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November 19, 2012
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Foam Board Weapon Tutorial by FireLilyCosplay Foam Board Weapon Tutorial by FireLilyCosplay
As a Thank You to all my supporters, here is the Foam Board Weapon Tutorial!

I've had a lot of practice with this method, and this is the formula that works best for me, so I hope it can help you make your props with ease. I really enjoy working with my hands and making props using various methods, so please don't hesitate to ask questions if you have any - I'll be glad to answer them!

Tutorial and all images therein are Copyright Fire Lily and FireLilyCosplay.com.
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:iconterrierear:
terrierear Featured By Owner 3 days ago  New member Professional Interface Designer
Amazing!! extremely well done!!

 
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:iconiluvanimesk:
ILuvAnimeSK Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Um, how much was this total?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
How much was what...the sword?  The foam board is about $2 a sheet - one sheet for 3 layers.  I already have a stock of Gesso, spackle, and sealant.  Paint is about $5 a can.  Cabochons were $6 for a dozen on EBay.

Time wise?  It took about a week total, working on it after I got home from a full time job and two solid days on the weekend.
Reply
:iconiluvanimesk:
ILuvAnimeSK Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot! Sorry I didn't specify...
Reply
:icon12starlings:
12starlings Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Student General Artist
Will I have any issues with pieces scraping against each other, or the blades being covered in blood? I'm trying to make a giant pair of scissors. <:3 Thanks
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You may lose some of the paint unless you seal it multiple times, but it shouldn't be too problematic.
Reply
:icon12starlings:
12starlings Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2014  Student General Artist
Alright thank you!
Reply
:iconalbinowerewolf729:
AlbinoWerewolf729 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I think I might use this to make Karkat Vantas' Sickle~
Reply
:iconhp-jack:
HP-Jack Featured By Owner May 1, 2014  Student Digital Artist
also would you suggest using the styrofoam cutter form when cutting out the base of the prop or? Because I don't really need to cut anything else out from my prop besides from it's normal shape/outline/base.
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner May 6, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
The styrofoam cutter will only cut the foam and not the cardboard. You can get long pieces of pink insulation foam for longer props, but you would need a center support or it'll break.
Reply
:iconhp-jack:
HP-Jack Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I have a quick question, I'm going to start working on a prop soon for an up coming con, but the length of the foam board isn't long enough for how I want the weapon to be. So should I use the contact cement to connect the different pieces of the prop together or? 
Reply
:iconhentaiboy77:
hentaiboy77 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014
I just have a doubt....is it too fragile!? or Gesso make it strongh enough!?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Just use something else if you are doubtful. Like fiberglass or epoxy or resin. This is simply one method.
Reply
:iconzakiax:
Zakiax Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for this Tutorial it has really helped me. 
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Very welcome!
Reply
:iconimthenightherself:
ImTheNightHerSelf Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014
Will it stay sturdy and solid if I use paper mache and fast mache? >.< 
Reply
:iconironkau:
Ironkau Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Does the gesso strengthen the foam board?
Reply
:iconnocturnal--artist:
Nocturnal--Artist Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Could I use mod podge instead of gesso?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I don't see why not.  It may not have the best affect as it is more of a glue and doesn't sand as smooth as Gesso does.
Reply
:iconpapersedge:
PapersEdge Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013
I was just wondering about the strength of the handle.I'm in the middle of making my friend the Buster Sword, and I wanted to use foam board for it along with your method. However, the Buster Sword is notorious for it's huge blade and relatively small handle. Any thoughts?
Reply
:iconakadragon1111:
akadragon1111 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014
Use expanding foam for the blade and for the handle a pcp pipe. then coat in wonderflex. Dont try any huge monster hunter swords with foam board it gets way to heavy. expanding  foam is the better way to go.
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Use insulation foam instead and have a wooden dowel inserted for the handle/support.
Reply
:iconantilogist:
Antilogist Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Student General Artist
This is perfect! I was trying to make a pair of sickles out of cardboard and model magic, this already seems like a sturdier, easier method! Thanks!
Reply
:iconbarcosplays:
BARCosplays Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013
So how much will this set me back? If possible, could you give it in terms of per square inch of prop?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I have no idea. Foam board is $2.99 for a 20"x30"x.25" board where I'm at. Glue, contact cement, gesso, primer, paint, clear coat, decorations, etc will all be relative to your area.

