Whether you are a new or experienced builder, foam is a great material to keep in your cosplay rotation. Insulation, L200, and EVA foam are all fairly easy to use. A common use for foam is armor builds, since it is quite lightweight. Here are our tips (as well as things to avoid) when working with foam.
Tips For Working With Foam
- Know when to use what- As cosplayers, we have lots of options in the types of foams that we can choose. Each choice of foam has a slightly different purpose. For example, if you need a stiffer piece for a cosplay, we recommend that you use insulation foam. But for larger armor builds, you’re probably best using EVA foam.
- Prepping your foam for paint- By painting your foam, you can add great detail or personal style. However, for the best results, you should first sand your foam and seal it with Plasti-Dip.
- Know what tools you need- Different foams and different cosplays require different tools. So, make sure you know ahead of time what tools you’ll need and how to use them safely.
- Measure twice, cut once- Maybe — like us — you get sick of hearing this advice, but we get more sick of having to buy extra foam whenever we screw up.
- Mix foam thickness- Mixing the thickness of the foam you’re building with gives your cosplay a far more realistic feel. Be sure to try this next time you’re doing an armor build!
Things to Avoid When Working With Foam
- Dull blades- When cutting your foam, be sure that you’re using a sharp blade. A dull blade can lead to messy or uneven cuts. We recommend that once you feel the blade start to tug, you should change it.
- Using glue on inside seams- Foam can get quite hot. And, such heat — whether from your body, or just your cosplay being left in the car — can cause your your hot glue to reactivate and peel apart. For this reason, stick to Attach & Build or contact cement for interior seams.
Not wearing a mask or having proper ventilation– When heating your foam, it is very important to wear a ventilator mask. We also recommend that you work in a well ventilated space.