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How To Use Polystyrene For DIY Craft Projects

As one of the most common plastic materials in the world, polystyrene can be found in countless products and applications. From appliances to car parts, and everything in between, the versatility of polystyrene gives it endless potential. However, those who are creative enough to use polystyrene in their crafts have found tremendous success in their projects.

The Benefits of Polystyrene

Polystyrene is a synthetic polymer product that most commonly comes in foam or solid form. This material offers great prices, durability, design versatility, and ease of fabrication. Other superior characteristics of polystyrene include flatness, lack of size limitations, die-cut capabilities, thermal stability, and low moisture absorption. Polystyrene is very easy to work with, and after a little practice, it will become easier to build projects form scratch.

How to Cut Polystyrene

If you have a polystyrene project in mind, your fist step is most likely going to be cutting the material to get the shape and size you need. Before you begin your cut, it’s best to use a fresh sharp blade for a clean cut. Make sure you accurately measure and mark what you want to cut. It is so much easier to cut along a pre-drawn line. When you are ready to begin cutting, hold you blade firmly and lightly pass it though the material. Make additional passes as needed at slightly greater pressures. Depending on the thickness of your material, it is okay if you need to make additional passes.

If you are scoring a thicker material, you most likely won’t be able to cut through the material entirely. Fortunately, polystyrene can be easily separated with a snap after it has been scored. To do this, just bend the polystyrene away from the cut. You can also fold the material and cut a clean line along the back.  

How to Glue Polystyrene

Knowing how to glue polystyrene together properly can literally make or break your craft project. When done correctly, two glued pieces of polystyrene can lead to a strong and sturdy project. Picking the right glue is the first step. For simpler projects, you can probably stick with basic craft glue for the casual arts and craft activities. Styrofoam glue and glue spray are two of the best options to choose.  Both are relatively affordable, and easy to use. Hot glue guns can also be used effectively but be mindful of the temperature – the cooler the better!

Before gluing your material together, make sure you clean the surfaces. All you need to do for polystyrene is wipe the surface with a clean, dry rag, and you can begin applying the glue. When you are ready, gently press the piece of polystyrene into the other surface and wait a few minutes for it to dry.

Common Craft Projects with Polystyrene

The versatility of polystyrene allows it to be used in almost any way imaginable. The only limit is the imagination of the crafter. Some of the most common polystyrene craft projects include:

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