How to Shape Upholstery Foam

Item # X-HT-300444

Depending on your project, you may have to cut and shape upholstery foam to the specific shape you need. Shaping upholstery foam requires some tools, patience and know-how, but it can be done fairly easily. In today's video tutorial, we're going to show you how to cut and shape upholstery foam using both a high-quality foam cutter and an inexpensive electric kitchen knife. Then, we have a clever trick for sculpting the foam with accuracy and precision using a simple metal lid from a glass jar.

How to shape and sculpt upholstery foam.

Foam can be shaped and sculpted in a variety of ways. Professional upholsterers will often use an angle die grinder or a drill with an abrasive pad. These are sometimes expensive tools that aren't necessary if you are new to shaping foam or if you only need to shape a few pieces. Instead, we have a trick to making your own foam grater out of something you most likely have in your pantry. All you have to do is punch holes in a glass jar's metal lid. This homemade shaping tool is a safe and gentle way to shape your foam piece without accidentally gouging the foam or applying too much pressure. The last thing you want to do is remove too much foam and have to start over with a new piece.

After you cut and shape the foam, we recommend covering the piece in a layer of Sew Foam. Sew Foam is a fabric-backed, thin layer of polyurethane foam that is great for smoothing out your shaped foam and masking any small inconsistencies in your shaping and sculpting. It also adds a little bit of extra thickness if you removed too much foam with your foam saw or electric kitchen knife during the initial cutting process. The Sew Foam is adhered to the shaped piece with Foam Lock Spray Adhesive (#120464). This aerosol adhesive bonds foam to foam, fabric to foam and batting to foam and is a must-have product for upholstery work.

Watch the video below for the full foam shaping tutorial. Let us know if you have any questions about this DIY or anything else you're working on. We're always happy to help!

Materials & Tools List:

  • Sailrite® Blade Foam Saw V2 with Carrying Case (#121244)
  • Medium Density Polyurethane Antimicrobial Foam from Sailrite®
  • Foam Lock Spray Adhesive 12oz (#120464)
  • Fabric Backed 1/4" Sew Foam 58" (#121506)
  • Scissors