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Vinyl and Craft Foam Armor Tutorial by FireLilyCosplay Vinyl and Craft Foam Armor Tutorial by FireLilyCosplay
At last, the long awaited Vinyl & Craft Foam Armor 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 build your armor with ease. I really enjoy working with my hands and making armor pieces 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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:iconkeelsome:
keelsome Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2015
This is an awesome tutorial! My only question is on how you applied the snaps to the back of your armor, did you just glue them on? Or something else?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Snaps are applied by hammering them together through the fabric. Glue will not hold snaps to vinyl.
Reply
:iconkeelsome:
keelsome Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2015
Ok thank you so much!
Reply
:iconoceanpirate:
OceanPirate Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I was wondering something,and if you know this tegnique. Many people make long traingular strips,cut at an 45 degree angle,but it seems I can't figure out how to do that. Do you happen to have any tips or tutorials for that?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Look up a tutorial for EVA foam armor, or check Kamui's armor books :)
Reply
:iconoceanpirate:
OceanPirate Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That will do. :)
Reply
:icontransientventure:
TransientVenture Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2014  Student General Artist
What kind of vinyl do you use? How much is it and where do you get it?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Any kind of vinyl fabric will work.  You can get it anywhere fabric is sold.
Reply
:iconelenna-huntress:
Elenna-Huntress Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2014
You are my hero. My Barbarian costume can now happen, because armor won't break the bank, or break my brain trying to control materials I have no knowledge of! :squee: 
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Welcome!
Reply
:iconrealityhack1:
realityhack1 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014
Very nice tutorial! Thank you!
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Welcome!
Reply
:iconprussianempire:
PrussianEmpire Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
If someone did Ashe from League of Legends, how would they keep the shoulder armor to stay in place?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You can try Velcro, buckles and straps, d-rings, snaps, buttons, etc. Lots of ways.
Reply
:iconsurgestorm:
Surgestorm Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014
can you possibly make a cosplay armor set for me ? email me at tigerheart87@gmail.com and let me know how much it will cost as I don't get on here often but I want to have a set to play airsoft in. please email me :)
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I'm sorry but I don't make full armor commissions. However there are some wonderful armorers out there who I'm sure would be able to help!
Reply
:icondark-tsuki:
Dark-Tsuki Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014
Technical question, since I haven't done it yet: would it work for a fully functional glove? Or would it be too delicate?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Not sure - I haven't tried it.
Reply
:iconrtj3000:
rtj3000 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
sooo cool i wanna see more
Reply
:icontwisttieklepto:
TwistTieKlepto Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014   General Artist
Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial!  This is a really great method for making armor.
I used it for my Sarutobi Sasuke cosplay: twisttieklepto.deviantart.com/…
Thanks again! ^_^
Reply
:iconkingbakero:
KinGBaKeRo Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
The cleaver, New occupation - Trainee Foamsmith xD <3 will try
Reply
:icontalaredwolf33:
TalaRedWolf33 Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Hi! I was wondering, how heavy is the final product? Im looking for a lightweight method of making a breast plate. Because f my size, heat gets to me lol So I need the least heaviest material to work with.
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
It's very lightweight, but make sure to back it with fabric - vinyl tends to get sticky when you are hot.
Reply
:icontalaredwolf33:
TalaRedWolf33 Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Good to know! I'll make a note of it ^-^ Thank you!
Reply
:icondragonbandana:
dragonbandana Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
If you were making a female breast plate, how would you form the 'cup' shape?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You need to heat form the craft foam over a rounded surface, but it will require darts to get a perfectly rounded shape. I would not recommend craft foam for breast cups - the material isn't suited for complex curves without seams.
Reply
:icondragonbandana:
dragonbandana Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Okay, thanks so much!
Reply
:iconokami-chan1023:
okami-chan1023 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
would this work for rounded pieces like pauldrons? and is there a way to make it seamless and creaseless?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You would need to use a stretchy fabric to make it seamless or without creases.
Reply
:iconchewyeng93:
chewyeng93 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!
Reply
:iconthinkpink99:
thinkpink99 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Very helpful;)
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Welcome!
Reply
:iconthinkpink99:
thinkpink99 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:)
Reply
:iconnefairyious:
Nefairyious Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Do you think this method would work well for making the collar Henry from Fire Emblem wears? pic reference- images.wikia.com/fireemblem/im…
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I wouldn't recommend it - It would be easier to use heavy iron-on interfacing and fabric.  You could use craft foam, but I won't recommend gluing it or it will be too stiff.
Reply
:iconnefairyious:
Nefairyious Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
We ended up just using spray-painted craft foam and it looked great! Thanks for the advice though, if we ever make something a bit more permanent we should try that out!
Reply
:iconbeccabearchan:
beccabearchan Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2013  Student General Artist
Can you paint over the vinyl? I'm making a Dragonslayer Vayne cosplay and I was wondering if I should just stick with the usual foam method or should do this. The reason as to why I'd paint it is because her armor is a specific teal, and I know they won't sell vinyl of that shade.
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Sort of - painting over vinyl is hard with regular paints.  You have to use enamel (aka nail polish), otherwise the paint will flake and rub right off.  You can also use Floral Spray (a tool for coloring flowers).  Floral spray and Jacquard Lumiere Paints are the only paints that will remain flexible with the vinyl pieces - enamel will not.
Reply
:iconseallux:
Seallux Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013
thanks for the helpful tips for armor making =)
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Welcome!
Reply
:iconseallux:
Seallux Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013
^~^
Reply
:iconclassicdavis:
ClassicDavis Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013
May I ask where you purchase your vinyl from? I never have any luck with finding any at Joanns or I guess I'm not looking hard. Thank in advance!
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I get all my vinyl at Joann's :) But you can also look online at stores like MJTrends.com.
Reply
:iconclassicdavis:
ClassicDavis Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
Ah okay, I'll just keep looking at Joanns a bit harder then. XD And thanks for the link!
Reply
:iconw0undedw1ngs:
W0undedW1ngs Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Hey! This is awesome! I was wondering if you can give me some suggestions on making the shape of a breast plate armor for the character Asuna on Sword Art Online. Your work is amazing, and I hope you have some time to give me some tips!
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I form my armor on a duct tape body form ( you put on a plastic bag or Saran wrap, then cover your body with layers of duct tape to make a body double). Craft foam can stretch when heated to get a complex curve, however, with materials like Wonderflex, Worbla, and Sintra out there, you can do curves much better than with craft foam.
Reply
:iconw0undedw1ngs:
W0undedW1ngs Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you! Ill do that!
Reply
:iconchemicalink:
ChemicalInk Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Student General Artist
omg is that a Shana cosplay from LoD i see :iconrainbowtearplz:
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
It is!
Reply
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