What is EVA foam?
EVA foam is an abbreviation for Ethylene Vinyl Acetate. EVA foam is a hardwearing plastic that is used in a foam form used in shoes, toys, bags and much more. Within the world of cosplay, theater and costume builders, EVA foam is used to create the most beautiful costumes and props. This is because EVA foam is versatile, inexpensive and easy to use. EVA foam is also lightweight and therefore comfortable to wear.
Which EVA foam should I choose?
In several stores you will find EVA foam tiles that are made for use under a pool or in a play area. These are specially made for this purpose. They usually have a ribbed non-slip side, one thickness and a limited size, usually 40 x 40 cm. It is possible to use these EVA foam tiles to make a cosplay or costume, but it is quite time consuming and difficult to work with. Because of the non-slip coating, EVA foam tiles are harder to cut and the adhesive does not stick as well. In addition, most EVA foam tiles also have a low density so it can be difficult to get a nice smooth finish after sanding.
EVA foam for cosplay and costumes can be purchased in different shapes, thicknesses, sizes and densities. With us you can buy EVA foam online in a low density CF65 and high density CF100. Where you can choose from different thicknesses of 1 mm, 2 mm, 5 mm and 10 mm EVA foam. All EVA foam sheets are for sale in two different sizes, namely 200 x 100 cm and 100 x 50 cm. If you want to buy EVA foam, it is smart to first think about what thickness and density would be best for your cosplay costume or prop. The higher the density of the EVA foam the smoother and firmer the structure of the EVA foam. This is because the cells of the CF100 EVA foam are closer together than they are with the CF65 EVA foam.
The CF65 EVA foam is typically used to create round shapes, such as a helmet or shoulder piece. Low density CF65 EVA foam is also used in combination with thermoplastics such as Worbla and Thibra. Because the cells of the CF65 EVA foam are slightly more apart, the EVA foam is easier to bend and mold. To shape and mold EVA foam, it needs to be heated with a hot air gun, a hair dryer simply does not get hot enough. The high density CF100 EVA foam is most often used to make armor pieces and props that need to be large and sturdy, with a very tight and smooth end result. Very suitable if you want to make an Iron Man cosplay.
How do I work with EVA foam?
You can work with EVA foam with different tools. Cutting EVA foam is often done with hobby knives, such as a Stanley knife or a scalpel knife. For best results, make sure your knife is very sharp before cutting EVA foam. Also, use a good cutting mat to protect your table or workbench. EVA foam can also be easily sanded with a multi-tool "Dremel" or sandpaper.
Bonding EVA foam is best done with a contact adhesive like our Minque Duracoll. You apply a thin layer of contact adhesive to both edges that need to be bonded together. Use a glue brush, squeeze bottle or a piece of residual foam for this. Then wait 5 to 10 minutes for the contact adhesive to become completely matte. Now your EVA foam pieces are ready to be glued together. Be careful not to make any mistakes when bonding EVA foam. Because once it's stuck together, it's almost impossible to separate it. Besides contact glue, hot glue and super glue are also widely used to bond EVA foam to each other or to other materials such as straps, elastic and artificial leather.
To create different details and structures in your EVA foam, you can use a multi-tool, a wood-burning iron or a soldering iron. Think about your safety and make sure you always work in a well-ventilated area and wear the proper mask when processing EVA foam. Wear a dust mask against fine dust and safety glasses when sanding EVA foam. And wear a face mask when burning in EVA foam because toxic fumes are released.
How do I paint EVA foam?
When you are done processing EVA foam, it is always advisable to heat seal your EVA foam beforehand. Heat sealing is also done with a hot air gun. Close up and at the highest temperature, gently move the hot air gun back and forth over your EVA Foam, until the EVA foam cells start to close. Continue until you see the EVA foam shining a little due to the heat, but be careful not to melt the EVA foam. Heat sealing will reduce the amount of primer and paint you need, which in turn is good for your wallet.
Next, start by applying a primer, or primer before you paint. For EVA foam, it's best to use a flexible primer like Minque QuickSpray Primer, Flexbond or Hexflex. These primers remain flexible so your paint won't easily crack, peel or wrinkle while wearing your cosplay or costume. In addition, a good primer will make the paint adhere better and you will need less paint. Because EVA foam that has not been sealed or primed sucks up the moisture from the paint like a sponge. And after all those hours of work on your cosplay or costume, you want the very best and a long-lasting end result.
After the primer is dry you can paint your EVA foam cosplay, costume or prop with for example Amsterdam Acrylic paint, Oil paint or Metallic paint. When you are completely finished painting your EVA foam creation, it is also wise to apply a finisher as a protective layer over your paint job. Use for example our QuickSpray Finisher which is available in a matte and glossy version. A finisher ensures that your EVA Foam cosplay or costume can take a beating and is protected against various weather conditions. So you have longer and more fun of your EVA foam masterpiece.
Did you like this blog? You can also check out our blog about Worbla!