Foam grades & types
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Foam for Puppets
With the continued popularity of foam DIY and crafting, foam is being used in even more unique and innovative ways. Given its flexibility, durability, and easy to shape properties, foam is an excellent option for creating intricate and straightforward puppets that can be moulded and decorated. Its versatile use also makes it a good choice for crafting activities undertaken by adults and children, as it can be used in both complex designs or stand on its own as a simple creation.
If you are keen on making your own puppet – whatever its size – there are a number of foam options available to you depending on your intended design. We typically advise using a high to medium-high density polyurethane foam sheet as this can be easily carved and cut yet can easily retain its shape. Foam that is greater in density is usually a good option for smaller puppets, such as finger puppets, and for ones that are to be used by children as they can withstand being placed on the finger or hand. Alternatively, for larger puppets for puppets with intricate details and design work, softer lower density foams can give the appearance of less harsh edges and cut out designs. However, solid foam is typically the most popular.
A fun yet simple finger puppet design for a child often uses only one single shape with only a few edges. For example, popular designs include a cactus tree or a cartoon ghost as these are easily traced onto a foam sheet using a simple print out. To create a mini cactus tree puppet, print out your desired shape and ensure this is resized to 15cm in height and no more than 7cm in width. Depending on the recipient's age, you may wish to adjust this size as necessary to fit their hand or finger. In turn, use our cut to size foam tool to source foam in the required dimensions (you may wish to order a bigger sheet if you want to create multiple puppets!). We recommend a foam sheet that is 3cm thick in most cases.
After cutting out your shape, proceed to hollow out the foam piece from the bottom edge, which is big enough for your finger. Once done, you are free to decorate the foam piece as you wish, including painting it and sticking on additional decorative items such as googly eyes. For more information on painting foam, read our dedicated blog here.
You can use our cut to size foam tool for more intricate designs to order various foam shapes and types in your required densities, with no cutting required. We recommend sketching out each of your required components on paper and thoroughly assessing what you need before ordering foam for more complex projects. For example, one of our great customers used various detailed shapes and carving skills to create the base shape of a fantastic eagle puppet which was then painted and adorned with feathers. We'd recommend attempting a design with four or less foam components for an adult beginner puppeteer, such as a caricature puppet head.
Whatever your intended design or the complexities of your foam puppet project, our knowledgeable team at eFoam can advise you on various elements and foam requirements. Please contact us for assistance.