Basic Helmet Construction with Worbla

Have you ever wanted to make your own helmet for a costume? This tutorial by the fantastic Termina Cosplay will show one way to do it!


mannequin head
masking tape
pencils, pens, markers, etc.
measuring tape or ruler
craft foam
x-acto knife
clay tools
hot glue
heat gun
paint brushes
paper fasteners (optional)

Step 1: Make your pattern

As with most projects, you have to start with a pattern. Making a helmet is no different. To start, you can get a basic pattern shape by using the plastic wrap and masking tape method. If you wrap your own head, please don’t cover your whole face. You won’t be able to breathe if you cover your whole face. Just cover the areas of your head that you’ll need to fit the helmet. If you’re using a mannequin head, you obviously don’t have to be as careful; make sure your mannequin head is about the same size as your own head or your pattern might not fit you. Once you have your basic pattern drawn, cut it out.

Now spend some time making sure the helmet pattern you just made looks and fits like you want it to. Since there were so many different lines and tape, I changed my pattern drastically from the initial pattern I drew. Once you’re happy with the shape and fit, you can transfer all your pattern pieces to new paper to make them look nicer and easier to work with, but this isn’t totally necessary if you don’t want to do it.


Step 2: Cut out foam pieces


Get a piece of craft foam and transfer your pattern pieces over to it. Helmets are usually symmetrical, so your pieces should be symmetrical, too. You’ll also need to cut out any details you want to add before covering all your pieces in Worbla, so be sure to do that now as well. I wanted to add a raised edge to my helmet, so I made the patterns for these raised edges by simply applying packing tape (though masking tape would work just as well) to my helmet pieces and drawing the details onto the tape. It’s hard to see in the photos, but the packing tape is there.

I used a measuring tape to mark about a half inch all the way around my pieces, and then connected the dots. Then, I carefully lifted the tape from my foam pieces and stuck them down to a new piece of foam to cut out. Be sure to mark your detail pieces and your foam pieces so you can put them together easily. I used numbers to mark mine.


Step 3: Glue foam details on

Once you have all your foam pieces cut out, it’s time to glue them. I simply took a glue gun and applied some glue along the edge and then pressed my details down on top to glue them. In no time at all, all my pieces had a nice raised edge.

Step 4: Cut out Worbla pieces


Next you’ll need to cut out a piece of Worbla for each piece of foam you have. Cut out your Worbla piece a bit bigger than the foam piece. I usually cut mine about a half inch larger all the way around. I used Worbla’s Finest Art in this example, but you can also use Worbla’s Black Art, Mesh Art, or really any other thermoplastic sheet to do this. There are advantages and disadvantages to each material. Experimenting with them is the best way to know which one will work best for you!

Step 5: Apply Worbla to Foam

To apply Worbla to foam, all you need to do is heat it up with a heat gun until it is soft and moldable, stick it over the top of your foam, and press it down.
To make the raised edges show up, use a small clay tool, plastic silverware, or a ruler to press the Worbla down into the edges.
Once all the details are pressed in, flip the piece over, heat it up again, fold all the edges over to the back of the foam and press it down. Cut off any extra Worbla with scissors, and you’re done! Now repeat the process for each piece you have.

Step 6: Stick your pieces together and shape to fit


To stick our helmet pieces together, all you have to do is heat them up with the heat gun and stick them together at the edges. Worbla will stick to itself when warm, so no extra glue is required. While the pieces are warm, you can also shape the pieces to fit your head. So, if your piece needs to curve, make it curve! If you mess up, you can always just reheat the piece and try again. It usually takes some experimentation to get the perfect shape.

Step 7: Add extra details and fill in seams

Once your whole helmet is together, add any extra details you still need. I wanted to add gems to mine, so I added the settings for them by using Worbla Scraps.
Also take the time to fill in any seams you have from putting together your helmet pieces. You can do this a number of ways, but I did it by filling the seams with scrap Worbla and sanding it smooth with a Dremel. You can also get rid of any air bubbles that got trapped under the Worbla by poking it with a needle and smashing the air out when it’s warm.

Step 8: Smooth and Prime

There are many different ways to smooth Worbla. You can use wood glue, gesso, Mod Podge, filler primer, Flexbond, and many other things. My personal way to smooth is to use a dry wall filler on areas that need a lot of love, like seam lines, dents, or other ungodly lumpy areas first. Then I use multiple layers of filler primer for the rest, and sand in between layers.

Step 9: Paint and Seal

The last step is to paint your helmet. For this particular helmet, I started with a few layers of gold spray paint, then added the shading and weathering with bronze and black acrylic paints. Then I outlined all the low edges with a black paint marker and highlighted the high edges with a white paint marker. If you can, its a good idea to seal the paint with a clear coat. Just be careful, and test your products before you use them on the real thing. Some metallic spray paints will react badly to clear coats.

Thanks again to Termina Cosplay for sharing this tutorial with us!

Cia Costume from Hyrule Warriors

Termina Cosplay documented the process of creating her Cia costume, and shared it with us. Take a look at how she achieved this character’s iconic look!

