Styrofoam is a great crafting material to work with, especially for impromptu projects with children. It's lightweight and can be turned into so many possibilities. Planets, animals … the list is long! The one downside of working with Styrofoam, though, is that it's not the friendliest of materials to paint. The porous surface sucks in craft paint faster than you can apply it. Luckily, there's a product that can fix that problem – Smooth Finish by FloraCraft (another find from this year's SNAP! Creativity Conference). Using the putty-like material helps making Styrofoam critter pals, like a cute turtle, so much easier to personalize for your young crafters.
Styrofoam balls (one 3-inch, one 2-inch, and one 1-inch)
1. Cut all of the balls in half with your serrated knife. (Parents, make sure to do this step for younger crafters!) Set aside one half of the 2-inch ball and the 3-inch ball; you'll use these to help hold the pieces as they dry.
2. Insert a toothpick into the bottom of the 3-inch half. Use this as a handle while working. Apply the Smooth Finish to the piece and being working it into the Styrofoam. A little goes along way.
3. Once the Smooth Finish has been applied, stick the toothpick handle into extra 2-inch ball and let dry.
4. For the smaller pieces, try rocking them back and forth directly into the Smooth Finish container and then work into place with your putty spatula. Dry by placing the small handles into the extra 3-inch half.
5. Once the Smooth Finish has dried, you can use a piece of sandpaper to smooth the larger piece of Styrofoam. You can smooth the smaller pieces, too, if you like. I liked a bit bumpier look! Paint all pieces green and let dry.
6. Connect the head and legs with toothpicks.
7. Make sure the turtle sits flat.
8. Finish your turtle by adding googly eyes to the head with a drop of tacky glue.
9. Paint its shell with brown paint. Add a turtle tail with a piece of scrap paper or felt, if your child so chooses!
The basic shape and assembly of the turtle can be transformed into a variety of critters. Think spiders, ladybugs and even bees! What other critters would your child like to make?
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