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Foam boards are sold in virtually every craft store, drug store, office supply stores and cost less than one to two dollars per 20x30 inch sheet. Foam boards are ultra lightweight, making it easy to cut through. This material can last for about two years, and because they are affordable, you can easily replace them.
Foam board is sometimes referred to as foam core board or foam core. The core is made from polystyrene and shielded by two sheets of matte paper. Polystyrene is also used in the production of Styrofoam. The polystyrene core of foam board is made up of 95-98% air, which is why foam boards are ultra lightweight.
Architectural students use foam boards to build model structures and buildings and interior designers use foam boards to build mood boards for their projects.
Apart from these specific uses, foam boards are typically used to showcase artwork and photographs like canvases. If you’re into DIY’s, we have compiled three awesome art project ideas you can try at home with foam boards to add a little oomph to your space, at relatively low cost.
Foam board is extremely sensitive to certain types of glues and adhesives. So, before we begin our run down of art projects, let's tell you which glues to avoid and which glues work great on foam boards. Foam boards are susceptible to water/moisture damage, hence, avoid moist areas in your house including your kitchen and bathroom, if you want it to last longer.
Using solvent based craft glue or tacky glue only works for a temporary display. Also, the base of the glue tends to dampen the glossy paper and cause it to crease. Some other glues tend to eat away at the foam board, which is what you’re trying to avoid.
Hot glue and PVA adhere well to foam board without damaging the board or the glossy covering. Working with hot glue cools quickly, so you’ll have to work quickly. PVA glue or Elmer’s Glue also works great with foam board, however, you’ll have to hold the pieces together until it dries.
One of the best adhesives to use on foam board is spray adhesives. This is because the bond is strong, does not cause bubbling and it does not damage the surface of the foam board. To use spray adhesives, ensure that the paper covering on the surface is not compromised, otherwise, the spray adhesive can eat away at the foam.
Now to the arts and crafts…
1. Burlap Message Board
This might not be the most over the top creative art, but it is simple and easy to do and anyway we’re building up to the extremely difficult ones, so, keep reading.
Lay the fabric flat on a table and place the foam board on the fabric. Glue the excess fabric by the sides of the board onto the back with a glue stick. Then use the furniture nails to hold the fabric in place, space the nails 1.5 inches apart. Use the furniture nails on the front side of the foam board all the way around. And that’s it, you can use this board as a mood board or use office pins to place pictures and photographs to the board.
2. Townhouse Planter
This is a DIY version of a planter to keep your plants. This is made from foam core board, plaster and duct tape. To make it look more architectural, you’ll need to use stick self-adhesive craft foam inside the mold. This process is quick, fun and easy.
Things you’ll need:
Plaster of Paris, about 6 lbs
One sheet of foam core board
One sheet of sticky back craft foam
Bucket for mixing
You’ll need to first cut the foam core into 4 rectangles of about 9 inches x 5 inches. Cut one square for the bottom that is 5.25 inches by 5.25 inches. You’ll also need to cut four rectangles that are each 8 inches x 3 inches.
Cut out the doors, windows, and other tiny details that you want out of the sticky surface of the foam board. Peel the backing off the foam board and stick them to one of the large rectangles.
Take the 4 large rectangles and tape them together with the edges lying on top of each other.
Close off the seam with tape, make sure there’s no gap. Take the cut-out bottom and tape it on. Ensure that all seams are taped tightly if not, the plaster can leak out when poured in.
Tape the small rectangles together to form a box. The use a duct tape to make a bottom on this smaller box. Mix the plaster in and pout into the larger box until it is about 3 inches from the top. Slightly hit the outside of the box to release any air bubbles. Push the smaller box down into the plaster until it is the same level as the larger box. Hold till platers becomes firm, this should take about 4 to 5 minutes.
Once the plaster is fully set, take the duct tape off and remove each section of the mold. Smoothen rough edges with sandpaper. Use the cut-out foam board of windows and doors and attach to the outside. And your planter is ready!
3. Foam board chandelier
Yes! you can make a chandelier out of foam board and it is pretty easy to make but get ready to roll up your sleeves and release your creative side.
Things you’ll need:
Foam board… of course
Utility knife or X-ACTO knife
Hot glue gun
The paint of choice… could be grey, white, or yellow or a mix of colors
Bling of choice… you can take some off an old chandelier
Print out the chandelier pattern of your choice online and cut out the pattern. Trace the pattern four times on a foam board. If you’re making a large chandelier, piece the patterns together. Cut out the pieces carefully with a utility knife. Make sure the cuts are smooth and even.
Once you’re done cutting it out, even up the edges with a knife, try to remove any piece that sticks out. Although this takes time, the result will be aesthetically pleasing. Once you’re done smoothening out and cutting, get out your paint and lightly paint over the foam board.
Because foam board detests moisture, it is better to use light rather than thick paint, otherwise, the paper might bubble. Make sure to paint the edges of the pieces. When the paint dries, lightly rub some Rub N Buff using a dry tissue or paper towel. Once again, do not use thick coats, use very light strokes.
Bring out your dowel and cut it to fit the chandelier. Add an eye screw into the end for hanging. Place the dowel against one foam piece and add little dabs of hot glue to attach it. Press firmly onto the foam.
Now add the second, third and fourth piece in the same way. At this point, your chandelier is done but you can add on some bling like with a real chandelier. Attach the bling to the tip of your chandelier and you’re new blinged-out DIY foam board chandelier is done.