5 Things to Look for When Picking the Perfect Foam Board for your Project

The backing material foam board, also known as foam core is extensively used in the framing of artwork, pictures and craft projects. Going by the structure, foam board is quite similar to Styrofoam but it is layered on both sides with plastic or paper. This type of board can easily be bought in the form of large sheets which makes it a common choice for display boards or bulletin boards at schools and colleges.

foam board

Foam boards are also a great material widely used in assisting with presentations. It’s the versatility of the material, which makes it all the more usable.  Foam boards can be easily cut by a razor-sharp knife into a variety of shapes. This is why they are often picked for use by architects to make prototype buildings and models. This classic substrate is produced using sturdy materials and is available in different shapes, sizes and even classified into several types depending on its varying properties such as strength and durability. While looking for a suitable foam board to meet your needs, you should use  the following criteria to do so.

Board’s Corners - The first thing to look for when searching for a quality board is to ensure that it has clean edges. It might seem a little insignificant initially, but if the edges of the board are even slightly untidy or dirty, and you end up using it in an important presentation, the dirt factor will stand out and will make you appear unprofessional and careless in front of your seniors and peers.

Rigidity of the Material - The next important thing to check for is how sturdy the board really is. A board with a good quality will be more rigid and not easily yield to pressure, with dents not being an issue. The substrate also needs to be lighter in weight so that it is not difficult to handle. This is an important consideration because if you are using a foam board for display purposes, it needs to be easily mobile as well as strong at the same time.

Surface of the Substrate - The next step is to evaluate how the surface of the board feels when touched. To perform that check, run your hands over it lightly and see that the surface on the board is smooth and even. Uneven surfaces result in poorly executed work because the board will not allow art materials like oil or water paints and acrylics, or even crayons to settle down well on the surface. Every dent on the board will be magnified if you don’t use a foam board with a straight surface.

Thickness of the Board - While choosing the needed foam board, its thickness also matters. The minimum thickness for a substrate is 3/16 of an inch. Any less than that might pose a risk of the board breaking very easily.  A material that is too thick could make handling very difficult.

Adhesives to be used - The last thing you should check is to see whether a foam board is receptive to glue since not all boards are receptive to every kind of glue. Therefore, it is best to pick the one that is compatible with most glue or at least the glue you are using.

If you ensure that the above mentioned characteristics of your foam board are as per the set guidelines set out above, you will make sure your chosen material will withstand your projects use.

Hone your Craftsmanship Capabilities with Foam Boards

When we see our school going kids explore their creativity with their projects or visit a fine arts exhibition, it normally gives us the inspiration to create something similar and manifest our own creativity too. However, we do not end up doing so because of the laborious task of cutting through hard boards and patience required to wait and see the pieces come together. Here is what we are bringing to you to help you revive your juvenile instincts and feel proud of yourself! 

Yes. We are talking about foamboard, introducing to you a sturdy yet light weight material that will make all your craft related projects seem like a cake walk. Foam core or foam board is a material created by using two thick pieces of paper laminated on a core made of foam. The boards are easily available in the market in a range of sizes and thicknesses, with different finishes for different uses. Foam core is an easily transportable art and crafts material due to its sturdy yet lightweight characteristics. The board can be used in a variety of applications and is an effective surface for painting.

Foam boards can be cut and glued easily. This is why writing and drawing on them seems so convenient to most people. The fact that they resist warping and are easy to cut makes them a first choice of craftsmen as well as commercial users. Also, utilizing other materials for the same purposes would cost significantly more than what foam boards cost.

Here is how you can prepare for your art project, if you haven’t done so earlier. Certain things you will need to keep ready while starting off are foamboard, craft knife, straight edge, gesso and a pencil. You can apply paint to your piece of foamboard by using the below mentioned guidelines.

  • Select a foam board based on how you wish to create your painting. Thicker foam board is more durable and can withstand rough handling. This is also what makes it a suitable material to be used on walls. A thinner board might be suitable if you do not plan to transport or handle the painting, or if you plan to secure it in a frame. As frames will provide protection to your art work on all sides, using them will be ideal and will also add grace to the painted piece.  It is best to use a matte finish form board to ensure that the paint sticks properly to the surface.  Any substrate you choose should be tested first with the paint you intend to use.  Some boards require water based paints and some solvent based.  In general paper faced foamboard should use a water based paint.  Do not over saturate the face as it can permeate the paper face and cause the paper to delaminate form the foam center.
  •  The next step is that you cut it to the desired size using a straight edge such as a metal ruler, and a very sharp craft knife. Ensure that you do not use a dull blade as it will cause the foam core to have a torn or chewed-looking edge, taking away the grace from your final product.  
  •  The last thing in the series is to apply paint in the pencil outlines. Avoid adding a lot of water to the paint as it might get too wet for the outer layer of the foam board. Add matte or gloss medium to thin the paint as needed and then, permit each layer to dry off before applying the next layer.

After you have successfully performed these steps, give your artwork the required time to dry off. Once it does, you will be amazed to see the stunning outcome you were able to create and show off to yourself and others. Frame your artwork, display it on a suitable wall in your house, and feel proud of yourself!

Why Use Foam Board for Advertising and Displays

When we think of a material that could cater to our advertising and display needs, we know that it has to be both durable and light weight. Durability pertains to how well the material can stand rough the test of time and the elements - and ensures that your business message is visible to the intended audience at all times. Light weightiness, on the other hand, takes care of the maneuverability, and handling of the material. It is often the most sought after property because most displays and sign boards (unless, they are indoor small signs or advertisements related to offers or store schemes) are usually placed at higher level for the audience to see. 

As such, they need to be easy-to-lift and manage. It is no guess work then, why foam board also known as foam core board tops the list of substrates for such purposes. That’s primarily because foam board is a strong and lightweight material that is easily cut and formed into shapes. So, there’s actually a lot that you can do with foam boards, especially if your requirements need a lot of experimentation. Here’s a typical advertisement cut out, for example, that is extremely light weight and easy to use.

Foam Boards

The smooth surface of the material used is also a prerequisite that helps make it easier to paint, mark, glue, and use various other embellishments on the substrate. That is why foam boards are also perfect for a science fair, school projects, and business presentations. Give your presentation a professional edge. Lightweight and smooth foam display board is tri-fold and stands up by itself.

It doesn’t matter if the display is meant for one person or a bigger group, presentation boards will always help you make a great first impression. An added benefit while using these boards is that they can be assembled and disassembled quickly and are available in a variety of different foamboard materials which have their own unique attributes.

A common use for which the material comes handy is craft related projects. Foam boards have some common sizes that they are most readily available in; however, they also come in other varied custom sizes and thicknesses for special applications.  Below is another creative example of foam board application.

Foam boards make a great material for use in signs and for advertising related projects. The fact that they are available in a variety of colors also add to their cart of great features. It helps retail advertisements look attractive and make them clearly visible to the audience. To have a more professional look, sign companies develop high-quality, professional signs out of foam board that are made to be displayed outside their business placement. This enables them to increase their customer base and improve store walk-ins for boosting sales.