Bench sanders are an amazing tool to have, I highly recomend them if you are planning on working with a lot of foam.  However, I understand that not everyone wants to spend the money on a bench sander.  So then how do you get nice clean bevels?  Some people just hold their razor at an angle when cutting.  This works ok, but if you want clean straight lines and don’t have the steadiest hand, it can be pretty tricky.  Not to mention that razor blades dull fast.   Well here is a great trick to get really clean beveled edges that look like you used a bench sander!

Here’s what you’ll need!

-Ruler:  Metal rulers are preferred because you can also use them as a guide for cutting with out the risk of cutting into the ruler.

-Pen or Marker:  To mark your cut lines

-Foam:  ya need something to bevel

-Hobby knife:  Make sure you have a sharp blade

-Dremel: A tool that every costume maker needs!

-Sharpening tool:  Not needed but I highly recommend that you get one.  That way you aren’t flying through replacement blades.


To start, draw out your patter and cut out your shape.  I just drew a random shape for the sake of this tutorial.  Determine what angle you want to bevel your edges, and how much of your edges you want to bevel.  Once you’ve done your math, draw a line that will be your guide edge.  Hint: if you want a 45 degree bevel, your line should be the same distance from the edge being beveled as the thickness of the foam, or how ever large or narrow you want it to be.

Once you’ve marked you guide lines, take your dremel and using the sanding drum, sand away the foam just up to the line.  Once you’ve sanded the majority of the foam and get close to the line, go a little more gently so that you don’t accidentally go past the line.  Try this on scrap pieces first to practice.

You can use this method to join two pieces as well to make a corner edge like the example below.

To get a really clean edge on angles when joining foam, you really need to take the time and make sure your edges are clean.  This is why the dremel is a must have tool, and why having a sharp knife to get clean cuts is very very important when working with foam.  To better illustrate cuts and beveled edges here are some diagrams to help explain.

Once you’ve beveled your piece, you can incorporate other techniques to make a truly badass piece!

Check out these other quick tutorials!


Adding Weathering

Adding Detail Lines