Foam cut skull (not full 3d but partial)

Looks good. What settings did you use? I imagine you can cut foam at pretty much max speed.

On the pink foam I first seal and textured it with wood glue mixed with sawdust (because I had buckets of sawdust). I sifted the sawdust with a screen to get a fine powder. It “plumped” up a lot from the glue but still worked nicely. (Fine sand probably would have worked just as well.)
I have used lots of different coatings over foam for various props (plasters, stuccos, concretes). But I liked the textured wood glue best.
Once sealed I base coated it with cheep black spray paint. Then a quick top coat of “stone” spray paint. But the “stone” paint is expensive and runs out quick. So if you are doing a lot, cheep house paint* and a sprayer probably would be better.
FYI: you can use a hot knife to cut in cracks and details in the foam. (A wood burner or soldering iron will work too, just have some acetone to clean it up with after)

I don’t know if spray paint will eat into the grey “gym mat” foam or not. I will have to give that a try. Otherwise seal it first. House paint or wood glue.

*if you are doing black you can often find paint on clearance that was mixed to the wrong color. You can add you own black (pigments are in the concrete section) or if they are nice they can remix the color to black for you at the paint counter.

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Like these:

I can’t use those pink foam yet.
I can’t cut them where I have my machine the dust is very bad for your lungs.
I have to sleep in that same room.
Once I get a house with a garage then I will be able to.

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thats what you cut the skull out of?

Yes I used the foam mats from Target.
I had one on hand to test.
Those at Target are too expensive. You can find them cheaper online.
There was talk about it on the forums here.

I used this bit for the rough cut

The feed was set to 300 and the plunge was set to 30 or 50 will work too.

You have to watch it as this bit will leave long strings of foam. I just removed them by pulling on them. If you have a good stiff brush you could mount it and the bristles will clear them for the vacuum to get rid of them. The final does not have this problem.

The final bit use is:

Same feed and plunge as the rough cut

hmmm interesting okay thats pretty cool I think this would be a sweet topic to make a video on lol

I wonder how the foam would cut with proper foam tooling

Have you tried any regular downcut spiral tools on the foam?

yes the ones I did try do work. However they seemed to like to let the foam strings wrap around more on the bit. The bit I used I only had to clear once.

oh yeah I bet a downcut would solve that maybe

I found the RIT dyes to be most effective
You can get a black from Michaels or other places online.
Its very powerful and will stain your fingers so be careful. it comes in a power in a small bag or you can get the liquid. Its normally used for dying clothing but I find it works well with glue and sawdust mix as well as epoxy.


I have been making tombstones out of the ‘pink foam’ for a few years now (before I got my CNC).
You can get 4x8 sheets of 2 inch foam or half inch foam here in So. Cal.
I carve all my detail in the foam then coat the entire thing in Drylok paint which has a concrete like texture.
Then I paint over the Dryloc with cheap exterior latex paint for added detail.
The latex water based paint won’t melt your foam.


I love those, great looking paint job.

I like the writing.
Thanks for sharing.


oh man very nice thanks for sharing!!!

how long does the tombstone last out in the elements?

have you ever considered using like precision board plus and there epoxy resins?

Thank you all for your encouraging comments!

The oldest one “Forgetful Larry” I made four or five years ago (out doors three weeks at a time) and is holding up well in the So. Cal. sun, heat, and Santa Ana winds.
The Drylok paint really protects them. I put on at least three coats. Makes a hard shell.

I bought my X-Carve to help me with the lettering which is the most tedious part to do by hand.
This year decided to do columns and a fence around the grave yard instead. Almost done with the fence lol.

I’ll look into precision board and the epoxy resins! Always happy to hear of new/better ways of doing things.

Happy Halloween fellow X-Carvers!


How do you get the texture on the edge?

Harbor freight sells them too…

I used a hot wire foam tool to get that texture. Super easy to do.
Just keep slicing out small curved chunks of foam.
You end up with a pile of them lol. I always use the hot wire tool outside due to the fumes.

This is the tool I used;


in the past, I have used a product called FoamCoat. It is made specifically to protect foam from solvents. Years ago I got contracted to sculpt a 12’ tall cartoon character from giant blocks of white foam and that is what I used. I was able to fiberglass the outer shell over the FoamCoat.

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