If you’ve ever been to a craft store you’ve seen ’em: Styrofoam balls, slabs, shapes and disks. There are lots and lots of projects you can do using ordinary Styrofoam with particular shapes. Take the disks, for example. Did you know that you can make centerpieces, bulletin boards, wall hangings and similar things by using one or more of the cheap disks? It’s true! So, the next time you visit the craft store of your choice go ahead and pick up some of the Styrofoam disks. You’ll have them on hand when you find yourself bored and wishing for something cheap and fun to do.
Kids will love a bulletin board for their room made of several disks. Paint them in fun, assorted colors or paint them all one color. Use large disks or small disks, depending upon how much wall space you have, but use disks that are all the same size. If painting the disks check the label of the paint to make sure it’s compatible with Styrofoam. Some paints will actually melt the foam so it’s important that you choose appropriate paint. It might take more than one coat of paint to achieve the color and depth of color you want.
Arrange the disks on the wall using double-sided tape. Don’t align the disks in a straight row; arrange the so that they have a serpentine shape on the wall. The first disk will become the head and face for a cute caterpillar that’s also a message board. Insert pipe cleaners into the top, side area of the head. Curl the ends of the pipe cleaners into a ball on the ends. Use wiggly eyes, a pom-pom nose and a piece of yarn to make the face. Use decorative push pins on each disk except the head to hold memos, photos, awards and more. Any young child will love this arrangement, but if the child is really small, omit the pins and just display the fun caterpillar on the wall.
Easily build small shelf sets with Styrofoam disks of the same size. Choose large or small disks and paint them. Use hot glue to attach three or four short, large-diameter dowels to one of the disks. Now turn it over so that the dowels are on the table. These dowels make the legs for the shelf. Next, glue three or four longer, large-diameter dowels to the top of the shelf. Glue on the next shelf. Continue to build the set you want with 2, 3 or even 4 shelves. These shelves can’t hold a lot of weight but can easily hold picture frames, stuffed animals, nick-knacks and similar items.
Make cool and unusual ceiling medallions by starting with one large Styrofoam disk. Glue a second disk onto that one but make the second disk a little smaller. Add a final piece – like a Styrofoam ball – to finish the medallion. Cut a tiny sliver off one side of the ball so it will lie flat against the disk. Paint the entire medallion gold or another color. You can paint it all at once or paint each disk or other piece so that they are different colors. The unique medallions look great in the center of a ceiling that has no light fixtures, on doors and even on cabinets.
Make a unique picture frame by starting with two disks that are the same size. Take a square of paper, lay it on one of the disks, then draw around it. Cut the square out so that you have a square-shaped hole in the middle of the disk. Glue the chosen picture onto the whole disk and make sure it’s centered. If you want, you can glue a piece of acetate over the top of it to protect it. Now glue the holey disk over the whole one to complete the frame. These can be easily mounted onto walls with double-sided tape or even glue dots. To stand the frame fold a rectangle of cardboard so that it’s “L” shaped. Cut a slit in the back of the frame and glue the small part of the “L” into the slit. The longer part of the “L” should reach the table and create a stand.
Stack two disks together, paint them, and allow to dry. Cut slits, holes and other shapes into the disks to make a bathroom organizer. The shapes in the Styrofoam can hold combs, brushes, toothbrushes and more. To make the organizer a little heavier glue the stacked disks to a block of wood. Paint it all the same color or paint the wooden base a different color than the disks. It’s a cheap and easy way to decorate and organize at the same time.
Styrofoam is very inexpensive and can be used to make hundreds of different things for your home. Keep Styrofoam pieces from packages and you’ll always have some around. Or, purchase some at your local craft store and keep them on hand for when you get bored. A little paint, a little glue and you’ve created something new and useful while having a good time by yourself or with the kids!