Welcome to this week’s post! It’s Quick, Easy (and Cheap!) Tutorial Time~! Today I am going to share how I made a commission from a while back, commissioned from me by Hainrihi. I’m actually pretty nervous because she’ll probably laugh if she found out what went into the making of the Jiraiya (from Naruto) Forehead Protector that she commissioned! xD
I’ll show you all how to quickly make your own forehead protector if you have any Jiraiya cosplans. You can probably modify this too if you want to make ordinary Naruto forehead protectors. Don’t I just look sparkleh and glamorous?
I started by cutting out two pieces of 2mm craft foam (you can find them in National Bookstore, they’re sometimes labelled as “Sponge Paper” and cost approx. 100++ for 10 sheets) into the shape of Jiraiya’s forehead protector. There’s two layers to them, the red part and the silver part, so we’re cutting out two layers. The color of the craft foam hardly matters, but I suggest red.
I take the second layer (the smaller, top layer) of craft foam and trace it over this clear plastic folder sheet. You know those plastic folders you put files in and you put a slide-thingy at the edge to hold the papers inside in place? That. >:3 (You can buy them, again, at National Bookstore for P7.50 each) I cut out the shape and set it aside~
I contact cement the two layers of craft foam to each other. Hot glue, superglue, and PVA glue all hate the foam, so Contact Adhesive is your best buddy
it also smells kinda addictive Contact Adhesive should cost about P60 a tube. Foam Glue exists, but it’s expensive. D: For the red part of the first layer (the one underneath) I just painted it with red acrylics. Perhaps I put gesso there before I painted, but if the color of your foam is close to the color of your acrylic, I think you don’t need to. It’ll absorb the color nicely enough. zomg I’m using recycled carton box omg sacrilege!!11!!1! Well tbh I wanted to give the forehead protector a form and thickness, and this was the easiest/cheapest way to do it. Otherwise I’d be using jewelry/craft wire. I cut out a rectangle from the old carton box and bend it a bit to give it curve, and then contact adhesive again to the foam. Later (for the last step) I’ll cover up the box board with some craft felt and attach garters so you can wear it without it falling off. Also felt (craft felt/soft felt NOT felt paper!!) because it’s a fabric so it’ll absorb the forehead sweat and stuff and is comfy against the skin.
I am a firm believer that if you give a crafting n00b some craft foam, plastic folders, thick cardboard (even old boxes) and contact adhesive, he doesn’t have any excuse to say “I can’t make this or that”. I even made a sword out of those materials! When there’s a will, there’s a way.
I spray-paint the plastic folder and the cones as silver. You should probably put gesso around the cones to keep them from soaking up the spray paint. I am too lazy to wait for gesso to dry (since time is of the essence and that stuff takes hours, an entire day even) so I use the plastic folders in projects that call for it. They soak up the spray paint perfectly and don’t dull down the colors unlike other surfaces. It’s plastic though, which means you’ll have to use a sealer over the spray paint or else it’ll chip off over time. ^^
I then contact cement the spray-painted parts onto the foam bases.
I hand-painted the kanji on, and then brushed some sealer over it and let it dry. I attached the garter at the back (where there’s carton box board) and then sandwich it with craft felt, and glue it on with contact adhesive, sealing it in.
For the embossed dot parts, I made tiny dots out of polymer clay and spray-painted them silver and then superglued them on. If you don’t have polymer clay, I’m sure you can improvise! xD Again say hi to sparkleh me.
I hope this post helps and encourages you to think outside the box of how you can make your cosplay props! You can give sometime a nice, clean finish even when you’re using cheap materials, as long as you have a well-thought plan of how to do it.