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When I was given the opportunity to have 2 hours without baby in the house I was faced with the dilemma “Shall I do some much needed DIY or play with polymer clay?” The correct answer to this question was of course BOTH!

My chosen quest was to fill the gaping holes under the bath. It then took me 2 hours to find the ancient can of expanding foam , clear the straw on the can for use, and sweep up under the bath. Finally I tried to use the expanding foam, and the exhausted aerosol was only able to deliver a few sluggish blobs. So when husband returned with baby he was sent straight back out to buy a new can of expanding foam.

blobs of expanding foam

Blobs of expanding foam

But wait! Wonky blobs = beads (obviously). So I did a test bake to 110° C with a small piece of foam and it did not melt into a sticky mess or smell like burning plastic*.

*Note this does not mean it is SAFE to bake, only that it does not release anything particularly smelly. **Please let me know if polyurethane should not be heated.**

However the problem with expanding foam is… it expands. This means that the polymer clay shell around the foam cracked when I baked it.

cracked bead

Bead cracked after first bake

Not to be discouraged, I wrapped some decorative threads around the bead to hold the crack together, covered them with liquid polymer and baked again. This time the bead cracked on the other side!

cracked bead

Bead cracked after second bake

I have still not been discouraged, and I intend to try a few more things, so you may see this bead again..

This last bead also cracked (only less so – it is a smaller piece of foam) so I was able to cunningly hide the crack with a trail of moss.

Moss Creature Focal Bead

Moss Creature Focal Bead by Cate van Alphen

The only thing that remains to find out is if the polymer clay reacts with the polyurethane foam. I am hoping it will be okay since polyurethane varnish can be used on polymer – although I am not sure if this applies only to particular brands.