Working With Foam: Tips and Tricks - Creating Texture



Introduction: Working With Foam: Tips and Tricks - Creating Texture

About: A wellington based cosplayer and propmaker well versed in foamsmithing and creating fantastic weapons, accessories, clothes and armours from the medium of foam. Running weekly Tips and Tricks posts and shar...

As we catch up with the weekly posts, this instructable looks at the techniques needed to create a leather texture in your foam for armour or props.

These instructables are designed to be simple and informative, and the skills can be transfered easily across to other mediums. If you have any questions about the tips or any suggestions or comments on tips you'd like to see, I'd be very interested in hearing them.

Step 1: What You Will Need:

For this technique you need three things:
- tin foil

- Your foam (works best on thin foam such as 2mm for things like straps and detailing, but can work with thicker pieces too).

- An iron.

Step 2: Making the Texture

Once you know it, this technique is really very simple, but incredibly effective.

First of all take your tinfoil and tear off a piece. Then scrunch it up into a ball. Be careful not to tear it, as we still need it to remain in a single 'sheet'.

Step 3: Overlaying Our 'texture'

After your tinfoil is scrunched up, simply unfold it and lay it flat(ish) so it can cover the foam.

We don't want to smooth it out as this can make the texture too fine and it doesn't translate correctly onto the foam or to the eye once painted.

Step 4: Adding Some Heat

This is the fun step.

Plug in your iron and set it to high heat. Let it heat up and once ready, press it firmly onto the tinfoil with the foam underneath it. Make sure you press it, dont rub it, as rubbing will effectively iron out all these creases that you want to add in.
Depending on the thickness of the foam press down for about 10 seconds or so. Lift a corner of the tinfoil sheet up to check on the foam to see if the creased pattern has come through and if more pressure/ time is needed.

Then rinse and repeat across your foam sheet.

If you are doing a large sheet, sometimes the tinfoil may become too finely creased, so if this happens, get yourself a new sheet and follow steps 2-3 again.

Step 5: Admire Your Work

***Make sure you turn the iron off before doing this***

step back and admire your new leather/foam sheets.

You can do this to your foam before cutting it out to form strips and/or other leather items, or you can pre-cut and then add the texture.

Then we can paint. The crevices and cracks respond brilliantly to dry brushing and washes, so you can really make them pop and bring the texture alive in whatever you are making.

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