Sara's creative quandry

Okay, everyone, here is a little brain game for you. I received an email today from Sara who has a question about to use left over foam:

"Vegbee, could I borrow your resourcefulness for a minute? Here’s my problem: I bought one of those convoluted foam mattress toppers at the thrift store last week and cut it up to make doggy beds. I don’t know what to do with the scraps! There are five or six strips about a yard long that are 4-6 inches wide. It seems like too much to throw away, but I can’t think of anything to use it for. What would you do?


My immediate response is to use some as the insides of fabric covered blocks for baby and rip the rest up as stuffie filling, but I know these are a little uninspired. My creativity has been on the muted side this past week, as I spent the weekend going between the chiropractor and the emergency room and now I'm about to go see another doctor to find out why I have constant pins and needles in my left arm and cannot sleep laying down. It's probably just a muscle thing, but I need somebody to make it stop.

(This is me whining. Sorry about this.)

The downside of all this is a failure of the imagination. The upside of it all is... wait, I'm thinking... nope. Can't see an upside. But maybe you can think of one for me and, even better, help Sara come up with some ideas for her extra foam.

What to do with strips of scrap foam?

All suggestions welcome!

** Pain Updates:
1. Codeine is my friend.
2. My spine is out of alignment at my neck. You, my dear internet friends, are partially to blame (computer and sewing machine use), as is my sweet little Birdie who sometimes makes me sleep in strange elephantman-esque poses.
3. Wonky spine = pinched nerve. Yeowch.
4. An anti-inflammatory drug, codeine, and physio all lined up. Good stuff.
5. And some extra attention paid to the posture, especially hefting around my collective 75 lbs of children. Some core muscle strengthening exercise should help too.
6. Now, one day, perhaps I will once again having feeling in my left thumb.


  1. a strip of foam is perfect to use as padding for straps on a tote meant to carry heavy things.

  2. i don't have any foam ideas (aside from baby toys too), but i had to weigh in on your arm. i'm sorry to hear about your health troubles! when i was pregnant, i'd wake up with horrible pins and needles / totally numb arm and hand (from the elbow down). i'm pretty sure it was pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel, and it was magically cured by a few visits to an acupuncturist! she also cured my pregnancy heartburn and made me a true believer in the power of acupuncture. just had to share that in case that's what they end up diagnosing you with. take care! i love your blog!

  3. Hi
    i'm finally leaving writing this comment, after months of admiring your criativity, your tutorials, your abilities and your amazingly pretty kids.
    I haven´t managed to get a sewing machine yet, but am working on it and plan on adapting many of your patterns to adult size (mine)as soon as possible.
    I´m from Brazil. Someone as far as this admires you depply and i think you should know that (also, i apoligize for any english errors, i haven´t been writing in english for quite a while, now)
    Anyway, i think you´re awsome and belive that this kind of thing should always be said as to make a better day for someone (even if you´re not having a bad day at all). So, hi.

  4. I'm assuming the foam is maybe an inch or so thick, what about making something like spa slippers with the foam in the soles, 4 to 6 inches wide should cover a good range of sizes. Or maybe wrist rests for typists.

    I'm sorry to hear about your arm, sorry but the only thing I can suggest for that is rest, and that possibly isn't what you want to hear.

  5. When my littlest was born, we used foam that was about 5x5x36 to make bolsters that squished between the mattress and the wall to eliminate the space there that she might get trapped in. So if she wanted a weird square bolster...

    Or maybe she could cut it some more and make an iPad case lined with foam. In case she has an iPad, not like me.

    Or there's always foam fighting implements for children. I'm not big on those,but it always seems to happen around here anyway. And better soft than sorry.

    Or she could offer it up on freecycle for packing material. Or use it to make a soft edge for a coffee table, or pad that low place where she always hits her head on the stairs.

    Um, I guess I'm not very good at this am I? My first thought was soft blocks, too.

    I hope your arm feels better. I wonder if you pinched a nerve? I have a perpetually pinched nerve in my foot (a neuroma) and it often feels tingly and painful at the same time. Not nice. I hope whatever is going on with you is more curable.

  6. Magic Baby Squares

    I tried to make them once, but am not bright enough to figure it out.

    Dollhouse beds

    Travel pillows, the kind that wrap around your neck.

    Stuffing for a door/window draft stopper.

  7. sorry to hear about your arm. i can identify with that, as had carpal tunnel throughout pregnancy, which magically disappeared once baby emerged!

    re the foam, when my eldest didnt want to sit in his highchair at table anymore and wanted to sit in a proper chair, we made some big fat rectangular cushions and he sat on those to be able to actually reach.

  8. She could make a "Toddler Coddler". A pillow that is about 12 - 14" x 6". It is ideal for tucking next to the baby in the stroller, swing, etc. Sometimes you just need to stuff something up against baby's side to keep her/him from slumping.

