Friday, May 4, 2012

Back-tracking on Sunday

Since I piddled around most of Sunday, I did not have enough time to completely explore the craft foam and had to go back to it a day or two later.  Here is what I found.

P4290004Just for a quick review – these pieces of craft foam were heated by placing the foam under a sheet of parchment and holding a dry iron on it for about 20 seconds.  Then I quickly removed the parchment and pressed a stamp into the foam.  Once the pieces cooled off, I brushed acrylic paint across the surface.

P4300003 On these pieces I layered the foam between two pieces of fabric and stitched the flower shapes.  I then used a heat gun and blasted each piece.  The photo above showed before heating (left) and after (right).  The foam shrinks back from the edges and will start to curl.  I bent the petals up before it cooled to give some shaping.

P4300010The red flowers and leaves were done using the same technique.  Some pieces have more shape than others, but reheating allows you to fine tune your flowers, etc.

P4300009It occurred to me that I could use the heat gun for impressing stamps, so I tried that.  Personally, I prefer doing it this way.  I found I could be more precise in heating the foam and get the stamp into it quicker.  Plus, I can sit at my worktable instead of standing at the ironing board!

I brushed a little PearlEx powder on the white star above, and rubbed the surface of the blue star with oil pastel.

P4300007The white foam I was using is 3mm thick and it occurred to me that it might behave differently if it was thinner.  So I pulled out a sheet of 2mm foam – although it looks more like half the thickness of the white.  And what I learned was that the foam doesn’t just shrink to the stitching, but it continues to shrink so that the fabric begins to puff up!  Wow!

P4300008I tried to get a photo to show that puffiness, but it’s something you’d have to see for yourself.  You may be wondering why I started trying this out on the 3mm foam if I had some thinner stuff on hand.  Because my brain gets alternate Sundays off!  Don’t you hate it when that happens?

P5020024So, here is the completed page.  I used my sewing machine to stitch down the two square pieces and the leaves.  Then I attached the flowers and stars by stitching beads in their centers.  And, yes, the thinner foam was a LOT easier to stitch through.  Duh!

If you haven’t played with craft foam (also called fun foam), I encourage you to try it out.  Definitely go for the thin stuff, though!

1 comment:

Annie said...

Thanks for explaining this. You really discovered a cool technique and the results are marvelous!