Sourcing foam rubber for cushion

by Txvoodoo
We picked up 2 old chrome barstools, the kind you'd see in an ice cream parlor. The chrome is in awesome shape! The seats, not so much. The coverings are torn and the foam is pretty much disintegrating.
What is your best source for getting some good, thick foam to use on these without breaking the bank? Especially considering the stools were free! (Score!)
sourcing foam rubber for cushion, painted furniture, The white caps on the feet are not original I ll replace w casters
The white caps on the feet are not original. I'll replace w/ casters.
  27 answers
  • Carole Carole on Jul 28, 2013
    K Mart sell foam exercise mats. They cost about $14 each and you could cut those up in preference to getting foam cut to size which might be more expensive?? Just thinking outside the box. I buy my foam on line for chair makeovers and it is cut to size and costs $15 per seat - from an upholstery store. We have clark rubber in Australia and they sell foam too - not sure how expensive it is though. Electric carving knife is useful for cutting up foam - large scissors tend to twist the foam as you cut and distort the edges - at least that has been my experience.

  • Valerie McGreevy Valerie McGreevy on Jul 28, 2013
    I would spring for high density foam designed to be used in cushions. They sell it at fabric stores. You won't need that much to cover a bar stool and the added comfort and durability & "springback" will be worth the dollars you would spend. I just googled it and found that JoAnn fabrics has HD foam chair pads for $7.99 each.

  • Txvoodoo Txvoodoo on Jul 28, 2013
    @Carole Thank you! Yup - the electric knife trick is a good one. :D @Valerie McGreevy Oh, awesome, I didn't know JoAnn's carried those - and that's a good price! And yes - I think it's worth it for the springback. We had some thin foam I used on other thigns, and the hub was all "just laminate it together!" and couldn't understand why it would just turn into an un-giving lump :D

  • Suzy Myers Suzy Myers on Jul 29, 2013
    JoAnn's will be your cheapest place to go. Get you a coupon from the Sunday paper if it is not on sale that week.

  • Terri B Terri B on Jul 29, 2013
    Hobby Lobby and any fabric store sells forms or squares. Yes the electric knife works great! Good luck post pictures when you finish them would love to see them.

  • Trisha Redd Trisha Redd on Jul 29, 2013
    Don't scrimp too much on your foam. You'll regret it and end up redoing them.

  • Porta Verde Studio Porta Verde Studio on Jul 29, 2013
    Check out your local classifieds like craigslist for foam or foam mattresses. I scored a memory foam single mattress for $50 to make dog beds out of. There was enough to make 3 large beds for about $16!

  • Mikell Paulson Mikell Paulson on Jul 29, 2013
    Some times you can find round foam pillow tops at fabric stores! Check to see what width you will need and then buy at least one inch bigger. I used to do bar stools! I would do twenty or more at a time! The cover will pull it down a lot!

  • Txvoodoo Txvoodoo on Jul 29, 2013
    @Trisha Redd - that's what I told my husband, when he wanted me to use some 1" foam on it. "If I use that, *I'll* never be sitting on these!" :D @Mikell Paulson - yup - I will probably have to layer foam. I can tell that the finished seat height of the original was about 3", so I'll go to about 3.5" and pull tight. Might be firm to start with, but that's better than feeling the plywood through my derriere!

  • Mikell Paulson Mikell Paulson on Jul 29, 2013
    Try round foam pillows forms that you can buy at Jo Ann's fab, or any fabric store! they are 3 to 4 inches!

  • Z Z on Jul 29, 2013
    Check with a local upholstery shop either furniture or auto. They may have scraps they'd be willing to sell you.

  • Txvoodoo Txvoodoo on Jul 30, 2013
    @Porta Verde Studio Another good tip - thank you! @Mikell Paulson I'm gonna see if I have some coupons from Joanns :) @Z ooh - hadn't thought of that one - thank you!

  • Patricia W Patricia W on Jul 30, 2013
    I would check thrift stores. They have used cushions with icky outsides, but good foam inside! I get alot of insides from things with bad outsides at thrift stores!

  • Lori J Lori J on Jul 30, 2013
    Didn't someone just post about foam at Lowe's or one of the other big boxes? I remember them saying how much cheaper it was. Let you fingers do some walking...maybe a phone call will turn up a deal.

  • Z Z on Jul 30, 2013
    You're welcome. Good luck. Please share after pictures when they're done. Our member @Leslie D from Vegas uses an auto repair upholsterer to recover their found furniture and says they not only do a great job, but usually cost less too. So you might want to see how much they'd charge to do a professional recovering.

  • Leslie D Leslie D on Jul 30, 2013
    Yep, we have had several pieces recovered by a local auto reupholstery shop. They have done an awesome job on everything, and we got a sofa and chair recovered for just under $300, including fabric. They have the foam and buy in bulk and don't mark up nearly as much as craft stores/sewing stores do. If I took these stools to our guy, my best guess would be that they would be about $80-$100 for the pair to re-do, including new foam and fabric.

  • Z Z on Jul 30, 2013
    Thank you @Leslie D

  • Mikell Paulson Mikell Paulson on Jul 30, 2013
    WOW!! I have a recliner, I wanted to have recovered, They wanted $800.00 I could buy a new recliner for that price! Leslie you were lucky at that price!!

  • Debbie Stanley Debbie Stanley on Jul 30, 2013
    I recently made a cradle mattress. I was able to pick up a large roll of foam at Wal-mart for about $15. It was not thick enough but because it was some long, I was able cut out 2 and glue them together. It was perfect for what I needed. Good luck!

  • Txvoodoo Txvoodoo on Jul 30, 2013
    @Z and @Leslie D - I'm totally going to use a reupholstering pro when it comes to my sofa & loveseat, but I'm secure enough in my sewing skills to do a chair top here. I'm going to make my own matching piping, and use fabric to coordinate with the room. It's for our "fish room", which we've done a lot of work on already!

  • Leslie D Leslie D on Jul 30, 2013
    Very nice! The most I can sew is a pillow or tab-top curtains. I wouldn't attempt anything with curves...LOL

  • Txvoodoo Txvoodoo on Jul 30, 2013
    @Leslie D - I can do the sewing, my hub is woodworking guy. The rest we figure out as we go along! I need to post some pictures of our projects here.

  • Leslie D Leslie D on Jul 30, 2013
    You should! We all love seeing the handywork of members! Can't wait to see the pics of these stools!

  • Z Z on Jul 30, 2013
    Oh I love your Fish Room Txvoodoo. It's so cute. I too would love to see more of your and your hubby's creations.

  • Txvoodoo Txvoodoo on Aug 01, 2013
    @Z and @Leslie D - I'll post them! I just need to get organized....a constant thing!! :D

  • Z Z on Aug 01, 2013
    Same here on being organized. I'm obsessive about it, but alas, my family is not. Though I think they may finally being coming around to realizing, after thirty years, that I might just have something there.

  • Moonmonkey Moonmonkey on Aug 14, 2013
    I have seen lots of foam in different densities and sizes in Joann's craft store.