How to Make Fake Stone With Styrofoam

Written by ryan maxwell
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Styrofoam is a versatile material for construction of film and theatre sets. It can be used to build just about anything you can imagine. In order to shape and mould styrofoam to the shapes and forms you need, you first need the proper tools. After that, you need the right styrofoam. For the best detail, dense styrofoam is the best choice. You can usually find it at places like Lowe's or Home Depot. Due to it's light weight, styrofoam makes an ideal material for the construction of fake stone, whether it be for film, stage, or hobby use.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sheet of paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Sheet of poster board
  • Magic marker
  • Scissors
  • Styrofoam sheet, 2 inches thick (number of sheets depends on size of project)
  • Glue
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Hobby saw
  • Latex paint or acrylic craft paint
  • Sand
  • Disposable container
  • Paint brush

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  1. 1

    Draw out a basic idea of what you want to build on a sheet of paper. If you are building a fake stone table or wall, you will have different requirements than what you would need to build large stones for a mountain scene. It's always best to have an idea written down so you have a basic plan to work off of.

  2. 2

    Draw your design in full size on the sheet of poster board. You will be using this as a template for the styrofoam.

  3. 3

    Cut out the template.

  4. 4

    Place the template on your styrofoam sheeting and trace around it with the magic marker.

  5. 5

    Make a rough cut around the traced pattern. It is not necessary to cut exactly on the line for the first cut. This reduces the risks of damaging your actual project in the event that the styrofoam gets hung up on the saw and chips.

  6. 6

    Make finishing cuts to the styrofoam. If you are building a single layer project such as a stone door or table, continue to step 9. If you are building building a fake stone project that is much thicker, such as a boulder or stone pillar, continue to step 7.

  7. 7

    Glue the cut out sheets of styrofoam together and insert some bamboo skewers to hold the pieces in place. Set it aside to let the glue dry. Once the glue is dry, proceed to step 8.

  8. 8

    Use your saw to complete any necessary trimming or shaping of the glued block of styrofoam.

  9. 9

    Mix some sand with the paint you chose for your project and stir thoroughly. The sand adds a good stone-like texture to the paint.

  10. 10

    Paint your project and set it aside to dry.

Tips and warnings

  • A wood burning tool can be used to carve or "engrave" finer details into styrofoam.
  • Some craft stores also offer heated wire cutters that are designed to melt the styrofoam as it cuts, allowing you to make smooth clean cuts without all of the "sawdust" created when using a saw or knife. They have an average cut depth of only 4 inches so their use is limited on larger projects.
  • Do not use spray paint to paint your styrofoam project. Most spray paint contains chemicals that will dissolve styrofoam. However, Krylon does make a product called "H2O Spray Latex Paint" that is safe to use on styrofoam.

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