EVA foam is one of the most commonly used materials to create cosplay armor and props. For the best results and experience, use high density EVA foam as it is more durable, less absorbent, and easy to cut.
To cut out patterns and designs into the foam, you will need sharp cutting knifes or utility blades. Be sure to have a sharpener or back up blades on hand because your blades will dull with extended use.
Adhesive is a must have for attaching your foam pieces together
- Hot glue: Hot glue will be the cheapest and most accessible adhesive. It dries relatively quickly and applies unevenly so working with it can get messy.
- Contact cement: Even better than hot glue is contact cement. Contact cement has the sturdiest hold and the cleanest looking seams after application.
Before priming and painting EVA foam – heat treat it with a heat gun. This process shrinks the pores in the EVA foam so more of the product stays on the surface rather than being absorbed. A heat gun is also needed to manipulate the foam into shapes for your cosplay.
To remove texture and further avoid absorption of product into the EVA foam, prime! You will need to apply multiple layers of primer before painting.
- White Glue/Wood Glue/Mod Podge: Glue based substances are affordable and accessible and can be found in most craft and hardware stores. The downside with using glue is that you may see streaks after application and the drying time can often be abysmal.
- Plasti-dip: Priming with Plasti-dip will leave best looking finish. It can be hard to find at times but is completely worth it.
Rather than using brush on paint, consider using spray paint. The spray paint application and drying time is faster than brushing and will leave a streak free finish. For an armor like finish use metallic paint.