DIY Whale Nursery Mobile

Smoothfoam Whale nursery Mobile


Whales are a huge trend right now and they are perfect for a nursery or child’s room. Boys and girls both will love watching the gentle giants swim above their beds. This homemade nursery mobile is a great way to add a personal touch to your child’s bedroom.

Supplies for a DIY Whale Baby Mobile

Smoothfoam airplane shapes
6″ Smoothfoam disc
Acrylic paints – black or gray, plus white (or any color combo you want, go for it)
Fishing wire, long needle
Mini pom poms
Scrapbook paper

smoothfoam airplane shape as whale

Instructions to make a DIY Whale Baby Mobile

1.  Paint the airplane shapes in black or gray (on the top of the plane shape) and white (on the bottom). The Smoothfoam Airplane has a mold line that allows you to do this perfectly without any measuring! Set aside to dry, then paint small eyes on either side.paint smoothfoam airplanes

2.  Thread pom poms and whales onto strings of fishing line with a long, sharp needle. Vary the lengths of the fishing line and make at least 5 strings (3 with whales, 2 with only pom poms.) When threading the whales and poms poms, it’s helpful to knot the fishing line below and above where you want the pom pom or whale to hang to prevent slipping.

3.  Thread strings through the Smoothfoam disc. Make sure you put one string with a whale in the middle and then space the other four evenly around the edge of the disc, with two whale strings opposite one another to help the mobile be balanced.

4.  Cut 4 more pieces of fishing line, measuring 6″ long. Knot one end and then thread one line at the edge of the top of the disc, repeat this evenly around the top of the disc. Imagine a square on top of the disc-you want the line coming out at each corner. Gather and knot all four ends of fishing line together to create a hanger for the mobile.

5.  Cut 1″ strips of scrapbook paper and glue around the edge of the disc to give the homemade nursery mobile a finished look. Ribbon or washi tape could be used instead.

smoothfoam whale nursery mobile

Pac-Man vs. Poké Ball…Game on!

smoothfoam pacman sign
I have two boys and they are huge into gaming. Of course I am “old school” and played Frogger, Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga. The boys are from the world of Mario, Pokémon and so much more! My goal with this sign project that I made for them was to show the superiority of my games…Pac-Man vs. Poké Ball. I think the photo tells the story in one big bite!


6″ Smoothfoam disc
8″ Smoothfoam disc
1″ x 6″ x 12″ Smoothfoam sheet
Acrylic paints
Heavy-duty craft glue
Craft knife, pencil, paintbrushes


1.  Draw two intersecting lines through the center of the 8″ disc and cut away the right side with a craft knife for Pac-Man’s mouth. I made my cut a little jagged to make it seem like my Pac-Man has teeth. You can use a hot knife for a smoother cut.cutting pacman mouth in smoothfoam disc

2.  Paint this disc with two shades of yellow to add a little variation and let dry. Paint around the outside edge with black and add the eye to the front, let dry.

3.  For the Poké Ball, paint the 6″ disc white and let dry.

4.  Mark the center with a circle. I used a lid to trace around, then used a ruler to draw lines across the center.smoothfoam poke ball

5.  Paint the top part red and the middle area black. Let it all dry, then paint around the edge with black. Let dry.

6.  For the sign backer, paint the Smoothfoam sheet black and let dry. Glue both discs to the sheet.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Smiley Face Graduation Pencil Topper

smoothfoam Smiley Face Graduation Pencil Topper

What every graduate at any age needs – a smiley face graduation pencil topper! And because this little guy’s feeling really special, he needed a bow tie.

Smiley Face Graduation Pencil Topper parts

To make the Smiley Face DIY Pencil Topper you’ll need:

2″ Smoothfoam ball
Sanding block or fine sandpaper
Acrylic paints – yellow and black
Black cardstock or chipboard
Red twine
Black brad
Black gingham ribbon
Craft glue, craft knife, skewer

Lightly sand away the center ridge from the Smoothfoam ball. Cut a small portion off the top of the ball (opposite the pilot hole) with a craft knife for a flat top.

Paint the ball yellow and let dry. Paint the top portion black and then paint the face; let dry.

Use a skewer (or awl or knitting needle) to carefully enlarge the pilot hole at the bottom of the ball, big enough to fit snugly on a pencil top.

Make a small tassel with the red twine. Make a small bow tie with the ribbon and glue it to the front of the pencil, just under the eraser.

To make the mortarboard, cut a 2″ square piece of black cardstock. Punch a small hole in centerand insert the ends of the tassel and brad.

Glue the mortarboard on top of the ball, let dry, then push your Smiley Face Graduate DIY pencil topper on top of a pencil.


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

Jack-in-the-Box Snowman

smoothfoam jack in the box snowmanDo you like to upcycle?  I have a hard time throwing things in the trash sometimes, or even into the recycle bin! For example – the little Keurig coffee cups after they are used. I know there has got to be a really cool craft project lurking there, but I haven’t taken the time to figure one out yet. The box the cups come in was another story. I used it to complete this Jack-in-the-box Snowman project. It could be any kind of box with a flap, but this one was deep enough and worked nicely. I hope you enjoy making your own DIY snowman decoration!

3″ Smoothfoam ball
Cardstock (I used Snowhaven and matching stickers by Close To My Heart)
Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint – Whisper
Americana Acrylic Paints:  Lamp (Ebony) Black, Spiced Pumpkin, Warm White
Americana Decou-Page Medium
2 sheets warm white felt
1-1/2″ scalloped circle paper punch
Chenille stems:  one silver metallic, one red metallic, one green
Small jingle bell
Polyester stuffing
Clear glitter
Powder blush
Scissors, wire cutters, paintbrushes, stylus
Wood skewer
Glue gun
Craft glue, spray mount
Click here to download the pattern for the snowman’s body

upcycle keurig coffee cup box

1.  Measure the height of the box. Cut cardstock to fit the box and lid. Adhere papers to the box & lid using the Decou-Page medium, set aside to dry.

