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Good evening Ladies and Gents, In this fine Instructable I will be showing and instructing you how to work with EVA Foam for costuming and prop creation.

If you have any questions regarding the tutorial, making of your own cosplay/costume or just want to say hi please send me a message on my facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ToweringProps). Its much easier and faster to get back to you there. :)

Over the several steps listed here ill demonstrate a handful of good techniques when working with EVA foam for the new and experienced cosplayers or costume enthusiast. Ill be demonstrating cutting, forming, edging, gluing and a few other tricks. I learn better ways and new techniques every time I do a costume so check back often for improved or new tricks and examples.

What you'll need!

EVA foam
Poster card/ card stock
Xacto blade/Razor knife
Scissors
Hot Knife
Heat Gun
Soldering Iron
High temp Glue Gun
Rotary Tool
Nylon Straps
Buckles
Velcro/Hook and Loop
Metal ruler
Fine point marker
Latex Caulk
Plasti dip
Spray paint

So lets get started!

I do not claim ownership of all the reference material such as product images and the space marine images. these are used as examples to help display what is needed and can be done with the material. All credit goes to the respected owner.

 
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NekuPOWER1 year ago

I'm a newbie when it comes to armor but I decided to give it a try! My dad have a lot of tools and I bought some good foam recently, I will certainly start tomorrow!
I found a "modest" armor in Monster Hunter tri that will be fun to make!

Your article is very clear, English isn't my first language but I can understand it very well! :)


Towering Props (author)  NekuPOWER1 year ago
Your are welcome! Thats what im here for. If you have any questions feel free to send me a message on facebook! https://www.facebook.com/ToweringProps

Hi, I need suggestions for attaching a piece of armor- a shoulder plate thing, to be exact. I'm working on making this cosplay and I am wondering if elastic would be enough to hold the shoulder piece(it's not naturally part of his tunic, so I don't think I can use a buckle.)? In all pictures I have seen, it almost appears to be glued to the sleeve. Thanks in advance!

Oh and by the way it's only on one shoulder. If you need more pictures I can get some more.

image.jpg
DougM91 month ago

I'm planning on making some an EOD style suit for airsoft. I'm wondering how well the foam will stand up to the punishment and if you could give me some tips. Thanks.

krolshi1 month ago

I 'm thinking about making armor , though my first attempt won 't be as extreme as a full on heavy armor (I 'll attempt something bigger next next year ). Thank you so much for this ! These tips definitely gives me some insights on what I 'm gonna be throwing myself into .

Towering Props (author)  krolshi1 month ago
Cheers!
Thank you so much for posting this. Ive never cosplayed but ive really been looking into it but was apprehensive since the few cosplayers ive asked about material were reluctant to help. Do you have an instagram? (for cosplay lurking purposes)
Towering Props (author)  specialagentmad 3 months ago
So Sorry for the delay! I'm much better at responding to my facebook page. Anyway i do! Its toweringprops most of my instagram stuff its in progress work but most of my completed cosplays are on my facebook. Thanks for the support! :)
OceanWhisper4 months ago
Also, could you please put up a tutorial on 'under armour'? I have no Idea what to do after the main armour's done
OceanWhisper4 months ago
Hey again :-)
I've done most of the front, (chest piece/stomach plate etc)
but could you please explain how to do the back? I don't have access to a mannequin or anything, but I thought that by laying a top that fits me fairly well and tracing around it into paper, I'd get a rough enough shape.
if you have a link or know of a video I could watch maybe? thanks again :-)
Whisper2194 months ago

Thank you for making this 'ible! I saw this awesome FemShep cosplay about a year ago, and I couldn't remember what she (the creator) made it out of. Then I saw how you made your armor and it all came back. This is amazingly simple and I will more than definitely use your method for future costumes. My only question: if you have a mannequin that matches your measurements, would you recommend it?

