Making Wall Art out of Styrofoam
A while back I received a promotional package in the mail from Dow Chemical with all the supplies needed to make modular wall decor like that pictured above.
The box included:
- four 12″ x 12″ x 15/16″ pieces of Styrofoam
- four 12″ x 12″ sheets of black and white scrapbook paper
- several yards of 7/8″ wide black grosgrain ribbon
- a bottle of Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
- a bottle of Tombo Mono Aqua Liquid Glue
- and four wall hangers.
The instructions were as such:
‘Cover foam with coordinating sheets of 12″ x 12″ scrapbook paper; thick white craft glue works great.’ Hmm. This left me scratching my head as I considered the Aqua and the Tacky. Why use the thick craft glue? Won’t that make the paper ripple? It always has in the past when I’ve used it to glue paper. And I’ve used clear liquid glues before when gluing paper with good results, so I decided to use the Aqua (hey, I figured it was included in the box for a reason!) to glue the paper to the Styrofoam.
Next, I used the Tacky Glue to glue on the grosgrain ribbon around the perimeter of the foam squares. I overlapped the ribbon at one corner and pinned it into place just until it dried.
As the glue dried, it was obvious that the Aqua was going to ripple the paper a bit but not as bad as if I had used the Tacky. The glue also discolored the white areas here and there on the paper. The ribbon, however, glued up great.
I then attached one of the accompanying hangers to the back of the foam.
First the good part: The project was very easy to do and it could be a great way to add color to your walls. Although I didn’t have to buy any of the supplies, its cost shouldn’t be that outrageous. The accompanying brochure suggested that–at most–the supplies should set you back no more than 50 bucks. The squares are very light weight, which means they could be held up on a wall with just a straight pin, which means no big holes in the walls, which is good for renters.
Now the bad part: The rippling of the paper still bugged me. If I did the project again, I’d experiment with different types of adhesives, possibly trying a spray adhesive, PVA or even sticky-back tape. Assuming the nails of the picture hanger would actually stay put in the Styrofoam would be naive. I’d put a few drops of the Tacky Glue on the nail heads and hope for the best. Also, the Styrofoam measured 15/16″ thick and the ribbon 7/8″, which left 1/16″ of the Styrofoam showing.
Ultimately, the promotional materials included in the package provide some fabulous pictures that could inspire all of us to give this project a shot–with a little tweaking here and there.
Another option is mounting photos or even fabric on the Styrofoam.
For more information about Styrofoam and other projects using it, visit craft.dow.