How to shape upholstery foam
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Cutting and shaping upholstery foam is a project anyone can do. Do basic projects yourself using upholstery skills to convert old, worn chairs, car seats or sofa cushions into comfortable seating by learning easy foam-shaping and cutting techniques.
Even without sewing experience, you can complete foam-shaping projects in a day or two. Flexible polyurethane foam is versatile and you can cut and shape it to fit most projects.
Place a flattened cardboard box on the work area. This will keep the knife blade from scratching any furniture or floors.
Lay a sheet of polyurethane foam, that is medium in firmness, on the cardboard. The foam should be no thicker than 4 inches. More than that and the electric knife will not be long enough go through it.
- Cutting and shaping upholstery foam is a project anyone can do.
- Even without sewing experience, you can complete foam-shaping projects in a day or two.
Create a template out of cardboard. Lay used foam from the old furniture piece on the card board for your pattern. Trace around the foam ¼-inch larger than the old foam.
Place the cardboard template on the new sheet of foam. Use a felt tipped pen and place a dot every 12 to 18 inches on the new foam. Connect the dots and form a continuous line.
Cut the foam using a serrated electric kitchen knife with a sharp edge. An electric knife works well with many types of foam. Hold the knife vertically for ease of cutting. Cut along the felt lines or curves.
- Create a template out of cardboard.
- Use a felt tipped pen and place a dot every 12 to 18 inches on the new foam.
Clean up the cutting edge. If the foam is rough, or the edges fray, use scissors or a utility knife to trim. You can shape round untidy edges with an air sander using 24-grit sandpaper.
- Spray silicone lightly on the foam if the blade becomes slow or sticks. Spraying the blades may be an alternative solution.
Patricia Voldberg has been writing health-related articles for eHow since 2009. She retains a current L.P.N. and counselor license, along with 20 years of experience in long-term-care nursing. Voldberg holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Regents University, with an English minor.