Favorite Herbs – Mixed Media Wallhanging

 

smoothfoam mixed media wallhangingSummer is almost here…well, it’s actually pretty hot here in Tennessee already. I’ve been working in my yard, discovering how things have multiplied and moving plants that came up where they shouldn’t have.

One of the nice surprises was that my sage and basil herb plants weathered very well over the winter. And the mint…what can you say about mint except that you can’t kill it.

I decided to do a little homage to these hardy plants with a mixed media wallhanging for my kitchen. Smoothfoam made it quick, simple and very easy.

 

Supplies

1″ thick Smoothfoam sheets:  three 8″ squares plus three 6″ squares
3 sheets 12″x12″ newsprint
Craft glue
Craft paints – sage green and cream
Patterned cardstock cut to 5-3/4″ x 6-3/4″ (3 pcs); 6″ x 6″ (3 pcs); 8″ x 8″ (3 pcs)
Two 3-yard lengths string
Double-stick tape – 1/2″ wide and 1″ wide
Ink pads (I used Peeled Paint, Tea Dye and Rusty Hinge from Ranger)
Alphabet stamps
KellyCraft Get-It-Straight Laser Square and Multi-Mat Docking Station
Craft foam adhesive

 

Instructions

Mix craft glue 50/50 with water. Brush this mixture onto the 8″ squares of Smoothfoam.

Crumple the newsprint into three balls, then smooth out each sheet and decoupage it to each square.

Brush the glue inside the edges of the paper and wrap the sides, bringing the excess paper around to the back of the square. Repeat with the additional two pieces of 8″ Smoothfoam and set aside to dry.

 

decoupage newsprint to smoothfoam sheets

When the 8″ decoupaged squares have dried, paint the front, sides and back with cream.

Paint the 6″ squares with sage green and set aside to dry.

Click here to download a low-res PDF of the three herb images and print out on 3 sheets of plain copy paper (one herb per sheet). Line up a 5-3/4″ piece of card stock along the line above the herb and tape the edge securely. Run this layered sheet back through the printer so the herb prints again in position on the card stock. Remove the card stock from the copy paper and trim 1″ off the top so it’s square. Repeat for the other two herbs.

print herbs on paperherb images printed on patterned cardstockPlace the printed card stock on the Laser Square Multi-Mat. Position the laser line along the bottom of the paper and use it to line up the letters below each herb and stamp them in place.

using Kellycraft Laser Square multi mat
stamping herb namesInk the edges of each printed card, then adhere to center of a 6″ piece of cardstock with 1/2″ double-stick tape. Ink the edges of the 6″ Smoothfoam and then glue the matted image to the front.

Ink the edges of the 8″ Smoothfoam squares and use craft foam glue to adhere the 6″ Smoothfoam squares on top of each.

Place strips of 1″ double-stick tape on the back sides of each 8″ Smoothfoam square. Lay them all face down in the order you like at 1″ apart.

Place a length of string on the tape on each side, leaving the excess string at the top, tying it into a knot, then a bow for hanging.Smoothfoam string Cwindham

Position the 8″ cardstock squares on the back of each Smoothfoam sheet to secure the string.

Smoothfoam project back Cwindham

 

Sweet Spring Bird Wreath

smoothfoam yarn wreath

One of my favorite things to do to get ready for spring and summer is to fix-up my yard. In the warm months, my family likes to use the backyard as an addition to our home. We eat many meals, read, and relax outside as much as we can. Creating a beautiful environment with pretty décor makes the yard a more inviting place and encourages everyone to get outside and enjoy the nice weather.

One charming way to make your backyard feel like a retreat is to hang sweet & colorful ornaments from tree branches. This mini spring bird wreath will bring joy and color to your yard. This spring door wreath craft is also a nice way to bring a touch of nature indoors or use it to decorate a special gift.

Supplies:

4″ Smoothfoam round wreath
Yarn
Decorative bird (try the dollar bins of your local craft store)
Buttons
Green felt scraps
Craft glue
Ribbon

Instructions:

1.  Wrap yarn around the Smoothfoam wreath and secure the ends to the back with glue.

2.  Cut leaves from green felt. You only need a little, so this is a great project to use up small scraps.

3.  Arrange leaves and buttons around the base of the wreath to represent flowers. Use my project photo as a guide for placement, or create a placement that is pleasing to you.

