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08 Jan 2009 - 15:559410
Craft Foam...
Okay I had a hunt through previous posts but couldnt find this question:

What should/shouldn't you use on craft foam? For example, can you use spray paint? Hot glue?

Any input would be highly appreciated

08 Jan 2009 - 15:589411
im 82.3 percent sure you cant use spray paints on foam O_o now dont hold me to that there may be extenuating curcumstances like putting some form of resin over it.

08 Jan 2009 - 16:059412
You can put pretty much anything on craft foam, but for smoother surfaces or a less delicate finish (no flaking if bashed) you'll want to use some kind of primer like PVA or gesso before the paint and maybe even a varnish on top

NB: In some cases it looks good to cover it with fabric.

08 Jan 2009 - 18:519418
When I made my Steiner armour I covered it with 2-3 layers of PVA glue which wasn't watered down. My friend watered down her PVA glue and had to put on about 7 layers, I lacked time so I didn't water it but I think your supposed to! xD;

Either way you need to somehow cover up the craft foam before spray painting. There were little parts where I didn't cover it properly and it didn't give it the perfect smooth, metal finish I wanted. Luckily it was just in the corner where no one could notice [and it gave it a rusty effect lol, yay for good mistakes!].

I used hot glue on craft foam... like Amy-Lou said you can use anything with it ^_^
Although be careful when making mistakes, I made quite a few mistakes and once the hot glue dried I couldn't peel it off without damaging the craft foam X_x I assumed since it was a rubbish glue gun I could just peel it off but nooooo, hot glue sticks TOO perfectly to craft foam xDD

08 Jan 2009 - 19:289422
Be careful with hot glue. It works, but it can melt the foam if you use too much of it. However if it's been coated in a few layers of PVA, it'll be fine.

I'd suggest if using it for armour, back it with cotton or some kind of fabric to strengthen it.

CosplayIsland Staff Member

09 Jan 2009 - 00:459440
Duhhhh Dani I forgot to say I will be using pva to coat it throughly, and fabric backing!

Really Im just wondering about spray paint through it all xD

09 Jan 2009 - 02:119441
Quote stripey_dani:
Duhhhh Dani I forgot to say I will be using pva to coat it throughly, and fabric backing!

Really Im just wondering about spray paint through it all xD

I've spray painted small sections of it before and it worked out fine. ^_^

09 Jan 2009 - 10:219452
you dont have to prime craft foam with anything to spray paint it.

I usually back mine with buckram and spray paint straight on the craft foam. I'll add shading and details after and then cover it in varnish or a clear lacquer

hope that helps =]

My God. Its full of stars
09 Jan 2009 - 10:339453
I agree with everything above! One thing that Sands mentioned, vanishing/laquering etc after is essential! I didn't and found after a days wear of my beatrix armour that the paint started to flake a little at the edges.

Also it just looks better when you do! (for small things i use clear nail varnish, you can also use pva as suggested. clear varnish is best if you have lots to do though!)

There is always room for cake
09 Jan 2009 - 12:319464
If you use basic styrofoam what ever you do DO NOT use any sort of chemical based paint or glues or resin.

Some paints and glue make syrofoam melt and burn. Some fiberglass resins even combusts when it contacts styofoam.

Try to stick with craft foam its non toxic and better to work with.

James Fedora
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09 Jan 2009 - 13:169466
There are some types of glue you shouldn't use, but I can't remember right now which ones >_< I think superglue is one - it just melts a hole right through the foam and releases delicious toxic fumes in the process.

I've used spray paint without priming with PVA or similar before, and it cracked off pretty quickly. I generally prefer to use acrylic paints which don't do that.

09 Jan 2009 - 14:319469
I'm using a craft foam armour tutorial I found on the interwebz:

So Laura, you spray/paint directly? Whats the effect like? And whats the brand name of the varnish you use?

Also, in the tutorial, the girl used a thin material, so I'm not sure whether to go with buckram (which may not be stocked by my local fabricland) or a gauzey material...
Any buckram alternatives???

Its my first time doing any kind of armour work so I'm up for trying different techniques etc.

09 Jan 2009 - 16:329477
I would only suggest buckram for a larger heavier piece - so chest plates! otherwise you can get away without it.

I spray straight on and the effect is fine, then use acrylic paint to add any details. Its just standard paint varnish, but I often use clear car spray lacquer to finish it off.

