Great Finds Friday: Chic Home Dec, Fab Tools from FloraCraft®

Welcome to another Great Finds Friday, Crafters! Today, I’m going to share three exciting new creative options from FloraCraft®, makers of Make It: Fun® Foam. You’ll also get a chance to win a $50 FloraCraft® gift card, plus an opportunity to earn another $50 if a project you create with your prize gets published!

First, we have to take a look at the new three-piece Make It: Fun® Foam Tools set. I love craft tools, gadgets, etc., because I know great ones will make my creative process easier and more enjoyable. That gets me crafting more often, which is always good. This new tool kit includes three handy plastic tools for creating new shapes and textures out of craft foam. The Rasp has a rough side for gently smoothing the foam’s finish, rounding rough edges, and smoothing out cut marks. The easy-to-grip, serrated Knife smoothly cuts through foam. The Tuck & Scribe tool has a rounded end to etch patterns into foam, and a pointed end that is designed for tucking fabric pieces, felt, or ribbons into foam to create an all-over fabric finish without pins or glue. The tools are kid-friendly, too, and have a suggested retail value of $3.99 for the set of three. I think these would make ideal party favors at a crafty girls-night-in event!

One of my favorite new FloraCraft® products is the Design It:® LED Light Strand. You can add it to your dried and silk floral arrangements, even submerse it in a water-filled fresh arrangement. Place your completed floral design in a dark corner of your home to provide a soft light, or use it to bring a festive glow to the dinner table at holiday or everyday gatherings. These lights would be gorgeous entwined in evening reception table arrangements, too. Everything looks better by candlelight, and these tiny, sparkling, battery-operated lights give you that effect. Imagine them peeking out through pine boughs decorating your holiday mantle or bannister; because they have attached battery packs, finding a conveniently placed outlet is never a problem!  And battery packs can be refilled when needed for long-time use. The 34-1/2”-long LED Light Strand contains 15 warm white lights perfect for topiaries, plants, floral arrangements, and water-filled vases. Suggested retail price is $5.99. FloraCraft® also offers Design It:® LED Lighted Branches, not shown, as another creative illumination option; they retail for $7.99. You can learn more on the FloraCraft® website.

Design It:® SimpleStyle® Decorative Mesh from FloraCraft® bends easily and holds its shape, making it perfect for creating wreaths, bows, garlands, and other dimensional accents for home or special events. Metallic strands woven throughout provide extra sparkle to anything you drape, wrap, or tie with Decorative Mesh. Tie bows around chair backs for a festive event venue, loop and pin one or more colors together on a foam wreath form, or add mesh to wall hangings and gift packages. Crafts ‘n things Weekly featured this darling mesh-topped Gift Box Topiary in the October 9th issue; simply cover foam cubes with decorative paper and top with Decorative Mesh curls and bows for instant Christmas WOW! Decorative Mesh is available in 6” and 10” widths on 10-yard spools in the colors shown below. Suggested retail price is $6.99 and $7.99 respectively.

Remember to visit the www.makeitfuncrafts.com website for craft projects and the www.designitflowers.com website for floral arranging how-tos from the talented design teams at FloraCraft®, and learn more about the rest of their expanded product line. You’ll also find hundreds of easy, creative project ideas for decorating your home, gifting, entertaining, and engaging your kids in non-electronic fun.

For your chance to WIN the $50 FloraCraft® gift card, first register right now on the Crafts ‘n things  website so you don’t miss future issues of Crafts ‘n things Weekly and the Craft of the Day projects. Both are free to you, even if you haven’t subscribed to the magazine yet – and we’d love to have you as a subscriber. Next, leave a comment here telling me your favorite craft idea for holiday gift-giving. I’d love to hear from you! And be sure to LIKE Crafts ‘n things and FloraCraft on Facebook to get current news, tips, and even more great craft ideas at your fingertips.

One additional winner will win a mini prize pack of the Foam Tools, one LED Light Strand, and one roll of Decorative Mesh.

