Styrofoam is used in many craft projects, everything from floral arrangements to models to costumes and play sets. One of the challenges of working with Styrofoam is learning how to glue it so that it will stay together. Some glues erode Styrofoam while others simply do not work, so choosing the proper glue and technique is important and will save you much headache as you work on your project.
Many people remember using white glue on Styrofoam projects in elementary school. While it's true that white glue can work, it is not ideal. Sometimes it will penetrate layers of the Styrofoam and not dry properly. Other times, the Styrofoam will seem to fall apart after application of white glue. If you insist on using white glue or it is all that you have, liberally apply it between two layers of Styrofoam and then secure the Styrofoam with toothpicks until the glue has dried.
Hot Glue Guns
Many people find that low heat glue guns work perfectly for gluing Styrofoam. Hot glue dries quickly, making it convenient when you are in a hurry. Because it does dry quickly, be sure to be accurate in positioning your Styrofoam pieces as you go because you might not be able to easily correct mistakes. You should also be aware that sometimes hot glue will make the Styrofoam melt ever so slightly, so it should not be used on very thin pieces of Styrofoam.
Rubber cement usually erodes Styrofoam, making it difficult to use but not impossible. If you must use rubber cement, begin by wrapping your Styrofoam in heavy tape such as florist's tape or duct tape. You may now apply the rubber cement to the tape-covered Styrofoam without worrying about the glue eroding the Styrofoam.
Paste is generally not strong enough for Styrofoam, though it can be used to temporarily hold two pieces of Styrofoam together if you plan on wrapping them in another material such as tape or fabric. Simply place a thick coating of paste on one side of the Styrofoam, stick together, and proceed to cover as planned.
Styrofoam Spray Adhesive
Styrofoam spray adhesive is created especially for gluing Styrofoam and is very effective in doing just that. This specialty glue has as strong of a bond as hot glue but does not melt the Styrofoam at all in the process and can be used on very thin pieces of Styrofoam. It does not deteriorate the Styrofoam and there is no need for using toothpicks to keep the material in place as it dries. Styrofoam spray adhesive does have a strong smell, so be sure to work in a well-ventilated environment and make sure that children are not in the area.