How to Use Foamboard

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Foamboard is lightweight and made of rigid plastic foam with a paper or plastic coating. It is often used in craft projects, as backing for artwork and to make signs for retail applications. Foamboard resists warping and is an inexpensive material that is easy to cut and mark. It can be cut, glued and written or drawn on depending on its required use. There are a few techniques crafters and artists recommend that you use when working with foamboards.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • Pencil
  • Crafter’s glue
  • Painter’s tape

Cutting Foam Boards

Measure and mark your desired cuts using a pencil. Pen or marker can smear because the ink won’t dry immediately on the surface of the board.

Insert a new blade in your utility knife before cutting. The edges of the foamboard may fray if the blade is not sharp enough.

Lay a ruler along the cut marks and cut along the edge of the ruler using the utility knife. When cutting, bring the knife down directly into the foamboard, angling the knife blade slightly (about 45 degrees) as you cut, to prevent the board from bunching.

Change the knife blade if the edges of the board begin to fray as you cut.

Marking on Foamboards

Experiment on a scrap piece of board before writing or drawing on your good piece. Quick-drying markers are ideal.

Avoid using a pencil's eraser on foam boards because it can leave marks.

Allow the ink to dry if you’re writing with pen. The ink will smear if it is not dried and you touch it. Most foam poster boards have a sheen which can make writing with ink difficult.

Paint foam boards using oil or acrylic paints. Some types of solvents, such as lacquers and shellacs, should not be used on foamboards.

Gluing Foam Boards

Glue foam board using any type of craft glue. The surface material is usually paper-based, so if the glue is designed to adhere to paper, it will work on your foam board.

Press the pieces together firmly when finished gluing and wipe away any excess glue.

Hold the pieces of foamboard together with either painter’s tape or masking tape, which can be removed without marking the board surface.

Pull off the strips of tape when the glue has dried and the pieces are firmly stuck together.

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