Many folks learn to appreciate foam padding after trying to sleep on the bumpy floor of a tent. If this has happened to you, I bet you would have paid anything for just a 1" thick camping pad. In the indoor world of home décor, foam is also roundly appreciated. It makes it easy to create nearly any kind of cushion you want. The only limits to what you can do with foam: 1) finding it, and 2) affording it. To get the proper type of denser foam in larger sizes, you usually have to go to a special foam store. I love my "foam dude" and he will cut me just about any shape I need. But the price, yikes! Enough foam for a lounge chair pad could be over a hundred bucks. So we were very pleased to learn that our friends at Fairfield had come out with a line of foam with three important qualities: 1) the resilience you need for decor projects, 2) an affordable price, and 3) you can find it at over 1,400 Walmart stores – just grab and go.
It's called Project Foam: a lighter foam that really holds up
Project Foam is lighter weight than standard high-density urethane foam. But it still has the support you need for use in things you're actually going to sit on.
The reason it's so light and yet firm is because of a new formulation developed by Fairfield. Project Foam is made from a polyurethane that contains bio-based materials that are derived from renewable biological resources. The Fairfield Company revolutionized padding in the 1960s when they invented Poly-fil®, and throughout their 74 year history they've been coming up with ingenious ways to use natural fibers.
The Project Foam pieces we've been working with are noticeably lighter while still being nice and firm. It's soft yet supportive and very easy to cut and shape.
Just the right sizes for your projects
Project Foam comes in four thicknesses and numerous sizes so you can get exactly what you need for your project.
- 24" x 36" panel - available in 3" and 5" thickness
- 24" x 72" roll - available in ½" and 1" thickness
- 5" x 17" chair seat - available in 1" thickness (sold two to a package)
Sometimes your local fabric store might have GIANT rolls of foam in a 2" - 3" thickness from which cuts can be purchased. Our experience with this option is that the foam is okay for some projects, but you have to buy such a large, unwieldy piece. And, waiting for someone to actually help you cut it... bring a sandwich and a book to read, because it's going to be awhile.
Project Foam is much more manageable. The available sizes are smartly designed to work well for many, many projects. You can also stack or butt-together multiple pre-cut pieces to make up a single large cushion.
Let's say you want to create something as large as a daybed mattress. The finished cushion would need to be 36" wide by 72" long. Easy; take three of the 2' x 3' pieces and place them side by side inside the sewn cover.
You can use foam adhesive to stick multiple foam pieces together, but we like to wrap ours with batting. It gives the finished cushion a slightly fuller look and makes the three foam pieces feel like a single big one.
Start making your project list
With Project Foam being so handy (remember... over 1,400 Walmarts, which means there is probably one or more within 20 minutes of you), we have a growing list of projects we're considering it for.
Outdoors, we envision a couple of Adirondack chairs that need a little cushioning. The outdoor dining chairs would look great with padded backs and seats. And, people might actually sit on those pretty iron garden benches we bought if they had seat cushions. By the way, for all outdoor items made using Project Foam, Fairfield recommends you bring your cushions in during rainy or winter weather.
Inside, there are window seats, a custom exercise mat, ottoman, pouf and more. Check out our own darling Toddler On The Go Booster Seat.
You can easily cut Project Foam to make curved and other shaped pieces. My "foam dude" recommend using an electric knife – yes, the kind you'd use to carve a turkey. We've tried it on the Project Foam, and he's right. It's actually easier than cutting up a turkey, because foam doesn't have any bones. If you don't have an electric knife, a long bread knife with tight serrations is another good option. Simply draw the shape you want on the foam and then carefully cut it out. This is a great method for creating custom protective padding for the inside of a tool or musical instrument case.
And of course, we have to mention pet beds. As we were working with some 3" and 5" thick panels, we had them laid out on the floor of our workroom. The dog really, really wanted to lay on them, even though they still had the plastic wrap on from the store. So I guess we can take that as a personal endorsement from a medium to large size dog of mixed breed. The cats were eyeing it as well, but gave the dog first dibs!
Start your own list by looking through our cushion projects below. Anything that calls for foam padding could be made using Project Foam.
We found the retail price of Project Foam at Walmart to be well below what we were used to paying at the specialty foam store. Your price may vary, depending on where you live.
Below are a few Sew4Home projects that would be good candidates for Project Foam. Some dimensions might need to be slightly altered or, as described above, you may need to stack foam of various thicknesses to get the depth you want.
On-The-Go Booster Seat with Carry Handle (our own Project Foam Project)