If you have been researching online to find different ways to make faux armor you will find that craft foam is an extremely easy and cheap way to create realistic looking armor. Is it lightweight and comfortable to wear.
This is the step-by-step process on how to make Princess Zelda Armor. Please understand that is my personal vision of what the armor should look like. As with all of my anime & video game costumes, I put my personal details to make it unique. This pattern is not 100% accurate to the game design. If you are looking to make a exact replica please feel free to draft your own pattern!
If you would like to use my pattern, you can purchase it on my Esty Store (this includes the pattern for Pauldrons, Crown, & Belt). If you would like to use my pattern, you can purchase it for USD $9.99 (this includes the pattern for Pauldrons, Crown, & Belt). The pattern (11 pages) you can print out on standard 8.5 x 11 inch paper. The patterns comes only in one size. The gems I bought from a store in down town LA called Bohemian Crystal years ago.(www.beadsfactory.com) Im not sure if they still carry them but they might have them on their site!
You will need these items to make the pauldrons:
- Craft Foam – 15 sheet, 12″ X 18″, 2mm thick
- Hot Glue Sticks
- Hot Glue Gun
- Elmer’s Glue
- Jewelry Wire
- 4 Gold Rings
- 6 Blue Droplet Crystals
- 2 Blue Large Round Flat-Back Gems
- 1 Red Small Round Flat-Back Gem
- 1 Red Medium Round Flat-Back Gem
- Gold Round Flat Studs
- Gold Acrylic Paint
- Black Acrylic Paint
- Gold Spray Paint
- Paint Brushes (Foam & Detail Brushes)
- Pen or Mechanical Pencil
- 2 sheets of 9” X 12” Dark Color Felt
- 5″ X 8″ of 2 Inch Thick Foam
- 1 Yard Dark Fabric
- Patience 😉
Where I bought my supplies –
Gems & Crystals – Bohemian Crystal
Craft Foam Sheets, Hot Glue Sticks, Hot Glue Gun, Elmer’s Glue, Scissors, Jewelry Wire, 4 Gold Rings, Gold Round Flat Studs, Gold Acrylic Paint, Black Acrylic Paint, Gold Spray Paint, Paint Brushes (Foam & Detail Brushes), Pen or Mechanical Pencil, 2 sheets of 9” X 12” Dark Color Felt – Michaels
5″ X 8″ of 2 Inch Thick Foam, 1 Yard Dark Fabric – Jo Anns Fabric
- Print the PDF file “Pauldrons”
- Cut out pattern.
- Lay the pattern on top of the craft foam sheets and trace around shapes, then cut them out.
- Using hot glue, attach raised details to each section. (Detail placement is indicated on the broken lines of the pattren) Exclude the pieces that are placed over the gems.
- Cover each section with Elmer’s glue & let dry. This will give the acrylic paint a good base to stick to.
- Using hot glue, attach the bottom of the pauldron to the middle section. Squeeze a bead of glue to the center to set in place, then hot glue the sides bending it to fit.
- Score the top of the middle section with a fine tip then fold it inward, hot gluing it down to create a lip.
- Cut a strip of dark felt to hot glue to the inside. Make sure there are a few inches hanging over. The reason I add felt to the inside is to create a strong base to add the top of the section to. It also serves as a filler in the seam.
- Squeeze glue to the top of the felt attaching the middle of the top pauldron. Next, glue sides down. CONGRATS! You have the hard part done!
- Push in studs to add detail to the bottom. Make sure to fold down those pointy parts inside. You don’t want them picking at your nice fabric!
- Paint all the pieces with the gold acrylic paint. It is up to you how many layers you would like to have and how distressed you want your armor to look. In my example photos, I first did a layer in gold acrylic, then painted all the crevices in black acrylic, then did a light dusting of gold spray paint to give it a bit of metallic shine, thennnnn went over it all again with another layer of gold acrylic paint. It takes a good amount of time but the more details you put into it the more dimension your armor will have.
- Hot glue your gems in place, then set them by hot gluing the foam detail pieces over them. Paint around the setting in black acrylic to give it more depth.
- Add details with a sharp pointed pin or mechanical pencil, then paint them in with black acrylic.
- In order to attach it all together, cut small strips of black foam and fold it over the rings. Make sure these little black tabs can move freely around the rings.
- Hot glue the tabs to the inside of the front and back panel connecting it all together. The pauldrons should be worn by slipping it over your head.
- Wrap wire around the crystals then glue them to the triangle. Attach the foam black tab around the ring. Once they are in place, sandwich the wires and tab with the other triangle.
- Cut the two inch thick foam into two strips and cover it with dark fabric. Hot glue the padding to the top inside of the pauldon. This will give the illusion the armor is floating a little above your shoulder.
- All Done!! One last tip about foam armor: If you ever feel like it is not the right shape you can warm it with a hair dyer to shape it. Heat it until it is super bendy, then hold it in that shape until it cools.