DIY: Making a Bionic Arm from EVA Foam

While we have previously shared David Guyton’s video tutorial on how to make a bionic arm from metal, he has just released a brand new tutorial on making one out of EVA foam!

While EVA foam is far less durable a material than metal, it has several distinct advantages over metal:

  • Some conventions have banned the wearing of metal armor. If you’re planning to attend such a convention in an armored costume, it will have to be made out of some other material, such as plastic or EVA foam.
  • EVA foam is much lighter than metal making it easier to wear.
  • While metal is a rather rigid material, EVA foam is far more flexible, which also makes EVA foam easier to wear.
  • Since EVA foam is a soft material as compared with metal, it’s much easier to work with than metal.
  • The tools & materials are less costly & easier to obtain for working with EVA foam as opposed to metal.
  • The skills required to work with EVA foam are easier to learn than the skills needed for working with metal.
  • Unlike metal edges that need to be sanded so that they won’t accidentally cut into skin, you needn’t worry about EVA foam edges being a potential safety hazard.
  • Unlike metal that can rust, EVA foam can’t rust.
  • You’re far less likely to disturb neighbors working with EVA foam because you don’t have to hammer it as you would need to do with metal.

The biggest disadvantages with EVA foam as compared with metal are as follows:

  • EVA foam is not as durable as metal (as previously mentioned), meaning it has a much higher chance of being damaged while being worn or stored.
  • Greater care must be used for storing EVA foam armor than with metal to ensure that it keeps its intended shape.
  • EVA foam armor is going to be much thicker than a metal equivalent, so additional allowances have to be made.
  • Replicating a metallic shine with painted EVA foam will probably never be as shiny as actual metal.

If you haven’t worked with EVA foam before, we recommend reading Working with EVA Foam for Beginners.

References:

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DIY Cosplay Boots & Footwear

Many #costumes & #cosplays (especially superhero & super-villain characters) require #boots. If you are wearing shoes or something else that doesn’t look like the the correct boots, it could severely detract from the appearance of your #cosplay or #costume, or make it appear incomplete. Obviously, you don’t want that to happen, but there are several common issues associated with boots:

  • Boots are typically expensive, i.e., they typically cost more than a pair of shoes. Boots can cost several hundred dollars for a single pair.
  • Boot manufacturers typically don’t make boots that resemble those that specific science fiction, fantasy, superhero or super-villain characters wear. This is especially true if the boots are brightly colored or have patterns or designs on them.
  • Boots (and shoes) aren’t easy to make from scratch. Specialized tools, equipment and skills are generally required.

The least expensive and least complicated method that #costumers & #cosplayers have found for having the right boots for a specific character is to transform an existing pair of footwear into the right kind of boots. This is typically done by covering the existing pair of footwear and extending the covers up the legs to the height needed for the boots. The result will look like you’re wearing a pair of boots!

The advantage with making your own boot covers is that you can essentially transform any footwear into what you need for a given costume. If you don’t have shoes (or boots) that are similar enough to the foot portion of the boots that you need, you can probably find used shoes (or boots) that you can cover that won’t cost anywhere near as much as a new pair would.

First, here’s a video tutorial by Destiny Italia showing one technique of wrapping your leg and footwear with fabric as you transform the fabric into boot covers:

Cosplayer OneEmily’s Cosplay also has an interesting tutorial that shows how to make removable boot covers so that you can continue to wear the shoes separately and not as part of a costume of cosplay:

If you need to make a pair of superhero/super-villain boots, cosplayer Scott Bayles has one of the best tutorials on how to transform a pair of shoes into superhero/super-villain boots:

We wish you the best of luck with your cosplay boots!

References:

Several Glove Making Tutorials

Last September we posted a tutorial showing one simple way to make #gloves. We wanted to share several more tutorials that various #cosplayers have shared on #YouTube to help you decide what might be the best way for you to make gloves.

These tutorials are similar, but vary in whether the gloves are fingerless or not, glove length along the arm, materials used and methods used. In each tutorial, stretch fabric (usually 4-way stretch fabrics) are used.