4.  Glue buttons and leaves in place. Glue the bird to sit inside the wreath.

5.  Tie a ribbon around the top of the wreath to use as a hanger.

Sweet Spring Bird Wreath

 

Spring Moss Balls

Smoothfoam Moss Balls home decor

Hi everyone! When spring hits, I feel the need to bring lots of greenery into the house – something to chase the winter blues away! I wanted some color for my mantel, so I came up with these DIY moss balls. I normally keep some candles on these pedestals, but I thought they needed something new for spring. Learn how to make your own faux decorative moss balls today!

Supplies:
3-3/8″ Smoothfoam balls
Tacky glue
Decorator moss
Scissors
Ribbon
Pearl head pins

make moss balls with smoothfoam

Apply glue fairly generously to the ball in sections, then press the moss into the glue. Don’t worry about bits and pieces sticking out at this point, just make sure you are covering the whole ball.

tacky glue smoothfoam moss ball

Set aside to dry for a few minutes, then trim the shagginess off using some sharp craft scissors.

Smoothfoam Moss Balls

Add  bow to the top, securing with a pearl head pin.

Smoothfoam Moss Balls with ribbon

Teacher Appreciation Gift – A Painted Planter Bowl

smoothfoam painted planter bowl

I can no other answer make, but, thanks and thanks.  ~ William Shakespeare

As the school year begins to wrap up, it’s time to thank the teacher who spent their days with your child – nurturing, encouraging and assisting them to become their best. Why not give a gift that grows through out the summer? A Smoothfoam half-ball is lightweight and so easy to move around on the counter or porch. It will insulate the soil and prevent it from drying out too quickly. Custom paint the outside with the teacher’s favorite colors or with your child’s school colors. Pick out a small plant or delicious herb, such as this lemon thyme, and plant it. Your child will be proud to present it to his or her teacher. “Look at what I made and planted!”

You will need:
8″ Smoothfoam half-bowl
Acrylic paint in two contrasting colors
Paintbrush
Round-head sponge brush
Screwdriver
Small potted plant and potting soil

1.  Poke a few drainage holes through the bottom of the bowl with a screwdriver.

2.  Paint the outside with your first color and allow to dry thoroughly. Paint a second coat if needed.

Obermeyerherbpot

3.  Apply polka dots in the second color with a round brush and allow to dry thoroughly.

4.  Add potting soil and the plant. Water it until soil is moist.

HINTS:  As Smoothfoam is lightweight and a great insulator, use it to line your favorite hanging plant pot. If you don’t want to add holes for water drainage, add some pea gravel to the inside of the bowl instead before planting. This allows for some interior drainage and keeps the roots from getting waterlogged.

Ladybug Photo Holder Vignette

Smoothfoam ladybug photo holder

Here’s a cute idea for a handmade Mother’s Day gift – or this little ladybug DIY photo holder vignette could be adapted as a gift for a favorite teacher during National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4-8).  I think the ladybug could even stand on her own!  Hope you are enjoying all of the new beginnings of spring! As you create this spiral wire photo holder, take time to enjoy the little blessings along the way and live life with a flourish!

Supplies:

6″ Smoothfoam disc
3″ Smoothfoam ball (cut in half)
Two 1-1/2″ balls (cut in half)
Craft paints:  Black, Red, Yellow, Green, Cream
Paintbrushes:  1″ flat, 1/4″ flat
Pencil with new eraser
Stylus (for paint dots)
18 or 20 gauge wire, wire cutters
Wood skewers, toothpicks
Green cardstock
Glitters: green, clear
Low-temp hot glue gun
Tacky glue
Scissors, pliers
Optional:  Hot wire foam cutter  (I use Marvy Uchida)

Directions:

1.  Using a skewer as a handle for each Smoothfoam piece; paint and allow to dry:
Disc (base) – Antique Green; 3″ half-ball (ladybug body) – red;  1-1/2″ half-balls – one black (ladybug head), three yellow (mushrooms).

2.  Paint dots on the ladybug with the pencil eraser:  White eyes on the head, black dots on each side of the body. Highlight the dots with a stylus and tiny cream dip dots. Attach the head to the body with a toothpick and hot glue to secure. I also used a dot of hot glue to form a nose on the ladybug’s face.

3. To make the spiral wire photo holders, cut three 12″ pieces of wire. Bend a tiny loop at one end of one piece of wire; continue to bend it into a flat coil to get desired spiral shape to insert a photo.  Make a pilot hole in the middle of one yellow half ball. Poke the straight wire end through the pilot hole. Position the half ball and bend the wire back and forth just below the half ball.  This will hold it in place.  Poke the straight end into the green base. Use the wire cutters to cut the wire to the desired height.  Repeat for each piece of wire and yellow half ball.