Both winners will be announced on our blog and our Facebook page on Friday, November 8th! Good luck and happy crafting!

Dawn Gehring, Crafts ‘n things Editorial Staff (www.craftsnthings.com)

Smooth Half Ball Trees

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

Create a stunning holiday centerpiece with FloraCraft® by cutting foam balls in half and gluing them together.

Materials

  • FloraCraft® Foam: Balls, 1” (6), 1-1/2” (3), 2” (3), 2-1/2” (3), 3” (3), 4” (2); Cones, 9”x3”, 6”x3”
  • FloraCraft® Smooth Finish™
  • Metallic silver textured yarn
  • Acrylic paints: mint green, white, silver
  • Triple-thick gloss glaze

Tools

  • FloraCraft® Make it: Fun® Foam Cutter or serrated knife
  • Glue gun and sticks

Basic Supplies

paint spatula or putty knife, flat paintbrush, fine sanding block, straight pins, toothpicks, ruler, scissors, paper towels, rubber gloves, newspaper (to cover work surface)

Directions

Sizes

4”x18″, 4″x15”, 3″x13”

Trees

1. For tallest tree, cut one each 4”, 3”, 2-1/2”, 2”, and 1-1/2” balls in half. Using glue gun, stack and adhere all half balls together, from largest to smallest, inserting half toothpicks between each layer. See Photo 1. Stack balls straight up or asymmetrically as shown. Adhere two 1” balls to top of tree.

Photo 1

2. For medium tree, repeat Step 1 but set aside one 4” half ball for a future project. Stack and adhere remaining half balls together. Adhere two 1” balls to top of tree.

3. For smallest tree, repeat Step 1 using one each 3”, 2-1/2”, 2”, and 1-1/2” balls. Stack and adhere all half balls together. Adhere two 1” balls to top of tree.

4. Following manufacturer’s instructions, mix Smooth Finish™ prior to use. Wearing rubber gloves, completely coat trees with Smooth Finish™ using spatula or flat paintbrush using methods outlined in Steps 5 and 6. See Photo 2. When using spatula, apply small amount to foam and spread evenly in all directions, working finish into foam cells. When using paintbrush, load material onto brush and spread onto foam, smoothing lumps as you work.

Photo 2

5. To create textured finish on tallest tree, first use brush to apply coating to crevices of tree, and then use spatula to create small, overlapping ripples in coating. Apply small mound Smooth Finish™ to tree and then another overlapping first mound. Keep working with coating until tree is covered and fairly uniform. Let dry completely. Use sanding block to lightly sand raised areas to create smooth appearance as shown. See Photo 3.

Photo 3

6. To create super sleek finish on smaller trees, use brush to smooth out coating as you apply it. Apply first with spatula, then smooth with brush, or simply use brush to apply coating to entire tree. Let dry completely. Use sanding block to create ultra-smooth appearance.

7. Use drybrush technique to apply mint green paint to tallest tree. To drybrush, dip flat paintbrush into paint and rub off excess onto paper towel. Using side of brush, lightly brush across raised areas of tree to add color, leaving recessed areas bare. Let dry. See Photo 4.

Photo 4

8. Paint medium tree mint green and small tree white. Let dry.

9. Following manufacturer’s instructions, apply even coat gloss glaze to all three trees. See Photo 5. Let dry completely.

Photo 5

10. To create tree trunks, cut top 4” from 9” cone using foam cutter or serrated knife. Use remaining 5” section to create base for tallest tree. Cut top 3/4″ from 4” section; use remaining 3-1/4” section to create base for smallest tree. Cut top 2-1/2” from 6” cone; use remaining 3-1/2” section to create base for medium tree.

11. Coat tree bases with Smooth Finish™, let dry, and sand surface smooth. Paint bases silver; let dry.

12. Insert toothpicks halfway into tops of bases. Use glue gun to adhere trees in place.

13. Embellish trees with metallic yarn. Pin one end of yarn to top of tree and spiral down around to bottom. Secure yarn end with pin at bottom of tree.