First, we have this simple fingerless glove design using stretch fabric as posted by Adonis Cosplay in 2016:

Miso Cosplay shared this quick and easy tutorial in 2015 to make gloves that involves separate tracing paper, as well as pointing out that it’s a good idea to trim on the inside after sewing on the tips of the fingers and in the groves between fingers so that the gloves fit well:

You can also makes gloves from sleeves of an existing shirt or top. Bob Bee shows such a method using an old sweatshirt top. The advantage with this is that you essentially have pre-cuffs that you won’t have to remake, which can be a time-saver:

This is a more elaborate glove making tutorial that creates elbow-length gloves. It was made by Sanzu Fabrications in 2017 and includes a segment on dying the fabric after the gloves have been sewn:

Our last glove tutorial was made by Daniel Siebert. He uses 2 different colors of fabrics so that he has gloves that are blue on one side and white on the other side. The method he used included using tear-away paper for tracing the pattern:

We hope that you found these tutorials useful. If you know of a different way to make gloves, we’d love to hear how you made them.

References:

All Kinds of EVA Foam Explained by Punished Props

Bill Doran of #PunishedProps has posted a fantastic video on #YouTube explaining lots of different kinds of #EVAFoam used by #cosplayers. If you make #costumes with EVA foam or are thinking about it, you should watch this video.

He focuses primarily on types of EVA foam available in the United States, but does touch one some types in Europe and a few other places.

We’ve also shared the links to various sources of EVA foam below the video.

EVA Foam Sources:

 

DIY: How to Make a Santa Claus Costume

With #Christmas just around the corner, a very popular #costume at this time of year is a #SantaClaus (or #FatherChristmas) costume. While there are a variety of off-the-shelf Santa Claus costumes available, quality and cost can vary widely. There’s also the option of renting a Santa Claus costume.

Basic Components

The basic components that are needed for a Santa Claus costume are as follows:

  1. A red coat with white faux fur trim at the bottom of coat, along the coat opening and at the ends of the sleeves. Ideally, the sleeves should be wide.
  2. Matching red pants, ideally made from the same material as the coat. (There are common variations for the pants.)
  3. A wide black belt with a large rectangular open belt buckle worn over the coat at waist level.
  4. A red stocking style hat with white faux fur trim and a white cotton ball at the end. The hat should be the same material as the coat and pants.
  5. One pair of black boots. Ideally, the boots should have round toes (not square toed or pointed) and probably 12 inches tall. The boots should also have black soles. The boots can be shiny or matte. (There are common variations for the boots.)
  6. A long white beard and mustache.
  7. A red toy bag.

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Common Variations

Not all Santa Claus / Father Christmas costumes are the same. Some common variations are listed below:

  • White gloves are a very common variant, but aren’t required. Red, black or even dark brown gloves are also possible.
  • While it is common for the red pants to be tucked into the black boots, the pants can also be worn over the boots. If the pants are tucked in, white faux fur that matches the trim on the coat and hat can be used to trim the top of the shafts of the boots. If the pants aren’t tucked in, white faux fur can be used to trim the bottom of the pants legs.

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  • Coat length can vary from standard coat length (below the waist) to knee length or ankle length. Older versions of Santa Claus typically have longer coat lengths. Father Christmas is more common with a long coat length.
  • Shoulder flaps on the coat are another possible coat variant. These are typically made of the same fabric as the coast itself and should also be trimmed with the same faux fur as the bottom of the coat and coat opening.
  • Pudginess also varies quite a bit. While the traditional Santa Claus is seen as being rather pudgy, other versions (often with a longer coat) aren’t as pudgy. If you’re going for the traditional pudgy Santa Claus, you’ll want a fat suit or some other kind of stuffing to create that appearance. You’ll also need to adjust the waist & chest sizes of the coast to accommodate the amount of desired pudginess.
  • Coat and pants don’t necessarily have to be red. Some versions of Santa Claus / Father Christmas show him wearing a green coat and pants. While any color can be used, red is the best, followed by green. Once you choose a color, make sure that the pants and coat are the same color; they should not be different colors or different shades.

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  • Another variation involving the coat has it kept open with a gold-buttoned red vest being worn beneath. For this style, the vest isn’t made from the same material as the coat and can be embroidered. Also, both openings of the coat should have white faux fur trim. In this variation, the belt should be worn beneath the coat and not over it.

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  • Gold embroidery on the coat can also be added.

Materials

  • The best fabric choice for the coat and pants is velvet, but any cotton fabric can also be used. The fabric should be woven, not knit, which could stretch. Use the same fabric for the pants, coat & hat. A vest (if used) can be made using a different fabric.
  • The belt can be faux leather, not necessarily real leather.
  • White faux fur for the trim. It’s best to be consistent with the type of white faux fur being used throughout the costume.
  • Patterns for the coat, pants and hat.

Pick a Style & Have Fun

The best thing to do is to pick a style for your Santa Claus costume and then follow it to create the desired look. Then go out & have fun!