My God. Its full of stars
14 Jan 2009 - 12:409717
Urm, sorry to hi-jack your thread Dani >_> But it is my first time using craft foam >_>

Ok... I've got some fur on the way (it's basically a fur suit for the flames) but has anyone any idea on how to make templates for "that"? (My mind can't seem to think in 3D >_> )

Last edited by RanmaSyaoran (14 Jan 2009 - 12:46)
14 Jan 2009 - 13:009720
dani, ive used lauras technique and it works fine as you can see from my kanetsugu armour before however, i kinda modded wht i used a bit my using a more heavier grade thicker buckram, its great for curvs like just around the body BUT it will only curv one way as its mega stiff so for chest plates thts are more curvy stick with a lighter grade of buckrum(should be white) hmms as for craft foaom and sprey paint when i first spreyed my urrahara sword(which had raides craft foam bits) lets just say it stood out a bit as the craft foam absorbed the paint a little so for the UBER best results id say a few layers of pva first do ur paintin then cover it with one of the above what people have said like, clear nail polish or something like that.

as for you ranmaa hmms LMAO looks complicated best thing you can do is just work bits out on card or paper for the shapes then when your got what you wanted get the craft foam and do it with that, i dont think you can simply just make a pattern with something like that however you can just wing it LMAO tis wht i do most of the times, just shitly put together ur basic shape once thats doen your in there , one thing i learned from my kanetsugu helmet is that it doesnt have to be in perfect shape when its finished the basic structure because u can always add extra bits for raised areas then just cover it or paper mache after and it looks part of theorginal thing, i wudnt suggest this on the big bits but laura (sands) introduced me to paper pulp, basically your best to ask her as shes more familiar with it however from what ive experiences its great for hardenings things like headresses ect and getting tht uber smooth finish, however if u mmix it thick you can create raised areas and it wil harden like that for example lauras orochi helmet all the raised muscles in the headress are paper pulped , or my helmet for instance the bump under neath the bit stickin at the back was all bumpy and not one big bump like the ref pic when i first constructed it, after using pulp and thickeing it i was ale to fill in the small bumbs and the end result was the perfect bump i was lookin for at the end, however after u use pulp sand sand sand it to get an even smoother finish(as sands told me)im nto entirely sure on it all but im sure sands wil be hapy to help

14 Jan 2009 - 13:079722
I'm sorry to say but if your mind can't think in 3D, maybe that isn't your best first project with craft foam.

I'm all for being ambitious with costumes, but sometimes you do have to try a less complicated one first before you do the mega ultra thing of flaming death.

There's a huge skeletal structure to be made for that, followed by plates and such on top, and in the end it might not even be a wearable costume due to the sheer weight and size. Yes it could be made in a light way, but the way the legs look to be supported from the waist would make keeping the structure of them a very difficult thing.


14 Jan 2009 - 15:229733
Haw haw,

I'll give it a go... I think though I'll be ommiting the extra 2 legs along with the "disk portal" (You won't mind will you? XD)

The giant disk is actually a portal, so it's not really attached to "it" and so are the giant curved spikes that adorn it so XD

( The basic human "shape" )

I'm trying to think in 3D, my mind can handle it... It's just getting the template right which is the fun bit!

Last edited by RanmaSyaoran (14 Jan 2009 - 15:31)
14 Jan 2009 - 16:119736
working with upholstery foam + funfoam + evostick

Its amazing!!!

Karen suggested it as its what she uses for her fur suits and the bond is fantastic

What im doing is applying the evostrick to both surfaces then pinning them together XD

as for paintnig im mixing acryllic paint with latex using clear coat primer isoflex to seal it..

14 Jan 2009 - 16:339737
Quote RanmaSyaoran:
Haw haw,

I'll give it a go... I think though I'll be ommiting the extra 2 legs along with the "disk portal" (You won't mind will you? XD)

The giant disk is actually a portal, so it's not really attached to "it" and so are the giant curved spikes that adorn it so XD

( The basic human "shape" )

I'm trying to think in 3D, my mind can handle it... It's just getting the template right which is the fun bit!

haha yeaa i noticed the body shape underneath at first like that too and i really admire the fact your not letting things like it being a bit to ambition get you down man, i wish you all the best and hope it turns out great dude, good luck

15 Jan 2009 - 10:299760

I'm going to see if a local charity shop will let me use a maniquinn that they have to help me think how to make this...

I'm planning on using that to build the armour around as it has arms, legs and a head XD

Doing this should make thinking about how to fix everything in place much easier!

( Only problem is... I won't be able to have a maniquinn onboard because they take up too much room >_> )

15 Jan 2009 - 10:449763
Do you have any reference pictures without the extra stuff around the edges? If you get a better one then it will be much easier to break it all down into what you need to make


15 Jan 2009 - 13:379781
Unfortunatly not, this was from an artbook and it seems to be the only picture in existance ¬_¬

I've vectorised it online, which removed some of the detail (and made it much larger) but other than that I'm thinking of using some "artistic" licence.

(For the back I'm basically going to have a back plate that looks like a flat armour structure, with a raised spine bone / ribs.)

Last edited by RanmaSyaoran (15 Jan 2009 - 13:47)
15 Jan 2009 - 13:589782
great stuff can use it for so much and pretty much use anything on it

17 Jan 2009 - 17:519842

It was REALLY simple to cut out! (I thought I would have to hack through it) I just need to strengthen it and give it some more shape / trim it to start working on the details!

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