How to glue a lot of tiny foam bits to fabric?

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#1 Ink on 1 year ago

Hello everyone!

I was hoping to get some ideas for a costume I'm working on.

I'm doing a cosplay on the cheap, and it is a last minute thing. Basically I want to make a dress that looks like it's made from moss, but do not have time/money to find actual dry or artificial moss. Instead I'm trying a method of cutting up cleaning sponges, dying them with paint and using that instead. [URL=""]So far it's looking pretty good![/URL]

Now, I was hoping to make a shitload of that, gluing it to a dark green or brown dress somehow and hope it looks good from a distance. And thats exactly what I need some ideas for; how the hell do I glue it to a dress?

I haven't decided how to design the dress yet but I'm hoping to make it as non-stretchy as possible since I think that would make more sense for actual moss, and possible with a side-zipper, but what kind of glue should I use for the foam to ensure it stays on? I'm especially worried about high-stress areas such as the butt (where I'll be sitting) or under the arms.

Or would it be better to make the dress out of some other fabric and try to paint it to look like moss, while only using the fake sponge moss in certain areas?

Any ideas are welcome, I'll take anything as long as I can get/do it before the end of this month on the cheap :)

#2 CapsuleCorp on 1 year ago

Any tacky glue or fabric glue should be fine. I'd probably lean toward tacky because of the texture, it won't start oozing/dripping/running everywhere and leaving not enough glue on your moss to adhere it. I'm presently gluing spandex scales onto more different spandex with tacky glue and it's fine. Note, though, that I'm applying the glue carefully to the backs of the scales and not just splattering a swath of glue onto the base shirt - I'm using a paint knife to delicately apply glue where I want it. That might be even more tedious with tiny pieces of sponge but it's probably the most effective and will result in the least amount of loss of material. Spreading a big patch of glue and throwing a handful of sponge-moss at it may be faster, but there's a good chance half your bits won't stick. Maybe there's an in-between method that will be somewhat time-effective while also getting the most coverage/least waste, like dipping the moss into the glue and sticking each piece on by hand.

But directly to the dress, I guess, does sort of run into issues with placement. If you lay the garment flat, you have to put something inside it to keep the glue from seeping through the fabric and onto the back side, like when painting fabric - cardboard should do. But that's really hard on narrow sleeve openings. It might also affect how the dress drapes on your body. Less of an issue if you're individually carefully placing the bits, maybe, but that's something that you won't know until it's all done.

#3 becosplay on 1 year ago

As always check your specific sponges and do some tests with your own materials. However, in general, most cleaning sponges are made from cellulose which is the same material as wood fiber or the fibers in cotton fabric. All of those materials are rather porous so they can absorb a lot of glue in order to get a good bond. To get a good bond with wood it helps to clamp the pieces together. I would expect placing some weigh on top of the bits to hold them in contact with the fabric as the glued dries would improve the bond here as well. Perhaps placing some cardboard on top of the sponge bits and then some light weights (like books or canned food) on the cardboard to provide a well distributed, light pressure.

#4 Penlowe on 1 year ago

I second CC's advice on glue & gluing.

I'll add: yes, I think painting the fabric at least in 'high friction' areas like the butt, armpits, and if it's pants inner thigh and front hip crease, will do a world of good. No matter how good your glue or gluing technique is, those areas are going to rub and sand down if not peel off your moss.

I actually think you should avoid doing full body moss, it'll wind up looking like a fur suit. Having smooth areas with only paint texture will actually emphasize your character.

Before you get too crazy making more moss, pick your fabric paints and be sure to base the fabric in the same colors as the moss. Splatter technique works well (outside) for giving nature color variation. Your greens are lovely and there's good variety, but no plant is perfectly alive all over, take 10% and add a tiny bit of Raw Umber (rusty brown). Use the brown tinged moss at the edges of your patches.
Paint the fabric all over, use the moss to emphasize the texture where it matters.