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Old 12-05-2012, 11:44 AM
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Default Compressed Styrofoam

I'm the first to admit this might be a bit outre as a stamping-related material/technique. But I come from a strong 'General Crafts' background as a crafter, designer, etc., so working with a variety of non-paper materials in cojunction with stamping has always been a treat for me.

Let me start by sharing a stamped project I made using a piece of compressed stryofoam as the card base...
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:03 PM
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Here's how I made the Styrofoam base...

1. Cut a piece of Stryofoam sheet (1/2" thick) about about 5"x7".

2. Use a rolling pin to compress it just enough to fit into the largest setting of a pasta machine.

3. Roll & re-roll the styro thru the machine while reducing the setting after rolling. Depending on how many settings your machine has (mine has seven), you can compress the Styro 'til it's about the thickness of thin cardstock.

Now comes the fun... You can punch shapes in the foam (how I did the snowflake openings). You can run it thru a crimper. You can use your diecuts.

Depending on the stamp & how smooth your surface ends up, you can stamp directly on the foam. I did not do that for this piece. The snowman stamp was done on paper, cut out & glued to the foam.

Note: This works when using Styrofoam. Not all plastic foams are Styrofoam so check before buying. Not fronting for 'DOW' (Styro mfr)--just don't want anyone to have problems by using a plastic foam that's not going to 'work'.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:24 PM
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That's interesting What comes to mind with styrofoam is picking at it and little pieces coming off or coffee cups, but I'm assuming with compressing it, it won't come apart easily?
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by chococat View Post
That's interesting What comes to mind with styrofoam is picking at it and little pieces coming off or coffee cups, but I'm assuming with compressing it, it won't come apart easily?
Cat. The foam in coffee cups is not Styrofoam. I'm stressing that because it matters what foam you try to compress.

That said... Yes. Compressed Styrofoam stays together nicely & becomes very flexible. Its surface can be flakey, but I've found that sealing it with a flexible paint/glue/glaze not only solves that, but (often) provides a surface that can be directly stamped on with inks like StazOn.

Worth mentioning... If you use solvent ink directly on Styrofoam, it will dissolve the plastic.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craft Curmududgeon View Post
Cat. The foam in coffee cups is not Styrofoam. I'm stressing that because it matters what foam you try to compress.

Worth mentioning... If you use solvent ink directly on Styrofoam, it will dissolve the plastic.
Thanks for the FYI (that's really good to know about the solvent ink too)
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:18 PM
Craftyria Craftyria is offline
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That's a great method! Do you purchase sheets of the styrofoam or get them from packaging?

I might try some of the packaging I get that I'd normally throw away, it's free and what's the worst thing that can happen? Or dare I ask that? Hahahaha.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:22 PM
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I'm curious, have you tried using the stryofoam with an embossing folder? And would it work to ink the embossed styrofoam and then stamp with it?
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Craftyria View Post
That's a great method! Do you purchase sheets of the styrofoam or get them from packaging?

I might try some of the packaging I get that I'd normally throw away, it's free and what's the worst thing that can happen? Or dare I ask that? Hahahaha.
Good question, Ria. I've never found Styrofoam used as package material. All I've run across has been foam like the coffee cups. That said? You're welcome to try compressing other-than-Styrofoam. Let us know how you make out.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:37 AM
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I'm curious, have you tried using the stryofoam with an embossing folder? And would it work to ink the embossed styrofoam and then stamp with it?
LOL, 'TAQ'! 'Curious' is GOOD! Curious is what led me to try the idea in the first place.

It's been a while since I compressed any Styro. Since I didn't have embossing folders back then, I haven't tried that, but see no reason it shouldn't take embossing well.

Far as stamping with embossed Styro? Don't know. Give it a try & let us know.

For all who have asked... Yes. I purchase Stryofoam in sheet or block form. I prefer 1/2" thick sheet, but that can be hard to find depending on what the store stocks. If I have to start with block Styro, I use a serrated-edge knife to slice off a half inch piece, then compress as usual. HTH.

If you'd like to try this in a (fairly) quick way... See if you can find 1/2" Styro disks or slice a Styrofoam ball to make circles--then compress.

Don't have a pasta machine? You can compress with just a rolling pin. Not as easy as the machine method, but it works.

And I haven't compressed with my CuttleBug, either. But I might do the initial rolling pin thing & try finishing in my CB. I'll let you know.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:50 PM
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That was going to be my question. Would a Big Shot or Cuttlebug work instead of the pasta machine once you got the Styrofoam down in thickness a bit with your rolling pin.
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