Here is a question I get several times a week: When making quilted ornaments, should you use the regular (rough) styrofoam, or the smooth foam balls?
My answer is abso-posi-lutely use the rough styrofoam for quilted ornaments. Why? Well, there are several reasons.
- It is about a zillion times easier to push pins into than the smooth foam. This isn’t a big deal when you only have to stick in a few pins. But when you will be using several hundred pins, this quickly becomes an issue. This will especially be an issue on those last couple of layers of the ornament, when you are pinning through several layers of fabric… and even more especially an issue if you are using a heavier weight fabric.
- I have personally found that the smooth foam easily dents when pushing pins through the last few layers of the ornament, especially with heavier fabrics. It just doesn’t “give” as easily as the rough foam, and so if you find yourself pinning through heavier fabric and really needing to give it a little extra push to get it through the layers, the smooth foam just pushes in with the pin, right under your thumb. (This is not to say that the rough foam doesn’t dent…it does. But…since it is easier to push a pin into in the first place, you won’t have to push as hard, and therefore you’ll avoid the dents.
- The rough foam is a little bit cheaper.
A few people have said they thought about trying out the smooth foam because they were afraid that the roughness of the regular foam might be able to be felt though the fabric of the finished ornament. Nope, this will NOT happen. Since the ornament is made by folding pieces of fabric or ribbon and then layering them on top of each other, the roughness of the styrofoam base is completely masked by the time the ornament is finished.
Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE smooth foam too, and I use it in lots of other crafts and other ornaments that I make. Just not for quilted ornaments. :D