Leather can be super expensive, especially if you are working on a cosplay or project that uses a lot of it. Craft Foam on the other hand is a relatively cheap alternative. "But Craft Foam looks nothing like leather," you may say, "The texture isn't even remotely the same!" This may be the case when you buy it, but not for long. Today, I will demonstrate how to achieve a believable leather look out of your Craft Foam.
Step 1: Materials
Everything on this list is probably laying around your house somewhere so there is no need to buy anything special!
-Craft Foam, around 1-3mm. I haven't tested thicker then 2mm but it should work up to a point. (You knew that was coming)
Step 2: Let the Magic Happen
With so few materials, you would think that the process would be just as easy. You're right!
1. Take a sheet of Tin Foil and crumple it into a ball. Now unfold it so it’s very crinkled but flat. The scrunch marks are what we are going for here.
2. Heat up your iron to a steam setting (mine is set to cotton).
3. Lay the tin foil on top of the foam and gently press the iron on top making little circular motions to evenly distribute the heat. (Make sure the iron doesn’t touch the foam itself. It will burn). This should take no more then 10 seconds or so in each spot, it will depend on the foam's thickness and type. You may need to do a little at a time if your iron or the tinfoil doesn’t cover the entire piece. When you are done, the foam should look something like my piece in the image.
4. The process could affect the color, so if you are going for a specific color look, just be sure to test it on a scrap piece first.
Step 3: Final Product
And here we have it! Our final comparison.