puffy foam tutorial

Puffy Stuff

Tags: embellishment, how-to, puffy foam

A friend gave me some Sulky Puffy Foam that she didn't want so I thought I'd give it a try. I figured this might make some interesting embellishments for Anita's ebook Celebrations or my Stitch Along challenges.

puff foam package

I decided I would make a soccer ball - nothing like diving right in!

I started out by drawing a template and cutting two 3 1/2" squares, one white and one black from the foam. I also used a scrap of white fabric to stitch onto.

squares of puff foam ready to use

On the center of the black square I draw the center hexagon. Then I placed it on the fabric and stitched exactly on top of the hexagon lines being careful to stop right on the point to pivot. (I lighted the black up so you could see the stitching - I should have used white thread instead)

cutting puff foam

With the aid of my thumbnail, I removed the excess black foam by pressing along the seam line...

pressing the shape out of the puff foam

...until I was left with just the black hexagon on the fabric.

a black hexagon of puff foam

If I'd wanted, I could have used a separate small piece of black for this hexagon, but I found there was plenty of room to work within this large piece and still have plenty for the outside round.

Next I centered the white square over the black hexagon, flipped it all over to the fabric side and stitch exactly on the hexagon stitching line. (you can see the white square underneath)

stitching a hexagon on the fabric side

I flipped it over again and removed the white inner section being careful not to lift the black at the same time.

making a white hexagon of puff foam

It was a little tricky getting started, but once I did, the foam came away easily. It just tears along the stitching line. Now I have a white square with a black hexagon.

a white hexagon is cut out to show the black hexagon of puff foam

I placed my template on top of the white square lining up the hexagon, then I used a sharp pencil to draw along the lines. With enough pressure, this makes an indent in the foam so I can see the lines to stitch.

drawing on the template to indent the puff foam

I removed the template and darkened the lines so I could see them easily.

drawn lines on the white puff foam

Then I stitched around the outer edge only...

stitching the drawn lines on the white puff foam

... and removed the excess foam.

the excess puff foam is removed leaving the shape of hexagons

Now back on the fabric side, with the black square aligned underneath, I stitched that line again.

stitching over the stitching from the wrong side of the fabric

I removed the inner black section. This is how it looks on the front now.

black puff foam has been added to the shape

Once again I aligned the template but instead of using the pencil, I stitch around the outer edge directly on the template. This made a much nicer round as a soccer ball should be.

stitching around the soccerball template to remove excess black puff foam

I ripped off the template, removed the excess black foam and drew in the remaining lines on the black with my grey quilter pencil. Then I selected a tiny zigzag stitch and with white thread I stitch along all the lines except the outside edge.

my puff foam soccer ball is almost complete with some zigzag stitching

Right about here, I realized something was wrong. Can you spot it? It doesn't quite look like a soccer ball does it?  I had removed too much white and had too much black left, but it was an easy fix. I just did the same procedure again. I started by removing the black that shouldn't be there and replaced it with white.

soccer ball of puff foam finished

Now there's a soccer ball. It's pretty cool to touch too. When I go to use it as an embellishment, I will most likely trim back the fabric close to the foam and then use the same tiny zigzag to stitch it in place. Actually, I'll probably increase the zigzag width just a tad.

This is a cool way to make embellishments for quilts, but there are many other ways to add embellishments too. Anita's Celebration ebook includes other tutorials and describes how to display them. Be sure to check it out: Celebrations

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