My ''why Didn't I Think Of This Before?!?!?' Of The Day!

Decorating By cakeflake80 Updated 12 Sep 2010 , 1:35am by cakeflake80

cakeflake80 Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 4:57am
post #1 of 25

I had a major ''why didn't I think of this before'' moment tonight that I wanted to share! I bought a few 1/2" thick foam boards at Michael's for my heavier cakes. They have been sitting in a closet for months because every time I tried to cut it down to the correct size I made a mess of it and practically destroyed the thing! I tried a serrated knife (not sure why...I read it somewhere I think), and it cut through the board but left awful jagged edges with some of the middle coming out. And boy did I have to use my muscles to get it to cut through. Even though I cover the board and the jagged edges are hidden, the experience alone just wasn't worth it. A week or so ago, I found a tool for cutting styrofoam. It's a wire thing (similar to the cake leveler) that heats up and is supposed to cut right through styrofoam products. I figured I would give it a try, even though the foam board is more dense than styrofoam. It worked for about three seconds, and then the wire snapped in half! Out of frustration (I REALLY need a board for a sheet cake this weekend), I decided to finish the job even if the edges were jagged and my arm hurt. I don't even know why I decided to try a butter knife, but I grabbed it out of the drawer and started sawing away. It worked like magic!! Clean lines, no aching arm muscles!! It practically slides right through the board! A butter knife!! I can't believe I didn't try this sooner! What do you use to cut through foam board? I can manage with scissors on the thinner boards, but it's still hard. But the thick ones used to give me such a headache! I just can't believe that all this time I just needed to use a butter knife!!

24 replies
cutthecake Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 5:16am
post #2 of 25

Wow. I hate cutting that stuff, too. I usually use a sheet rock knife, and still can't get a clean cut. Next time, I'll try a butter knife. Thanks for the tip.

bmoser24 Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 5:20am
post #3 of 25

Thats cool! TY for sharing. I dont buy thick board, I use Dollar Tree Foam boards for a buck, and hot glue a couple together. They cut easy. I did see someone on a video use a saw to cut circles and then use a big nail file to clean up the edges. I always thought I would get hubby to do that for me if needed, BUT nice to know I can replace him with a butter knife...LOL! Thanks Again ~ Blessings

cakeflake80 Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 5:11pm
post #4 of 25

Your welcome! I couldn't believe it either! I thought it was going through so easy because I had already cut a portion with wire tool that broke. I was shocked that it kept on sliding through with ease!! My husband laughed at me because this has seriously stressed me out for the past few months, and I was so mad that the wire tool didn't work out! Who knew the answer was a butter knife?!?!

shawneen Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 5:22pm
post #5 of 25

I'm curious now. I've never tried foam board mainly because I didn't want the headache of cutting the right size/shape out. But I may have to buy some and try this out. Thanks.

thumbs_up.gif

tmelrose Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 5:45pm
post #6 of 25

I just bought a 1/2" foam core board over the weekend. I plan to try and cut it with an exacto knife. Hopefully that will go smooth.

MissLisa Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 6:23pm
post #7 of 25

I've been using foam board for years. I cut it with an Xacto knife with no problem.

I keep two Xacto knives in my cake room. One for foam board and one for fondant/gumpaste.

A good clean sharp blade does the trick every time.

cakesrock Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 10:09pm
post #8 of 25

A butter knife?! Really?! Awesome. I had the same problems when I started using that foam board from Michaels (which I love!) I read another tip here where a cc'er used an electric knife. I have combed the Value Villages and other 2nd hand stores and cannot find them. They are really an 80's thing.. not sure if you can get one at a dept store or home store, but I should have a look. But in the meantime... butter knife, here I come!

cakeflake80 Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 10:27pm
post #9 of 25

I tried an Xacto knife but still ended up shredding the sides to pieces! It was my husbands, so it was probably just too dull. I tried the large serrated knife we use for cutting loafs of bread, I tried the butcher knife, I tried a box cutting knife....and also the wire tool from Michael's. The wire tool was the only thing that worked, but like I said the wire wasn't strong enough and snapped about an inch into the board! I am still so happy that I grabbed that butter knife! That is the one knife I would never think to try for thick foam board. I'm not sure what came over me. It was kind of late....maybe I was just tired! Either way, I'm so glad I did it! My search has ended, and now I can stock up on foam board!

grama_j Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 10:31pm
post #10 of 25

My old ( 80's era ) LOL! Electric knife does a wonderful job........ I haven't looked but I'll bet you could find one on e-bay.......

