Learn to Make EVA Foam Armor for Cosplay | Emiline F | Skillshare

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Learn to Make EVA Foam Armor for Cosplay

teacher avatar Emiline F, Cosplayer / Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Making a Custom Armor Pattern


    • 3.

      Building Your Armor and Adding Details


    • 4.



    • 5.

      Painting and Weathering


    • 6.

      Final Thoughts and Class Project


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About This Class

In this class you’ll learn how to make a custom piece of EVA foam armor from start to finish, along with helpful tips and tricks along the way!

Whether you’ve never heard of cosplay before, or have been making costumes for years, if you’re interesting in making your very own armor, this class is for you! 

Emiline has been cosplaying since 2018, and has built numerous full suits of armor, along with many other costumes and props. She loves to share her knowledge with others, and created this class to help teach you about cosplay!

In this class you’ll learn:

  • How to make a custom armor pattern
  • How to build your very own arm bracer out of EVA foam
  • Priming and painting techniques
  • How to weather your paint job to look more realistic

You’ll be following along to create your very own, unique piece of forearm armor, learning techniques and skills that can be applied to countless other projects!

Even if you’re new to cosplay, this class is sure to give you a good introduction to one of the most common materials for this amazing artistic hobby.

If you’re interested in seeing some more of what Emiline has made, visit her cosplay-centered Instagram @/Winterstarcosplay: https://instagram.com/winterstarcosplay?igshid=ajk6sn2afrq8

If you want to learn how to make a simple Golden Snitch cosplay prop from Harry Potter, check out this class: https://skl.sh/2DrEVYU

Meet Your Teacher

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Emiline F

Cosplayer / Artist


Hey there! My name’s Emiline, and I’m a cosplayer and artist who’s been creating Skillshare classes for several years now. I enjoy crafting new costumes and props, as well as always expanding my skills in drawing. I have different classes that focus on both cosplay and drawing, and I hope you’ll check them out! If you want to find more of my cosplay content online, my cosplay name across the web is Winterstar Cosplay.


