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Latest Comments

Sew Girl
"Over the years I have made several of these. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that these boxes -when used in the pictured position- are not strong enough on their own to hold very many books or magazines for very long. Eventually they will sag and become an eyesore. Preventing the eyesore from happening is simple - turn the boxes on their side once they are completed, and Voila! They are an EXCELLENT way to wrangle in all that clutter and chaos we often find throughout our home and office. There is also another way to make them strong and that is to REINFORCE THEM. Personally, I like to do this when I need to use the boxes for flimsier items like loose papers that have a tendency to curl on their edges if stored on their sides or when not packed tightly. Reinforcing the boxes means you can put a lot more weight into them even while they are laying flat like they are in the picture. I reinforce my boxes with a very thin wood that can be purchased at almost any hardware store - it is called Louon (my spelling is probably off but it is pronounced LEW-ON). It is very cost-effective and extremely easy to work with. Add to this that it is VERY VERSATILE and you have a great solution to making even very flimsy projects much more stable. I hope this helps! BTW USPS boxes are legal to use BUT ONLY if you PURCHASED them OR they are USED. IF you are thinking about using new boxes that were FREE from the USPS Priority Mail Services - then you would be breaking the law. New FREE Boxes MUST be used only for Mail. Boxes that are Purchased or Used should be OK."

Colorful Gumball Party Centerpiece

By: Kathleen George for STYROFOAM Brand Foam

Kids will love this gumball centerpiece that adds color and fun to any birthday party table. And the good news for parents is that it's inexpensive and easy to make.

Find this and other rainbow crafts at 14 Simple DIY Rainbow Crafts for Springtime!

Materials:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
    • Cone, 12" x 4"
  • Gumballs, one carton
  • Pre-made icing, your choice: fondant icing, one tube; light or whipped canned icing, one can; or powdered sugar and water
  • Table knife or wooden craft stick
  • Water basin
  • Paper towels
  • Optional: Small bowl, measuring cup, teaspoon (if using powdered sugar icing)
  • Optional: Red acrylic paint, medium flat paintbrush, disposable palette (paint must be food safe)

 

Instructions:

  1. If desired, paint foam cone red; let dry completely.
     
  2. Follow package directions to prepare pre-made icing tube for use. If making own icing, combine 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar with a few teaspoons of water in small bowl to a spreadable consistency. If icing is too thick, add more water; too thin, add more sugar.
     
  3. Squeeze or spread small amount of icing onto back of each gumball before firmly pressing to foam surface. Note: Gumballs will stick better if pressed firmly enough to make shallow depressions in foam surface. Let dry. If gumballs fall off, reattach with more icing.
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I would love to see a picture of the Gumball Center Piece. I cannot open the picture.

I do have a suggestion about preparing the styrofoam cone. Rather than using paint (even foodsafe paint), I would recommend you use icing. I decorate cakes and often will do something similar to this using a cake. Icing will harden nicely to hold the gumballs in place. You would still want to put a dab of icing on each gumball for extra 'security' and I would still recommend pressing the gumballs into the icing on the cone as it would help keep them in place. The reason I suggest the icing is because if the gumballs get any stuck on them, you would not have to worry about anyone getting sick (I just worry about paint being used for any food related product -- sorry). Just a suggestion.... Joni Aquilina

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