Carved Sweetheart Valentine

Smoothfoam-Carved-Sweetheart-Valentine-Carmen Flores Tanis

Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it – so here’s a fun, easy way to make a giant Valentine’s heart for your sweetie. I used pink and gold, but you can change the colors to any other color combination. If you’re not quite to the “madly” stage with your honey, you can change the wording in the center to a phrase such as “You’re Sweet” or “Be Mine” – just like everyone’s favorite candy conversation hearts!

Supplies:
12″ Smoothfoam Scrapbook Mount
Acrylic paints – gold, pink, champagne
Proxxon Tabletop Hot Wire Cutter
Hot Wire Foam Factory Engraving Tool
White glue, paintbrush, plastic dish, scissors, pencil
Picture-hanging hook

1.  Click here to download my heart design*. Because the pattern is so wide, you will have to print it on two pages, then cut and tile them together. Trace the hearts onto the Smoothfoam sheet with a pencil.

2.  Carefully carve out the Smoothfoam sheet with the tabletop hot wire cutter.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Sweetheart-Valentine-Step-2 by Carmen Flores Tanis

3.  Glue the smaller heart onto the larger heart. Let dry.

4.  Use the handheld hot wire tool to engrave the details into the foam as shown.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Sweetheart-Valentine-Step-5-by Carmen Flores Tanis

5.  Paint the front and back of the heart in champagne and let dry. Paint the alternating stripes and edges gold, and paint the center heart pink. Brush gold paint inside the wording to make the letters pop.

Smoothfoam-Carved-Sweetheart-Valentine-Step-6 by Carmen Flores Tanis

6.  Glue a picture hanging hook to the back or display on an easel.

* Copyright:  You are welcome to use my original artwork only for your own use or for a gift/donation. You may not use my designs for items intended for resale.

Shabby Chic Signpost

smoothfoam shabby chic signpost

Create a shabby chic signpost with chalk paint and embroidered letters.

Materials:

Smoothfoam sheet
3″ Smoothfoam cube
Joy embroidered letters (I used 1.5” script and 1″ block letters)
Chalky finish paints – 3 colors
White craft paint
16″ long dowel (3/8” diam)
Wood bead to fit dowel
Corrugated cardboard coffee cup sleeves
Tacky glue
Craft knife, metal ruler, sandpaper
Paintbrush, bamboo skewers

Instructions:

1.  Cut sections from the Smoothfoam sheet with craft knife and metal ruler (each 2 ½” wide) at varied lengths – 7″, 8″ and 9”. Notch the ends randomly with the knife to look like torn, weathered wood. Sand along the sides to distress further.

2.  Push a skewer into the center of each sign to use as a handle (this also starts a pilot hole in each sign for assembly later) and paint each sign a different color. Paint the Smoothfoam cube and the wood dowel white. Brush the edges of cube and paint the wood bead with a contrasting color.

3.  Tear the corrugated cardboard into rough squares, smudge with paint and then glue a square to each side of the cube.

4.  Glue letters to each sign to spell a word, let dry.

5.  Use the skewers to push pilot holes through the center of each sign and then carefully thread the signs on to the dowel. Glue the bead to the top of dowel.

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.

Mod-smoothfoam Christmas-Tree-Ornament-with-Tassel-JPriest

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:

3-smoothfoam-christmas-ornaments-bright-colors-jpriest

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.

DIY Piñata-Inspired Bulletin Boards

Pinata-Bulletin-Boards-with-Smoothfoam-JPriest

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!

Pinata-Bulletin-Boards-with-Smoothfoam-Sizzix-JPriest-2

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.

Shabby Chic Angel Bride Decoration

Smoothfoam angel bride decoration

Smoothfoam is a great surface with many uses – it’s perfect for making a table decoration for any theme, like this shabby chic angel bride. This angel can be adapted to many other holiday or seasonal themes in addition to bridal or wedding. I think she would be beautiful in Christmas colors; maybe holding a birds nest or something appropriate for the holiday.  Enjoy!

