of the apple while the clay is still moist. Arrange it randomly so it looks like dripping frosting. Dab a bit of glue to the end of the straw and push it through the clay into the pilot hole on the top of the apple. Set aside to dry.

VERY IMPORTANT TIP – I suggest allowing it to air-dry at least 24 hours. The clay may take more or less time to dry depending on your weather conditions. Be sure to use an air-dry clay; do NOT use polymer clay that needs to be baked, as Smoothfoam should never go in the oven.

4.  Paint the dry clay white and sprinkle white or clear glitter on top while the paint is wet. Allow to dry.

5.  Push a small screw hook into the top of the ornament and string a pretty ribbon through it to hang.

Haunted House Halloween Ornaments

Haunted House smoothfoam halloween Ornaments

I have to admit I kind of love the idea of Halloween tree. I mean, who says trees are just for Christmas? These little haunted houses, using Smoothfoam house shapes, are perfect if you have a Halloween tree. Learn how to make this DIY Halloween ornaments below.

smoothfoam Haunted House ornament

Supplies:

Smoothfoam house shapes
Dimensional paints
Black paint
Black glitter paint
Small hooks
Black yarn

smoothfoam Haunted House ornament

Instructions:

Paint the houses however you like, using dimensional, acrylic, and glitter paints. Get creative! Think Halloween-style gingerbread houses!

Allow the paint to dry, then push a small hook into the top of the house. Secure with a dab of craft glue, if desired.

Run string through the hook and hang on a Halloween tree.

 

Halloween Candy Jars

smoothfoam halloween candy jarHonestly, Halloween is all about the candy right? So make sure you showcase your favorite Halloween candy with these DIY Halloween candy jars. These cute candy jars are the perfect less-scary Halloween decorations.

Supplies:

Smoothfoam ball
Smoothfoam cube
Craft paints
Googly eyes
Scrapbook paper
Ribbons
Bolts or push pins
Craft glue
Glass jars (round and square) with lids

 

To make the cat:

Paint the Smoothfoam ball black and allow to dry.

Paint a kitty face in white – use googly eyes for fun!

Cut small triangles of scrapbook paper to glue on as cat ears.

Glue the cat head to the top of the jar lid.

Decorate the neck of the jar with ribbons and other embellishments as desired

smoothfoam halloween candy jarTo make the Frankenstein:

Paint the Smoothfoam cube green for his skin and black for his hair as shown.

Once dry, paint a monster face in black. Don’t forget the googly eyes!

For neck bolts, I stole some actual bolts from my husband’s toolbox, but you can also use silver thumbtacks or push pins.

Glue the head to the top of a square jar.

Embellish jar with ribbon.Candy Jars with Watermark

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?

Supplies:

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

Instructions:

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!