Think beyond your fourth-grade solar system assignment. These DIY foam projects -- cute centerpieces and stunning wall art -- make for long-lasting decor that will dress up any space.
Toast the New Year with soiree-ready signage. Print "cheers" onto paper in the desired size and font, cut it out, and pin it to an 18×12×1-inch rigid foam sheet; trace with marker. Cut out the word using a styrofoam cutter. Coat the sign with decoupage medium, and sprinkle with confetti. Let dry. Repeat as needed.
Tip: To make art larger than a single foam sheet, trace the word onto multiple sheets and join the sections using toothpicks and styrofoam glue.
Insert wood dowels in the bottom of the sign, and mount the dowels in a piece of scrap foam placed in a shallow vessel and surrounded with decorative pebbles.
Bring the geode trend home with a faux amethyst carved from a foam sheet. Colorful vase-filler gems and aquarium gravel, rings of paint, and dimensional glue achieve a convincing look. To display the faux stone, mount it inside a shadow box using a low-temperature glue gun. Tuck the box into a bookshelf, display on a bedside table, or hang on a gallery wall.
A 4×10-inch foam cake form serves as the base for a festive everlasting floral centerpiece. To cover the cake form, cut a strip of 180-gram ivory florist crepe paper two and half times longer than the circumference of the cake form. With your sewing machine set on the longest stitch possible and the upper thread tension increased, sew down the center of the strip to create gathers, backstitching to secure at the ends. (If the paper isn't gathering, hold the top of the thread spool to create more tension.) Wrap the ruffle around the cake form, pinning the ends in place. Center a glass candleholder on the base, and top with paper flower toppers.
Bring bling to your centerpiece with petite pops of gold. Cover 1-inch and 1½-inch foam balls completely with gold-colored thumbtacks. Cut an 8-inch piece of green 18-gauge wire for each ball. Place a dab of hot glue on the bottom of a ball, then poke the wire through the glue and into the ball. The glue holds the wire in place. Repeat for each ball. Insert the wire into the foam centerpiece to position the balls.
Add sparkle during the holiday season -- and beyond -- with a dimensional metallic starburst that's sized right for the space above a fireplace mantel or a sofa. Put your own twist on this project by swapping out the half ball for a small round mirror or by switching up the paint colors. Bonus: No nails needed for this lightweight art. Hang on the wall using large adhesive picture-hanging strips.
You will need: six 9-inch foam cones, six 12-inch foam cones, a styrofoam cutter, an 8-inch foam hollow half ball, FloraCraft Smooth Finish, an icing spatula, a fine-grit sanding block, metallic spray paint, a 16-inch cardboard cake round, and a low-temperature glue gun.
Cut foam cones in half lengthwise using a styrofoam cutter. Coat the cones and the half ball with Smooth Finish using an icing spatula.
Once dry, sand away rough spots. Remove dust with a damp paper towel. Spray-paint the small cones silver and the large cones and the half ball gold. Let dry. If no center ball is desired, cut a 7-inch-diameter circle from the cake round's center. Arrange the tips of the cones around the ring, alternating colors. Adhere the half ball to the sunburst's center, covering the tips of the cones if desired.
A broken full-length mirror can lead to good fortune if you turn the frame into a display piece. Paint 2-inch and 2½-inch foam balls with acrylic paint and let dry. To make geometric shapes, shave the corners of 5-inch foam cubes at random angles. Spray them metallic gold. (Apply Krylon Craft Foam Primer first if your spray paint isn't foam-safe.) String the shapes onto twine using a long upholstery needle. Attach the garlands to the back of the frame using a staple gun.