How to Carve Styrofoam to Look Like Stone Slabs

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How to Carve Styrofoam to Look Like Stone Slabs
Styrofoam stone slabs make great outdoor decorations. (stones image by Ergün Ã--zsoy from

Carving styrofoam into a stone slab replica is time consuming and a bit messy. When you are done you will have a beautiful accent piece for your home or garden. Depending on how you finish the stone , it will hold up well in the elements. This is a nice project to save money as well as the pride of doing it yourself. If the piece gets ruined , there is only time and little money involved in replacing the slab. Carving styrofoam is a great way to introduce different accents to your home. Adding paint details makes the piece even more a piece of art .

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Large piece of styrofoam
  • Serrated knife
  • Latex paint to add colour and details
  • Brushes in different sizes

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  1. 1

    Pick the size you want your slab of stone to be. Use this as a guide for your styrofoam. Start with a piece of styrofoam that is larger than the slab you want. Remember that stone is uneven and has veins throughout.

  2. 2

    Carve the slab with a sharp serrated knife. Start carving the outside edges first. This will make your stone slab the size you want it to be. Taking the outside dimensions to the size desired will be like cutting any material. Go slow in order not to break off the styrofoam.

  3. 3

    Make cuts and imperfections in slab with the knife. This will make the slab look more realistic once it is painted. Hold the knife away from you as you cut chunks of styrofoam away from the slab.

  4. 4

    Paint details onto the slab to make it look like stone. Dip the biggest brush into the colour of choice. Make sure that the whole slab is painted, including edges and both sides. Depending on the colour, this may take more than one coat.

  5. 5

    Pick a smaller brush after allowing the base coat to dry. Dip it into a darker or lighter shade of the base colour. Add details to the hollowed out areas of the slab. By doing this the details will make the slab look like real stone.

Tips and warnings

  • When doing detail work with a knife make sure to not cut all the way through the slab, as this will cause it to weaken.
  • While using a knife always use caution and cut away from yourself. Do not use spray paint on styrofoam as it will melt the foam . Krylon does make one that can be used . Read the labels carefully to get the right one. Otherwise use a latex-based paint and brushes.

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