Everyone can work with foam! Check the video below to see how easy it is…
What do you need?
- Foam, obviously
- A paint stripper, also referred to as a heat gun. This device blows hot air to allow the pieces of foam to stick together. Sticking foam together does not require any glue.
- A sharp knife: a utility knife will do.
- a cutting mat for under the foam when you are cutting. This helps you better cut the foam and it increases the lifespan of your knife. Moreover, it prevents scratches on your table.
- An iron or aluminium lath.
- Fine gloves. This is not strictly necessary, but the hot air is really hot. Without gloves, you will experience this in no-time. Use gloves of fine material that still repels heat, such as leather
Foam is stuck together by means of hot air. A glue gun works too, but that requires yet another purchase. Moreover, it consumes more time and can sometimes be a mess.
How do you stick foam together?
By simultaneously heating the sides you want to stick together, and pushing them against each other.
How hot must the air be?
This doesn’t really matter. In most paint strippers, you cant regulate the temperature. You can use almost any paint stripper. Depending on the type of device, you can decide to change the setting. Hair dryers are not recommended, because the temperature usually doesn’t get high enough and because it disperses the air too much.
How long should you be heating?
A couple of seconds, not long. If you heat too briefly, the materials won’t stick. If you heat too long, you’ll ‘burn’ the foam.
Once all pieces are stuck together, you can start working on the finish. The most popular materials are fabric, boas, marabous, ostrich feathers and other plumes, rhinestones, galons. You adhere these using a glue gun, double sided tape or another type of glue. You might want to test it first, before engaging in mass production.
If you want give your creations an extra dimension, you can also paint the foam. You can do so by means of a felt roll or a paint gun. Synthetic paint will give you the best results (don’t use water-based paint).