WWWIP 2019 Week 7: Kyle
This last week went by in a flash! I am continuing to sew together all of the jackets, but to keep things fresh for my blog I thought it would be fun to show you all how to make a decorative "metal" piece for a costume by gluing stretched metallic vinyl over a foam shape.
Pattern out your shapes:
I am making the two different belt buckles in the example. Since they have crevices in some of the details I am going to cut out a layer for the base and a second layer on top for the raised details. When your object is flat like these belt buckles, it's easy to draw the finished design first and then draw a copy of it for the base, while cutting apart the original for the details that will go on top
Trace and cut out your pieces:
In my case I am using a 4mm EVA foam. I like to keep an eye out for parts of my patterns that can line up with each other and draw them without gaps. This not only minimizes the foam scraps you can't use afterwards, but it also means less cutting in general (which saves time in the long run). EVA foam is cheap and easy to work with, and can be cut with scissors or X-acto blades.
To get my top pieces, I first cut out a copy of the base layer, and then traced the details and cut them apart. This gives a higher likelihood of the pieces lining up with my base piece rather than cutting each detail out separately. I also traced the same details onto the original base so that I will have guidelines to place my pieces on when gluing them together.
No matter how carefully you draw and cut your pieces, the edges may still not line up perfectly. Glue them together first and then go back with a dremel to smooth the edges out.
Now cut out your vinyl pieces to stretch over the foam. You will want to give these shapes an extra half-inch from your pattern piece so that they can wrap around the edges of your foam.
Apply the glue to your foam:
I am using an adhesive spray, which is VERY sticky, so I lay down some paper to protect the surrounding space from the glue as I spray it to my pieces. Read the directions on your glue of choice to make sure you apply it correctly. Some glues require time to sit in open air between initial application and bonding. Some glues also have fumes and may require a well-ventilated room and/or a fume mask.
Start applying your vinyl to your piece at the very center, and slowly work your way out to the edges, smoothing the vinyl outward as you go. If the material stretches more to one side than the other, that is okay, as long as you have enough coverage for all edges. For crevices, use a butter knife or clay tool to push your vinyl into the crevice. You may need to hold them in place while they dry, so you can also use multiple small things to push into place and leave until they have finished drying. As you get to the edges, you may need to pause to allow the top to dry and flip it to apply glue to your edges and bottom. Once you have glue on the bottom, carefully stretch your vinyl around the edges and press into place. For corners, allow the extra fabric to create a single fold that you can either snip off or glue down afterwards.
If you want to add extra dimension or weathering, you can, but be sure to test your paints on scraps of your vinyl beforehand to make sure they will stick and dry properly. If you choose to apply paint to your item, be sure to apply a finishing clear coat to keep the paint from rubbing or flaking off.