How to cut a circle out of foam board

Updated February 21, 2017

Using foam boards for crafts and school projects is something that almost everyone has done. Available in an extensive array of thicknesses and colours, this lightweight rigid material has a wide range of uses. It can be cut and glued with common tools and household adhesives. Its surface makes a great canvas for painting or drawing in almost any medium. Marking and cutting shapes from foam board requires a steady hand and the ability to measure but can be done by just about anybody.

Determine the size of the circle required for your project.

Select foam board in the colour of your choice as well as the thickness appropriate for the circle's intended use. Foam board can be purchased in smaller sheets from most discount stores, and larger pieces are available at your local hobby or craft supply store.

Lay the foam board on a table or workbench and mark the circle. There are three basic ways to do this. (1) If the shape is not intended to be perfectly round you can mark the circle freehand. (2) Any round object of the right dimension can be used as a template for marking your circle. Simply place the circular object on the foam board and mark around the outside edge . (3) Small circles can also be drawn with the use of a compass. Place the point of the stylus in the centre of the area where you want your circle, set the pencil arm to the correct diameter and twist the compass smoothly to roll the pencil around.

Cut your circle using a utility knife or X-acto craft knife. Place the foam board on a surface that will not be damaged as the knife cuts through and use a couple of layers of cardboard under it to protect the table or workbench top. Press the knife into the foam board and move it carefully along the line. Turn your foam board as you cut to keep the knife in a comfortable position. Use enough pressure to cut cleanly through the foam board. Be careful not to press too hard or draw the knife too fast. Sharp scissors can be used to trim off any rough spots on the outside edges.

Things You'll Need

  • Foam board
  • Marker
  • Circle template or compass
  • Utility knife or X-acto craft knife
  • Scissors (optional)
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About the Author

Mark Morris started writing professionally in 1995. He has published a novel and stage plays with SEEDS studio. Morris specializes in many topics and has 15 years of professional carpentry experience. He is a voice, acting and film teacher. He also teaches stage craft and lectures on playwriting for Oklahoma Christian University.