Holiday Desktop Decoration




Introduction: Holiday Desktop Decoration

About: I enjoy making tombstones/props from foam and other materials- mainly for Halloween.

I usually make mini foam tombstones for people to put on their desks around Halloween time, but I thought I'd try something related to Christmas.  It's nice to personalize your space and show your holiday spirit.

I did two different versions of this, both with EPS foam (the type made of compressed foam beads).  The main version is easily done by someone with a serrated knife and the second was sculpted with a hot knife.

Step 1: Supplies

Basics Materials:

-Small amount of EPS foam
-Appropriate glue for foam
-3/4 inch PVC pipe (I used a piece approximately 13 inches long)
-White spray paint (Suitable for painting plastic)
-Red spray paint
-Mod Podge sealer/glue (I used the gloss version)
-Plastic Christmas Tree ornament (Bought a bunch at Dollar Tree for 50% off after Xmas- you never know when you'll need a  round object for a craft)
-Painter's tape
-Glue suitable for attaching the Christmas ornament to the PVC pipe


-Saw or PVC pipe cutter
-Knife for cutting/shaping foam (Hot Wire cutting tool optional)
-Paint brushes
-Sand Paper


-Clear spray or brush-able sealant
-Latex gloves for spray painting
-Dust mask
-Wood Skewers

Step 2: The Base

I will provide some of my dimensions, but the size of the items in this project is totally up to you.

I started by cutting a piece of foam (2 inch thick) approximately 12 inches long and 8 inches wide.  I then cut a smaller piece which was glued to the top.  I placed a couple small lengths of wood skewer through the two pieces to add a little extra stability. 

After the glue cures, take your knife and start carving.  Carve your basic shapes, blend the two pieces together, and break up all the smooth areas (before I forget, make sure you remove any film that is attached to the foam).  This will basically give you a nice snowy looking area, BUT, it does have a little bit of a cottage cheese look due to the beads.  Some of this will be smoothed with the Mod Podge, but if you don't want to see the beads, use a hot knife or hot wire sculpting tool.  There is a picture in a later step that will show you the different looks you can obtain.  After the carving, the base is about 3 and a half inches high.

***Save a handful of the foam bits created by the cutting for later.

Step 3: Making the Candy Cane

Cut your length of PVC pipe, hit it with a little sand paper, then make sure it is clean.  Spray with the white paint (suitable for painting plastic).  After it dries, place the end of your tape at the top edge of the pipe, holding the tape at an angle.  Hold the tape firmly as you twist the pipe.  You should end up with something similar to the photo.  Give it a good spray with the red paint.  Let it dry and remove the tape.

Next, take your ornament, glue it to the top of the PVC pipe, and let dry.

Step 4: Assemble the Pieces

Cut a hole for the candy cane to be inserted into the foam.  As you can see, it looks like a candy cane stuck in a hole.  That's fine, but I chose add a little glue at the area around the cane and to a few areas at the base of the cane.  I then sprinkled some of the fine foam bits created from the cutting process to the glued areas.  I also did this for a few areas where the two foam pieces were glued to hide the seam.

Step 5: Final Products

The version on the left is the one created by the serrated knife.  The one on the right was carved with a hot knife.  You should be able to see that the version on the right is much smoother. 

Both were give a couple generous coats of the Mod Podge.  I then sprayed the entire project with a clear spray sealer.

The craft was then personalized by printing out a caption, placing it on poster board, and then gluing the sign onto the candy cane.

One extra idea, and one I will try in the future, would be to use some very light blues in some of the areas on the base to give an "icy" look and break up all the white.  I think that would add a lot of interest.

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    2 Discussions


    6 years ago

    Very nice. I'd like to scale this down to make Christmas dinner place cards.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I think that would be easy to do and would look great!