How to Use 3D Scrapbook Adhesive Squares for Crafting

how 3d cards make card making paper craft with adhesive foam squares pads

One thing that I pick out regularly from my craft toolbox are 3D scrapbook adhesive squares. These self adhesive foam pads are very useful for several paper crafts including card making, scrapbooking and paper tole.

I love using 3D adhesive squares because they stop my handmade cards from looking flat and boring. It's good to add some dimension and create greeting card designs that stand out when viewed from different angles. These foam squares help to make greeting card designs look really good.

You can learn to successfully use these foam pads in your own paper crafting, whether you prefer to make greeting cards, gift tags or scrapbook journals. Completed projects that have just a little added dimension can create more appealing designs that other people can view and admire. You'll learn how to use these adhesives and how to use them to make 3D cards and other paper craft designs.

Note: This post contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Instructions on How to use 3D Scrapbook Adhesive Squares

Packs of these 3D foam adhesive squares are available in a range of different sizes, shapes and even colors. I keep a variety of these in my craft box because they are something I use often when making my own cards and paper crafts.

I also like the rolls of dimensional foam tape where I can choose to cut off any length I want. Sometimes the roll is much more convenient for larger projects.

UK Readers get 3D foam pads from

how adhesive squares 3D cards make

Range of 3D Foam Adhesives with Tapes and Squares in Different Sizes

1) Foam pads are double-sided and have adhesive on the bottom and the top layers.

2) First you need to peel the sticky pad away from the backing sheet it is on.

3) Next, press the sticky side down on the back of the item or embellishment that you want to layer up on to your craft project. You might be using this adhesive, for example, to stick a frame onto a handmade card or a title onto a scrapbook layout.

4) Finally, remove the backing paper on the other, top, side of the foam before you place the item down that you want to stick on to your design.

A craft pick like the Tonic Tim Holtz design I have is great for helping to remove the backing pieces if you don't have long nails.

3d cards make papier paper tole

Larger Items May Need Several 3D Foam Squares or Pads to Stick them Down Evenly

Bear in mind that large embellishments and items may need several foam pads to stick them into place successfully while a small item or embellishment might just need one.

You can space the adhesive pads out on the reverse side of the item, leaving gaps in between each one, just as you see in my photo above.

3L Scrapbook Adhesive Permanent Pre-Cut 3D Foam Squares, Mixed Variety, 217pk, WhiteDovecraft Foam Squares, Foam, White

Tips on Using Dimensional Adhesive Squares for Your Paper Crafts

I keep different sizes of the 3D foam squares in stock for convenience and because I enjoy many paper crafts where they tend to come in very useful.

You may prefer foam which comes on a roll, this is called 3D foam tape. This dimensional tape allows you to cut smaller or larger pieces as you need them. However, you can also cut larger foam squares down as well for layering up smaller embellishments and items.

How to Quickly Remove the Backing Paper from this Double-Sided Adhesive

The backing paper on the sticky foam can sometimes be difficult to remove, especially from very small squares or pads.

There is a handy tip for removing backing paper easily. Press the end of a long nail or some curved craft tweezers  into the middle of the square. Pressing down hard enough in the middle makes the edges of the backing paper lift up so you can then easily pull it off.

You can also use a craft pick. The sharp point of the pick will make easy work of lifting up an edge or corner of the backing paper for you to grab hold of.

Making a Neater Finish from the Side View

Try not to place the foam too close to the outside edge of an embellishment because you will see the foam at the sides of your craft project. If you place the foam away from the edges then it becomes less visible and makes for a neater finish to your handmade card or craft project.

You can get hold of transparent or clear foam tape which is less unsightly. There are also different colors available, commonly black foam squares as well as white, so that you can pick a light or dark shade to suit your project.

Another alternative tip is to color the sides of your foam pads with a sharpie to match in with the color of the backing paper or card. This then makes the pads less visible.

Adding More Dimension and Height to Your Project

purple lilac handmade greeting card with rose flowers

The rose flower on my handmade card stands out and looks good from any angle because it has been layered up using 3D foam squares.

To build greater dimension on your project, stick two or three foam pads on top of one another. You can control the height of layers by choosing exactly how many adhesive squares or pads to use.

I'm a little bit obsessed on having just the right glue for whatever craft project I happen to be doing, so I have a large storage box just for different types of adhesives.

Luckily these sticky foam pads are very inexpensive buys and are easy to store and keep so you have just what you're looking for when you start your next paper craft project.

10 Ways to Use 3D Decoupage Foam Squares

There are plenty of ways to use foam squares in paper crafts. You can use them to simply raise sentiments and greetings up on your cards so that they stand out more.

You can also use them to make beautiful layered pictures with the craft known as papier or paper tole as well as die cut decoupage. Here are ten different ideas on how to use these adhesives.

1: Lift up a central motif on a greeting card or scrapbook page so that it stands out and becomes more of a feature. You can add this adhesive foam behind greetings, sentiments, borders, frames, tags and embellishments.

2: Use them along with papier tole die cut sheets to make greeting cards and pictures which have multiple layers within each design.

3: Make winged paper butterfly embellishments seem much more realistic. Use a print, a sticker or a rubber stamped butterfly that you can cut to shape. Fold up the wings away from the body of the butterfly.

Stick the design on your craft project by adding adhesive just down the middle. Lift up each wing and place some foam squares behind to lift them away from the background of your card or scrapbook page. The pads push the wings up and give the butterfly more dimension on your project.

See how to make your own 3D paper butterfly embellishments.

4: Greetings and sentiments can stand out more when they have foam behind. This works best when the message is more important than the overall design.

5: Use the 3D foam behind embellishments such as flowers so that they become more of an interesting feature.

6: Mount up large numbers with it for special age cards like 18th, 21st and 60th birthdays.

7: An alternative way to use these adhesive squares is by making mosaic patterns with them. Stick them in a decorative design around a card, perhaps to make a frame or border, and sprinkle glitter over the top of the sticky tops. You can use different colors of glitter powders by controlling when you remove the top backing papers.

8: Punch or cut shapes out and stick them across your card or scrapbook layout with the pads underneath.

9: Highlight and show off a special photo or stamped design with a raised border or frame around it.

10: Use foam tape to place a raised paper or ribbon border down a side of a card or scrapbook layout. Foam mounting tape that comes in a roll is great because it can be cut to the exact sizes that you want. I also keep a roll of this in my craft box.

Add Dimension to Make 3D Cards that Stand Out

new baby handmade card example with teddy bear and rabbit green and yellow colors

New Baby Card Made with 3D Foam Pads Raising Up Some Areas

Cards and paper crafts that use foam pads become more appealing to view from multiple angles. If you take a great deal of pride in your handmade crafts, you will want to consider using black adhesive squares for darker colored embellishments and white ones to work with lighter embellishments.

You can even opt for a transparent foam which becomes less noticeable on a completed project.

Another option for adding dimension to paper crafts is a silicone based glue. Although I sometimes use this myself, it is not an adhesive that I would recommend to beginners.

It can take a very long time to dry and is difficult to apply well. Foam pads are easy to use and need no drying time because they stick instantly. You can also try 3D glue dots.

Related Content You Should Also Love:

Page Last Updated:


Articles are accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.