Card and poker nights among friends and family have been popular for generations, and as these games become bigger parts of people’s lives, the tables they’re played on grow in importance as well. Homemade gaming and card tables are a creative way to tailor the playing surface to the size of your group or add a touch of personalization, and you can easily make one yourself with just a few materials, including closed cell foam and upholstery foam. No matter how you’re looking to expand your hobby, FoamByMail can provide the high-quality foam sheets you need to place your homemade card table on par with the finest in Las Vegas.
Understanding the Foam Components of a Card Table
Something few people other than table game fans are aware of is that card tables are not constructed solely out of wood wrapped in playing fabric. Proper card tables contain a table pad foam layer between the wood and the fabric surface, which serves multiple purposes. The most obvious is that the thin foam sheets soften the table and help keep chips from bouncing away, making noise, or even chipping the table. The foam’s give also allows cards to be slid under one another more easily in games like blackjack.
The other, more obvious application of foam in gaming tables is in the railing that runs along the edge of the table. Frequently encased in vinyl, these railings provide a soft cushion for the arms during play and also help contain chips and cards. This needs to be made of resilient foam to hold up to direct pressure in the same area over the course of many games while staying soft enough to provide a comfortable cushion. We offer multiple options, both open and closed-cell, for this section, including poly foam for packing & storage and lux regular foam.
Closed Cell Foam: Polyethylene
It takes a special type of foam to perform all of these roles, and polyethylene roll foam is the perfect product for the job. A closed cell foam, the polyethylene foam roll is resilient, so it won’t break down over time or allow grooves to form in heavily used areas. Polyethylene roll table foam also will not absorb any moisture present on the table’s surface, preserving the wood base of the table and making cleaning spills easier. Open-cell foam will absorb and hold fluid like a sponge, making it difficult to clean and susceptible to mold and mildew.
Open Cell Foam: Lux High Quality Foam
For the railing of your gaming table, we recommend Lux High Quality – a firm and resilient open-cell foam often used in upholstery, seating cushions, and bedding. It can support the weight and pressure of players leaning on it and return to shape game after game. Lux HQ is available in the usual rail padding thicknesses of 1/2 and 1 inch and in full sheets measuring 82 by 76 inches, half sheets 82 inches long by 36 wide, and third sheets 82 long by 24 inches in width.
For closed-cell durability and moisture resistance in custom table pads, we also offer gymnastic rubber, which can be cut to thicknesses of 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, and 1 inch for the right balance of firmness and cushion for you and your fellow card players. For an economical option, open-cell poly foam can also be used for a balance of cushion and support.
Materials You’ll Need
Now that we’ve reviewed the specifics on the types of foam needed to make your own card table, let’s get into the instructions. Here’s a breakdown of the materials you’ll need:
- Table Base: Start with a sturdy table base that suits your preferred table size. This could be an old dining table or a custom-built wooden frame.
- Closed-Cell Foam: Closed-cell foam is a dense and resilient type of foam that’s commonly used for insulation and cushioning. It provides a firm yet supportive surface for your gaming table. You’ll need a sheet of closed cell foam that matches the dimensions of your table.
- Upholstery Foam: This foam is soft and cushiony, perfect for creating a comfortable playing surface. It’s available in various thicknesses, so choose one that suits your comfort preferences. You’ll need a sheet that matches your table’s dimensions.
- Adhesive: Look for a heavy-duty adhesive that can bond foam to wood securely. Spray adhesive is a popular choice for foam-based projects due to its strong hold and easy use.
- Fabric: Choose a fabric that complements your gaming room’s aesthetic while also being durable enough to withstand regular use. Make sure you have enough fabric to cover both the closed cell foam and the upholstery foam.
- Staple Gun and Staples: This is for attaching the fabric to the foam and the table base.
- Scissors or Electric Knife: You’ll need these tools to cut the foam to fit your table’s dimensions.
Once you’ve gathered your materials, it’s time to start creating your DIY card table. Just follow these steps, and you’ll soon have the perfect space to hold those family game nights.
- Prepare the Table Base: Start by preparing your table base. If you’re repurposing an old table, make sure it’s clean and sturdy. If you’re building a custom frame, ensure that it’s properly assembled and sanded.
- Cutting the Foam: Measure the dimensions of your table and cut the two types of foam to match. An electric knife or sharp scissors can help achieve clean and precise cuts.
- Attaching the Closed-Cell Foam: Lay the closed-cell foam on top of the table base. Apply the adhesive evenly to the table’s surface and the back of the foam. Allow the adhesive to become tacky before carefully placing the foam on the table. Press down firmly to ensure a strong bond.
- Adding the Upholstery Foam: Once the closed cell foam is securely attached, repeat the process with the other foam. Place this foam on top of the closed-cell foam and adhere it using the same adhesive method. The combination of these two foams creates a balanced playing surface that’s both firm and comfortable.
- Covering with Fabric: Lay your chosen fabric on a clean and flat surface. Carefully flip the foam-covered table upside down onto the fabric. Starting from one side, pull the fabric taut and staple it to the underside of the table. Continue stapling along each side, making sure the fabric is smooth and wrinkle-free on the tabletop.
- Finishing Touches: Trim any excess fabric, making sure to leave enough to fold under the table and secure it with staples. Double-check all sides to ensure a neat and professional appearance.
Elevate Your Gaming Experience with FoamByMail
Creating your own DIY card/game table is a rewarding endeavor that combines creativity, comfort, and functionality. If you’re looking to build a game table, protect one, or even rebuild or refurbish an existing one, FoamByMail has the materials and resources to make your game nights a royal flush. Get ready to roll the dice, shuffle the cards, and immerse yourself in the world of tabletop gaming like never before.