Holiday Photo Cube

smoothfoam photo cubeThe holidays have come and gone and now it is time to tidy up after the festivities. I never know what to do with all the Christmas cards, especially those with photos of family and friends. It just doesn’t seem right to toss or even recycle the photos. A Smoothfoam photo cube is the perfect solution. This way I can see the images year ’round on the bookshelves within my office.

You will need:
Christmas card photos of family and friends
3″ Smoothfoam cube
Washi tape
Paper trimmer, ruler
Scissors (look for non-stick blades)
Tacky glue
Sequins and sequin pins
Ball head pins

smoothfoam photo cube

Trim your stash of holiday photo cards to 2.75″ squares. Choose your favorite five (no photo for the bottom).

Center and glue each photo to one side and the top of the cube; allow to dry.

Frame the photos on each side with 3″ lengths of washi tape, folded over the edges of the cube.

Pick up a sequin cup, face up, with a sequin pin and push one into each corner of the cube.

On the bottom of the cube, push a ball-head pin into each corner, angled slightly toward the center of the cube, to act as feet for the photo cube.

Vintage-Style Christmas Alphabet Blocks

NOEL Vintage Santa Smoothfoam Blocks

 

These vintage-style Christmas alphabet blocks are a great way to repurpose Smoothfoam cubes that may be slightly damaged – the little dents and dings just add to the vintage feel.

Materials:

Four 4”  Smoothfoam cubes
DecoArt Metallic Lustre – Gold Rush
Americana Décor Chalky Finish Paints – Rouge, Enchanted, Timeless
Americana Décor Creme Wax – Golden Brown
Heavy-duty craft glue
Pencil, paint brushes, tape measure

Instructions: 

Paint the Smoothfoam cubes with Timeless Chalky Finish paint. Let dry.

To create the effect of wood alphabet blocks with a ridged edge, use the bottom of a tape measure or other solid rectangular item, to press into the center of each side of the cube, about 1/2” from each edge.

paint and distress Smoothfoam cubes

To distress the blocks, apply Creme Wax with paper towel, then remove most of it while still wet.

distress smoothfoam cubes

Trace or draw letters in pencil on each block to spell out NOEL.

Paint the N and E blocks with Rouge; paint the O and L blocks with Enchanted. Let dry.

McGeeVintageSantaBlocksHOW3

Print out nine vintage Santa images to fit within a 3″ square.

Glue the Santa images to the top, left and right sides of the N block, as well as the left and right sides of the O, E and L blocks.

On the blocks with red letters, paint a fine line around each vintage Santa image with green. On the blocks with green letters, do the same in red and let dry.

Use your fingertip to smudge Metallic Lustre on all sides of each cube, around the raised edges.

distress vintage christmas blocks

 

Shabby Chic Faux Wood Candlesticks

smoothfoam faux wood Candlesticks

You can get the look of turned wood candlesticks easily by stacking Smoothfoam blocks and balls. I think this shabby chic style would look great in other colors too, to fit in with your own holiday décor.

Materials:

2″ Smoothfoam balls
3” Smoothfoam cubes
4.5” square wood plaques
2″ wood rings
1″ bamboo rings
Acrylic paints – white and gray
Paintbrush, sandpaper, scissors
Tacky glue, wood skewers
Battery-operated votive candles

Instructions:

1.  Cut two balls in half on the seam. Sand the cut edges and seams on the balls to smooth out.

2.  For the short candlestick, push a skewer up through the flat side of the half-ball, then add a bamboo ring, a ball, a ring and the other half ball (round side) as shown. Push the end of the skewer into the center of a cube. Leave the skewer in place to hold while you paint. The assembly is the same for the tall candlestick, just add an extra ball and ring n the center as shown.

3.  Paint the candlestick white, then dry brush with gray to distress. When dry, snip off the tip of the skewer. Paint the wood plaques and rings the same.

