Do-It-Yourself projects have never been more popular, as they are a great way to save money and add a personalized touch to your home. With its versatility, foam is a material that lends itself well to the DIY world, whether it’s being made into a custom bed pad for softening a rock hard mattress, or replacing a worn couch cushion on a favorite piece of furniture.
As with any DIY project, the most important work is the preparation. Dealing with foam is no different and knowing how to manipulate and cut it is vital. Open-cell foam, the soft, squishy type used in foam mattresses and comfort products, is relatively light and fluffy. Because of this, it can be difficult to get clean cuts without knowing how to do it properly. Additionally, each variety of foam needs to be approached differently when cutting. A closed-cell gymnastic foam material, or something similar, should be cut differently than a couch cushion material.
There are two ways to cut memory foam and other open-cell varieties for best results, as well as one thing that should never be done that applies to both methods. Never squeeze or compress the foam trying to get a quick cut. This will result in jagged, uneven edges as a result of imbalanced pressure and cutting strokes.
The easier of the two open-cell cutting methods is done with an electric knife, just like the ones used for carving turkey. After measuring and tracing your cutting guide lines, these knives can make straight, even cuts easily. When cutting with an electric knife, never force the blade through the foam form. It will work its way through at its own pace, resulting in cleaner, straighter cuts.
The other method is to use a serrated blade and cut by hand. This sounds daunting but is quite doable and can result in beautiful cushions, as long as an individual takes his or her time. Using a gentle sawing motion, start at the edge of the sheet of foam and slowly work the knife back and forth like slicing bread. For this method, as well as the electric knife method, it’s important to always cut on a safe surface that won’t be damaged and to use a blade longer than the foam’s thickness to ensure you don’t have to cut into the foam from both sides. A little preparation can go a long way with DIY projects and knowing how to cut foam for yours is a great tool to have in your belt.