EVA foam is one the easiest to use materials for fabricating costumes and props. But once you’ve made you awesome costume pieces out of EVA foam, how do you strap them. Here’s a great tip for strapping your armor so that you can get out there and wear the awesomeness that you just created!
Here’s a list of what you’ll need to get started!
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Nylon webbing ( Elastic works too)
- Hobby knife ( with a sharp blade)
- Sharpie marker
- Buckles ( make sure they are the same size as your straps)
- Slides ( also make sure they are the same size as your straps)
- EVA foam armor to be strapped!
Lets get started! Here I’ve got two scraps of eva foam for demonstration purposes. I like to keep scraps around so that I have test pieces, always a good idea. Never try something new on your actual work. Grab your strapping, I prefer 1 inch nylon webbing, but you can use elastic or another type if you like. Using the strap as a guide, trace out the end of it on your armor piece with a sharpie, between 1-1.5 inches . Now grab your hobby knife, make sure it’s sharp, and score that area. I drew out the score marks so that they would better show up in the photo. The reason for scoring this is similar to the adding detail lines technique. The heat from the hot glue pops open the cuts and the hot glue seeps in, giving it a much better hold.
Next you’ll need your hot glue gun! make sure that it’s heated up all the way before applying the glue, and remember to be safe, the hot glue gets…hot. Apply an ample amount, don’t go overboard, or it will just gush out the sides and burn you. Carefully place your strap and press firmly. Once that cools a bit, reinforce it by adding glue around the out side of the strap, and if you want to go a step further, add a bit on the outside.
The strap is now firmly attached! Time to add some buckles! I like to use these center press buckles, mostly because I think that they look cool, but you can use what ever design suits you. Be sure that it’s facing the right way, and take note of which side you’re attaching, male or female. Slide your strap through the buckle, and then fold it over, apply hot glue, and then reinforce the edges. You can also cut a 3 inch piece of strap and pre-glue the buckle before applying it to the armor.
Now for the other side! For this, we want a bit of excess strap. You want it to be long enough for what ever part of your body it’s strapping to plus about 6 inches. Attach the strap in the same manner as before. To make the strap adjustable, we’re going to add a slider. Follow the step by step pictures below to attach the slider.
Now you have a professional looking adjustable strap! Apply this technique on your costume pieces and you’re good to go!
NOTE: You can also hot glue velcro to armor, but I would highly recommend that you sew it to a piece of nylon webbing first. Hot glue doesn’t grip well to velcro and will easily pull up. If you sew it to a section of nylon webbing first, then it will have something to grip to.