Create Colorful Wall Art with Foam

Create colorful wall art using layered foam sheets     Create colorful wall art using layered foam sheets     The other day I was at the craft store getting something for some projects. I don't even remember what (sometimes it seems like I spend more time there and at Lowe's than here at the office; it all blends together). While wandering the aisles, I spotted some colorful sheets made out of foam. I didn't know what they were for, but I liked the colors, and an idea starting forming. I thought I could cut and layer the foam and make some kind of wall art, or at the very least, something interesting to look at. The sheets are super cheap and even cheaper if you buy them in bulk online. Along with the shadow box frames, each piece costs about $30 to make! I scooped up a bunch of colors and headed back. I love how easy it is to work with the sheets (I've since learned that they are often used to make stamps). I'm pretty stoked how the pieces came out. Check out the process I used; it's super-duper easy and fun.

Create colorful wall art using layered foam sheets      Create colorful wall art using layered foam sheets      Supplies:
-foam sheets (I used about 13 sheets per piece)
-shadow box frame (I got 12" x 15" ones, half off I might add. I was pretty proud of my thrify find.)

Tools:
-X-Acto blade

-straightedge/ruler
-cutting board (optional)
-pencil

Create colorful wall art using layered foam sheets      Step One: First thing I had to do was cut the foam sheet down to fit the frame I was going to use. Then I carefully drew the shape on the first sheet, which I chose to be white. I made sure to allow a bit of space around the "x" to serve as a visual border. After I had the "x" penciled in, I cut it out using the straightedge and X-Acto. Remember you can choose any simple shape your little heart desires for this project! 

Create colorful wall art using layered foam sheets      Step Two: After I had the initial shape cut out, it was just a matter of repeating that shape just a bit smaller for the next layer. I cut the next sheet down to fit the frame using the first one as a template.

 Create colorful wall art using layered foam sheets      Step Three: To get a uniform progression between layers, I cut a scrap piece of foam down to 3/8" wide then used that to make the lines for the next layer of foam. Once I had the next layer down traced, I cut it out. It was just a matter of repeating this over and over till I couldn't go any further. The number of layers that you end up with depends on the shape you choose as well as the width of the piece used to make the offset lines (the "o" was 13 layers and the "x" was only 8).

Pretty straightforward right? One tip that I'd like to stress is to keep your lines neat, and when you're tracing for the next layer down, make sure your sheets are lined up. Since you are tracing from one layer to another, mistakes are carried through. On the other hand, the repetitive mistake might end up looking kind of cool, so don't stress about it too much; it's all for fun anyways! 

Create colorful wall art using layered foam sheets After you have all the layers cut, put them in the frame and hang. Since the foam is super light, the pieces don't end up being heavy at all. The layered foam looks great behind glass but was impossible to photograph without getting dumb ol' reflections; we need to employ a vampire who knows how to take photos!

Credits // Author: Joshua Rhodes. Photography: Joshua Rhodes and Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • Cool! Looks really stylish!
    Had a query!
    What would be the size and thickness of the sheets?
    e.g. A4 / A3 in 2mm / 5mm?

    Thank you.

  • Hey Stephanie, good question. I think connecting the dots would work great, that’s pretty much how I did the O. I want to see the B when it’s done!
    -Josh

  • Hoping to make a “B” for my cousin’s new baby. However, how will the 3/8″ scrap piece be used on curved areas? Would I need to just measure out 3/8″ make dots every 1/2 inch or so and connect the dots then cut? Or would you suggest having a straight and curved 3/8″ scrap piece?

  • monochromatic would be sweeeet! The only thing is, you have to work with the colors available. I wonder if the foam could be dip dyed? I’ll have to look into that…..
    -Josh

  • really lovely decorating idea. looove your DIYs. I would also love to see this done monochromatically.

    rae of love from berlin

  • So clever! I’m totally going to go this for my little boys nursey! Thanks!!
    Xo
    Liz
    www.tastylittledish.com

  • Awesome Jaclyn, I’ve never gotten into cosplay, but it is amazing what people come up with. I’ll have to keep the heatgun method in mind for the future.
    -Josh

  • Hey Cory, thanks for the hint. I’m definitely getting one, we could always use it around here.
    -Josh

  • Aww!! its so awesome and looks damn pretty. Thanks for sharing such a great hint. Now i am going to add some change in decor following your steps.

  • Try a polarized lens filter to shoot through glass… This is why with polarized sunglasses you can see right through the surface of a lake etc 😉

  • This is so cute yet simple. I am gonna try this 🙂 x

    http://imyownmuse.blogspot.com

  • I never really knew what people used those foam sheets for, but this is a unique idea! The different layers and colors makes it so much more interesting to look at. Yay for cheap DIYs!

  • This is amazing, I love it, but it seems like you need a lot of patience doing it 🙂

    http://www.fashionpartyblog.com/

  • Great DIY! I’m definitely going to keep this in mind when I;m decorating my new place with my fiance 🙂 It;s perfect for our entrance hall.

  • Absolutely great idea!!!
    I LOVE it!
    OMG, now I want to make something like this…

  • OMG I completely love this, definitely want to try and recreate this…the question is, what design to use for it?!

  • These are such a clever idea! Might have a go at these myself! I love doing crafty stuff.

  • This would be a great idea for baby or kid’s bedroom decor too! Thanks for sharing your DIY genius!

  • This is a great way to bring some cheer to a room. Happy Sunday, ABM family 🙂

  • So cute! I love the idea and it would look so cool in a baby’s room.
    xoxo
    The Accidental Mama
    www.theaccidentalmama.com

  • Craft foam is often used for building Cosplay armor! It’s flexible when heated with a heatgun and can be molded. It’s actually really incredible what people can do with it, especially when paired with thermoplastic like worbla!!

  • This is so awesome! Definitely want to play around with this concept. Think of all the shapes!

  • Wow…these look much more complicated than they really are…great idea, Josh, thanks for sharing! You guys are a never-ending creative idea train..I am blown away by all the things ya’ll continue to come up with 🙂

  • This is beautiful…great idea..loving all the small diys lately..

    xo
    Hems
    agoldentulip.blogspot.com

  • Very nice. Would love it if you could check out my autumn look book! And maybe follow each other too?
    Kisses xo | From Aliona With Love 

  • Your creativity amazes me!! This project looks great & seems easy enough to make!
    If I would have seen colorful sheets at a store, I would have admired the colors and stopped there lol Never would have thought to make something like this!

    www.littleblackshell.com

  • This leaves such a lovely eyecatching effect and it’s so simple! Thanks for the idea!! You guys rock.

    http://www.whitgift.co.uk/summerschool.aspx?MID=15&Page=440

  • This is genius! I love it, I have loads of this foam so will definitely give this a try. xxx

  • Great DIY,can’t wait to try it ♥♥

    http://fashionwithvalentina.blogspot.com

  • I love the depth. Such a great pop! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • This is pretty 🙂 Love the depth!! This will be a fun craft to do some time.

    Kristin
    Http://prettyloved.wordpress.com

  • I have been looking for ideas for decorating with letters! This is going to be perfect, thanks for the great idea. Keep ’em coming!

  • I love this idea and it is so affordable to make. You could easily do it with Holiday inspired colors and phrases too! “Fall” “hoho” “snow”

    Love it!

    Fiber Sketchbook Blog

  • I love this idea! It’s so cheap too you could do some holiday themed ones too with holiday color combos.

    Fiber Sketchbook Blog

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