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Custom tool boxes and logos for all tool brands
We are asked all the time how we create logos on our custom tool boxes and projects. Because Shadow Foam is a customisable foam it can be used to personalise whatever storage you’ve made with it. From the best tool brand to your own custom tools, you can store anything in it. And using these hints and tips you can use it to personalise the storage for any of the tool brands you love, or just add your name or logo to your creations. Here’s how.
What we wanted to create
You’ve seen us in the past putting logos into foam for anyone from Airsoft Anonymous to Colin Furze. And of course we always add our own Shadow Foam logo to the projects we make for ourselves too. Now this could be in a tool box, tool drawer, tool wall… pretty much anywhere you use Shadow Foam. But today we wanted to make some signs for some of the best tool box brand names that we create custom inserts for, or that we know people organise at home in Shadow Foam.
You know we are a fan of the Ikea hack, so today we are using their Ribba frame (50x23cm). We’ll be putting the logos of Dewalt, Sealey, Ryobi, Ridgid, Milwaukee and Makita into the foam. Fortunately our foam comes in 7 different colours to compliment most of the best tool box brand names. So we will use yellow for Dewalt, Green for Ryobi and so on. The foam also comes in 3 depths, and our 50mm foam is ideally suited to these frames.
As you’ll have seen in some of our other videos using Ikea frames, we always like to replace the backs. The thin frames they come with are fine for light-duty projects and photos and the like. But for our purposes we like them to be a little more robust. So we tend to always swap the backs out with something a little tougher.
The logo customisation
We simply print the logo we want onto a paper suited to the size of the foam we are cutting. From there, it pays to tape it into place on the foam to prevent movement when cutting. A bit of regular sellotape is fine for this purpose.
Then, taking all the necessary safety precautions we recommend when working with blades to cut our customisable foam we wear our anti cut gloves and get to work. We always recommend using a scalpel to cut our foam to get precise results. We also have a choice of cutting kits you can get. Check out the extras section in the Shadow Foam web store and you can find a whole range of custom tools to help you with your Shadow Foam projects
Jonathan always recommends starting with the centre sections of each letter. That’s because, that bit of paper then comes away once cut out. Hold the scalpel like a pencil and trace cut around the edges of the lettering. Don’t use a “sawing” action when cutting as that’s how you get a rough jagged edge. If you ever want a reminder on how to cut Shadow Foam, it’s worth reviewing our “how to cut” guide. You don’t even need to use Shadow Foam’s custom tools to do the cutting, but it does help to have a good, sharp scalpel for the project.
We also recommend making a visual reference on your scalpel blade of the depth you wish to cut down to. This ensures you cut down far enough to go through the top black layer to reveal the colour in the shape of the letter beneath it. Double check your corners are cut all the way through especially as this is where you can get tears when peeling.
Once you’ve cut round all the lettering, remove the paper. You shouldn’t see any of the cuts at this point until you push down into the foam, then they’re visible. Ensure you have joined up all the cuts, and once you know you have, it’s time to peel. Again, if you have never peeled Shadow Foam before, you should definitely check out our “how to peel” guide. Here, you’re only looking to remove the top 3mm of the black foam on top to reveal the colour beneath. So just plough your fingers along the shape to separate between the black and the colour.
Also if you are a stickler for detail, or you have a slighter rougher finish in the base of your cuts than you’d like, we also have guides for that. You can do this using the scalpel you already have, or we also have a hot foam smoothing tool. Alternatively, if you have a drill or impact driver you can do as we did. Use our foam smoothing spinners.
Where you can apply logos
We wanted to create these logos of the best tool brand names that we work with a lot for our studio backdrop. That’s why we did them in frames like this. But for you, you can create custom tool boxes, adding tool brands, your own name or company logo. Get as creative as you like with this! This is totally customisable foam, so your storage can be as unique and suited to your needs as you want it to be!
One of the logos we did, the Sealey logo we cut it in inverse. So essentially made the background the colour and left the letters in black. This is a really simple way of getting a different look with your customisations.
But one funky addition we wanted to make was adding lighting to one of the logos. A bit of an experiment for us as whilst we’ve accessorised with lighting in the past, we hadn’t physically cut lighting into the foam before.
For this, we decided to use some Energiser push lights which were about £20 from B&M. These were laying around from a previous project. Batteries were added to the lights. Then the light units were cut into the reverse of where the logo had been cut.
As there is some give in the foam, it’s possible to switch them off and on easily. Press the foam and the push lights switch on and off. So when the lights are on, it almost gives the effect of a neon sign. Which would no doubt cost heaps more than the cost of a few push lights, an Ikea frame and a small piece of Shadow Foam! We did the Dewalt logo as a neon sign here, but it could be done with any of the tool brands.
So, what do you think? Check out the full project here. Let us know if you decide to tackle a customised foam challenge or make custom tool boxes using Shadow Foam. Do you have custom tools that you’d like to showcase in your own personalised tool box? And also, let us know what tool brands you’d like to see us replicating and working with in future.