Tip

  • For added sparkle, use glue gun to adhere tiny crystal gems over surface of each tree base.

by Dondi Richardson for FloraCraft® (www.makeitfuncrafts.com)

Tic Tac Snow Game

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Craft a little winter fun with Midwest Products’ wooden shapes, paint, and a foam snowflake stamp.

Materials

  • Midwest Products Co., Inc. Wooden Items: Craft Plywood, 1/4”x12”x12”; Basswood Sheet, 1/4”x3”x24”; Basswood Economy Bag
  • Midwest Products Co., Inc. Cellfoam 88, 1/8”x11-1/2”x11-1/2”
  • Wiggle eyes, 20
  • Button magnets, 19

Tools

  • Midwest Products Co., Inc. Easy Cutter Tool
  • Snowflake foam stamp
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints: Ultra Blue Deep, Orchid, Jack-O’-Lantern Orange, Snow White, Lamp Black, Winter Blue
  • DecoArt Glamour Dust Glitter
  • Beacon Adhesives Kids Choice! Glue

Basic Supplies

hand saw, paintbrushes, fine-tip black marker, craft knife and cutting mat, pencil

Directions

Size

12”x12”

Game

1. Use saw to cut ten 1-1/2” squares from basswood sheet. Use Easy Cutter to clip corners of each square.

2. Pull several 1/4” strips from Basswood Economy Bag. Cut six 3” lengths; leave two additional 1/4” strips uncut.

3. Paint five 1-1/2” squares Snow White. Using photo as guide, paint remaining squares Lamp Black on edges and Snow White in centers for penguins. Paint all 1/4” basswood strips Ultra Deep Blue. Paint plywood square Winter Blue. Let all pieces dry completely.

4. Print, cut out, and trace patterns onto Cellfoam as indicated. (Note: The blue word “patterns” is a link. To access these patterns, select the link, then download and print patterns.) Cut out pieces with craft knife.

5. Paint noses Jack-O’-Lantern Orange; let dry. Paint snowflakes Orchid; sprinkle paint with glitter while wet. Let dry.

6. Stamp Snow White snowflakes randomly over plywood square; let dry.

7. Adhere wiggle eyes and noses to game pieces, and use marker to outline pieces as shown.

8. Adhere 1/4″ basswood strips to board in grid pattern. Adhere snowflakes to board between strips. Adhere magnets to snowflakes and to back of each game piece. Let dry completely.

Tip

  • Paint the game pieces to look like zoo animals, dinosaurs, or anything else your kids love!

by Melony Miller Bradley for Midwest Products Co., Inc. (www.midwestproducts.com)

Winter Memories Mini Album

While I’m definitely longing for spring, I am taking advantage of the cold weather to work on some snowy, wintry projects.

It’s Jill Cornell here today with a little mini album of my girls going sledding last year. The girls have bright pink and lavender coats and snowsuits, so I made my product choices based on those colors. Bright colors also help combat the drab winter grey this time of year! (I used the Girl Land Collection from Webster’s Pages for this album.)

I love creating quick and simple mini albums where my photos take center stage. I covered pages of the album with patterned paper and then punched snowflakes and added jewels and alphabet stickers as needed.

I also used phrase tags from Elle’s Studio and journaling cards from Webster’s Pages.

My daughter that is in lavender had various shades of purple on her pages.

And I brought out the pink with my other daughter in her favorite color. Before I covered each chipboard page with patterned paper, I machine-stitched the edges of the paper for extra texture.

I added a space for journaling at the end of the album. The girls just love looking through it and remembering a fun time sledding and making snow angels.

Happy crafting!

Jill Cornell from Blessed Scrapper (www.jillcornell.blogspot.com)

Snowman Slate

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

The party’s tonight!!! Frosty just popped in with a friendly reminder about this winter-wonderland bash! Use this memo board to remember important events all season long.

