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What is the Best Material for Cosplay Props

Costume/Cosplay prop creation can vary somewhat from typical clothing and armor. There's a wide range of materials that help to create the structure or impact the overall appearance. If you're new to crafting costumes and aren't sure where to begin, this guide is here to help. We'll answer the question of what is the best material for cosplay props so you can create quality costumes.


Structure Materials

There is different resources that work perfect for creating a sturdy structure in cosplay props.


  • PVC pipe and couplings - This material can easily be found at a local hardware store and is perfect when crafting cosplay props like staffs and more. They can be incorporated as a skeleton to keep large props sturdy or to make them break apart into pieces when you use couplings with them.


  • Wood and dowels - Similar to PVC pipe, you can also utilize wooden dowels. They work when you need something slimmer or for prop arrows as well.


Prop Materials

In order to craft the props themselves, there's a few common materials to choose from.


EVA FOAM


EVA Foam example
  • EVA foam and foam clay - EVA foam is an incredibly popular product for crafting props. It's fairly easy to work with and there's countless tutorials on how to use it. It also works well with foam clay to add details, textures and more.


  • EVA foam, in particular, is a standout choice for many cosplayers due to its versatility and ease of use. Here are some of its benefits:

    • Easy to Shape and Mold: It can be easily cut, shaped, and heated to form intricate designs, allowing for high levels of customization.

    • Smooth Finish: With proper sealing and painting, EVA foam provides a smooth finish that can mimic various textures and materials.

    • Cost-Effective: EVA foam is relatively inexpensive compared to other materials like Worbla, making it accessible for cosplayers on a budget.

    • Lightweight and Durable: EVA foam is both lightweight and durable, making it ideal for creating large props without adding too much weight


 

WORBLA


Worlba Example
  • Worbla - While this option can be more popular for armor, it can also work to make props. Things like adding details or smaller pieces can be done with Worbla or the pellets.


  • Worbla, in particular, is a standout choice for many cosplayers due to its unique properties and versatility. Here are some of its benefits:

    • Thermoplastic Flexibility: Worbla becomes flexible and moldable when heated, allowing you to create intricate and detailed shapes that harden as they cool.

    • Self-Adhesive: When heated, Worbla adheres to itself, making it easy to layer pieces together without needing additional adhesives.

    • Durability: Once hardened, Worbla is strong and durable, perfect for creating long-lasting props and armor.

    • Detailing: It's excellent for adding fine details and textures, giving your props a professional finish.

    • Eco-Friendly: Worbla is non-toxic and safe to use, and its scraps can be reused, reducing waste.


 

3D PRINTING


3d printed IronMan
  • 3D printer filament - If you own a 3D printer, you can use the filament to create props. The big thing to keep in mind is they may be heavier than using materials such as EVA foam.


  • 3D printing, in particular, is a standout choice for many cosplayers due to its precision and flexibility. Here are some of its benefits:

    • High Precision: 3D printing allows for intricate and highly detailed designs that are difficult to achieve with other methods.

    • Customization: You can create completely custom pieces tailored to your exact specifications and measurements.

    • Consistency: Once a design is created, it can be replicated multiple times with consistent results.

    • Material Variety: There are various types of filament available, such as PLA, ABS, and PETG, each offering different properties suitable for specific needs.

    • Complexity: 3D printing enables the creation of complex shapes and structures that would be challenging or impossible to make by hand.


Conclusion

There is a lot of options for materials to make cosplays props from. While the above are great options, they're not the only ones. You can also explore other unique options, mix and match or incorporate staples like fabric.


 

Share Your Cosplay Tips and Stories!


Whether you're a seasoned cosplayer or just starting out, experimenting with different materials can open up endless possibilities for your creations. We'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences with these materials, so please leave a comment below sharing your favorite prop-making materials, tips and tricks.


Got more tips or unique cleaning hacks? 

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