For people living in places where space is at a premium, maximizing the utility of every item and furnishing is imperative. Whether it’s a college dorm, a studio, or a house or apartment with a few extra residents, some of the best furniture is the stuff that can be used in multiple ways while taking up minimal space.
Folding furniture is one of the old standbys for tight living spaces. The most popular and widely known is of course, the futon. With a push and a pull, a soft couch frame swings out, flattens and becomes a full-size bed. While the collegiate dorm room futons most people are familiar with can be flimsy and have unsupportive cushions, higher-end futons can be incredibly attractive pieces of furniture that save space and offer excellent comfort. Using better materials, like a foam futon pad instead of fiber filling, can give a futon the feel of a comfortable sofa or the softest bed, able to instantly become whichever is needed.
Another option, popular in the 20s and 30s and making a resurgence today, is the folding bed. Often recognized from a gag in slapstick movies or cartoons, a bed that folds vertically into a cabinet or the wall can effectively remove a bed from a room in minutes. To keep up with the times, these cabinets are made in many different styles so they blend into a space seamlessly.
Yet another example is the folding foam chair, a three-piece seat that folds flat as an occasional use or spare mattress for naptime for kids or extra guests. These come in virtually every fabric covering possible, making them practical in any space. If you’re short on space, all it takes is a little creativity, and you can be comfortable with plenty of room left over.
Kayaking is one of the most enjoyable ways to enjoy the outdoors; being on the water, getting exercise and seeing flora and fauna. Without the right outfitting though, a kayak can become uncomfortable quickly, focusing pressure in the wrong areas and causing circulation issues and even numbness. To combat this, many kayakers make their own unique custom foam seats, carved out of a foam block.
If you’re willing to invest the time and effort into creating your own custom foam seat, the benefits can be substantial. Buying the raw block foam and trimming it will save money and gives you the ability to test the fit as you go for a perfectly tailored seat. Carving also lets you make sure it fits into the kayak snugly. Buying a seat only gives you one shot at the right size, and it may or may not fit correctly.
Using closed-cell minicell or EVA foam, you can have a waterproof cushion that will spread your weight evenly while still supporting you. Most seat-foam varieties can be sanded for incredibly detailed customization. And while the comfort benefits the right seat can provide are substantial, it can also be beneficial for safety. A snugly fitting seat that comfortably keeps you in contact with the shell of your kayak gives you greater stability and control over your vessel, which can make a difference in avoiding obstacles or righting yourself after a flip.
For your most comfortable and safest kayaking experience, you can’t go wrong outfitting your kayak with a custom foam seat.
If you enjoy participating in live action role-play, you’re well aware that a big part of the fun is creating your own storyline and world for the games. This includes outfits, armor and weapons, with the only limit being the imagination.
One of the most important materials in the creation of LARP accessories is foam, with different material sheets offering varying levels of rigidity, strength, support and padding, perfect for making shields, swords and armor. LARP swords, sometimes called boffers, usually have a core of rigid plastic or fiberglass that is wrapped in cushioning, high density foam, giving you something that’s substantial enough to parry and strike with, but soft enough to avoid injury. The ubiquitous foam noodles seen around pools and beaches in the summer are often used as well, since they’re already sword-shaped. If permitted in the rules of play, boffers can have thrusting tips that are made of the softest open-cell foam for extra protection.
Thicker foam sheets are routinely fashioned into shields for deflecting blows and adding to the medieval or fantasy feel of a game. Outdoor cushion foam is often used because it can get wet without rotting or degrading, and thicker sections of water-resistant polyethylene are rigid enough to hold up to use. In thinner sections, these can even be fashioned into lightweight, shock absorbing body armor.
With your own DIY LARP foam accessories, you’re sure to have a fun time while staying safe and comfortable.