Machine Embroidery,  Puffy Foam,  Sewing Tips

How to Use Sulky Puffy Foam

How to use PUFFY FOAM

How to Use Sulky Puffy Foam

Hey guys! It’s Valentine’s week and we are full of love and hearts in my house. I was browsing through some designs and found this cool heart and since the description says it is digitized for Sulky Puffy Foam™ I thought it would a great time to try out Puffy Foam for myself!

Sulky #PuffyFoam heart

I own some Puffy Foam (OK, I own a lot of it), but I have never used it! I don’t know why, I just haven’t so today, I decided to try it. Here is how it works.

Since I embroidered this onto fleece, I used Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer™ as the stabilizer. I hooped it with the fleece and then used Sulky KK 2000™ Temporary Spray Adhesive to adhere the Puffy Foam to the top of the fleece. (OK. Full Disclosure. I know my hoop is dirty. I know I should clean it, but I was trying to get these hearts done for Valentine’s Day! Thank you for understanding.)

Sulky KK 2000 & #PuffyFoam

Then, I stitched it out with Sulky 40 wt Rayon in Hot Pink (I love pink!)

Puffy Foam embroidery

I was nervous watching it stitch. I was worried the Puffy Foam would interfere with the stitching, but it didn’t! Everything stitched out great and it was so fun to watch.

Puffy Foam Embroidery stitching

After the stitching, came the really fun part! I pulled off the excess Puffy Foam and was amazed at how perfectly it came off!

Puffy Foam 2

Take off the #PuffyFoam

The few pieces that were left in the tight spaces, I was able to get out with my stiletto.

Puffy Foam detail

The result are great! I don’t think I will be afraid of Puffy Foam any more.

Sulky #PuffyFoam heart

Happy Sewing and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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    • Kelly Nagel

      That is how I was too, Karen. Now that I have used it I will probably use it all the time! I am so glad you enjoyed the tutorial. Thank you for reading my blog.

        • rick hervig

          I don’t agree with that. I have used thin craft foam to enhance parts and all of any designs. All you have to do is stay with 40wt. thread slow machine down to the minimum speed. It also works great for lettering on towels, pillow cases, shirts and so on. I don’t use special digitizing designs. One trick set the thread tension back to original factory settings. thread breaks are pretty much not happening.

          • Kelly Nagel

            I am glad you have found a way to have success with designs that are not digitized for Puffy Foam. So designs leave open ends so the foam is visible on the edge. I too love how is make lettering look on towels, pillow cases and shirts. I do have to warn about using regular craft foam. Since that product is not made for machine embroidery, there is a risk of pieces getting into your machine when the needle penetrates it and causing trouble. Personally, I don’t like to use anything on my embroidery machine that isn’t specifically made for machine embroidery. I paid too much for that machine to mess it up with a product that wasn’t designed to be used in that machine!

  • Chrys Hulshof

    We did several projects with Puffy Foam at Viking Club here in Albany, Oregon. It’s really fun and more versatile than you might think. Thanks for sharing!

  • Mary G.

    I have never tried it, will look for it. I like the way it appears to separate from the design so cleanly. 🙂

  • Chrys Hulshof

    It also works great for Shadow Work. Layer a bright-colored Puffy Foam between a base fabric and thin batiste. It shows through the batiste as well as raising it up, trapunto style. My projects were a Tulip and a Heart. After tearing away the excess Puffy Foam, leaves, flowers, etc. were embroidered around the shadowed shape.

    • Kelly Nagel

      Carolyn, puffy foam is not the same as craft foam. It is specifically designed for machine embroidery to go under the stitching to cause the stitching to stand out more. I would think that might make the coaster uneven to put a cup on top so it might not be the best product for that.

    • Patti Lee

      It stands up amazingly well. Our Puffy Foam is the same foam used in commercial embroideries that you see in many stores. It was brought into the consumer market directly from the industrial side of our business. I have several garments that have Puffy Foam designs on them and I’ve washed them probably 100 times or more over the years. There has been no breakdown in the design at all. The shirts are getting a little ratty, but the designs hold up well. A lot of people use Puffy Foam on children’s clothing, and although they get washed a lot, children outgrow them faster than they can wear out. I think my shirts are a better test than kid’s clothes. Puffy Foam should not be used on garments that need to be dry cleaned though.

    • Ellen March

      No, the Puffy Foam generally goes on top of the fabric and underneath the thread to give loft to certain elements of the design.

  • Beverly Spears

    I do not have an embroidery machine, can the puffy foam be used in regular quilting to give dimension? I received it in the mystery box that was sold last month.

    • Ellen March

      You can satin stitch over it and then tear away the excess to add dimensional stitches. I’d stay away from using it in lieu of batting (like for trapunto work) though.

  • Twinie

    Hi, where can I find designs to use the puffy foam? I clicked on the links from previous comments and I don’t see the designs.

    • Nikki

      Hi! Our Embroidery Club site is down, which is why you weren’t able to access the designs from there. I just sent you an email with a couple of links to the Puffy Foam designs we have available right now though. Sorry for the confusion!