Craft Foam Leather




Introduction: Craft Foam Leather

Learn how to turn craft foam into a leathery material! A simple (and dare I say) addicting process!

What You Need:
-Craft Foam Sheets
-Paint (two or three browns and black)
-Tin Foil
-Ironing Board
-Matte Modge Podge
-Contact Cement (if you're attaching it to something afterwards)

Step 1: Imprinting the Foam

1. Start with thin craft foam like the pack pictured here. The color you pick doesn't matter too much, just know that white will give you a lighter overall finish and black will be darker.
2. Heat up your iron, I heated mine to a medium setting, any hotter and you'll melt the foam.
3. Crumple up a piece of tin foil, uncrumple it slightly and flatten it so it's about the thickness of two sheets of foil, any thicker and the design won't transfer.
4. Iron! This is a trial and error portion, test out a small corner until you're happy with the mixture of pressure/heat/time.
5. Repeat this process until the entire foam sheet is imprinted with the foil design. The edges of the foam may curl up a bit, so while it's still warm, hold the edges down until it's cool enough to keep the shape.

Step 2: Painting Your "Leather"

1. Base coat the entire sheet with your darkest shade of brown. Let dry completely.
2. Water down some black paint until it has the consistency of water.
3. Use a wide brush to brush on the black, and then immediately wipe it with a paper towel, pushing the black into the crevices and spreading it around to create a gradient.
4. At this point, you can use a slightly lighter brown than your base, or just use your base again like I did. With the top coat, I dry brushed it on and smeared it as best I could again with a paper towel. Let dry completely.

Step 3: Seal the Paint Job!

Brush matte Modge Podge evenly over the entire foam piece and let dry. This will give the foam that slight sheen that leather does.

Step 4: All Done!

I used my foam leather to wrap my Merida quiver, pictured here. I used contact cement to adhere it, then dry brushed black onto the seams and edges that would darken with age and wear.

Let me know how you use your foam leather and if there's anything else you would like me to add to the tutorial!
If you have any questions you can reach me here, on Facebook, Twitter @SkywardCosplay, Instagram @skywardsongcosplay, and email @

Before and After Contest 2016

Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2016

Rainy Day Challenge

Participated in the
Rainy Day Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • Puzzles Speed Challenge

      Puzzles Speed Challenge
    • Secret Compartment Challenge

      Secret Compartment Challenge
    • Lighting Challenge

      Lighting Challenge

    4 Discussions


    5 weeks ago

    What kind of paint do we use for the effect?


    Reply 5 weeks ago

    I used acrylic paint for this effect :)


    1 year ago on Step 2

    Fantastic! You've shared so clearly a very straightforward and versatile technique.
    Thank you!


    4 years ago

    I love this thank you!