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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hey guys, I'm him aligned and I wanted to welcome you all to my skill share class. In this class I'm going to be teaching you about EVA foam for cosplay. Eva foam is one of the most common materials in this artistic hobby. And in this class I'm going to be teaching you how to make an armored racer like the one in the video. You'll learn to make a custom fitting pattern for your arm, how to work with EVA foam, and how to prime and paint it to get an amazing finished result. If it seems intimidating or complicated, don't worry, I'll be walking you through every step of the process. I hope to see you guys in the next video because I am so excited to teach you how to use EVA foam for cosplay. 2. Making a Custom Armor Pattern: Hey there and welcome to my skill shop class. For this video, you're going to need a couple of different supplies. The first one being a Sharpie, a pair of sharp scissors, duck tape, and plastic wrap. Once you have all your supplies, that the first thing you'll want to do is take a large piece of plastic wrap and wrap it snugly around your arm. Make sure to make it tight enough that it won't slide around a whole bunch, making a loose, even fit, but make sure it's not too tight that it'll be hard to cut off later. Once you've finished wrapping your arm and plastic wrap about from your risk to your elbow, it's time to use our dictate. What we're going to do here is take tariff short strips of duct tape and lay them over our plastic graph, helping to create a snug and fitting pattern. I would not recommend just taking one long piece of duct tape and wrapping it continually around your arm because that will make the pattern far too tight and it'll be hard to cut off later. Your pattern doesn't need to be 100% smooth, but it's better if you have fewer wrinkles since this will make a more accurate pattern. Once you've finished putting on the duct tape, it is time to start drawing on our pattern. I would first recommend drawing a straight line down the middle of your arm. So you can kind of have a center point of reference for drawing on the browser. Then you can just draw a simple circular line around the top and bottom of the brace or adding another line to the bottom so you know where to cut it off. The horizontal lines I'm adding here are called registration marks. They help you line up your phone bill later. There are totally optional, but they do make it easier to put it back together later. The next step after drawing on the registration marks and pattern lines is to cut off your duct tape. Make sure that you do this very carefully and avoid cutting yourself since scissors are sharp. Once you cut it off, you should have something that looks kind of like this a little bit. I don't even know how to describe that shape. But anyway, for the next step, you're going to need a piece of paper, a Sharpie, and your scissors again. First you're going to want to take your pattern and trim off the excess edges. This makes for a cleaner and more precise pattern. Once you've finished that, go ahead and lay your duck tape pattern onto the piece of paper so you can trace around it and make a cleaner, more, again, more precise pattern to add details. While tracing your duct tape pattern onto paper to add details isn't strictly necessary. It's an extra step that I like to do so I have more control over the finished shape. It also allows me to make my brace or pattern completely symmetrical as well as have more control over the details I add for the details for this brace or I'm not doing anything too fancy, just a border with a simple diamond design in the middle. I only need to draw it on one side since I'm just going to fold it in half and cut it later. By folding your pattern in half, you can ensure that the details and the shape is the exact same on both sides. Once you've cut out your pattern and you decide that you're happy with the design. That's pretty much it for the patterning stage. Though, I would recommend that you make sure it still fits you properly. It's okay if there's a little gap between the edges of paper since we're going to add elastic later. But you just wanna make sure that it's the general right size to fit your arm. And then that's it. Your pattern will be done and I will see you in the next video. 3. Building Your Armor and Adding Details: All right, welcome to the next video and I'm glad you're still here. This video is about building the actual foam racer and you're going to need a couple of different tools serve that. First, something sharp cut your phone with, I would recommend and exact DO knife or a sharp box cutter. Second, you're going to need something to draw on the foam. Silver Sharpies worked great since it shows up good on black EVA foam, which is also something you're going to need. I would recommend using a thick EVA foam and a thin one. I'm using four millimeter and two millimeter. Though you can use just two millimeter if you can't find any four millimeter. If you can't find anything that says a foam, you can also just use Kraft foam sheets that you can buy at Walmart or a craft store. Since it's pretty much the same thing, just a little bit lower quality. And puts you found all of those supplies. You can go ahead and grab your pattern, which we made in the other video and lay it on top of your thicker EVA foam. It sounds are pronounced EVA foam. But I usually say EVA foam. And once you have finished tracing your pattern onto the EVA foam or EVA foam, you can go ahead and cut that out with a sharp knife. Be careful don't cut yourself. Knives, they're also sharp and essential because using scissors on EVA foam doesn't work out super great. Anyway, back to the tutorial at hand. I would go ahead and take your cutout racer and make sure it fits your arm properly. If it does, you can go ahead and take your pattern again and cut out all of the detail pieces you made. Your details might look similar or identical to mine or they might be something completely different. This is your armor so you make it look like whatever you want. Just make sure you aren't detailed pieces still fit onto your base racer. Then you can go ahead and start tracing those patterns onto your thinner EVA foam. This is pretty much the same process as earlier, so I won't go into a ton of detail. Basically you just trace it onto the phone with the silver sharpie or other drawing tool. Cut it