4.  For the ladybug’s antennae, cut two 3″ pieces of wire. Bend the top end of one piece into a 1/4″ spiral. Repeat for the other piece. Poke into the top of the head. For her legs, cut four 3″ pieces of wire. Stick the front and back legs into the flat side of the red body. Push her evenly into the green base.

Smoothfoam ladybug and mushrooms

5.  Embellish the ladybug, mushrooms and base with glitters and glue.

6.  For the grass,  I used my die-cutting machine and a grass border die to cut green cardstock to wrap around the base of my vignette. Another option is to cut two 1-1/2″ x 12″ strips of cardstock and cut a fringe at the top edge for the grass.  Stamp a sentiment on the grass trim, then glue it to the Smoothfoam disc as shown.

Flower Mobile

Flower Mobile

A Smoothfoam disc is the perfect start for a mobile of bright flowers!

 

6” Smoothfoam disc
Rowlux Illusion Film – four sheets of bright colors
Die-cutting machine (I used a Sizzix Big Shot)
Flower dies (I used Tim Holtz Alterations Tattered Florals)
1 large sheet of bright color craft foam
10 yards of cotton cord or string
Plastic beads
Sequin or ball head pins
Tacky glue
Wood skewer, tapestry needle, scissors

Trace the Smoothfoam disc on a piece of scrap paper and cut out. Fold the paper in half three times. On each fold line, measure ¾” from the edge and mark. Mark the center also.

Trace the disc on the sheet of craft foam twice. On the bottom piece, make holes with a needle using the marks on your paper pattern for placement. Make a center hole in the top piece. Make corresponding holes in the foam disc with the bamboo skewer. Glue the bottom piece of craft foam to the disc, matching the holes.

Using the needle and about two yards of cord, go up through a hole in disc from bottom to top and back down through an adjacent hole four times. Arrange lengths of string as desired and then glue the top craft foam circle onto the disc. Cut two 9-1/2″ by 1″ strips of craft foam and glue to the edges.

Die-cut two sets of each color of Rowlux for the hanging flowers. Punch holes in the centers. String the layers from the back, add a bead and go back through the hole. String some beads at the end of the string and tie off. Add a string through the center of each flower and make a loop in the top for hanging. Use beads and flowers to hold it to the disc at the top.

Add additional smaller flowers around the edge of the disc with beads and pins if desired.

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:

Supplies:

6″ Smoothfoam disc
Aleene’s Turbo Tacky Glue
Green acrylic paint and foam paint brush
Moss
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.

Recycled Magazine Wreath for Earth Day

smoothfoam wreath with recycled magazinesWhen one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.
—John Muir

Earth Day, April 22nd, will soon be upon us. I love to celebrate this day honoring mother nature. I designed this hydrangea-inspired recycled magazine wreath as both a tribute to spring and a means for recycling some old magazines. Try one of our Earth Day craft projects today!

You will need:

8″ Smoothfoam disc
Mod Podge
Sponge brush
Flower punch
7/8″ wide Offray ribbon (5 yards)
Straight pins, paper clip
Scissors

Punch out several dozen flowers. I worked with interior design magazines, so I chose pages that were primarily blue or rust. I glued the flowers into place with a little Mod Podge, working from the outside inward, overlapping the petals slightly as I worked. This gives both a visual and slight physical texture to your collage. Be sure to coat the surface with a layer or two of Mod Podge. Allow to dry thoroughly.

Obermeyer Hydrangea 3

Cut twenty 3″ lengths of ribbon. Roll each ribbon into a circle and pin it to the edge of the disc with two pins. Repeat this process until the entire circumference of the disc has been covered. They end up looking like fluffy petals to a flower.

Cut a 15″ length of ribbon and pin to the back of the disc, allowing the majority to show below the flower as a stem.

Open a paper clip and push it into the back of the Styrofoam to make a hanger. Hang it on a wall as decoration or adorn your door with it.

Hint:  If you have no ribbon, then cut 1″ wide strips of magazine pages and use them in same manner around the edge!

Spring Flower Box

Smoothfoam spring flower Wall HangingThere is nothing more beautiful than springtime in Tennessee. I love the smell of freshly cut grass, the feel of the first time I walk outside barefoot and the sound of soft April rain.

