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Unread 01-23-2013, 02:11 PM   #1
K9nekomata
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Where can I find cheap or hand me down Foam for Prop Making

Hey guys, I wanted to start experimenting with using Foam for making some props, but the last time I check a store for a foam block it was to expensive for me to use for practice. What do you guys do to save money on working with foam? I read a tip from someone that mentioned that some upholstery shops may have scrap foam their looking to get rid of, but I havent had any luck in that area yet.
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Unread 01-23-2013, 02:59 PM   #2
verdatum
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Freecycle can potentially be good for this. You appear to be specifically searching for furniture foam, aka flexible polyurethane foam. You'll sometimes see it used in packaging, and that can be the source of a lot of it being thrown away.

If you can find a "pull-your-own parts" automobile junkyard, car seats are filled with excellent high-density flexible foam. I have no idea what the going rate for that foam would be. When cars are crushed for scrap, I know that the foam is shredded and sent to a landfill, so it shouldn't be worth all that much.

Another potential source is from discarded furniture. High density apartments in particular often have a random couch being thrown away. The only concern involves bedbugs. Leave the covers behind and just take the foam. Bedbug eggs are effectively invisible. To be completely safe, you need to heat this foam up to 150F for a few minutes. You can do things like put it in a foil-lined cardboard box with a heatgun or hairdryer, run it through your clothes dryer, saturate it with boiling hot water, or treat it with a steam-cleaning device. You can cut the foam up into smaller pieces and glue it back together pretty effectively if that makes this process easier.
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Unread 01-23-2013, 03:08 PM   #3
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Thanks a bunch, I'll do some more searching with that in mind.

My main problem came from one of the costumes I worked that had a cartoony type tail. I basically made it plush style, so fabric in the proper shape stuffed with polyfil. It looked great, but it was alot heavier than I expected, so I wanted to give foam a try cause I felt like id be easier to manage next time around.

Are there any types of foam I should look up or learn about? Theres alot I don't know about prop making and crafts so I'm trying to learn what I can when I am able.
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Unread 01-23-2013, 03:10 PM   #4
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If you make a cast out of cardboard you could use expanding foam as well. You can buy it at any Home Depot, it comes in a spray can and expands overnight and hardens, it's quite light too. It'll look like a blob at first but just grab a cutting knife and you can carve the shape you want. The foam is about $4 a bottle.
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Unread 01-23-2013, 03:25 PM   #5
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For tails, it tends to be more useful to include a reinforcing wire up the middle than it does to worry about your filler material.

I like, wire coathanger twisted up into a double helix, with all the ends filed round and wrapped in electrical tape. You make the wire extend outside the tail, to the back and either stitch it to the costume, or adhere it to a plate that rests against the back, and strap that in place.
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Unread 01-23-2013, 03:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naiagu View Post
If you make a cast out of cardboard you could use expanding foam as well. You can buy it at any Home Depot, it comes in a spray can and expands overnight and hardens, it's quite light too. It'll look like a blob at first but just grab a cutting knife and you can carve the shape you want. The foam is about $4 a bottle.
Yoooo~ thanks a bunch!, I also forgot about this alternative, I remember reading about it a while ago, but I got busy with other stuff and forgot all about it. I'll have to hit up this option also.
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Unread 01-23-2013, 06:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verdatum View Post
For tails, it tends to be more useful to include a reinforcing wire up the middle than it does to worry about your filler material.

I like, wire coathanger twisted up into a double helix, with all the ends filed round and wrapped in electrical tape. You make the wire extend outside the tail, to the back and either stitch it to the costume, or adhere it to a plate that rests against the back, and strap that in place.
You guys are awesome. You know, When I was thinking of how to make the tail the first time, I was going to use hanger wire, but it was a real deadline finisher for an event so I dropped the idea at the time because of lack of time, I'm definitely gonna hit that up, that will really help me.

Last edited by K9nekomata : 01-23-2013 at 07:23 PM.
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Unread 02-23-2013, 02:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verdatum View Post
Freecycle can potentially be good for this. You appear to be specifically searching for furniture foam, aka flexible polyurethane foam. You'll sometimes see it used in packaging, and that can be the source of a lot of it being thrown away.

If you can find a "pull-your-own parts" automobile junkyard, car seats are filled with excellent high-density flexible foam. I have no idea what the going rate for that foam would be. When cars are crushed for scrap, I know that the foam is shredded and sent to a landfill, so it shouldn't be worth all that much.

Another potential source is from discarded furniture. High density apartments in particular often have a random couch being thrown away. The only concern involves bedbugs. Leave the covers behind and just take the foam. Bedbug eggs are effectively invisible. To be completely safe, you need to heat this foam up to 150F for a few minutes. You can do things like put it in a foil-lined cardboard box with a heatgun or hairdryer, run it through your clothes dryer, saturate it with boiling hot water, or treat it with a steam-cleaning device. You can cut the foam up into smaller pieces and glue it back together pretty effectively if that makes this process easier.
I acquired some foam from one of my Neighbors. The guy works with cars and he left an unneeded carseat at the side of the road. I removed the foam and covering. You mentioned heating it up to kill whatever could be in there. I liked the size it was so instead of cutting it I folded it in half, wrapped a coat hanger around it to keep it folded, then I wrapped it with aluminum foil. I wanted to know if that was safe to heat up in the oven at 150 degrees including the coat hanger. If this is a really bad Idea I'll go with another option, but either way I wanted to wrap it up and keep it on my screen porch rather have it near the furniture inside the house.


If thats a bad Idea I can try the dryer approach
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Unread 02-24-2013, 08:34 AM   #9
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This week I went to a local foam store - Foam N More or something. They do a lot of furniture and I don't even know what else. Anyway - they had bins of leftover foam scraps and cutouts that were super cheap.
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