out, and then we can move on to the next step. Alright, so the next stage is gluing. I am going to be using a product called barge contexts event, which is commonly used for glue EVA foam together. But if you don't have that, you can just use something like a hot glue gun or some other type of balloon. If you are using contexts meant, I would first trace on where you are going to glue on the details. Since for context meant you do need to wear gloves. They can be toxic. And also please open a window or wear a respirator since it again is toxic. And for context event, you need to apply it evenly to both surfaces, which is why you need to trace on the details beforehand so you can know where to put the glue. Contact. Someone has a little bit of a drying time, not usually more than 20 minutes or half an hour. And once that is done, you can go ahead and lay your detailed pieces onto the glue areas of tracer. It's easier to keep the brace or in its curved shape if you lay on the details while holding it curved that with the brace or will keep its shape even when you're not wearing it. If you're using something like hot glue, you obviously don't need to worry about it being toxic or waiting for a drying time. But do be aware that we will have to heat seal the phone later, which may cause your hot glue to melt a little bit, which is why I prefer to use contexts meant he can still absolutely use hot glue. It just might be a bit more difficult. Anyway. For the next step we are going to be heating up our EVA foam heat sealing it helps it holds the primer and paint better. Yeah, I'm using a heat gun for this. But if you don't have a heat gun, you can use a high temperature blow dryer. It just is louder and takes longer. Once you've heated up your phone evenly on both sides, hold it in a curved shape around your arm or separately until it is completely cooled down. This will help it keep its shape. Once your foam is completely cooled down, we can move onto making attachments. I'm using thick elastic for this, but you can also use something like Velcro or a zipper. I'm going to be using hot glue to glue my elastic onto the foam. And something you can do to help hot glue stick better to foam is scoring the EVA foam. To do this, you just make a series of simple criss cross cuts, only going about halfway through the phone. You do this on all the parts you'll be gluing elastic to, in this case, all of the four corners. And then the hot glue to those cracks and give it a much better hold on the phone. After you've added the hot glue and put on your elastic, something else you can do to give it a better hold on the EVA foam is ad hoc glue around the edges. This will stop it from tearing out later. And once you have added a hukou and elastic to both sides of your brain Acer. Now's the time to do a fitting test and cut off the excess amount of elastic, this will make sure that your brace or fits well. After you've determined that it will fit, repeat the same steps and glue at both sides of the elastic to the other side of the phone. And then that's done. I'll see you in the next video. 4. Priming: Since we've already heat sealed our racer in the last video and now we're going to prime it. 5. Painting and Weathering: All right, so now we're on to one of my favorite steps which is painting. I'm going to be using just simple acrylic paints for this, which I'm going to use paint brushes and a couple of different colors and metallic and Black along with the paint pellets, but my paint on and some water. The first thing you're going to want to do here is take some black acrylic paint and cover the entire surface of your brace, or this isn't technically unnecessary, but it just gives you a really smooth even color based to work on. After that, you're going to want to take your first color and start painting. For a painting EVA foam with acrylic paint. It works best if you do it in lots of smooth, thin layers. Since they wanted a really smooth even finish, I ended up doing, I think around three layers, but you can do more or less depending on how thick your pages. For the raised area of my brace or I ended up picking this nice, smooth gold color since I thought it would look really nice with the green. Once you're doing the details, you do need to be more careful not to color on top of the green. But if you do get it on there and your green paint is dry, you can wipe it off with a bit of damp paper towel. Once you have finished doing enough layers of all of the colors you choose to use, we can move onto weathering. Weathering and shading is what makes your armor appear much more realistic. And for this piece of armor, I want using a method called dry brushing, where you take some black acrylic paint, white most of it off on a paper towel. And then start diving it into the corners and lower areas of your brace or try and think about where shadows might fall naturally or were dirt and dust might collect in a normal piece of armor. You can do light shading and weathering if you just want your IRA to have a little bit of a US look or a lot heavier and darker if you want it to seem like it's really seen that the heat of battle, in addition to just dry brushing it, the paint on it, you can also use a damp paper towel will to get any excess off you want. Shading and weathering armor is such a fun step because it really brings your armor to the next level. Something with shading and something without can really have a huge difference. You can definitely see a huge positive difference after I finish the shading compared to before. Once you've finished all of your weathering, you're pretty much done with your eraser. I just wanna go over a couple last things in the final video. And so I hope to see you there. 6. Final Thoughts and Class Project: Hey guys, thanks so much for watching my skill share class. I hope you enjoyed it and learned a lot about cosplay and building EVA foam armor. If you did fall along with the videos to make your own piece of armor, I encourage you to take a picture of it and post it to the class project section so that all the other students can see what you've made and get inspired. There are so many different things you can make with EVA foam for cosplay and these other arbor pieces I've made are really just the beginning. I hope that you'll continue to use EVA foam and other cosplay materials to continue with cosplay and grow in this amazing artistic hobby. Thanks again for watching and I'll see you guys next time.