You will need:

6″ x 12″ x 1″ Smoothfoam sheet
6″ Smoothfoam disc
8″ Smoothfoam disc
1/2″ Smoothfoam sheet (any size or scraps)
Hot wire foam cutter (I use Marvy)
Solid cardstock: cream, light peach, pink
Ink pads:  light brown, light pink
Cosmetic wedge sponge
Extra-fine point permanent black marker
Acrylic paints  black, blue, white
Paint brushes
Embossing machine and folders
Hot glue gun, tacky glue
Embellishments:  flowers, yarns, pearl-string, netting (cut in strips)
Ribbons:  1/4″ sheer pink, 1-1/4″ sheer cream

Instructions:

Emboss cream cardstock, then cut circles and strips to glue on the top and edges of each Smoothfoam disc. Ink the edges with light brown and glue the 6″ disc on top of the 8″ disc.

Click here to print my pattern* for the angel bride shapes. Cut out the pattern and trace around the body onto the 1″ Smoothfoam sheet.  Trace the arms and wings on the 1/2″ thick piece of Smoothfoam. Use the hot wire cutter to cut out each shape.

hot wire to cut smoothfoam

Trace around the head and shoulders onto the peach paper, cut out and glue the paper to cover the Smoothfoam.  Outline her facial features with the marker. Paint her eyes blue and her lips pink. Blush the cheeks with the pink ink pad.

Trace around the dress and arms patterns onto the cream cardstock. Cut out and emboss if you would like to have textured pattern as shown in the photo. Glue the paper to the matching Smoothfoam shapes. Distress the edges using the ink and sponge.

Cut out the wings from cream and pink cardstock using the pattern. Glue the layers together, then glue the wings to the angel’s back.

Anchor the angel to the discs with toothpicks and glue.

Glue yarn to her head for hair and trim as needed. Tie a knot in the middle of each strip of netting and glue each knot around her waist until you get the desired fullness. Glue flowers to her head, arms and base as shown.  Further embellish with ribbons and pearlstring until you are happy with the way she looks.

smoothfoam shabby chic angel bride decoration

* My pattern is for your own personal use or gift/donation only. Reselling my design is a copyright violation.

Celebrate Summer with a Birthday Bouquet

Smoothfoam-Birthday-BouquetSummer is upon us, and what better way to celebrate a summer birthday than a handmade flower bouquet that never fades?

Start with a Smoothfoam half-ball and it’s smooth sailing after that! The hollow half-ball was the perfect size for my gorgeous vase, which was a $2.99 Goodwill find and the only thing I had to purchase for this faux flower bouquet project. I filled it with beach glass to hide the lack of stems for the flowers.

I think it actually took me longer to find my container of beach glass (relegated to the storage room in my recent purging episode) than it took to make all the flowers. I also used some older materials, such as the vellum, from my stash – in the interest of purging. You could also use printed papers from your scrap box to make the flowers.

Supplies

Smoothfoam half-ball (to fit vase opening)
Round foam adhesive pads and/or sheets (paper lined)
1/2″ extra-strength double-sided adhesive tape
Green microbeads
12×12 vellum scrapbook paper – 1 sheet for every 2 flowers, plus scraps for filler flowers
Paper punches: 1-3/8” circle, 1” circle, ½” circle and  ¼” hole
Diecutting machine and flower/leaf dies
Scissors
1 yard ribbon
“Happy Birthday” tag
Beach glass

1.  Fill a large vase with beach glass. Place foam adhesive pads along the top of the vase rim, about 2” apart. Set aside.

Smoothfoam vase with tabs

To make a layered Dogwood-style flower, die-cut two flowers for each bloom and pinch each petal edge together to create a lengthwise crease down the center. Layer two flowers together with a foam adhesive pad in between, then place a round adhesive pad in the center (you can punch your own large circles or small dots from foam adhesive sheets) on the top of the flower and sprinkle microbeads to adhere to it. Play with different petal shapes!

Smoothfoam #1 assembled

 

Smoothfoam Flower #2 with center

Smoothfoam Flower #2 with glitter 1

Smoothfoam Flower #3 with tape center

Smoothfoam Flower #3 Final

Place a strip of double-sided tape around the bottom of the Smoothfoam half-ball, about 1” from the rim. Place leaves along the adhesive strip, hanging towards the bottom of the half-ball.

Smoothfoam half ball

Smoothfoam leaves on half round

Arrange and addhere the flowers to cover the half-ball. Diecut a few plain smaller flowers to fill in any empty spaces as needed. Remove the paper liners from the adhesive tabs on the rim of the vase and press the edge of the half-ball down snugly to adhere.

