Foamcore is a relatively inexpensive craft material consisting of a layer of polystyrene foam sandwiched between two layers of thick coated paper. It is available in a variety of colors, but it is most commonly available in white. Typically, white and colored foamcore has white polystyrene in the center, while the black variety has black polystyrene. It is available in sheets ranging from about the size of a piece of notebook paper – 9 inches by 12 inches (about 22.86 cm by 30.48 cm) – up to poster size – 30 inches by 40 inches (about 76.2 cm by 101.6 cm). A versatile material used for crafting, it provides more stability than posterboard while being easier to cut and manipulate than heavier, more rigid materials such as wood.
There are numerous professional uses for foamcore. Photographers sometimes use it to make reflectors, or as a portable backdrop or light box for photographing small objects. Architects use it for building scale models of building projects, and product designers use it to create models of new product prototypes. Graphic designers, magazine contributors, and advertising agents can use it to display a proposed layout or storyboard for a potential advertisement or article. Foamcore provides a sturdy yet mobile surface for displaying product images and information, making it ideal for traveling salespeople or for temporary displays in an office or shop.
Foamcore's relatively low cost makes it ideal for classroom work. Students often use tri-fold foamcore presentation boards for science project displays or book report presentations. It can also be used to build models and dioramas for school projects. Teachers can use it in the classroom, creating visual displays to help illustrate concepts and facts.
Crafters can use foamcore to provide a base for craft projects, or to build a three-dimensional (3D) structure over which another material, such as fabric or knitting, will be placed. It can be used to create stencils for drawing or spray painting. Many hobbyists use foamcore to build scale models of games or movies they enjoy, or as a base or scenery for fan art. It is often used as a backing for framed artwork and photographs, although it should ideally be acid-free, archival quality when used for this purpose to prevent deterioration and discoloration of the artwork over time.