Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Foam Core Board

Today I wanted to talk a bit about a fun material that doesn't get as much credit as it should...

Foam Core Board

I know ~ sounds pretty boring huh?

WELL, it's not ~ once you start playing with it you'll soon realize just how cool this stuff really is. I knew when I started the book I'd need a foundation a bit more substantial than plain old cardstock or chipboard for many of the projects I had planned on making. I used canvas for many of the projects but wanted a bit of variety ya know so I turned to foam core board.

Now, I'm sure if you've used foam core board you've more than likely covered it with cardstock, pattern or specialty papers. It works excellent for stiffening up projects that will be handled frequently, need to travel or will be displayed for long periods of time out of a frame. Many stores and instructors use this material as a backing for items they will be used in classes or store displays.

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One aspect I love about foam core board is how sturdy it is. It handles wet applications just as well as dry applications with no damage to the work surface.

This example is a piece of foam core board completely covered in a paint/glaze mixture. As you can see I used a thick enough layer of the paint mixture that I was able to drag a texture comb through. The FCB didn't warp, bend or ripple at any time during the process.

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While being very sturdy it also has a bit of give. You can easily deboss the FCB by using any number of tools. This example was made using the cap of my White Pigment Ink Pen! For smaller thinner lines you could use pens, an embossing stylus, paint brush handles, just about anything that has a smooth rounded surface that you could write with. I chose to work free-hand but you could use stencils, masks, templates, or even die-cuts as patterns.

To highlight the debossing after I was satisfied with the pattern, I painted the entire piece with black acrylic paint then went over it with metallic rub-ons. Of course you could use any number of mediums or color combinations.

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Since it was a collage book I wanted to make sure it worked well with collage mediums so I made a few test runs by creating a mixed paper collage on several pieces of the FCB. I kept adding more and more layers of specialty paper and collage mediums till I had a pretty hefty piece. The FCB was able to withstand it all....never once did it deteriorate as other foundations might have.

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Tomorrow I'll take this collage one step further by adding a bit of paint and dig out my exacto knife to have a bit of fun ;)

Till then friends, have a wonderful evening!


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Have a wonderful evening everyone!!


  1. Whoa! That foam core demonstration made me want to go out and buy some! LOL! I'm familiar with it from Science Fair projects for my kids but had never thought about it as an art supply. The debossing looks amazing!

  2. Great use of foam core board! I bought a huge piece to make a dimentional scrapbook page Tim Holtz video style.... did I throw away the rest? No~ I'm a PackRat! Now to see what you will do next...

    Hope you are feeling better from that cold (sniff).

  3. Fantastic use of this medium - never thaught about using it before but will now!!!Thanks again for your inspiration

    x Hila

  4. So glad to see another artist using foam core and having fun with it. Do you know Carol Owen's work? She makes beautiful shrines using foam core as the building material. Check out my blog sometime to see some of my foam core creations. Thanks for sharing yours!


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!