4.  Glue the candlestick to a plaque. Glue a wood ring to the top of the candlestick. When the glue is dry, place battery-operated votive candles on top.

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

Back to School Teacher Gift

Smoothfoam teacher gift pencil holder

“I like the process of pencil and paper as opposed to machine. I think the writing is better when it’s done in handwriting.” —Nelson DeMelville

With the arrival of August comes the back-to-school supply list. Why not send your child off to school with a great teacher’s gift – a creative DIY foam pencil holder using a Smoothfoam cube! The teacher will appreciate it, and you and your child can squeeze in a little last-minute summer crafting fun. Learn how to make your own back to school teacher gifts below.

You will need:

3″ Smoothfoam cube
Acrylic paints – dark chocolate, tomato red and antique gold
3 foam paintbrushes
Stencil of fall leaves
Orange glitter glue
12 pencils
Knitting needle

1.  Paint the cube brown. Allow the first coat to dry and paint a second coat.

2.  Position the stencil on the cube and dab a bit of yellow and red paints over the stencil.  Allow the colors to mix together a bit. Once dry, touch up with a small brush if needed.

3.  Add the veins of the leaves with glitter glue. Do one side at a time and allow to dry before adding veins on another side of the cube.

4.  Determine the top of the cube and punch 12 aligned holes with the knitting needle, or a screwdriver works too. Add the pencils and you have an adorable teacher’s gift!

Duct tape planter boxes

duct tape faux plantsToday we have some fantastic inspiration from our good friend, Mark Montano!

He used a 4″ Smoothfoam cube as the base for these colorful planter boxes made with leaves cut from strips of duct tape. With some pretty paper and ribbon, Mark wrapped the cube and then pierced in his wired duct tape leaves – it looks great!

Imagine a Smoothfoam planter box on your coffee table, book shelf, or how about dozens of them as DIY centerpieces for a party?

duct tape plantsHe featured this project at a special event last month at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles. Smoothfoam is so great for group make-n-take projects like this because it’s lightweight and easy to work with, especially for new crafters. Just look at all the happy people who made Smoothfoam planter boxes with Mark!

smoothfoam planter boxes

To learn how to make plant leaves with duct tape, check out Mark’s video below. Happy crafting!

Make Your Own Super-Size Game Dice

DIY supersize smoothfoam game dice

We love to play games when my family gets together and some of our favorite games involve throwing dice. I thought it would be a great idea this summer to play out in the yard with a fun super-size pair of game dice.

Supplies:
5″ Smoothfoam cube
White acrylic paint
Decoupage medium
Paint brush
Black cardstock
1″ circle punch

1.  Paint the Smoothfoam cubes with 2 coats of white, letting dry between coats.
2.  Punch 21 circles from the black cardstock for each cube and glue then to each side like traditional dice (one through six).
3.  Seal each side of the cube with a coat or two of decoupage medium.

4th of July Topiary

smoothfoam 4th of july topiary

May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this – our own country!  ~Daniel Webster

Having company over for the 4th of July? This is a quick 4th of July topiary decoration decoration to make for your table. Adapt it to other holidays by changing the color scheme – pastels for Easter or fall colors for Thanksgiving. Be sure to check out our other fourth of July decorations!

You will need:
3″ Smoothfoam ball
3″ Smoothfoam cube
1.25″ wood dowel
Red craft paint
5 yards each of red, blue and silver (or white) ribbons
DecoArt Metallic Lustre – Silver Spark
Silver and white sequins
Sequin pins
Fabric glue
Ruler, scissors, sponge brush
Knitting needle

Rub silver Metallic Lustre on to the dowel using a paper towel. Allow to dry and then buff to a shine using another clean paper towel.

Punch a hole into the base of the ball and also into the center of the cube with a knitting needle. Paint the cube red and allow to dry.

Insert the dowel between the curbe and the ball.

