Foam Boards for Craft Projects: Components, Uses, and Handling

Foam boards are popular not only for their extensive use in commercial purposes but also for their domestic applications. The material can easily be formed into shapes and structures that are then used for design areas such as interior design and architectural models. 

Components that make a foam board  

Commonly known as foam core, foam boards are made using a lightweight material which is easy to cut and is commonly used for purposes such as mounting of prints and photographs and as backing in picture frames.
foam board ussed for pictures

The structure of this substrate is made with sturdy layers ideally consisting of three layers, an inner layer of polystyrene or polyurethane foam which is neatly placed between two layers of semi-gloss and bleached white clay coated paper. To make it all the more suited to high-end conservation framing, a further block of cotton rag boards or alpha-cellulose boards should be placed between the foam board and the actual artwork. 

Use in Picture Framing and as backing material

Foam boards have become quite popular nowadays as an acceptable material for backing picture frames, with archival-quality variants now provided by several manufacturers. The substrate is quite effective for use in die cutting, mounting, screen printing, and framing and is available in various sizes for to meet specific requirements.

Many types of foam boards are available including FomeCor, Acid-Free foam bard, self-adhesive foam board and many other varieties. Foam boards are also available in self-adhesive, also known as pressure sensitive or heat-activated coatings, which will make it convenient for you to mount a photo or art piece  quite easy. 

SEE ALSO: Why PVC Foam Boards are the Best


Use of adhesives

There are some foam boards such as clay-coated foamcore that do not accept certain types of paint and some glues such as superglue, which is not suitable for bonding. Picking such products for binding particular foam boards should be avoided as solvents used in some paints and glues can dissolve the foam center causing weakness and breakdown of the structural integrity of the foamboard. In the outer layers, the fibers can be warped by the use of water-based glues once it has dried. However, this problem can be countered by adhering a coat to the reverse side. What works best is if double-sided adhesive sheets are used or pre-coated self-adhesive foamboard is picked, when you want your prints and photographs to be to dry mounted.

Self adhevise foam board

After finishing the mounting process for your photograph or print onto self-adhesive foamboard, it is important to make sure that you allow it to sit for some time. During this time, place your mounted work on a flat surface so as to avoid any warping related problems that you might encounter. For temporary mounting applications, it is wise if you employ a plain foam board and then apply re-positionable spray adhesive onto it, either on the back of the image or the front side of the board.

Foam boards are great for the above mentioned uses and offer greater scope for craft projects because of their sturdiness and durability.

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