  9. Maybe the smaller pieces of foam could be used to make foam paintbrushes, or cut them into fun shapes for paint stamping

  10. I have no further suggestions for the foam but the arm... You've described what I've had for 3 years now. Mine is the result of 2 bulging discs in my neck which is leading to a pinched nerve. The overall cure? Lots of PT and training yourself to have a better posture. This includes when you sit and stand. Additionally, you need to build up your middle back muscles and open up your chest. Acupuncture helps too. When it's really bad, I have to sleep in a sitting position so my right hand doesn't fall asleep. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  11. I am so sorry to hear about your arm pain!!

    As for the foam ~ she could make a duct tape body double dress form thing & use the foam to stuff it

  12. hi..
    I love your blog and your kids.. how old are they..

    I'm from India and just started on sewing. Bought a sewing machine last month inspired by your blog.

    Sorry to hear about your arm.
    take care -- :)

  13. Do you have back of the head headaches?

    Glue the strips 1 on top of the other and make it into a snake ( sew a slipcover ) or into a caterpillar!

    Of course, if you are here in alberta, make it into a draft stopper.

  14. Thank you Giulia! It does make my day :)

    Good ideas everyone... I like this brain storming stuff.

  15. Back Pain idea...

    Gentle Yoga... works for me... I am an emergency room nurse and have back issues (know any nurses who don't?? if you do it is a miracle.. or they yave not been nurses long enough!!)


  16. I found your blog...tonight, as I'm sitting here in the dark, with my daughter (finally asleep), trying to psyche myself up to sew her a dress, telling myself that I'll never be be as good a dressmaker as all those internet mums who make something new and shiny for their kids every day, wondering why I'm even bothering,...then I found your blog...and I just wanted to say thank you. I am this mother, at this time, with this love for my more, no less...and I'll make her a dress, and it will be perfect, because I made it for her. Thank you

  17. so sorry you've not been feeling well - hopefully you'll be healed up soon! as far as any ideas for the foam....i like you're idea for the blocks....i'm not coming up w/ much else either... :/

  18. Cut them into shapes and let the kids use them to paint. You could also sew pillows with straps for booster seat children (I'm not sure of your kids ages). I've been meaning to sew some type of pillow that can't fall to the floor for months since we've been traveling a lot with half the family in another state.

  19. Hope you're feeling better!
    As for the foam, that stuff would probably make great padded straps for an Assian-style baby carrier, like a MT. I've used fleece, but I bet bed foam would be much nicer!

  20. Thanks for the ideas, everyone! I'm definitely going to make some spa slippers this weekend, and probably a few other things as well. I'll let you know how it goes!

    I'm glad you're getting your pain under control, vegbee, and I feel really bad for bothering you when you're not feeling well. Sorry!

  21. I just made a doll bed, doll pillows, and a memory board for my niece out of foam. If I had more I would also make those little u-shaped neck pillows for traveling.

    Charity, I hope you have a speedy recovering. Neck pain is the awful when you have smaller kids who love to be held!

  22. Hello Charity - I hope you feel better soon. It's so hard to be up and about when parts of you are hurting. And then lying down is't much better either- poor you.

    Hello Sara - How thick is this foam? Long ago I did a series on what to do with foam, but my projects used primarily 3" thick foam. Here's a link to the summary of the projects:

  23. Hi - Ok, I've been reading this blog for several months now and lovin it. 8) So, it is with some trepidation that I write this. This may be a slightly wierd comment, but, depending on how thick it is, it could be used as a pad to soften the blow of a gunshot. I know, I know. 8) Left field. My husband and I do target shooting, and being a girl (with girl attachments) it's hard to deal with recoil sometimes. I've been trying to figure out something to make a girl-friendly shaped recoil pad from, and that may be a solution. I'm not asking for some; I want to say thank you for the idea!! 8) Ok. Odd comment over. Carry on. 8 D Oh, and thanks for the blog. Love it. 8D

  24. I just discovered your blog and I LOVE IT!

    As one who struggles with an alignment problem at the neck, let me share with you some things that help. They won't solve the current problem, but once that is solved, they will help to prevent further breakdowns. If you have the money, I went to a Rolfist (structural massage therapist). I googled them and found one in my area. They work your muscles so that they are in correct alignment with each other and then spend time in each session teaching you how to hold yourself. After the ten sessions I was pain free until pregnancy ruined my alignment again. Also a great book: Back Care Basics by Mary Shatz that I got from the library is very good at walking you through yoga poses that deal with particular back problems. Good luck!

  25. I'd probably use some to pad the edges of a laptop bag or case. Er, a homemade bag, of course.

    Some could also be used to give soft, flexible structure to halloween costumes.