Do you see your school colors in our foam buns? If not, don’t fret: there’s more where this came from. You may be wondering what we use this multicolored foam for, and here’s the surprising truth: we manufacture those cool foam fingers you buy at the college football game!
Ever wondered how foam fingers are made? We use them all the time at football games, baseball games, and even sitting on our couch watching sports on our TVs. But if you’ve ever been curious as to how foam fingers come to be, this is the blog post for you.
First up comes the designing and screen-production for the foam fingers’ designs. While we’d love to design some foam fingers ourselves, this is typically the job for our client to design; we’re the foam people, not the graphic design people.
We get our custom-colored foam delivered in large buns, like you see in the picture above. You might be able to see the different coloration in the foam, especially on the yellow one in the middle; the darker color is the “skin” of the foam, the harder outer layer that keeps that soft, squishy inner layer exactly that. We slice that off in the cutting process, but it gets reused later in different products!
Once we get the buns, we put them onto our loop slitters to cut them into thinner slabs, ready to cut into foam fingers. We cut the buns into one-inch-thick slabs, making the foam easier to maneuver around the warehouse and easier for the die-cutter to cut through.
Die-cutting the fingers themselves comes next! We equate this process to a cookie-cutter, but for foam. We have specialized machinery ready to cut foam into that iconic foam finger shape, and we can make dozens at once with the right cutter. Once the fingers are die-cut, we pop them out of the slab and they’re ready for screen-printing. (Don’t worry: the leftover foam from the die-cutting process gets shredded up and reused, too!)
After that, we ship the foam fingers off to the client, and their screen printing geniuses get to work on printing the graphic design on the fingers themselves. There, the design gets stamped onto the fingers, and once the ink dries and the slit for the hand gets cut, they’re ready to slide onto any sports fan’s hand to cheer on their favorite teams!
We love getting the chance to work on fun projects like foam fingers, as foam is kind of our thing here at Sterling Manufacturing. Got a foam shaped void in your life that you think we can fill? Give us a challenge today! We’d love to work with you on all your foam-related needs.