Tie the ribbon around the top of the vase, securing it in place with a little adhesive on either side of the knot. Punch a hole in the tag, slip it onto one side of the ribbon, and then tie a bow.

This faux flower bouquet will remind the recipient of you every time she sees it, and there is no need for her to remember to water it. That’s my kind of plant! Play with colors and shapes to create handmade flower bouquets for other seasons.

How to display crochet mandalas

crocheted Mandala

Crochet is my passion. I am rarely seen without “my work” as my Gam called it. These days my focus is on mandalas. You may read more about this art on my blog. I’ve been making up patterns of my own, as well as learning from other designers’ patterns.  I’ve accumulated well over 60 of these circular crochet wonders.

crochet mandala displayHow to show them off to their best advantage has been eluding me for weeks. I tried hanging them on the wall with just a simple nail, but the textiles eventually pulled out of shape with the force of gravity. I will be showing my crochet mandalas at various galleries around the country, so I need them to stay in good shape. I wanted them to stand away a bit from the wall, to give them more presence.

smoothfoam discs to display mandala

 

Smoothfoam discs are the perfect solution! They are inexpensive, lightweight (a consideration to take into account when packing and shipping) and easy to use.

After I blocked my crochet mandala, I pinned it to the disc with evenly-spaced ball-head straight pins. For a hanger, I just bent a paper clip into a U-shape and pushed the ends into the top of the disc.

Done! So simple and yet so effective. Try using Smoothfoam discs or sheets to display any fiber art, textiles, embroidery or cross-stitch samplers.

 

Hot Air Balloon Decoration

Smoothfoam Hot Air Balloon decoration

Personalize this hot air balloon with whatever colors, fabrics, papers and trims that you like. It makes a great decoration for a party or for a child’s room.

Supplies:
Two 8” Smoothfoam half-balls
Acrylic paint
3/8” ribbon
Rick-rack, twine
Fabric, scrapbook paper, felt
4 buttons
2 yogurt cups (empty and washed), plastic soda cap
Paintbrush, bamboo skewer
Scissors, glue gun, awl
Die-cutting machine and flower dies

1.  Paint both half-balls. To create a hanger for the top of the balloon, poke a hole in the center of one half-ball with a skewer. Thread the twine ends through the hole, leaving a loop on the outside. Punch a hole in the center of the plastic cap, thread the twine ends through the hole and make a knot. Glue the half balls together.

2.  Cut four 15” lengths of ribbon and glue at right angles from the top center of the balloon to the seam. Glue the rick rack trim around the seam.

3.  Cut the rim and bottom off one yogurt cup to make a ring. Cover it with fabric and glue it to the bottom of sphere, centered.

4.  Die-cut flowers from felt and paper. Tie string through each buttons. Layer the flowers and glue them to the balloon at the seam. Add flowers over the loop at the top.

5.  Cover the second yogurt container with fabric to make the basket. Glue the ends of the ribbons to the inside of the basket or container. Glue bows to the edge of the basket.

6.  Fill the basket with silk flowers or a small stuffed animal.

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.

Spring Button Daisy Wreath

Obermeyer Daisy redoSpring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!” ~ Robin Williams

Spring is without a doubt my favorite season. I look forward every year to seeing the first shoots of green. It hearkens to the warm days of summer. As I didn’t plant any bulbs last fall, I decided to make my own spring daisy wreath to liven up my office, but this button daisy wreath would look equally snappy on the front door.

I don’t know about you, but I have a button box with an insane number of old brown buttons lurking at the bottom that don’t seem to make it into other projects where I want a shot of color, so this button wreath craft project is sure to use up the bulk of your stash.

Supplies:
12″ Smoothfoam disc
Yellow acrylic paint
Sponge brush
Hot glue gun
Brown buttons without shanks
6″ wide glittter organza ribbon (10 yard length)
Scissors, paper clip, ball-head pins

Paint the disc yellow on one side and allow to dry thoroughly.

Glue each button on top of the disc, starting on the outer edge and working your way toward the center. Mix up the sizes and shades for texture and variety.

Obermeyer Gerber Daisy 2

For the daisy “petals,” lightly fold and pleat the ribbon as you pin it into place on the back of the disc around the circumference. Slide the pins in at a 45-degree angle so the points don’t come through to the other side.

Open a paper clip and bend it into a U-shape. Push the ends firmly into the back of the disc at a diagonal to make a hanger. Secure with a bit of glue.