Top Ten Tips for Crafting with Styrofoam™ Brand Foam
For more than 50 years, genuine STYROFOAM™ brand foam has helped shape our creativity. The following time-tested tips have delivered successful, satisfying results for generations of children and adults. For the best results, be sure you're using genuine STYROFOAM™ brand foam from The Dow Chemical Company, identified by the "Genuine" logo. A special manufacturing process lends it a crispness other plastic foams lack, making it easier to cut, texture, shape, or sculpt. Manufactured exclusively by Dow, genuine STYROFOAM™ brand products are readily available in white and green in Michaels stores nationwide.
Cutting: STYROFOAM™ brand foam cuts easily with a serrated knife, hacksaw, floral knife or XactoÒ knife. Wax the knife blade with an old candle for easier, smoother cuts. To cut a thick piece, or several sheets stacked together, try using an old electric knife , as the saying goes, "it cuts like butter."
Sanding: For smooth, rounded edges, "sand" the foam with another piece of STYROFOAM brand foam. To shape larger pieces, cut out the basic shape and then sand to the final shape.
Sculpting: Shape it with your fingers, carve it with a knife, roll it on a table, or texture it with tools. You can even roll it flat with a rolling pin.
Texturing: Cover foam shapes with plaster, wallboard compound, gesso, modeling paste or other coating materials. Then, smooth it or stucco it, swirl it or sculpt it.
Cookie cutters: For a wide variety of fun shapes, press metal cookie cutters into a ½" thick sheet of STYROFOAM brand foam. Gently remove the shape from the cutter, "sand" any rough edges with another piece of foam, and you're done. Dip your shape in paint and stamp out greeting cards and wrapping paper; or, use the shape to decorate a Christmas tree, garland or wreath.
Curling: To create curls, cut out thin strips from a foam sheet by holding a knife vertically, pressing slightly against the sheet and carefully pulling the knife toward you.
Painting: Paint with water-based craft paint. Solvent-based paints may damage the foam (see paint manufacturer's instructions for details). For thorough coverage, try a stiff stencil brush and gently "scrub" the surface with the paint. Some spray paints are safe to use on STYROFOAM brand foam , read the label carefully to determine whether or not it's foam-safe. When spraying, rotate the shape for better coverage. For easier handling when painting, insert a floral pick or skewer into the foam shape to use as a handle. When done, insert the handle in a block of STYROFOAM™ or stand in a glass or can while paint dries.
Gluing: For a fast, sure bond, use a low-temperature glue fun. Hot glue guns can be used but the hot glue may melt a small portion of the foam. White craft glue is a tried and true favorite for STYROFOAM™ brand foam. For a better bond between two pieces, gently rub the pieces together before gluing; insert toothpicks or florist's picks between the pieces to hold them together while the glue dries.
Marking sections on balls and eggs: Marking off sections on a rounded surface can be tricky, but with the aid of a thick rubber band, you can measure even sections and draw smooth lines. For example, to divide a ball or egg into two equal sections:
To mark off quarter sections, move the rubber band so it bisects the two halves you just marked. Follow steps 2 , 5 above.