Do you ever get confused by all the types of craft foam that are available at your craft store? What do all of these products do? Which is the right one for your project? I have a brief explanation below that should aid you in deciding which foam to pick up the next time you have a project. Plus I made a short video with some of the different craft foams, STYROFOAM ®, and my opinions. Plus some additional tips and tricks for you when working with foam.
There is a large variety of foam and STYROFOAM ® products available in craft stores.
Explanations of the varieties of STYROFOAM & what you should use them for:
- Floral Foam Fresh — this is the first product I tackle in the video below. It is intended to wick moisture to keep fresh floral arrangements alive. It is extremely soft and easy to mold with your hands or to fit in a container. All foams can be purchased in a variety of shapes and sizes. You should double check the label for the word “fresh” or “wet” when dealing with fresh floral arrangements.
- Floral Foam Desert — intended for silk floral arrangements and comes in green. You can get this under the desert, dry, or econofoam names. It is not as soft as fresh floral foam. I would recommend a serrated knife or electric foam cutter to trim to the size of your container. This foam is designed to keep your silk flowers upright when you press the stems into the foam. It also comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes so pick one closest to your needs. Be sure to double check the label when purchasing this craft foam as you do not want the wet foam in this case.
- STYROFOAM ® — intended for a variety of craft projects. Comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes for any project you have in mind. My personal favorite aspect is that it comes in huge sheets that you can then cut to any size or shape you desire with a foam cutter. STYROFOAM ® has a rough texture on the surface that will show through when you paint. There are a couple of products on the market that will fill in that texture if a smooth finish is required. Note that water based paints are recommended for all foam products and never use spray paint. Spray paint will damage the foam and leave you with a less than desirable result. You can also buy extruded foam products under the STYROFOAM ® name such as this wreath form. While these products are still STYROFOAM ®, they are extruded to give a smooth texture. I do not recommend the extruded forms if you are going to be adding anything that you need to poke into the surface.
- Durafoam — this is the smooth version of STYROFOAM ®. For a quick comparison, you can read this post over at Craft Test Dummies. It is smoother for painted applications but still not a super slick surface. For most applications, my personal preference is STYROFOAM ® but Durafoam will do in a pinch.
- Specialty Foam — this is generally urethane foam that is in specialty shapes. You can expect to find shapes from topiaries to heads and more. This is great if you are looking for something specific for a project. Especially if the shape will be too difficult to cut yourself from another foam product.
I did promise y’all a video explaining more about this right? In the video I discuss all of the above and have examples to show of each type of foam listed. I kept it short and sweet at a little over 8 minutes. Enjoy my take on Craft Foam 101.
Now that you know the differences between the various craft foams, be sure to pick some up at your local craft store and try them out.