Photo by Vordigon Photography
Photo by Vordigon Photography

Cia was my most in-depth and complex costume to date! It all started when I first laid eyes on Cia’s official artwork. I instantly fell in love with her design. It was dark, seductive and unrestrained- a winning combination in my book!

To start off with, we’ll look at the armor-ish metally bits. I made them with the same techniques I make all my armor with, craft foam and Worbla! First, I make a pattern for pieces by drawing them out on paper, then I transfer the patterns onto craft foam, cut them out, and cover with Worbla. Most details are made either with foam before the Worbla is added or afterwards with just more Worbla.

For the details on the mask, I made a pattern by covering the mask with masking tape, drawing on the details, and transferring the pattern to a single sheet of Worbla.

Sometimes I use Apoxie Sculpt for the details instead!

Next we move onto the shoes. If you want to see detailed tutorial on how I made them look on my Facebook page. Basically, I altered a pair of heels by patterning out craft foam details and glueing them on. I used fabric glue to attach everything, and coated them with Mod Podge to seal them, and painted with acrylic paints.

To make the hat, I started by making a base out of craft foam and foam board. Then I filled the points I formed out of foam board with expanding foam and let it cure. Once cure, I carved out their shapes.

I also made the metal looking parts out of craft foam, EVA foam, and Worbla. Like always, I started with a paper pattern, transferred to foam, and then covered with Worba. The filigree details on the sides were cut from a double layer thick piece of Worbla.



To put everything together, I covered the hat shape with fabric, and attached the Worbla pieces on with neodymium magnets. I wanted to be able to take the hat apart so I could prime and paint it easily, and magnets worked perfectly for this! I used magnets to hold on almost all of my armor pieces, including the belts!

To prime my armor, I used a spray primer, and I didn’t bother to try and smooth it. The Worbla texture didn’t bother me at all for this project, so I left it. As for paint, used metallic spray paints to give it a base color and I weathered with acrylic paints. Last, I added in gems that I cast from resin.

The fabric parts of the costume were definitely the hardest for me. The project was way over my skill level when I started, and I ended up hating my first attempt at the bodysuit. Eventually though, I leveled up enough to where I was able to make something I was ok with. I used an existing bodysuit pattern and altered it to look like Cia’s costume. I used gold stretch vinyl to make the trim and the stripes, and I had to hand sew each stripe on individually to the bodysuit.


The cape was actually dyed to the white/purple gradient for me by a friend, and I simply made a rectanglular shape with the fabric and attached it with magnets to the inside of the pauldron. I also made the feathers on the pauldron detachable by glueing them to a piece of Worbla and attaching the Worbla with velcro.

Lastly, I added LEDs to the inside of the mask to make the eyes glow red. I really don’t know much about LED work, and I had help installing and wiring the LEDs together. There are three red LED’s that shine down into each of the eye holes. To make the red translucent piece that sits over the eye hole, I actually used resin! I cast a very thin piece, formed it to take the shape of the inside of the mask before it fully cured, and attached it to the inside of the mask with Worbla.

Now here’s a look at some more of the finished pieces!




Photo by Vordigon Photography
Photo by Vordigon Photography


Thanks again to Termina Cosplay for sharing this build with us!

Sejuani Helmet & Flail League of Legends

Kazzy Cosplay created this tutorial for round three of our TranspArt Competition!

As part of the final round of the Worbla TranspART contest, all contestants are required to create a tutorial for their build. So buckle up, kiddos! This is a LONG read but hopefully helpful if you are looking to build your own geometric prop with TranspART.

For this round, I deliberated for quite some time over what I should make. I showcased the fire/visor capabilities of TranspART in my last build, so I wanted to look for something that would showcase alternate uses of TranspART. Many ideas later, I decided to create my own interpretation of Traditional Sejuani’s ice flail and battle helm from League of Legends.

First things first – for this oddly shaped flail, I sketched out the shape and started creating a pattern out of card stock. This tutorial should work for most bulky/geometric props that need TranspART sides.


This may take a lot of adjusting, but once satisfied with the smaller shape, scaled it up to your size. I multiplied mine by 3 so that I would have a large flail fitting of a battle mistress of the Freljord.

Translate these pieces to TranspART and add a seam allowance .

Ice time! Make sure you test your dye on practice pieces before you dye your final pieces! To figure out the appropriate shade of blue, I tested multiple pieces in varying times in different baths. Once satisfied with the test pieces, dye the large pieces. I used varying baths and purposely tried to get a bit of an uneven dye to represent ice.



Now let’s shape it up! TranspART does not adhere to itself very well while maintaining a strong, straight edge. To best represent ice, I wanted strong line edges but the TranspART was rounding with the heat shaping.

To combat this and get geometric edges, cut bits of thick craft foam (I used 5mm) on a 45 degree angle so you have triangular strips with a right angle.

Now use the angles to align your edges of your pieces. I adhered mine with Loctite but I believe most cyanoacrylate adhesives will work.

If your prop is big, use strips of worbla to line the edges for extra structural integrity.

Now glue your structure altogether!

