Basics of Foam Props Making for Cosplay

Foam Prop Making Basics to Get Your Cosplay Started

So you’ve been thinking about trying to cosplay. You are undoubtedly excited about the world of possibilities for you to follow. The possibilities are truly endless, from embracing and becoming your favorite television, movie, game, or anime character to creating an original cosplay costume in a well-known fandom. However, once you’ve decided to begin the journey to cosplay, a few basics might help make the road smoother, especially when it comes time for props.

Cosplay Foam Dagger

When you first begin cosplay prep, undoubtedly, you’ll focus most on learning the needle and thread and how to use a sewing machine. This is a fantastic starting point, but eventually, you’ll begin to want to make more advanced costumes, add props or even create armor or some intricate headdress. When you’re ready to start more elaborate costumes, that’s when you’re ready to move on to the foam.

When you take your first steps toward foam props, the beginning can be a bit of a confusing mess to try and navigate on your own. Luckily, we’re ready with some basics of foam props making for cosplay that may make your journey to excellent props just a little bit easier.

Gather Your Supplies

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as beginning a craft and realizing that you are missing a much-needed component or tool, then going out and purchasing it or ordering it and waiting for it to arrive in the mail. These are our recommended basic tools that every beginner should have on hand.

Basic Foam Cosplay Tools:

• Utility knives. Yes, plural! You’ll be using utility knives a lot, so it makes sense to look for a good quality bulk pack to save you from running to the local hardware store repeatedly.

• Glue gun and glue sticks. One of the most commonly used thermal adhesives is hot glue. It is a fantastic general adhesive that can always come in handy in a pinch and can glue a wide variety of materials surprisingly well, including your cosplay foam. Hot glue can also be used with cardboard and paper to fill in gaps and wood and apply 3D designs on a material.

• Dremel. A Dremel tool is considered an essential part of cosplay prop making as it can be used for sanding, smoothing, carving, engraving, and shaping, with various speeds and many different tips for all sorts of effects.

• Heat gun. This is another tool we believe is a must-have for any cosplayer’s kit, whether you’ll be working with EVA foam or worbla. While you can use a hairdryer to get materials pliable enough to work with, it takes much longer. A heat gun can help you get foam and worbla shaped in a fraction of the time.

• Wood burning tool. A wood-burning tool is excellent for heat embossing detail into foam, such as runes, writing, ridges, etc.

• Last but most importantly, you’ll need EVA foam.

Basic Cosplay Supplies:

• Patterns. You’ll need a pattern to use in order to cut your EVA foam to the correct shapes. These can be purchased or created by you.

• Sandpaper. Along with a Dremel, sandpaper is an excellent way to remove rough cut edges and smooth any areas of the naked foam or foam that’s been painted or to use as a distressing tool.

• Primer and paint. You’ll want a great primer to prep your EVA foam surface so that you can paint details onto the foam.

• Attachments. How will your props or costume pieces attach to you and stay in place? Some common attachments you might need are velcro, snaps, elastics, hair clips, magnets, buttons, or zippers.

EVA Foam

Why would you choose EVA foam? Why do cosplayers recommend and love EVA Foam? EVA foam is one of the most affordable options when compared to thermoplastic worbla and is much more widely available and just as easy and fun to work with.

EVA is a highly versatile tool that can be cut, glued, and shaped to create lightweight costume pieces that can be painted, dremelled or heat embossed to look like any material for armor or props like swords, axes, staffs, scythes, and so on. Foam can even be used for intricate pieces of cosplay like hats, shoes, masks, and jewelry too.

Typically, EVA foam is available in long rolled-up sheets. The thinnest sizes are commonly used to add the more intricate details to a prop or costume or to create add-ons to other parts of a costume. EVA in 6mm-8mm sheets is typically best for creating sturdy armor that is still flexible enough to be molded into your desired shapes, while the thickest pieces are more often used for prop creation.

When it comes to EVA, there are various colors, densities, thicknesses, sheet sizes, and compositions to choose from. For instance, here at Foam By Mail, EVA foam is available as:

• Polyethylene Foam Rolls

• Poly Round Bolsters

• Cross-Linked Polyethylene in 2, 3, 4, and 6 pounds

• Cross-Linked Polyethylene Skins

• Volara Type 4EO

• Mincel T200, T300, and T600

In addition to the list above, you could use many other surprising sources of foam to create props, such as yoga mats, foam floor mats, and craft-specific foam.

With these basics of foam props making for cosplay, the challenges you face will mostly be in the creation process and not the frustration of running out of the right supplies and tools, thus helping you to better focus on the creative process. When it comes to all things foam, the Foam Factory is dedicated and passionate about sharing our knowledge about how versatile and fantastic foam is for every aspect of our lives – creative, personal, and business!

Would you like to know more or ask us questions about our EVA foam for cosplay? Please feel free to reach out to our excellent customer service representatives! Call us at (586)-627-3626, email us at info@foambymail.com or fill out the Contact Us form right here on the site anytime.

Posted in Closed Cell Foam, Cosplay Foam Tools, DIY Cosplay


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