Foam a friend

While I normally prefer to repurpose and recycle materials from around the house, there are a few craft supplies that I just love – foam (styrofoam/polystyrene) balls are one of them, simply because of their versatility. The list of kid-friendly craft projects that use foam balls as a base is endless – check out a few of my favourite ideas on my Pinterest board

I’ve also picked three of our recent foam ball crafting sessions to share with you. Each one involved the creation of a “new friend”, as my assistant calls them. Given how versatile polystyrene is, I let her choose an animal to make and then hoped that we had the right coloured paints, pom-poms etc.

Introducing the latest members of the Strong residence:

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Penny Penguin & Poppy Penguin
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Rosie Rabbit
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Clive the Caterpillar

What we used: 

  • Polystyrene foam balls
  • Non-toxic, water-based acrylic paint
  • Googly eyes
  • Coloured felt sheets (for penguin’s beak and feet and rabbit ears)
  • Icy pole/popsicle sticks (for rabbit’s feet)
  • Toothpicks (to stick the rabbit ears onto)
  • Black paper (for penguin wings and rabbit’s mouth)
  • Black raffia (for rabbit’s whiskers)
  • Pom-poms (for rabbit and caterpillar noses and for rabbit’s tail)
  • Pipe cleaners (for caterpillar’s legs & antennae)
  • Sheer black knee-high stocking/pantyhose
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue
  • Paint brush

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Steps:

Penguins

  1. Paint the foam balls black, leaving a white circle at the front for the belly.
  2. Cut out feet and a triangle beak from yellow felt and wings from black felt or paper.
  3. When paint is dry, glue on eyes, beak, feet & wings.

Rabbit:

  1. Paint the foam ball pink (we used DecoArt Americana Multi Surface Acrylic Paint)
  2. Cut out rabbit ears from pink felt and stick onto toothpicks, then either paint the centre of the ear with white paint or stick on a smaller piece of white felt. Insert the toothpicks into the foam ball.
  3. Cut off the ends of an icy pole/popsicle stick, paint white, and glue onto the bottom of the foam ball.
  4. Cut a length of black raffia and snip the ends a few times to create whiskers. Glue a white pom-pom onto the centre of the raffia.
  5. Cut out the rabbit’s mouth from black paper.
  6. Glue on the googly eyes, nose & whiskers, mouth, and a white pom-pom for a fluffy tail.

Caterpillar:

  1. Insert polystyrene balls into stocking and tie the end. We used a slightly smaller ball for the head.
  2. Cut a length of black pipe cleaner for each ball, glue onto the bottom of the caterpillar, and shape into legs.
  3. Insert two small lengths of coloured pipe cleaner for the caterpillar’s antennae.
  4. Glue on googly eyes and a pom-pom nose.
  5. Decorate the body – you can use any stickers or embellishments you have! We were in a painting mood so just painted some orange spots all over the body.

Painting Rosie Rabbit

Painting Clive Caterpillar

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