Use craft foam and worbla-covered craft foam to create any details, structural points, handles, etc. For the flail, I used this for the “metal” bars, spikes, and top of the flail. I used a Gatorade bottle top as the center to connect to the chain!

Attach your flail to your chain with worbla and attach the chain to a pvc pipe.

Now seal your worbla and foam. I used flexbond for the first time with this project and I loved it! Strong and super flexible. You can also use wood glue, mod podge, etc. if you choose.

Paint and weather your weapon! Don’t be afraid to really dirty up the “metal” with some black and brown paints and bring attention to highlights/snow with a white or silver paint.

Ta da! Enjoy your new ice flail and swing that baby around!


BUT WAIT! There’s more?!

Helmet time!
Because I am a crazy person, I wanted to make Sej’s helm as well. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
To make this battle helmet, cover your head or wig head with plastic wrap and wrap it in masking tape.

Use a pen to line off your masking taped head to get a pattern. Carefully cut a long the lines, and translate the masking tape pattern to craft foam.

Trace the foam pattern to worbla pieces adding a bit of a “seam allowance” to shape over the foam. Use the “tab method” to fold the allowance of worbla over the foam edges so you get clean pieces. Adhere your pieces together with heat.

For the Viking horn, cut out a horn shape in pink foam. Sand and carve down the link foam til you get a nice smooth horn.

Use worbla and foam to add details to your helmet. Seal the helmet with flex bond (or your choice of primer).

Wrap your horn in HOT pieces of TranspART and be careful of your fingers! Use gloves or silicone finger tips for safety!

Adhere your horn with loctite or magnets for easy removal. Paint and weather your helmet and make sure you add some snow to your ice horn!


I hope that was helpful and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Horned Helmet – Darkflame Shyvana

Captain Izzy Cosplay (also on instagram and DeviantArt) shared this Helmet Tutorial from her Darkflame Shyvana costume with us.

1) Pattern that sexy troll face!!! Foil and painters tape is the new Sunday hat guys. Scroll to bottom for instructions on how I made the pattern.

2) I patterned the helmet detail panels in a similar fashion by applying the tape directly onto the helmet. Also see #7, 8 & 9.

3) To maintain flexibility in the worbla helmet, I used the folding technique rather than the sandwich technique. Since the tail adds a lot of weight to the back, the helmet had to be a rather tight fit in order to stay on properly. However, since the helmet covers so much of the facial and neck area, taking it on and off would have been impossible without some movement in the material. Even now it’s a bit tricky. The “hole” details are simply circular shapes pressed into the worbla to create depth.


4) The horns were built by creating the base shape in tin foil. Yes, getting these two horns to be relatively symmetrical is an absolute nightmare and you will cry, throw a tantrum, slam the horns onto the table a few times, and suddenly you’ll have the right shape

5) I covered the tin foil with duct tape to strengthen the structure and smoothen the texture.

6) I covered the horns in strips of worbla that overlap each other. This made covering the horn with worbla more cost efficient as you can primarily use scraps, which gave the horns a ribbed texture at the same time for some extra detail.
7) More detail panel patterning.

8) Cutting the patterns from EVA foam & worbla.

9) Folding technique for the detail panels to save some worbla and therefore money. The money you will need to buy comfort food after all the crying you have been doing from the painful test fittings
10) Still needs trims and a tail, but this is more or less what it should look like. At this point I was ready to mount some human heads onto the horns! No really, I have fun making cosplays


11) The tail is built from connecting vertebrae. Each vertebra is built from 3 basic pieces for which I used the worbla folding technique (with the exception of the few top and bottom pieces) to keep the weight as light as possible.

12) The 3 pieces combined create a triangle shape, allowing for a hollow tail.

13) Overall, with the exception of the base neck and bottom piece, the same triangle shape is repeated all along the tail, decreasing slightly in size per vertebra. Each vertebra is slid slightly over the previous one.
14) The top vertebra is connected directly to the helmet. However, each following vertebra had two holes in the middle on the backside (the side that rests on my back), both on the top and bottom. Through these holes I looped some fishing wire, tying two vertebrae together both on the top side and bottom. Doing so allows for movement in both a forward and backward direction, as well as sideways. Also, since the tail is hollow, it provided the perfect hiding spot for my own long hair, which was braided and tucked just inside the tail.
Lastly, the tail hair was a wig weft, glued to the bottom of the wig. To darken the eye sockets I simply glued the glasses of an old pair of sunglasses to the inside and sanded down the edges.

Photo by Lexa One Photography
Photo by Lexa One Photography

=== Pattern Making ===

To pattern anything for worbla, including the head, I wrap the intended area in foil and cover the foil with painters tape. For this helmet, I drew the outline onto the tape. To “flatten” the 3D pattern piece, I cut the pattern in half from the nose to the neck along the topside, and I created darts (like the sewing technique) for the rounded shape at the top of the head. Lastly I took the two pattern halves and applied them to EVA foam and worbla, which created the base helmet structure. Most of these seam lines that were created when I connected the worbla pieces were hidden by my helmet’s detail patterns. The others I worked into the design as details.