One thing that I pick out regularly from my craft toolbox are 3D foam squares. These self adhesive pads are useful for several paper crafts including card making, scrapbooking and paper tole.
I like them because they stop my handmade cards from looking flat. I prefer to add dimension and create designs that stand out when viewed from different angles. These pads help to make greeting cards look really good.
You can learn to successfully use these foam pads in your own paper crafting, whether you prefer to make greeting cards, gift tags or scrapbook journals. Completed projects that have just a little added dimension can create more appealing designs to view.
Instructions on How to use Adhesive Foam
Packs of these adhesive squares are available in different sizes, shapes and colors. I keep a variety of these in my craft box. I also like the rolls of dimensional foam tape where I can cut off any length I want. Sometimes the roll is more convenient for larger projects.
Foam pads have adhesive on the bottom and the top layers. First you need to peel the pad away from the backing sheet. Next, press the sticky side down on the back of the item or embellishment that you want to layer up on your craft project. Finally, remove the backing paper on the other side of the foam before you place and adhere the item on to your design.
Large embellishments and designs may need several foam pads while a small item might just need one. You can space the adhesive pads out on the reverse of the item, leaving gaps in between each one.
Tips on Using Dimensional Foam for Paper Crafts
I keep different sizes of the 3D foam squares in stock for convenience and because I enjoy many paper crafts where they come in useful. You may prefer foam which comes on a roll so you can cut smaller or larger pieces as you need them. However, you can also cut the foam squares down as well for layering up small embellishments and items.
The backing paper can sometimes be difficult to remove and especially from very small squares or pads. There is a handy tip for removing backing paper easily. Press the end of a long nail or some craft tweezers into the middle of the square. Pressing down hard enough in the middle makes the edges lift up so you can then pull off the backing paper.
Try not to place the foam too close to the outside edge of an embellishment because you will see the foam at the sides of your craft project. If you place the foam away from the edges then it becomes less visible and makes for a neater finish to your handmade card or craft project. You can also get hold of transparent foam tape which is less unsightly.
To build greater dimension on your project, stick two or three foam pads on top of one another. You can control the height of layers by choosing how many pads to use.
I'm a little bit obsessed on having just the right glue for whatever craft project I happen to be doing, so I have a large storage box just for different types of adhesives. Luckily these sticky foam pads are very inexpensive buys and are easy to store and keep so you have just what you're looking for when you start your next project.
Note: This post contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.
10 Ways to Use 3D Craft Foam
There are plenty of ways to use foam squares in paper crafts. You can use them to simply raise sentiments and greetings on your cards and to make beautiful layered pictures with the craft known as paper tole. Here are ten different ideas.
- Lift up a central motif on a greeting card or scrapbook page so that it stands out. Add foam behind greetings, sentiments, borders, frames, tags and embellishments.
- Use them along with papier tole die cut sheets to make cards and pictures which have multiple layers within each design. 
- Make winged paper butterflies seem more realistic. Use a print, a sticker or a rubber stamped butterfly that you can cut to shape. Fold up the wings away from the body of the butterfly. Stick the design on your craft project by adding adhesive just down the middle. Lift up each wing and place some foam squares behind to lift them away from the background of your card or scrapbook page. The pads push the wings up and gives the butterfly more dimension on your project.
- Greetings and sentiments can stand out more when they have foam behind. This works best when the message is more important than the design.
- Use the 3D foam behind embellishments like flowers so they become more of an interesting feature.
- Mount up large numbers for special age cards like 18th, 21st and 60th birthdays.
- An alternative way to use these adhesive squares is by making mosaic patterns with them. Stick them in a decorative design around a card, perhaps to make a frame or border, and sprinkle glitter over the top. You can use different colors by controlling when you remove the top backing papers.
- Punch or cut shapes out and stick them across your card with the pads underneath.
- Highlight a photo or stamped design with a raised border around it.
- Use foam tape to place a raised paper or ribbon border down a side of a card or scrapbook layout.
Foam mounting tape that comes in a roll is great because it can be cut to the exact sizes that you want. I also keep a roll of this in my craft box.
New Baby Card Made with 3D Foam Pads
Add Dimension to Create Cards that Stand Out
Cards and paper crafts that use foam pads become more appealing to view from multiple angles. If you take a great deal of pride in your handmade crafts, you will want to consider using black adhesive squares for darker colored embellishments and white ones to work with lighter embellishments. You can even opt for a transparent foam which becomes less noticeable on a completed project.
Another option for adding dimension to paper crafts is a silicone based glue. Although I sometimes use this myself, it is not an adhesive that I would recommend to beginners. It can take a very long time to dry and is difficult to apply well. Foam pads are easy to use and need no drying time because they stick instantly.
Image Credits: The introductory image belongs to the author, Marie Williams Johnstone. All other images (unless watermarked with the author’s name) are product photos from Amazon.