Cut a 5″  length of ribbon, roll it into into a cylinder and pin it to the ball. You may need two pins for wider ribbon. Repeat this procedure, randomly placing the colors until the entire ball is covered in ribbon loops.

Cut 12″ of the silver ribbon, tie it into a bow around the dowel just below the ball and trim the ends as necessary.

painted smoothfoam cube

Cut a 12″ piece of blue ribbon and pin it around the top of the cube. Cut another 5″ piece and form a loop with the edges overlapping and glue the edges together. Cut a 2″ piece of red ribbon, fold it over the center of the blue and glue the ends in place to make a bow. Pin the bow to one side of the cube.

Pin sequins across the surface of the cube for a little extra sparkle.

4th of July Centerpiece

4th of July Smoothfoam Centerpiece

Products Used:

8” Smoothfoam disc
4” Smoothfoam cube
Red & Ivory Ribbon Stripe scrapbook paper
Navy & Ivory Mini Dot Reverse scrapbook paper
Navy & Ivory Ticking scrapbook paper
Die-cutting machine and fence die
3” scalloped circle punch
Scoring board and score tool
Solid cardstock – red, white, blue
Acrylic paints – red, white, blue
Paintbrush, double-stick tape
Blue & white baker’s twine
Tacky glue
Toothpicks, bamboo skewers
Buttons, beads, star sticker

1. To begin your 4th of July centerpiece, paint the Smoothfoam disc blue and the cube red; let dry.

2.  Cut two 1” x 12” strips of the red striped paper and one 1” x 2” piece. Adhere to the side of the disc with double stick tape.

3.  Paint 15 toothpicks white (set four aside to use for the mini pinwheels later) and let dry.

Fenceon toothpicks

4.  Die-cut 7 fence sections to fit around the disc. Cut 11 toothpicks in half. Glue one toothpick half on each end and middle of the fence with the pointed end facing down and insert fence sections onto the top edge of the disc.

5.  Cut five 3-¾” square pieces of navy & ivory dot paper. Adhere to the sides and top of the cube. Glue the cube to the center of the disc.

decorated smoothfoam cube and disc

6.  Paint two bamboo skewers white, let dry, then cut them down to 5” long. Glue small blue beads to the top of each skewer.

7.  To make a pennant banner, cut small ½” flags from scraps of paper and cardstock. Adhere onto a 12” piece of blue and white twine.  Tie ends of the twine to top of the skewers and insert into the disc.

mini pennant banner

8.  To create the bottle rockets, paint two skewers red and let dry. Cut two pieces of red striped paper 1-3/4” x 2″. Wrap around a pencil to curve paper. Remove pencil and roll the paper tightly to form a small tube. Wrap a 1/2” strip of navy dot paper around tube.  Glue a small piece of twine inside of tube to create the wick. Glue tube onto red bamboo skewer and insert into disc. Repeat for a second bottle rocket.

red white blue Rosette

9.  To make the rosette, punch two 3” scalloped circles from the Navy and Ivory Dots paper. Cut two strips of red card-stock – one 1-1/4”” x 12” and one 2-1/4” x 6-1/2” . Adhere the two strips together to form one long 2-1/4” x 18” strip. Score the strip every 1/4” down the entire length and accordion fold it. Glue the ends together to form a cylinder (use a good tacky glue). On a flat surface, gather the bottom of the cylinder tight while spreading and pushing down on the top to create the rosette. Glue one of the scalloped circles to the center and hold into place until the adhesive sets. Turn the rosette over and attach the second scalloped circle onto the other side.

10.  Create a second smaller rosette with a 1” x 12” strip of red striped paper. Glue a blue button into center, then when dry, glue it on top of the larger rosette. Add star sticker to the center of button. Paint a bamboo skewer blue, let dry and cut down to 5” long. Insert into the back of finished rosette and poke into the cube.