Kitagrl Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 10:38pm
post #11 of 25

I use a large Xacto knife, the kind that you click up long and you can change the blades...I just click it up way long and saw at the foamcore and makes a nice clean cut.

stampinron Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 10:53pm
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

I use a large Xacto knife, the kind that you click up long and you can change the blades...I just click it up way long and saw at the foamcore and makes a nice clean cut.




ditto. no headaches for me

artscallion Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 11:05pm
post #13 of 25

Michaels sells a tool just for this purpose. It looks like a child's wood burning tool. But the end is an exacto blade. It heats up like a wood burning tool and just slices through foam board like it was butter. I carved the giant leaf that the monkey cake in my pics is on in about a minute flat.

http://tinyurl.com/27yul98

Here's a link to it at Joannes...

http://tinyurl.com/2g4pmsd

tyty Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 11:08pm
post #14 of 25

I use a hotmarks I got from hobby lobby. It's like a heated exacto knife. It work well as long as it's sharp. Once the blade gets dull you have to insert a new one, or end up with torn edges.

weirkd Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 11:40pm
post #15 of 25

I always have one of the moments when I think to myself why I didnt think of it sooner. Usually its too late when I do!!
I have a knife that has a blade in it especially made for shipping which I believe is called a box cutter? But it works well for a while and then you can switch the razor blade out of it.

Cakebelle Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 11:42pm
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by stampinron

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

I use a large Xacto knife, the kind that you click up long and you can change the blades...I just click it up way long and saw at the foamcore and makes a nice clean cut.



ditto. no headaches for me




Me too, no problems whatsoever! But a butter knife! Now that's interesting! You learn something new everyday!

Maria925 Posted 9 Sep 2010 , 12:09am
post #17 of 25

artscallion and tyty...THANK YOU!!! I too have been getting frustrated trying to saw the stupid foam board. I'm very interested in the product you guys mentioned since they seem to very similar. Will definitely be checking it out!!!

Debi2 Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 6:01pm
post #18 of 25

I use an electric knife to cut mine and it works great. My knife has two blades, not sure if they all do, if not, maybe that's the difference? I will definitely try the butter knife to though just to see. Thanks for the tip.

Mikel79 Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 6:43pm
post #19 of 25

I bought a hot knife from Michael's. It is in the Wood Burning section. The end is a X-acto knife. It heats up and practilly melts the board. Cuts like butter!!


Michael

cakeflake80 Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 7:54pm
post #20 of 25

I saw the hot knife at michaels today, but since I was using my coupon for something else I figured it could wait until next time. The butter knife worked awesome because I was only cutting straight lines.....I'm not sure how good it would work on circles. Does the hot knife cut circles easily? It's definitely worth another trip to michaels this weekend if it does. Those cake drums are so expensive!

Peridot Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 8:28pm
post #21 of 25

I have the little wood burning knife thing that Mikel79 & artscallion have. It works like a charm and it cuts circles easily. I use it to cut the thick and the thin foamboard and never have had a problem. I have cut many boards with the first little exacto like blade that I started with.

It is definitely worth the money and I also bought mine with the coupon at Michael's. I was getting very frustrated and upset trying to cut the foamboard with everything from an exacto kinife, paring knife, bread knife, box cutter, you name it - I tried it.

Now I cut a bunch at a time and they are ready to use when I need one. Before the thought of doing just one was enough to give me a headache!

Mikel79 Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 12:35pm
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by naultlover

I saw the hot knife at michaels today, but since I was using my coupon for something else I figured it could wait until next time. The butter knife worked awesome because I was only cutting straight lines.....I'm not sure how good it would work on circles. Does the hot knife cut circles easily? It's definitely worth another trip to michaels this weekend if it does. Those cake drums are so expensive!




I mostly use circles. It cuts like a dream!!

Michael

kansaslaura Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 12:49pm
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by grama_j

My old ( 80's era ) LOL! Electric knife does a wonderful job........ I haven't looked but I'll bet you could find one on e-bay.......




I have a couple I picked up at yard sales. I bake a lot of bread and I pull them out to slice them up. They're also awesome for nice clean Rice Krispie treats.

kileyscakes Posted 12 Sep 2010 , 1:13am
post #24 of 25

Do the heated ones work so there is no mess? I never like to use foam core unless I have to because of the hard time cutting and mess, but I would love to get one of the heated knives I never knew something like that existed!!

cakeflake80 Posted 12 Sep 2010 , 1:35am
post #25 of 25

I bought the heated knife at michaels today! I'm going to try it out in a bit.

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