EVA foam is a durable and soft foam that is a polymer of ethylene and vinyl acetate. It is firm and flexible which makes it great for floor padding, sports equipment, and even the soles of shoes. All of this may sound painfully boring and clinical, but there are some less known but much more imaginative uses for this resilient high-density foam.
It may not seem obvious to use foam to construct a costume, but it can be an extremely useful material to utilize. The versatility and pliable nature of EVA foam makes it easy to wear while also being able to retain shape through various movements. Many people who participate in Cosplay events, competitions, and conventions use foam costumes to closely and accurately replicate things like armour and the exterior of a robot.
Being able to use foam in place of other materials typically used for costuming such as fabrics gives you the advantage of being able to glue various pieces into place quickly rather than having to sew. The foam reacts well to adhesives and can be ordered in many different colours. Even if your costume requires detail work, this problem can easily be solved by using foam. Where you would have to shop for exact colours of plastics and fabrics that are used to costume, foam allows you to paint detail and weathering that takes a costume from good to professional level quality.
You might assume that set design and stage props either have to be found or replicated out of hard materials like plastic or wood, but high density foams have become extremely common in set and prop construction. Using foam allows for soft padding to be used without being noticed as foam. High density foam can be easily moulded and decorated to look like so many different items that stage plays and films now commonly utilize this material.
Props are one of the hidden, but incredible ways that EVA foam is used. Stacking sheets of this foam creates a block of foam that can be glued together into various shapes of foam cubes, depending on what you want to make. Then that foam block is cut, trimmed and shaped to look like the prop you are trying to make. Weapons are often made from quality foam that has been shaped, painted, and secured onto plastic or wood. This allows weapons to maintain a shockingly realistic look while being safe to use during staged fighting scenes without fear of injury.
At first look, high density foam looks frighteningly clinical and dreadfully dull. It certainly does not have to be. Foam can be used for a wide variety of different crafts and creations. Incorporating this material into your imaginative construction will give your projects a realistic feel while remaining flexible and durable. So before you write off high quality foam, use your imagination and see what you can come up with.