xrockyo4 months ago

Hi so I am extremely short on time and hope to get a reply asap. I purchased a plain white regular craft foam roll from Michael's to try and make Vegeta's armor....and it's too thin. Very flimsy. At least, the shoulder pieces. The front and side panels don't matter MUCH but if I can alter them to be better and match the shoulder pieces then I'll do it. I'm not sure what....to use either in addition to the flimsy craft foam I already have or if I should just buy EVA foam....? Also, I don't want it to be too thick, needs to be somewhat flexible because, as seen in the photo attached, it needs to curve over my shoulders. I also am unsure of where to BUY the EVA foam...whether it's a roll or the little puzzle shaped mat pieces. I'm so new to this. I'd prefer to find a place I can GO to buy it instead of buying online because like I said I'm short on time @_@ . Also, any recommendations on paint?? To either reduce cracking as much as possible or prevent it completely?? HALP PLZ!

Photo attached is what I'm attempting to make, I don't take credit for the pic! :D

fc7c6c7634427d3c14755380aea17049.jpg
Towering Props (author)  xrockyo4 months ago
Hello! Get your self a Roll mat from harbor freight for the Eva foam. Then get a can of 2x cover rustoleum paint if white spray plasti dip isn't available.
Cheers!
tabitha54454 months ago

hello, i apologize if this has already been asked but i was wondering about the clear helmet you are wearing in the picture. how do you make that or how did you go about it? i was hoping to do a Mr. Freeze soon with the clear doom over his head but not sure how to approach it. any tips?

Thank you so much :)

Mr.Freeze.jpg
Towering Props (author)  tabitha54454 months ago
Hello! No worries im sure it got buried some where anyway. Here is the link to the exact "helmet" I bought: https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/8049/3202-16020-003.html?utm_source=SmartFeedGoogleBase&utm_medium=Shopping&utm_term=3202-16020-003&utm_content=Clear+Globes+with+Neckless+Opening&utm_campaign=SmartFeedGoogleBaseShopping&gclid=CjwKEAjwiq-oBRC9gvHCsvDdn2cSJACV3DFR8JhxFtlwecr8qxHO0CeRIoPQHJqCZzY7T-4unGCzLBoCRwPw_wcB

I simply just used my dremmel to cut the neck opening wider. also add several PC case fans for circulation and anti fog spray other wise it will fog up, you'll asphyxiate and you will die. :)

thank you so much! and i promise i will try not to die XD

TiffanyC35 months ago

Great walkthrough, thank you for taking the time to type it out! I was just googling "EVA foam" and your link was the first one that popped up, how fantastic.

Quick question regarding the different types of foam featured in your walkthrough: what's the texture like on the underside of the fatigue mat EVA foam sheets? I'm eyeing the 0.25" pieces for example. My current project requires a smooth finish like craft foam but fatigue mats will have a textured surface (for obvious reasons). Do you know if the underside is smooth or textured?

Towering Props (author)  TiffanyC35 months ago
Hello! Thanks for the support! As far as i've come across all EVA has a textured side and a non texture side which is smooth. So yes it should work just fine for what you need.

Cheers!
Thank you so much for your fast response! I can only hope my armor turns out as amazing as yours. Fantastic tips all around, I can't wait to get started!

I've purchased 3 thicknesses of foam so far: 0.25in anti-fatigue roll mat, 3/8in 4-pack tiles and 3/4in 6-pack tiles.

Both the roll mat and 4-pack of 3/8in tiles are textured on one side and flat on the other.

The 3/4in tiles are textured on both sides, however.

Thank you for letting me know! I purchased the roll (0.25") and it is indeed smooth. Good to know about the other sizes in case I need them for future projects.

Hi would it be okay to ask a question regarding putting a glue stick from heat gun on eva foam? i am having problem after glueing it on velcro to eva foam, after several use of glued velcros in eva foam the velcro will later easily removed from it after using. what should i do or can be done?

Thank you!