Maybe you could go price it on your own so you have a better idea :)
Reply
:iconbarcosplays:
BARCosplays Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013
Well, I was thinking in terms of Michael's and JoAnn's in the DC area. But I'm going to do the investigation today.
Reply
:iconpuddle193:
Puddle193 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013
This may seem like a stupid question but what kind of of foam board do you use all i can find is like 1/8 inch thick or 8ft by 4 ft installation foam and thats horrible to store. oh also where do you get it?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I get mine at Michael's craft store.  They have 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch.  Usually around the art section on the kid school project section.
Reply
:iconpuddle193:
Puddle193 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013
Thank you so much, I just made a bunch of Soul eater props and I had to buy a huge sheet of installation foam and I was a pain to get home from the store.
Reply
:iconwinterequinox31:
WinterEquinox31 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013
What brand(s)/kind(s) of paint do you recommend using when following this tutorial?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Any kind, really. Though my staples are acrylic and sprays.
Reply
:icongrimangelyuki:
GrimAngelYuki Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013
Hello! Thank you so much for this tutorial! It's very helpful ^^!!
I have a question though about the spackle, is it necessary to put on before gessoing? I don't have spackle on hand at the moment and I was wondering if I could just use modge podge instead or just directly put on the gesso?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
The spackle is used to fill in gaps and cracks. The gesso may not fill this in appropriately and then you will have some irregular areas on your prop.
Reply
:icongrimangelyuki:
GrimAngelYuki Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013
Alright thanks!
Reply
:iconalexxe666:
AlexXe666 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
what was the name on the metal tin in the first picture? What is it? lol
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
It's contact cement. You can find it at the glue section of the hardware store.
Reply
:iconalexxe666:
AlexXe666 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you for the help and information, it will come to great use. Keep up with the amazing work!!!! :D
Reply
:iconalexxe666:
AlexXe666 Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
what gesso do you use to prim your weapons?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Liquitex artist's Gesso.
Reply
:iconalexxe666:
AlexXe666 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you. x
Reply
:iconloveanimefreak:
LoveAnimeFreak Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Student General Artist
Hello, when looking up polyurethane i noticed the same one in your picture is oil based. that didnt cause your foam to warp?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
No - it doesn't warp the foam. It may warp the cardboard on top of the foam, but not the foam itself. Use water based if in doubt (oil based is all I had when I made this).
Reply
:iconloveanimefreak:
LoveAnimeFreak Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Student General Artist
So if i take off the most cardboard i can off the foam do you think the oil based one will do any damage to my sword?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
As long as you build up enough Gesso layers, it will be fine. Make sure there are no thin spots, but the foam should be fine. You can also make your details with craft foam, thermoplastics like Wonderflex, etc, and coat with polyurethane. You can also try lacquer or shellac or other clear sealers. I would avoid spray sealers as the chemicals to make the sealer an aerosol will eat the foam if any is exposed.
Reply
:iconloveanimefreak:
LoveAnimeFreak Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Student General Artist
But if all the foam is covered in layers of Gesso the spray sealer wouldnt do anything right?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
It shouldn't if it's completely covered with the Gesso. :D Just a word of caution as it happened to me before with some thin spots in the Gesso and it melted through the foam underneath.
Reply
:iconbluehentrooper:
bluehentrooper Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013
Thank you for posting your tutorials! They are very helpful.
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Welcome!
Reply
:icongypsyofhades:
GypsyOfHades Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm going to see if this tutorial will help me make my two props for my Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas cosplays. I'm going to be working on trying to cosplay both Hades and Athena and I'll need the Sword of Hades and the Staff of Nike to put the icing on the cake.
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Soog luck! I'd love to see pics when you're finished!
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