Materials

  • Slate with wooden frame, 6-1/4”x8-1/2”
  • Cork sheet, 12”x12”, 1/8″ thick
  • Plaid Apple Barrel Acrylic Paints: Black, White, Valentine Pink, Berry Red, Harvest Orange, Regency Blue, Nutmeg Brown
  • Plaid fabric with torn edges, 2”x24”
  • Craft sticks, three
  • Toner Icy Silver Fun Wire, 18-gauge, 18” length
  • Snowflake confetti
  • White push pins, two
  • Chalk

Tools

  • Sawtooth hanger
  • Drill with 1/16” bit
  • Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating
  • Black ultra-fine-tip permanent marker
  • Beacon Adhesives Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive

Basic Supplies

sandpaper, soft cloth, toothpick, pencil with new eraser, masking tape, paintbrush

Directions

Size

9″x12″

Snowman Slate

1. Drill hole in one corner of frame and in center of each craft stick. Sand lightly; wipe dust with soft cloth.

2. Basecoat frame Regency Blue and craft sticks White. (Note: Tape around inside edges of frame to protect slate from paint.) Use pencil eraser to add large White dots and toothpick to add small White dots as shown.

3. Print and cut out patterns. (Note: The blue word “patterns” is a link. To access these patterns, select the link, then download and print items.) Cut shapes as indicated on patterns. Basecoat head White, nose Harvest Orange, and mittens Berry Red. Drybrush cheeks Valentine Pink; add White dots. Drybrush mitten edges Nutmeg Brown. Transfer details to face and mittens; trace with marker.

4. Place slate on flat work surface with drilled hole at bottom right. Adhere hanger to back of slate. Insert wire through hole from back to front. For snowflake, insert wire through craft sticks; fan out to shape. Curl ½” length at end of wire; pull remaining wire to back. Wind wire back around to front and wrap end around chalk several times.

5. Adhere nose to face, and face and mittens to slate. Wrap scarf around neck. Adhere snowflake confetti to snowflake and tops of push pins. Push one pin into each mitten.

Tip

  • If necessary, adhere cardboard to back of cork sheet for added stiffness.

by Barbara Matthiessen

Paper Bag Snowman

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Recycling brown paper bags has its advantages – especially when you create this sparkling snow friend!

Materials

  • Large brown paper bag
  • Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paints: Light Ivory, Charcoal, Dark Goldenrod, Tomato Spice
  • Fiberfill stuffing
  • Black craft wire, 36” length
  • Red/white plaid wire-edged ribbon (scarf), 1-1/4” wide, 15-1/2” length
  • Cedar sprigs, three
  • Twigs (arms), 2-1/2” long, two
  • Artificial red berry cluster
  • Raffia, three strands
  • Gold jingle bell, 13mm
  • Red buttons, 1/2”, three

Tools

  • Loew-Cornell American Painter Paintbrushes: Wash, Series 4550, 1/2”; Round, Series 4000, #3; Liner, Series 4350, #0; Deerfoot Stippler, 1/4” or 3/8”
  • Matte interior spray varnish
  • Glitter: Iridescent crystal glitter, DecoArt Glamour Dust Ultra-Fine Crystal Glitter
  • Black fine-tip marker
  • Paper adhesive

Basic Supplies

scissors, pencil

Directions

Size

11″ tall

Snowman

1. Print and cut out pattern. Cut snowman from bag as indicated. Adhere edges of snowman pieces together, leaving top 5” open.

2. Basecoat snowman Light Ivory. Transfer details. Paint nose Dark Goldenrod. Dot eyes and mouth Charcoal. Use deerfoot stippler to drybrush cheeks Tomato Spice. Use liner and Light Ivory to add highlight dots to eyes, cheeks, and nose. Use black fine-tip marker to draw eyebrows and outline nose. Apply varnish to snowman; sprinkle with glitters. Let dry.

3. Stuff bag with fiberfill. Use paintbrush handle to stuff bottom areas. Adhere arms inside body and remaining edges together. Wrap scarf around neck, crossing and adhering at center. Adhere cedar sprigs and berries to scarf and buttons to body.