4th of july paper Rosette

11.  Create mini pinwheels by adhering 1” squares of paper together. On each corner, cut diagonally two-thirds of way to square’s center, dividing each corner into two points. Bring every other point to center so that the points overlap and glue into place. Glue a small red button to the center of each pinwheel. Glue the pinwheels onto white painted toothpicks and insert into base.

mini 4th of july Pinwheels12.  Print out the words “CELEBRATE” and “4th of July” onto white cardstock. Cut and layer to size and adhere onto picks and skewers and insert onto centerpiece. Create this and other fun DIY 4th of July decorations with Smoothfoam materials!

 

Independence Day Party Decoration

4th of july diy centerpiece lisa fulmer

It’s summertime! That means 4th of July is almost here – time for block parties, community parades, and barbecues with family and friends. Smoothfoam cubes make the perfect foundation for crafty, star-spangled party decorations – this project will fit nicely on a small table.

This project is really fun to make with a little paint, a little glitter and whatever imagery you like. I prefer printing on the Craft Attitude film to get nice crisp images that will last longer because the ink is sandwiched between the film and cardstock you glue the film to. The film helps images look great on textured cardstock, too. But as an option, you can print your images directly on to smooth cardstock.

Supplies:
3″ Smoothfoam cube
Three 1″ Smoothfoam balls
Craft paints – red and blue
Paintbrush, painter’s tape, pencil
Wood skewers
Tacky glue, glue stick
Silver glitter
Silver wire, wire cutters
Craft Attitude Inkjet Film
White cardstock
Foam adhesive squares
Self-adhesive silver bling sheet
Scissors

1.  Wrap a strip of painter’s tape around the center of the Smoothfoam cube and press it firmly in place. Paint the top of the cube red and the bottom of the cube blue. Carefully remove the tape and let the cube dry.

2.  Place each Smoothfoam ball on the tip of a skewer and brush a generous amount of tacky glue smoothly across the whole surface. Quickly sprinkle glitter to coat. Poke the skewered balls into a scrap piece of Smoothfoam to dry.

3.  Print your desired images in reverse on to an 8.5×11 sheet of Craft Attitude film, following the manufacturer’s directions. Click here to download a PDF collage sheet of the vintage images* I used.

4.  It’s easiest to apply the film to an 8.5×11 sheet of cardstock a little bit at a time, keeping the paper backer in tact so you’re not handling the film itself too much. Carefully peel back about an inch of the backer paper to expose a strip of film across the short side of the sheet and press a fold into the backer paper so it’s like a tab. Apply glue stick evenly and smoothly across the top of a sheet of white cardstock. Line up the film (printed side down) and press it down at the top of the cardstock, smoothing out any creases. Apply glue stick to the rest of the cardstock and carefully press the rest of the film sheet into place on top, slowly rolling the backer paper away as you go. Press out any creases and allow to dry for a few minutes.

5.  Trace and cut three 3″ wide stars from the cardstock, cropping out the images as desired. Cut 3 more stars from what’s leftover, or from another piece of cardstock. Apply foam adhesive squares near each point and press two stars together, printed sides out. Set aside.

6.  Once the glitter balls are dry, carefully twist them off the skewers. Paint the skewers red (leave the bottom inch unpainted) and poke them back into the scrap foam to dry.

red white blue smoothfoam block lisa fulmer

7.  Cut 3 lengths of wire and wrap around a pencil to coil. Bend the ends straight – poke one end into each ball with a dot of glue to secure and poke the balls into the center of the painted cube.

8.  Poke the dry skewers into the cube around the balls and slide a star on top of each point. Trim two strips of self-adhesive bling and wrap around the cube to cover the lines dividing the red, white and blue. If the cube feels top-heavy, glue some pennies or large washers to the bottom to weight it more evenly.

Click here to learn how to make a larger version of this project for a matching centerpiece.

* Many vintage postcard images found online are in the public domain and considered copyright-free, however it’s best to be safe and only use them for your own enjoyment, not to resell.