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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."

Juicy Green Apple Topiary

By: Diane D. Flowers for Styrofoam Brand Foam

Looking at this topiary is the apple of my eye. Show off your decorative side using balls, blocks and cubes.

Materials:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
    • Balls: one 4"; four 1-1/2"
    • Block, 12" x 10" x 1"
    • Cube, 5"
  • Acrylic paints: dark brown; off-white
  • Natural stucco-finish paint
  • Brown antiquing medium
  • Artificial fruit: 2" lt. green apples, nine; 3" green apples, seven; 1-1/2" green pears, 29
  • Bright green reindeer moss, one small bag
  • Serrated knife
  • Candle stub or paraffin
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Wooden items: one 7" and fifty 4" skewers; craft stick
  • Medium flat paintbrush
  • Palette knife or plastic knife
  • Small disposable bowl
  • Water basin
  • Paper towels
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Low-temp glue gun and glue sticks
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Optional: disposable gloves

Steps:

Container

  1. Wax serrated knife with candle stub or paraffin. Measure and mark a 6-1/4" square on foam block for base; cut out.
     
  2. Push one 4" skewer completely through one 1-1/2" foam ball, centering ball on skewer; glue to secure. Repeat with remaining 1-1/2" balls. Apply glue to one end of each skewer and insert into bottom corners of foam cube; foam balls should touch corners but extend slightly beyond as shown. Spot glue to secure; let dry.
     
  3. Apply glue to opposite ends of skewers and insert into 6-1/4" foam base, with cube centered on square. Push skewers through base until balls touch it; trim excess length at bottom of base. Spot glue balls to base to secure; let dry.
     
  4. Follow manufacturer's instructions to prepare stucco paint, stirring with craft stick before use. If desired, put on disposable gloves. Use palette knife to cover all exposed foam surfaces; let dry for at least 12 hours.
     
  5. Apply light coat of off-white over stucco; let dry. Mix equal parts antiquing medium and dark brown acrylic in disposable bowl; apply light coat of this mixture over stucco. Use dry paper towel to remove excess paint while still wet.
     
  6. Glue 4" foam ball to center top of cube. Apply glue to 7" skewer and insert through center top of ball into cube. Spot glue top end of skewer to secure. Use glue gun to cover foam ball with small clumps of moss.

Topiary Arrangement

  1. Apply glue to one end of each 4" skewer and insert into each piece of fruit, alternating placement of skewers for more natural look.
     
  2. Refer to photo to insert largest apples into foam ball, trimming skewers as needed. Repeat with smaller apples. Fill gaps with pears. Reposition fruits as desired to create balanced design.
     
  3. When pleased with arrangement, remove fruit one by one and apply glue to skewer ends before re-inserting into foam. Fill gaps with small clumps of moss.

 

®™ Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company ("Dow") or an affiliated company of Dow. For more project ideas, please see styrofoamstyle.com.

 

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