I’ve been toying with the idea for this DIY flower box for a while and finally decided it was time to bring it to life. It will be a reminder to myself that the rain we’ve had so much of in March will probably continue in April, but the results will be worth it in May when everything blooms. April showers bring May flowers!

Smoothfoam makes this DIY flower box look very substantial, but it’s light as a feather and was very easy to construct. I’ll hang it in my studio, where two sets of double patio doors make me feel like I’m outside all the time, although it could be hung on a covered porch or propped on an antique rocker for a splash of color in a bedroom. Learn how to make these homemade spring decorations below.

Supplies:

12″ Smoothfoam half-ball, cut in half
12″ x 36″ Smoothfoam sheet
Craft paints – assorted colors
Hold the Foam Adhesive
White wire coat hanger
Silk flowers
Cardstock
3 yards of 1-¼” lace
20” length small cotton trim
1″ round sponge dauber
Needle and thread
Sturdy wire
8-10 assorted beads
Foam cutter and/or craft knife
Wire cutter, scissors, paint brushes

Cut the following six pieces off of one end of the Smoothfoam sheet:   4” x 12”;  3” x 11”;  2-¾” x 10 ¾” (two);  3” x 4″ (two).  The remaining length will be the backboard of the project.

Smoothfoam flower Box Final

Construct the flower box section by gluing the two 3” x 4” Smoothfoam pieces to the sides of the 4” x 12” piece. Glue the 3” x 11” piece to the inside bottom and sides of the box and glue the entire box at the base of the Smoothfoam back board. Glue the remaining two pieces in the bottom of the flower box to anchor the silk flowers.

Smoothfoam Box and Back Board

Paint the backboard and the box cream and blend in blue and green around the edges. Cut the Smoothfoam half-ball in half for the umbrella. To determine the center, pin a thin ribbon or string on the pilot hole in the back and at the peg on the other side. Stretch the string tight and draw a line along the side to create your cutting line.

Smoothfoam Paper arches

To make a cutting template for the botton of the umbrella, cut a strip of cardstock the width of the hall-ball and about 4 inches tall. Use the edge of a small plate to trace three arches along the strip on the front lower edge and cut out. Pin the template to the bottom of the cut ball and trim away the foam inside the arches. Don’’t worry about getting a perfect edge – this will be painted and covered with lace.

Smoothfoam half-ball dots

Paint the cut ball inside and out with coral and let dry. Then add cream dots with the round sponge dauber. Paint the inside of the arch edges cream. Gather the 1-¼” lace into ruffles with needle and thread and pin it to the cardstock arches at the front of the cut edge to hold it in place.

Smoothfoam Cotton Trim

Apply the adhesive along the base of the gathered edge, push the lace down to touch the glue and leave the pins in place until it dries. Adhere the small cotton trim along the front of the arches. Adhere the half-ball about four inches below the top edge of the backboard.

Smoothfoam Rain

Use blue, green and white paint to add the rain drops above the half-ball. Thread the beads on to a 4″ piece of wire, leaving a ½” piece at the bottom. Cut the top wire at about ½” and fold it back down into the top bead. Dip the bottom wire in adhesive and insert it at the top center back of the half-ball.

To make the umbrella handle, cut the hook off the coat hanger and twist the hanger into a J shape. Fold and insert a 6” length wire about ½” from the top of the backboard. Place the hanger under the half-ball at the top. Push both ends of the wire through the backboard and carefully twist and make a hanging loop on the back board to secure it in place.

Note: I left the base of the hanger unattached, but you can place a small amount of glue on the rounded hook to secure the bottom to the backboard.

Print a sentiment like “April showers bring May flowers” on cardstock and trim it to 3″ x 11”. Cut a contrasting sheet of cardstock 1/2″ larger as a mat. Sponge ink on the edges of both pieces. Spread a thin coat of adhesive to cover the entire back of the sign and press it on top of the mat. Repeat to adhere the sign to the front of the flower box.

Trim some silk flowers and add them to the box, carefully pushing them in far enough to secure them, but avoiding running them through to the bottom.

Smoothfoam Easter Egg Projects

smoothfoam easter egg projects

If you think an egg is just and egg, think again! A Smoothfoam egg can top a jar of jellybeans, hang as an ornament, protect special trinkets, hold some succulents, or even be a bow tie for your favorite bunny. Check out our Video Tutorials page to learn how to make these springy Easter egg projects and more! Browse through our blog to learn how to make your own homemade Easter decorations.