You just made plans to make a completely awesome cosplay and it has armor parts galore. There’s one problem though, you have absolutely no clue how to work with it. You need EVA Foam help. Big time. Well, have no fear, help is here! Here you will find a whole guide on what tools to use, to how to make your creation come to life. So let’s start shall we?
EVA Foam help, step one: The tools.
First things first, you need the right tools to do the job. If you go and google search what tools you need, more than likely, you’ll shut your laptop closed and never think of EVA foam again. That’s why I’m going to break it down into just the bare basics. Because truthfully, you only need a few tools to make your project magnificent.
- Heat gun – This little sucker with make even the thickest foams bend to your will. (And without back talk!) Just watch how far your aiming it. You only want to soften the foam, not your entire work area.
- Exacto knife – Sharp, tiny, not necessarily deadly but very helpful. This tool will cut through the EVA Foam like butter and make your life a breeze.
- Dremel Tool – Firstly, I’m going to mention this: It’s alright if you have no idea what this is. When I started making cosplays I thought it meant that it was some kind of drumming tool. Anyways, What it is actually, is a power tool that can make holes and cuts your average knife or drill can not. Something you would see in a wood or metal shop.
- Glue – Preferably contact cement or E6000. Just something that will hold your pieces together tightly so something doesn’t accidentally pop off.
- Plasti-dip – This stuff helps your project by keeping it firmly together and make the paint job look a lot nicer.
*Side note: Want an easy way to get your hands on a lot of the craft supplies you need for your cosplay? Check out this website: https://www.cosplaycrafts.com/
EVA Foam help, step two: Tracing and cutting.
Next, we have the step where you actually do stuff with your foam! Tracing and cutting. Take the pictures or anything you have of reference of the armor on your cosplay you want to build and find templates of them. Usually there’s a lot that can be found on the internet, so it won’t be like a wild goose chase. Then, after you do that and get your templates, trace it onto your EVA foam. (Be sure to cut off the little awkward and tiny unusable pieces first, so this next step will be a lot easier for you). The step of cutting! Just take your Exacto knife and carefully cut out each piece. Or, if you’re dealing with a thicker piece, use the Dremel.
EVA Foam help, step three: Putting it together!
This is the most tricky, yet fun step. Here is where you’re going to need the Dremel, glue and Heat gun mentioned earlier. First off, if it’s something like a belt or chest armor, a good idea would be to put your template around yourself and carefully mold the foam to fit you and the template. I say carefully because you will have to use the heat gun so you can get the foam to do what you want. As for a helmet or a prop, you don’t have to worry about possibly burning yourself with the heat gun as you mold it. (But, seriously though, please do be careful!)
After you have the pieces molded to how you want them, use the dremel if necessary to drill holes or other openings so you can attach your armor together. Then glue everything else in place with your glue of choice!
EVA Foam help, step four: Sanding and priming.
This step should be the easiest step to do for your armor. (Aside from painting it of course.) After you put your armor together piece by piece, you might notice that there are quite a few unsightly edges and chips to your cosplay. Well, not to worry my friend! That can be fixed! Just sand the ever loving crap out of it. (But not too much that your cosplay turns to dust.) Firstly, start with the lowest grit and work your way up. That way, you will yield better results and a much smoother surface.
Next, once the sanding has been completed. Its time to prime it! Just take your can of Plasti-dip and brush coat after coat–three or four should do the trick. And your armor should be nice, durable, shiny and protected against any possible injuries that may occur. You are also ready for the final step my friend!
EVA Foam help, step five: Painting!
Finally, yes! You are almost to the end! All you have to do, is slap on a few coats of whatever paint color your armor calls for and it is good to go. Just make sure that after each coat, your armor is completely dry. Otherwise you are going to have a very big mess.
Congrats my friend! You have officially waded through the waters of how to deal with EVA foam. And hopefully, you have made a beautiful armor piece that you can be proud of and show off at the next con with pride!