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Care Tips and Uses for Styrofoam

What is Polystyrene?

Polystyrene is known by several names, such as styro, styrofoam, polyfoam, and even deco foam.

Polystyrene is a plastic filled with air and was invented 50 years ago by the Dow Chemical Company. This foam contains about 90 percent air that is whipped into the plastic during the manufacturing process and then allowed to dry and cure. The combination of air and any combination of styrene, urethane, neoprene, or vinyl make polystyrene light and moisture resistant.

What is polystyrene or Styrofoam used for?

Styrofoam wreaths and shapes are used in floristry to create decorative floral arrangements.

Styrofoam wreaths are widely used as sympathy tributes as flowers for this occasion are prepared before the event and do not need to drink water and last long. The white wreath is wrapped with green plastic wreath wrap to hide the white base, and the fresh flowers are wired and inserted into the wreath base.

The main use for Styrofoam wreaths in floral decoration is using them for artificial and dried flower arrangements. They have wire stems and are easy to insert into the foam. Styrofoam is often preferred for artificial flower arranging due to its lightness and low dustiness compared to wet or dry floral foam.

Polystyrene/Styrofoam hearts, cones, stars, and eggs are great for Christmas, wedding, Valentine’s, or Easter crafts. High-quality Styrofoam/polystyrene can be decorated and painted with acrylic hobby paints, glitters, and sequins. They can also be decorated with yarns, strings, and threads.

Polystyrene boxes are great for packing fruit, vegetables, and fresh seafood as they keep the produce insulated. Polystyrene is also used in the walls of cool rooms for added insulation.

What types of Styrofoam or polystyrene are there?

There are many densities of polystyrene for a variety of applications, from packaging and insulation to floral and crafts.

Styrofoam comes in many shapes for hobby, craft, and floral decorating. Popular Styrofoam shapes include sheets, blocks, balls, spheres, cones, sticks, wreaths, hearts, stars, and more.

Which glue should I use for gluing polystyrene or Styrofoam?

You can use a spray adhesive to glue polystyrene. Most aerosol adhesives offer a quick, convenient way to glue Styrofoam. These types of glue sprays are designed to work on a variety of surfaces and are multipurpose glues for odd jobs in the home.

Design Master Tack 1000 and Design Master Tack 2000 are suitable aerosol adhesive sprays that can be used to glue polystyrene.

Generally, an all-purpose PVA glue that is water-based and safe for use by children can be used for gluing Styrofoam. These conventional PVA glues (woodworking glue) are thick and suitable for use on virtually all craft surfaces.

When gluing two pieces of Styrofoam together, you may wish to consider adding some toothpicks or skewers stuck into and between the foam.

Never use hot glue directly on Styrofoam as it will melt the foam. Hot glue is not recommended for attaching two Styrofoam pieces together. If you have no other choice, apply the hot glue to the object you want to attach to the Styrofoam and wait for it to become tacky before applying it to the Styrofoam.

Never use an adhesive that contains a solvent as it can erode the Styrofoam and release toxic fumes. Choose adhesives that are suitable for non-porous materials, as Styrofoam is a type of plastic and is non-porous.

Can I paint Styrofoam / Polystyrene?

All Design Master Spray paints are safe to use on Styrofoam.

Water-based acrylic craft and hobby paints are also suggested for painting Styrofoam.

Always remember to use aerosols in a cool, ventilated room or area.

Can I cut Styrofoam / Polystyrene?

Yes, we have a Wire Hot Cutter for Polystyrene and Styrofoam that allows for the smooth cutting of 3D shapes.

Can I buy pre-cut Styrofoam / Polystyrene?

Yes, we stock a range of Styrofoam / Polystyrene shapes, including bears, hearts, wreaths, cones, and crosses.

What are care tips for Polystyrene or Styrofoam?

Being a plastic, polystyrene can burn easily and release pollutants into the air in the form of carbon monoxide, so keep it away from flames and heat.

Although polystyrene is safe for children, small pieces may pose a choking hazard.

Dispose and recycle polystyrene the same way you would for all plastics. Plastics are not environmentally friendly and contribute to landfill issues.

Polystyrene is light and easy to store. However, due to its bulkiness, it can be costly to transport over long distances.

Styrofoam wreath bases are inexpensive and great for beginners. You can add artificial flowers and floral supplies to create impressive seasonal displays at a small cost. Simply recycle the wreath and change the flowers to reflect the current season.

Where can I buy Styrofoam / Polystyrene products?

Styrofoam / Polystyrene products are available at your Floral Sundries and Craft Suppliers. You can buy cheap Styrofoam in bulk at wholesale prices directly from the importer.