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What is Craft Foam?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 23, 2024
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Craft foam is a smooth, flexible crafting material sold in thin sheets and assorted shapes. It's available in black and white as well as a variety of colors such as red, green, light blue, dark blue, tan, yellow, orange, brown and pink. It can be used in many different ways to create colorful accessories such as holiday and party decorations as well as children’s craft projects.

Assorted shapes of craft foam such as different sizes of ovals, circles, triangles and squares, are sold in mixed colors in packages that may have 250 or 500 pieces. These are ideal for children to work with as the pieces can be easily held in their hands and glued onto a piece of colored cardboard or a sheet of craft foam to create colorful artwork. Felt marking pens, or markers, plus some imagination can help transform the foam shapes into flowers, leaves, animals and an endless number of creations. Some types of foam shapes are self-adhesive and these are great for craft projects with younger kids because no messy glue is required.

Besides packages of mixed plain geometrical shapes, there are theme bags of detailed craft foam pieces sold for children's projects. An example is peel and stick dinosaurs in different colors or multicolor sea life shapes. Children can apply the shapes to cardboard or sheets of foam along with drawings and other foam shapes they create.

Older children and adults often cut craft foam sheets into shapes to make festive decorations. For example, foam sheets in orange and black can be used to cut out pumpkins and bats to create Halloween decorations. A black felt marker can be used to draw facial features on the pumpkin shape, while small pieces of white and red foam could be cut into circles to glue on the bat shapes for eyes. If holes are made with scissors on the tops of the pieces, clear fishline could be inserted so that the pieces could be hung from the ceiling such as above a table of food to create a festive look for a Halloween party.

Door hangers, book covers and book marks are other popular uses for crafting foam sheets. Letters may also be cut from the foam to use on banners such as to create a message like Happy Birthday, Sarah. Foam stamps can be made from the sheets by placing cut out shapes carefully in paint and then stamping the image onto a project by pressing it onto the surface. Craft foam sheets are available in different thicknesses and finishes such as matte, gloss and glitter.

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Discussion Comments

By sherlock87 — On Jan 22, 2011

I like to use arts and craft foam for things like centerpieces on tables, wreaths and other wall hangings, and even organizers like necklace hooks or earring holders. For me, one of the keys is to see how you can use it to utilize things you already own using shapes like cones and sticking in or gluing on things you have to make something new.

By Denha — On Jan 19, 2011

@anon97448, depending on the size of your city or town, there are probably fabric and/or craft stores which carry craft foam. Otherwise, there are some bookstores, toy stores, or even grocery stores and "super center" typed stores which may carry some, though their selection is probably kind of limited. Hardware stores do carry foam, though not likely the foam for crafts that you would want.

By anon97448 — On Jul 19, 2010

Where can you usually buy craft foam? Bookstore? Hardware store?

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