This site details straps well and also mentions the same thing Towering Props did:

http://www.wmarmory.com/?p=1380

You can also hot glue velcro to armor, but I would highly recommend that you sew it to a piece of nylon webbing first. Hot glue doesn’t grip well to velcro and will easily pull up. If you sew it to a section of nylon webbing first, then it will have something to grip to.
Towering Props (author)  Katejina4 months ago

Beat me to it! Thanks for commenting!

cheers

Towering Props (author)  Tomas JeffersonH4 months ago

Katejina nailed it below. Adding a backing to the Velcro will allow it to stick much much better to the eva foam!

cheers

OceanWhisper9 months ago
Hi Towering Props. :) I only just (not even a week ago) discovered armor with Eva, and was wondering, should I buy thin or thick foam for some Skyrim armour? It costs too much to buy both, as I only have a part time job.
Towering Props (author)  OceanWhisper9 months ago
Hmm thats tricky... depends in the armor your looking to make. Say if you want to make deadric i would reccomend the rolls but if you wanted to make dwarven i would say the tiles.
Thanks anyway :) I eventually just spent the extra $10 to get a roll of the thin foam. I figured that I could just layer it. I've made one gauntlet so far :D also, do you know if I can make acrylic paint look more 'metal'? I'm not able to buy spray paints of any kind. Thanks

4 months late, I know, but... I've been working on a costume and I've found that Martha Stewart's line of acrylic paint works really well. There are a variety of "metal" colors available. Best selection I've found is at Michael's.

If you're looking for something similar to Skyrim iron or steel armor, you can mix the Sterling and Gunmetal or experiment with some of the other available colors. Hope it helps.

Hobby Lobby is owned by terrible people. You should use Michael's instead :)

Support companies who deserve it, here's the link so you can replace the Hobby Lobby one.

http://www.michaels.com/search?q=craft%20foam

I would like to make some pieces look like leather. Any suggestions?

Towering Props (author)  diane.teeter.55 months ago

Hello! Hmm yes well leather is one of those materials that only leather looks like leather. I have had minor sucsess using really thick craft foam and putting mutiple layers of plasti dip on it. Krylon makes a paint color called "Brown Leather" and it looks kinda convincing. I would recommend that technique if your attempting a leather look with EVA.

Cheers!

Lubaaas6 months ago

I would like to make a fully round helmet, a ball shape with a diameter of about 35cm. Do you think this would be possible with EVA foam? Or should I try a papier-mâché solution instead? I'm going to give it a try anyways but tips are always welcome :-)

Towering Props (author)  Lubaaas6 months ago
Hey! Totally possible what you need to do is cut triangles out of the foam in order to have it round it. Just experiment and use that heat gun and it should be possible!

That's a great idea, thanks!

MartinH106 months ago

Hey, This is a really nice article, can i thransfer it to our website? Http://www.morevafoam.com, We are manufacturer of EVA foam, i would like to save this article in our knowlage base, is it OK?

Towering Props (author)  MartinH106 months ago

While i'm flattered you wish you use my article on your website the license restricts ANY commercial use and must be used in the same license. You may use this article located on the instructables web address for your knowledge base and link the address on your website to this article but as far as being used on your website I must decline and state the CC by-nc-sa license.

OceanWhisper7 months ago
hi ToweringProps, do you know if hot glue will hold button snaps, and what about attaching Velcro? do you think I'll have to use superglue or hot glue to make it stick? cheers :)
Towering Props (author)  OceanWhisper7 months ago
Hey! It will hold with the hot glue but not for very long. Hot glues adhesion is based on surface area and theres not much of it with a small snap. How ever if you attach a snap through a scrap piece of frabric then glue the fabric to tje piece itll last much longer. Also using a 2" square of velcro with a snap in the middle you get the best of both worlds. The friction of velcro and the security of the snap.

Cheers!
OceanWhisper7 months ago
hey again :D I hope you had a fantastic Christmas, and soon a happy new year. I have a question, what's a good way to attach shoulder guards to a corset-style piece? would Velcro on the inside of the foam attaching to straps work? ( dunno if that even makes sense? XD ) thanks
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