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Picture of Realistic Sculptures From Foam With Glow-in-the-Dark Epoxy Base.

Hi everyone, thank you for checking out my instructables.

This is my instructables for the Faux-Real Contest. If its not too late...

As some of you know I love to make nautical things especially when it comes to anything nautical and fishing. I am a huge believer in conservation. I live by the code, "Once they're gone, they're gone". I believe in taking pictures of the trophies not mounting or eating them. Big one's make big baby's. Now, I do love eating fish, but I follow my state's guidelines when it comes to eating fish...But that is another story for another day. Anyway, to show my love for these awesome creatures by displaying a tail or a faux mount on the wall, it makes me happy that I didn't have to kill that line of fish and I didn't have to pay 100's of dollars to have a company duplicate it. I have made many projects just like this one, please check them out in the links below.

Faux Mahi-Mahi Instructables

Faux Mahi-Mahi Video

Foam Fishing Hook Decor

You know my obession, do you know yours?

Whatever it my be, I am sure you can make something to put on display in your home by using this process of foam, coating, detail, and paint.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools

All materials, like almost all projects, could be substituted out for others. I will try to give you some alternatives materials that you can use and if I miss any or you know of one, please let me know in the comments below. I try to use what I have at the house before I go out of the way to get more items.

What I used for Core Material: Foam Insulation

In the past I have used craft foam and even spray foam. For this one I wanted to use foam insulation (green/blue sheets picked up from your local big box home improvement stores). I recently got a ton of small pieces of this stuff from my job (I am a teacher). My awesome drama teacher buys sheets of this stuff to paint and make into scenery for her plays. After repainting and re-purposing the sheets for multiple productions, she will break them up and put them in trash bags to be recycled later.

I grabbed two 55 gallon bags of these pieces and took them home. I cut off the rough pieces on the band saw and put them in the corner of my shop to be used for projects like this.

Alternative Core Materials: Craft foam, wire, crumpled paper, aluminum foil, oven-clay, EVA foam, even Packaging Styrofoam

Ooey-Gooey Stuff I used: Glue, Plaster of Paris, 2 Part All Purpose Putty, 2 Part Epoxy for Counter/table tops, Acrylic Paint, Window Cleaner with Ammonia, Clear Acrylic Spray, White Spray Paint, Pigment Powder

The Tools I used were: Silicon Basking Brush, Silicon Container, Razor blade/ knife, Foam Shaper Rasp, Sand Paper of variant grits, Belt Sander, Palm Sander, Rotary Hand Tool with flexible shaft, multiple carving bits, airbrush.

jeanniel17 months ago
I hadn't realized how BIG the fish tails were till the end. I love how you added the water - splashes look really good. I voted!
ABCass1 (author)  jeanniel17 months ago
Thank you so much!
Eh Lie Us!7 months ago
I tip my hat to your awesome and messy work! I've worked with foam and the sanding always creates an electrostatic mess.
ABCass1 (author)  Eh Lie Us!7 months ago
Yes big mess, but well worth it. Thank you so much!
sdwilliams587 months ago
Thanks for posting this tutorial. Living on the Texas coast, fishing is my obsession. This is a great way to remember those fish you let go back in the bay. And an even better way to spend some time with the grand kids!
Jigsawman7 months ago
Hey great foam tutorial. I make tons of stuff out of foam (pirate shipwreck on this site) and you have some great ideas. I'd like to offer you a tip, if I may. Instead of white glue, try using the spray foam in a can as glue. Spray a small amount on and then putty knife it down a few times to keep it from expanding and then stick the pieces together. They will never come apart. Good luck in the contest.
ABCass1 (author)  Jigsawman7 months ago
Thank you so much, and thank you for the tip. I always wondered if that would work. Hey, since your familiar with spray can foam, how do you preserve your foam? Like if I use a small amount of spray, what is the best way to keep the tube from clogging to use it for later projects?
Jigsawman ABCass17 months ago
I go to a local auto paint and body supply store and pick up a can of spray gun cleaner. I pull the tube and trigger off of the foam can and then use the small tube on the spray gun cleaner can to spray out any residual foam. Then I store the can and the trigger/tube together for the next time I need it. Here's a link to that stuff:
ABCass1 (author)  Jigsawman7 months ago
Thank you so much, I’m definitely going to try this. Cheers
seamster7 months ago
You've showcased some great techniques, and your results look excellent. Well done, you are a true artist! : )
ABCass1 (author)  seamster7 months ago
Thank you so much for those kind words. I really appreciate it!