Using Foamcore: Part 3

Well here we are at the third and final part of this short introduction to using foamcore to build wonderful box inserts for your boardgames. This video shows the basic ideas behind designing the compartments in your box and how to build them.

It’s great to read the comments from those of you who have been inspired to start building your own foamcore creations. Keep visiting the EOG as we add more detailed foamcore plans in the future for popular games.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the EOG YouTube channel, and enjoy!


  • Will says:

    Brilliant! To think I was measuring cards when I could just be placing them on the actual box. Clearly, building the interior box first is the key.

    Working on one for Agricola now, I shall keep you posted.

  • Justin says:

    Thank you so much for posting these! Even after reading some instructions on how to use foamcore on the process still seemed daunting. But your 3-part instructions were simple and easy to understanding. It got me started on making my own custom inserts, and it really wasn’t hard at all!

  • Dean says:

    Hi, I loved the videos! 🙂
    Do you have the name of the foamcore you are using? And do you know if it can be bought online?

    • Universal Head says:

      Sorry, when I buy it I just go into an art supply store and ask for ‘black foamcore’. I’m sure brands and sizes vary worldwide, so just check out a local store. You may be able to get it online, but I don’t think sheets of foamcore would travel very well in the post.

  • Frank Frank says:

    Thanks for the instructions and inspiration!
    Just finished my first insert, a two layer piece for Zombicide. Avoided the worst mistakes and learned a lot. Next up, paint job!

  • Robrob says:

    Amazing work! I watched with the sound off (at work) so I might have missed it but is there any reason other than precision, to remove the pins after gluing? It seems they’d be nearly invisible and only add support.

    • Universal Head says:

      Sometimes I keep them in if they’re not visible, or I may use pins only (no glue) if I think I might want to change a configuration later, but in general the glue is strong enough and it’s more aesthetically pleasing without them.

  • Lorna says:

    Just returned from the art shop with full supplies after watching your videos! You’ve inspired me to give it a shot.

  • Gary says:

    I’ve literally gotten into making my own inserts for games, because of these videos. I just finished my second project, which was making an insert for a wooden “artist box” to keep a variety of card games me and my fiance like to play.

    I have to ask, though; how do you get the edges so…for lack of a better word, “flat”? It seems like whenever I cut, the knife always tilts one way or another, creating an angled edge. It’s gotten to the point that, whenever possible, I glue the literal edge of the foamcore sheet because I know it’ll have better contact then my angled edge.

    • Universal Head says:

      Nice to hear that the videos inspired you. Funny, I’ve been asked this a few times and I’m not quite sure how to answer as it’s something that’s never caused me a problem. All I can say is to get ‘above’ the cut—in other words , it’s easier if you’re looking down on the cut so you can set the blade at a 90º angle to the horizontal. Don’t try to cut right through in one go as the blade can bend at an angle if you do—make one shallow, straight cut first and then follow that with one or two deeper cuts. And, I assure you, it gets easier with practice. 🙂

      Foamcore is pretty flexible so even if you don’t cut exactly at 90º you can usually get away with making up a functional box once all the pieces are stuck together. And white glue can ‘fill’ the gap as it were. So even if you’re cut isn’t straight, be sure to hold it perpendicularly when you glue. Good luck, and let me know if that helps!

  • Sanjay Kurichh says:

    I, too, have struggled with getting my foam core cuts to be square. If you have the money, a special foam core cutter can be purchased for about $20 at most craft/hobby stores. These cutters advertise the ability to cut at both 45 and 90 degrees. I haven’t yet pulled the trigger on getting one, but they look promising if you have perfectionistic tenancies (like me.)

  • Jason says:

    One thing that will help remove the trays easier when they seem to be suctioned in the box is to drill a couple small vent holes in the bottom of each tray. That way the suction created by removing them will not be as great and the compressed air inside will have somewhere to escape.

    • Universal Head says:

      That’s a great idea, thanks!

      • Jay French says:

        I was also thinking that for inserts that you intend to remove from the box, it would be helpful to add straps from black ribbon or a thin nylon fabric (that won’t fray). Glue them to the underside of the insert and have them long enough to come above the insert walls by a couple of inches (50 cm or so). Kind of like the bits that help you pull batteries out of their compartments in a lot of electronic devices. Between that and the vent holes Jason mentions, I think it would greatly prolong the life of the insert structure.

  • gull1066 says:

    I’ve done tons of cardstock modeling and have used lots of foam core as a base. I always thought that it would make very flimsy boxing material (or CARTONAGE as the artisans say with a snooty French accent). But you have inspired me to make up a game box Using an outer layer of cardstock to reinforce the corners and edges. By making the trays removable you could place them around a game like War of the Rings and then just pack them all back up when your done. Thank you for helping me to (ahem) think outside the box!

What do you think?