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.
Just 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.
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.
It 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.
The 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!
I 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?
So, 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!