4. For hanger, wrap wire around pencil to curl. Twist ends around arms to secure. Tie raffia bow at top of hanger. Adhere jingle bell to bow.

by Susan Cousineau

Snowman Doormat

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

While adding charm to your outdoor winter décor, this easy-to-paint snowman will greet your guests with a great big smile!

Materials

  • Black doormat, 18”x24”
  • DecoArt Patio Paints Outdoor Acrylic Paints: Hydrangea Blue, Petunia Purple, Fuchsia, Cloud White, Wrought Iron Black

Tools

  • Round scrubber paintbrushes: sizes #0, #4, #6
  • Posterboard, 18”x24”

Basic Supplies

scissors

Closeup

Directions

STEP 1

For stencil, print and cut out pattern. Fold poster board in half. Trace patterns onto poster board; cut out.

STEP 2

For snowman, center stencil on mat, aligning bottom edges. Use #6 to stencil snowman edges using Hydrangea Blue. Use circular scrubbing motion to force paint into grooves in mat. Remove template.

STEP 3

Cut out hat cuff section of template. Fit inside snowman outline. Use #4 to stencil upper and lower edges Wrought Iron Black. Paint hat sections Hydrangea Blue. While still wet, highlight Cloud White. Paint pom-pom Petunia Purple; highlight Cloud White. Paint nose and cheeks Fuchsia. Use #0 to paint eyes and smile Wrought Iron Black.

STEP 4

For border, position snowflake stencil as desired. Use #4 to stencil edges Hydrangea Blue. Use #4 and #6 to paint snowflakes Cloud White. Paint Fuchsia and Petunia Purple dots around snowflakes and hat as desired.

by Annie Lang

Snowman Candle Jar

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Winter usually brings snow… and soon snowmen will pop up everywhere throughout the neighborhood! Paint this adorable Snowman Candle Jar centerpiece to decorate your table and celebrate the winter season!

Materials

  • Glass items: quart jar, flower pot votive candle holder
  • Wooden teardrop, medium
  • Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paints: Black, Tangerine, Antique Rose, Antique White
  • Fabrics: green/tan checked, 1”x24”; green/tan/mauve checked, 6” circle
  • Black felt, 6-1⁄2” circle
  • Pine sprigs, 1”-2” long, six
  • Mauve beaded branches, 2” to 2-1⁄2” long, four
  • Mauve berry pick, 2” long
  • Jute twine, 22” length
  • Votive candle

Tools

  • All-purpose sealer
  • Black permanent marker
  • Liner brush
  • Adhesives: Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue, hot glue gun and sticks

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler, pencil, sponge, paintbrush, sandpaper, soft cloth, rubber band

Directions

STEP 1

Wash and dry jar. Use sponge to apply sealer to entire outside surface; let dry. Sponge paint jar rim Black and remaining areas Antique White. Basecoat nose Tangerine. Sand nose edges; wipe dust with soft cloth.

STEP 2

Print pattern; transfer face to jar and details to nose. Drybrush cheeks Antique Rose. Paint eyes, eyebrows, lines under eyes, and mouth Black. Use liner brush to add White highlight strokes to cheeks and to add highlight dots to eyes and cheeks. Use marker to trace nose details.

STEP 3

For base, turn jar upside down. Apply craft glue around jar bottom, 1” from edge. Center fabric circle over jar; position rubber band over circle to gather. Let dry, remove rubber band, and tie twine around fabric. Return jar to upright position.

STEP 4

For hat, apply craft glue around jar rim. Cut 1-1⁄2” circle from center of felt circle. Center circle over jar; position rubber band over circle to gather. Let dry, remove rubber band, and tie fabric strip around felt.

STEP 5

Use hot glue gun to glue pine sprigs, beaded branches, and berries to hat as desired. Insert votive candle into holder and place holder in jar.

by Linda Bauer

Polar Bear Slippers

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Perfect for those chilly nights, these soft and furry polar bear slippers are a fun way to keep your feet cozy and warm this winter.

