Okay, I admit, at this point, you guys are probably starting to think I’m nuts, because I recently started yet another costume. I’ve been cosplay-crazy lately! After playing Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 (shameless advertising alert: I recorded gameplay for FNAF 2 on our United We Game Youtube channel, if you’re interested in checking it out…), I got super excited to try a cosplay of my favorite rickety animatronic, Foxy the Pirate! I really wanted to do something different and learn new skills, plus I find the thought of dressing up as something scary to be quite appealing. Fear me, I’m terrifying!
The concept behind Foxy is similar to the making of a “fursuit” (those costumes where people dress as fuzzy animals), so I did a lot of research both into making a Foxy cosplay specifically and into creating fursuits, as well. I’ve always been interested in how those things were made anyway, and it looks as if the majority of these are made with upholstery foam covered in fleece (preferably stretchy fleece, if you can find it). There are several methods for making the head, but the version I chose has a frame made out of plastic canvas covered in foam and fleece. But, more on that later. I’m putting off making his head, as it seems very scary.
Anyway, the first thing I started was Foxy’s feet, as they didn’t look terribly difficult, compared to other parts of his body, at least. First off, I gathered the supplies. I hear the best foam to use is 1 inch thick upholstery foam. Some people use high density, some don’t. They say there is no difference, but I used high density, as it just sounds better. I also bought 3M spray adhesive (it says “high-strength 90” on it). I found out on a video online that this is good glue to use, and if you are interested, the link to it on Amazon is here. I also heard Barge glue is recommended, as well, but it’s $30 per quart or so (I think it was a quart), and 3M is cheaper, so I just got that. I got a can of it once for $13 and another time for $18. (I was apparently ripped off the second time.) Last of all for my specialty items, I needed EVA foam, which is tough foam you can use for the soles of your fursuit feet. You will usually only find this type of foam in the form of those puzzle-piece shaped squares people use for yoga. Mine is a half inch thick. Other people have a built-in shoe in their fursuit’s feet, but I didn’t want to have shoes permanently embedded in the feet. You don’t really need shoes anyway. I just wear the feet with tights on. (I do this so that my legs are black in color, so that it looks better wherever you can see my legs at the joints of my costume. I also cut a pair of tights in half to wear on my arms.)
Okay, first of all, I found a tutorial online for making Foxy’s costume, which gave me helpful tips and references. I used their video as a reference for the shape of Foxy’s feet, as I couldn’t find any images from the game where you could actually see his footsies. Next, I needed a template. I traced my foot on a piece of paper (it was actually two pieces of paper taped together, but yeah), then I measured an inch on each side to make sure there was enough padding around my feet so the foam wouldn’t be at risk of tearing when I wore it. I used these general measurements to draw out the shape of his feet, not including the toes at the front, which were kind of an extra thing that extended beyond the initial measurements. I then traced this shape out on my upholstery foam, but I added a bit more space around the edges because I always make things too big at first. If it’s too big, I can always trim it. I can’t do that if it’s too small, you know.
After I cut out my foam, I traced my foot again on paper, cut the shape out, and then placed it as centered as possible on the foam, after which I cut out the shape of my foot in the middle of the foam. I adjusted it until my foot fit neatly inside the hole and also adjusted the size of the foam. I ended up needing three layers of upholstery foam per foot. Two layers of each had my foot shape cut out of it, one did not. Why? We’ll get to that later. I promise.
Now it was time to test my 3M glue spray. I did this outside, as it seemed safest. It’s rather smelly, and I wore eye protection just in case. I found that there are three settings, and I went with the lowest. I don’t know if I’m using this stuff correctly, but I sprayed about two layers of glue on either surface I was putting together, and I waited for a minute or so, as the directions say to wait until the glue is “tacky”, whatever that means. The glue bubbles a lot, and I usually wait until the bubbles start to deflate before I stick things together. Not sure if this is right, but that’s how I do it.
So, I glued together one of my layers with the entire foot cut out to the bottom of the layer without a hole cut out of it. After that, I cut out the ankle hole in the top layer, adjusting it until I could fit my feet through. Keep in mind that once the sole is attached, you will have less flexibility fitting your foot through and will likely need to make the ankle hole larger at a later time. After that, I attached the third layer to the bottom and carved the edges of the foot until they were all flat and smooth, as they ended up uneven despite the fact that the same template was used. (I’m apparently terrible at tracing things, I suppose. Don’t know why.)
After that, I glued on the sole, which was made of my EVA foam. Be very careful with this stuff. I accidentally bought extra thick foam (.5 inches), and it took meat scissors to cut, which was pretty tough. After that, I glued the EVA foam on the bottom of the feet with three layers of glue rather than two, to make sure it was extra tough, considering I’ll be stomping around on it. Last off, I had to cut some notches around the toes. These are found on either side of each toe and on the top, between the toe and the foot (you’ll see them in my photos). I think it makes for a nice effect. One good method I found for cutting this type of foam, by the way, especially in delicate spots like this, is to keep snipping away at the foam with the edge of the scissors. I usually trace out either side of the notch with the tips of the scissors to get an idea of where it will be, then, I shoved the scissors in there and cut out the now loosened foam. If that makes sense.
Hopefully you guys got all that. To clarify, the foot is four layers in total. The bottom layer is the tough EVA foam. The other three layers are 1 inch thick upholstery foam. The bottom two have the shape of my foot cut out and form the inner chamber of the foot. The top layer only has the ankle hole cut out so I can put my foot through. This makes a shoe of sorts made entirely out of foam.
And…well, this is a rather long post, so I’ll stop there. Right now, we’ve discussed how you make the main “frame” of the foot. In the next post, I will describe to you all how I did the outer surface of the feet and the details. See you later!
A Foot Tall Duck…Get It?