How To Make Foam Board Look Like Wood

How To Make Foam Board Look Like Wood


I created this faux wood round sign using a Dollar Tree foam board.

I love the way this sign turned out it was exactly what I wanted and it was a lot easier working with the foam board than wood..



  • I used this large bowl from my kitchen to trace a circle onto the foam board.



  • I cut around the circle to make the foam board easier to work with because my work table just wasn't large enough.
  • After cutting the board down I used a razor blade to cut out the circle. I tried to stay on the line as much as possible so my circle would look good.
  • I did have a couple of places where I got off the line so I went back in and trimmed those areas.


  • Using a measuring tape I found the center of the circle and marked it.
  • I then measured 2 inches up and placed 2 more marks.
  • I then used a straight edge and cut shallow lines at the marks. I didn't cut completely thru the foam board. I was wanting it to look like boards at the top.

I placed a piece of painters tape below the pencil mark in the center of the circle and pressed it down firmly.



  • To create the knots and marks that you find in wood I used a couple of things.
  • To create puncher marks I used a bottle opener and pressed it into the foam board in sporadic places and turned it different ways. I didn't want any type of pattern, just random marks.

  • To create the knot holes some people use their fingernails to make the knot holes but I don't have any so I used the other end of the bottle opener and it works perfect.

  • I just press it down to create an indention and to rip throw the top paper on the foam board.
  • To create tiny what I call worm holes I used my create tool and just jabbed it around and then turned it upside down to create little notches.



For the wood I was going for a gray color.

To create the look I used dark gray, light gray, black, and white chalk paint. I also used white wax.

I used a Dollar Tree sponge. Some people use a natural bath sponge but I didn't have one on hand but I have used this type of sponge in the past and it works great.

I dipped the sponge in the dark gray and the white wax to start with and started putting it on the foam board. I made sure my strokes went from side to side.

I then tried to use a makeup sponge to get into the cracks I had cut. I gently separated the cracks and rubbed the sponge down them.

I used my kitchen sponge and dipped it into the light gray and the white wax. I spread this mixture over the foam board until I like the way it was turning out.

Next I used black and white wax. I rubbed it into the knot holes and the marks I wanted to be seen.

I didn't like that the black wasn't showing up the way I wanted so I used a small paint brush and applied black paint to the knot holes, cut lines, and other markings I wanted to show.

I actually bent the foam board back so I could get into the grooves. But be careful, you don't want to rip the back of the foam board.

I know it looks like I have really messed up but just wait until I blend it.

Next I dabbed the sponge into the white and white wax and started applying it to the board.

I let the paint dry for about 10 minutes and then applied more white paint and wax. And look at how much it looks like real wood.


I removed the tape slowly from the center making sure the paper top wasn't being pulled up.

I then painted the bottom of the board with Ivory chalk paint.

While the paint dried I created a cut file in design space.

I used 2 coats of Waverly Plaster chalk paint on the bottom half of the sign and them applied a layer of mod podge to the entire board and let it dry.

I centered the saying onto the board and removed the transfer tape.


I used some ribbon in the middle and hot glued it to the back of the board.


I then used some thick twine around the outside. This help to cover up the fact that I was using foam board.

I made a little hoop out of the twine.

Before I glued it I actually taped it down and hung it on the wall to make sure it hung straight. Does anyone else have a problem with things not hanging straight or is it just me.

I then glued it to the mark on the back.

I love this sign. I think this is my favorite project so far. I can't wait to show it off!


Items Used:

 Dollar Tree:

  • Foam Board
  • Nautical Rope


  • Various Acrylic and Chalk Paints
  • Ribbon


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My Disclaimer: All of the video footage, photos, and designs are created by me and are owned by Designs By Gaddis. You may only use the video footage, photos, and designs with my permission. My content is mine and it is protected. I am not sponsored or paid by any of the product companies or tools shown in these videos unless otherwise mentioned. I have full rights and control of the content.

Copyright @ Designs By Gaddis 2021. Any reproduction or illegal distribution of the content in any form will result in immediate action against the person concerned.


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