Materials

  • White (adult size) slippers
  • White polar fleece, 1/4 yard
  • Blue/white check ribbon, 1-3/8”, one yard
  • Two-hole buttons: black, 1-1/8”, two, 3/8”, four; white, 7/8”, four; blue, 5/8”, four
  • Silver jingle bells, 3/4”, two

Tools

  • Sewing needle & white thread
  • Polyester stuffing
  • Safety pins, two
  • Circle cutters or circle templates (optional)

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler

Directions

(Note: All sewing is done by hand. For child-size slippers, reduce circle sizes.)

1. For each muzzle, cut 6” polar fleece circle. Sew basting stitch around circle, close to edge; pull stitches to gather. Stuff circle; pull thread ends tightly to form ball around stuffing and knot to secure. Sew large black button to smooth side of muzzle. Make two muzzles; with gathered sides down, sew to front of slippers, near toe.

2. For each ear, cut 3” polar fleece circle; cut in half. Place halves together with right sides together and sew running stitch close to rounded edges to join them, leaving straight edges open. Turn right side out, stuff, and whipstitch straight edge closed. Make four ears; sew to slippers above muzzles at sides.

3. For eyes, sew white, blue, and small black buttons on top of each other above muzzles.

4. Cut ribbon in half and tie bows. Sew jingle bell to center of each. Use safety pins to attach bows to slippers under muzzles. (Note: Remove bows before washing.)

by Mary Ayres

Snowman Tea Towel

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Appliqué this cheery snowman tea towel to liven up your winter décor. His smiling face is sure to melt the hearts of your guests over a nice warm cup of tea.

Materials

  • Blue/white checked tea towel
  • Fabric scraps: white, blue, orange prints
  • Two-hole buttons, two each: black, 1/4”; red, 9/16”
  • Four-hole buttons: white, 11/16”, four
  • Embroidery floss: black, red, white
  • Red grosgrain ribbon, 1/4”, 1 yard

Tools

  • Iron-on adhesive scrap
  • Matching threads
  • No-fray solution
  • Freezer paper
  • Air-soluble marker
  • Beacon Adhesives Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler, needle, iron and pressing surface, straight pins

Directions

STEP 1

Print and cut out pattern. Draw snowman and scarf on dull side of freezer paper; cut out. Iron shapes to wrong sides of fabrics.

STEP 2

To prepare appliqués, clip inside points or curves, almost to paper. Use side edge and tip of iron to press seam allowance over freezer paper. For points, press fabric over point first, then press each side to make clean, sharp point. Trim excess fabric at front. When cool, pull back appliqué seam allowance; remove paper. Re-press appliqué.

STEP 3

Pin snowman to towel 2-1/2” from bottom edge. Needleturn stitch around snowman; sew to scarf.

STEP 4

Trace nose onto paper side of iron-on adhesive; cut out 1/4” from traced line. Iron to wrong side of orange fabric; cut out on lines. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse nose to face.

STEP 5

Use matching floss to sew black buttons to face (eyes) and red buttons down center of body.

STEP 6

Draw smile on face with air-soluble marker. Use two strands of black floss to sew running stitch along line. Make two straight stitches for eyebrows.

STEP 7

Cut 1”x6” blue scarf. Apply no-fray solution to long ends; let dry. Fringe 1/2” at each short end; tie strip in loose knot. Adhere knot to snowman’s scarf as shown.

STEP 8

Use four strands of white floss to sew buttons (snowflakes) around snowman, making two or three stitches from each hole for rays.

STEP 9

Cut ribbon length to same width as towel. Tie bow from remaining ribbon; trim ends in “V”. Apply no-fray solution to all cut ends; let dry. Adhere ribbon to towel, covering bottom edge. Adhere bow to ribbon.

Tip

  • Using freezer paper will create a template that sticks to the fabric, so it says in place as you turn up the seam allowance. Then, simply peel it off when you’re done! Your appliqué edges will be smooth and accurate. For extra stability, just add a little spray starch on the turned under seam allowance.

by Chris Malone