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Old 03-28-2011, 10:10 AM   #1
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Default Craft foam adhesives

I'm responsible for providing the table decorations for a Mardi Gras ball next year. My assignment is to create 105 medieval shields.

I have found that camp foam sleeping pads are perfect for the shield foundation. It's inexpensive, easy to cut, and holds its curvature. My plan is to glue glitter craft foam on top of this foam to create the shields.

Unfortunately, I'm having technical difficulties with gluing the foam.

I've tried Tacky Glue, which isn't tacky enough. I had to place books on top of the shield to get it to bond. The natural curvature of the camp pad foam poses a problem with adhesion since it makes it pull away from the glitter foam sheet which is flat.

I've tried spray adhesive which worked initially, but it is quite messy, and unfortunately it became unglued a few days later.

This morning I tried a low temp glue gun. So far, it holds OK, but it doesn't seem practical for the surface area that I have to cover and it produces very noxious fumes. It also melts the foam if the tip touches it.

I need a glue that will grab instantly. I've read that some glues can cause a chemical breakdown with the foam. I don't want to work on these things all year and then discover that the foam is riddled with holes! What a nightmare that would be!!

There are glues especially formulated for craft foam, but they are pricey and the instructions are to apply the glue and wait 10 or 15 minutes before pressing the surfaces together. I may have to go this route, but it will obviously slow down the production time.

If you have any suggestions then I would be delighted to hear them!!

Thank-you.

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Old 03-28-2011, 10:40 AM   #2
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Hi Jill, welcome to CraftForum.

The only thing I can think of is the construction adhesive they use to adhere foam boards to cement walls.

You're right about some adhesives eating through foam.

In the paint department of your local hardware store or Home Depot or similar store, you'll find tubes of adhesive/caulk that specifically say they can be used on foam.

I'm not sure if they only come in a tube that needs a caulk gun, but it seems like this would be your best option since you have so many shields to make.

If it will be a while between uses, you'll want to pick up a pack of caulk tube caps so the tube doesn't dry out before you go back to using it.

And while you're there, it might be a good idea to get a cheap putty knife to spread the adhesive around on the foam so it will be a thinner layer.

Maybe someone else here has another idea.

Good luck with the shields and, if you have time, we'd love to see one when you're done.

Barb
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:01 AM   #3
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Default Craft Foam Adhesives

Hi Barb,

Thanks for your suggestion. I went to Home Depot this morning and purchased a tube of Loctite PL 300 Foamboard Adhesive. While I was there I also bought a tube of Dap 3.0 Advanced Kitchen and Bath Adhesive Caulk since my tub is in need of recaulking. I bought the plastic putty knife too.

Well, I accidentally used the tube of caulk to test on my shields. Surprisingly, it grabbed instantly and so far it is holding very well. The plastic putty knife was a great idea to spread a thin layer.

Since I bought the Foamboard adhesive for the shield project anyway, I figured that I'd go ahead and give it a try too. It grabbed quickly too, but it doesn't seem quite as tacky and it has a bit of an unpleasant smell.

I called Dap's customer service and asked if the 3.0 product could possibly damage the foam over time and I was told that it likely would not. He told me that this product becomes completely inert after 72 hours, so whatever might happen will happen at the 72 hour mark. He said that the adhesion wouldn't lessen over time either so I wouldn't have to worry about them becoming unglued. This is good to know since I'd prefer to make these shields now rather than during the Christmas holidays.

The camp pad is made from polyethylene closed cell foam. The tube that holds the Dap 3.0 is made from polyethylene plastic, so I'll be very lucky if this continues to hold.

I'll post again in a few days with the results of my little experiment since someone else may come along trying to discover what will stick to polyethylene foam.

Jill
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:14 AM   #4
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Thanks for letting me know Jill. I'll be interested in finding out how it holds. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

You're smart to get it done now. I can't even imagine trying to do a big project like that during the holiday season.

Barb
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:21 PM   #5
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Don't you just love "happy accidents'? I don't think I would have ever thought to use caulking on anything but the "traditional" uses. Be sure to let us know how it holds.
I agree that you are very wise to get these done nice and early. Just don't brag about it too much around others who are procrastinating, you may get roped into helping them at the last minute!
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Angela View Post
Just don't brag about it too much around others who are procrastinating, you may get roped into helping them at the last minute!
That is SO true! Good advice Angela.

Barb
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