2.  To make a rosette, cut three 2″ x 12″ strips of cardstock. Accordion fold each piece every half inch. It works best to score them before folding. Glue the two strips together and gather the folds into a circle and glue the edges together. Glue a scalloped punched circle of cardstock to cover the hole in the middle and secure the rosette. Repeat on the opposite side. Make one rosette for the front of the box and another for the snowman’s collar. The glue gun works best for making rosettes.

3.  Fold one sheet of felt in half along the long edge. Use my pattern to cut out one side of the snowman’s body and repeat with the other sheet of felt. Glue all the edges of the body together; leaving an opening for the head. Once dry, turn the suit right side out, hiding the seams inside. Lightly fill the body and arms with stuffing.

4.  Paint the Smoothfoam ball Whisper Chalky White. Poke the skewer into the pilot hold at one end as a handle to hold while painting. Once the ball is dry, paint black dots for the eyes and mouth. Rub blush on the cheeks with your finger. Highlight the eyes and mouth with tiny white dots. Allow to dry.

5.  Remove the skewer and paint 2″ of the pointed tip orange. When dry, cut off the tip of the skewer and push into the face for his nose. Replace the remaining part of the skewer back into the pilot hole and set aside.

6.  Pierce a small hole in the center of one rosette and poke the skewered head through the rosette and neck opening into the stuffed body. Spritz a little spray mount and sprinkly glitter to the head, rosette collar and body. Shake off excess. Place the snowman in the box with the arms extended as shown.

jack in the box handle chenille stem

7.  To make a crank handle, bend the silver metallic stem in two.  Shape it into a handle and glue the jingle bell onto the bent end.  Make a pilot hole in the middle of a 1″ circle of cardstock. Push the ends of the stem 1/2″ to the back side of the circle and bend out like a brad. Glue to the side of the box. Glue the second rosette to the front of the box and embellish with die-cut sentiments.

8. To make a halo for his head, loosely twist the red metallic stem around the green stem. Make a circle to fit around his head and twist the ends together to secure and glue it to his head. Glue another piece of green stem to the collar for added decoration.

9.  Embellish the snowman with stickers for the mittens, buttons on front, and sentiments. TIP:  Use your diecutting machine or paper punches to cut embellishments if you don’t have the stickers. Rubber stamps will work for the sayings. 

Now enjoy an adorable Christmas DIY snowman decoration that can stay out through January! Create your own snowman in a box today!

Teddy the Tarantula

smoothfoam black tarantula

He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food cake.
—Raymond Chandler

Teddy the tarantula is an adorably creepy crawler…let one crawl across your counter or create a whole spider family to stroll along your desk. This project is easy and fun for kids to make!

2″ Smoothfoam ball
2 wiggle eyes
4 black pipe cleaners
Black acrylic paint
Sponge brush
Knitting needle, awl, pencil
Needle nose pliers
Aleene’s Turbo Tacky Glue

Poke a hole through the pilot hole in the center of the Smooothfoam ball with an awl. Make the hole bigger with a knitting needle, then even bigger by pushing a sharpened pencil through it.

Push a toothpick into the ball. It will be a handle for you to easily hold the ball while you paint it black . Push the other end of the toothpick into a scrap of Smoothfoam to allow it to dry thoroughly. Paint another coat and allow to dry.

Glue on the wiggle eyes. Push one pipe cleaner into the hole, then push through the other three, one at a time.  Pull them until you have 4 legs sticking out evenly from each side of the ball.

Curl the ends of each leg into a spiral with the needle nose pliers. Bend legs until balanced.

Bookworms are cool!

smoothfoam bookworm

The focus is on reading with this cute bookworm craft. Create one for your own bookshelf or make it a classroom or library craft project.


Seven 2″ Smoothfoam balls
DecoArt Americana acrylic paint – Sour Apple
Chenille stems: 5 pink plus small neon green pieces
2 small pompoms
Tulip Dimensional Paint – Neon Orange
4” length of 20 gauge craft wire
2 wiggle eyes
Cardstock, copy paper
Tacky glue, felt pen, toothpicks, skewers, wire cutters

1.  Trim a small slice from one side of three balls. Trim the remaining balls on both sides.

2.  Paint all balls Apple Green. Slide them on a skewer for easier painting. Stick the skewers in an extra piece of foam or a canning jar to dry.

3.  Arrange five balls in a line beginning and ending with balls trimmed on one side. Use toothpicks and glue to hold them together. Glue the remaining two balls at an angle using the last ball trimmed on one side for the head.

4.  Poke holes in the sides of the balls for legs except for the head and last ball. Cut pink chenille stems in half and bend for legs. Glue into sides. Make a loop on the ends of the stems for feet and twist to hold. Poke two holes in the head for the antennae and glue the short pieces of green stem into the holes. Glue pompoms to the ends of the stems.

5.  Glue the wiggle eyes to the face and draw on a nose and mouth with the pen.

6.  Roll the craft wire into a circle on one end. Check for fit and roll another circle on the other end of the wire. Glue the glasses to the face.

7.  Create a small book from a piece of cardstock and cut some copy paper pages to fit the cover. Write a line from your favorite book on the pages and glue it between the first pair of feet.