Stained Glass Effect with Worbla’s TranspArt

Avera Cosplay shared this amazing tutorial with us showing her technique for creating a beautiful stained glass effect using Worbla’s TranspArt – shown above with her Mercy Sugar Plum Fairy costume from Overwatch, photographed above by Tonya Barnes Photography

If you’ve wanted to create a stained glass effect and haven’t been sure where to start, take a look at Avera’s process below! She walks us through the process of making a Beauty and the Beast shield for an armored Belle build! 

Stained-Glass Belle Shield – Beauty and the Beast
Materials:
  • 2mm Craft foam (EVA foam)
  • Thicker Craft foam 4, 5 or 6mm (EVA Foam)
  • Worbla Transpart
  • Unicorn Spit Sparkling Gel Stain- Variety of colors
  • Unicorn Spit- artistic vivations- Zeus 24k gold
  • Mod Podge
  • Polyurethane – Floor Wax
  • Exacto knife
  • Contact Cement
  • Super Glue
  • Acrylic Paints for base layer on EVA foam

Step 1: Make Your Pattern
Find or create your pattern. Two options: find an image that is already stained glass or find a simple design you can alter to create the stained-glass appearance. Coloring Book pages are a good source for simple images and designs that can be easily turned into stained glass. Just make sure that your lines are relatively thick. If the foam is very thin, the gel stain could bleed, also it is not as sturdy. Cut out the parts of the pattern that will be the glass using an exacto knife.

Step 2: EVA Foam
The foam will act as your pattern and to give structure to the worbla. Transfer the pattern to both 2mm and 4mm eva foam and using an exacto knife cut out the pattern. The 2mm will be the front of the glass and the thicker foam will be the back. Heat seal the foam by using a heat gun.

Step 3: Flatten the Transparent Worbla
Transparent Worbla usually comes in rolls so you will need to heat it up to get it flat. Get all the wrinkles out. Transparent worbla will stick to itself so make sure it does not touch itself heated. Trace the base shape of the object and cut it out with scissors.

Step 4: Mod Podge
Apply a generous layer of mod podge to the worbla. You do not have to let it dry. Place the 2mm top layer on the top of the worbla and add more Mod podge. This will glue to the top layer to the worbla, but it will dry clear. In addition, it helps absorb the gel stain, and seals the 2mm foam for painting. Let this layer dry. If there are gaps between the foam and worbla that heat and mod podge is not solving, you can use super glue to make sure that the foam and worbla are connected. If there is a gap the colors will bleed into each other.

Step 5: Unicorn Spit
Unicorn Spit is a gel-based stain. There are a few different formulas. I use the sparkle version here, which is thinner and more transparent than standard formulas. Mod Podge is what will keep the spit stuck to the worbla and it also helps the spit dry translucent. For the Sparkle Version of Unicorn Spit: mix unicorn spit to mod podge in a 70:30 ratio, that will help to increase opacity and speed up drying time. If you use other formulas of Unicorn Spit, you will have to have mix with more mod podge to get the translucent effect at least 50:50. Do not apply it thicker than the foam, or it will spill over. You can mix colors directly in the cell to add depth and shading. You can also mix colors and mod podge first and apply. I use squeeze bottles to apply, just squeezing the spit in a circular motion. You can also play with the ratios of mod podge to get different levels of opacity.

Step 6 LET IT DRY
It is going to take a while, depending on how thick it was applied. Do not touch it, do not fix it, let it do its thing. It may appear like it is “pulling” away from the edge, or that it is getting bubbles. It is ok. Glass is not perfect, let it dry. It may look like it is losing its color, it is not. Once it is sealed it will be vibrant again. Right now, the stain is attached to the mod podge for the most part. If you mess with it, it will peel. It may take up to 48 hours to dry completely. If you must add a dab or two after it is dried to any mistakes.

Step 7: Assemble the Back
Using the thicker foam, follow the same steps as the 2mm, treated it with the heat gun and then seal it with mod podge. You will want to use super glue, in small dots around each part of the design to attach the foam to the back side of the worbla.

Optional Step: Details and Decorations
I added more details to the Shield, this is not necessarily specific to the stained-glass effect and may or may not be relevant to your project.
Using contact cement added as glue an additional boarder to the 4mm foam back. I drew a wood grain pattern and wood burned the pattern into the foam. I made the strap from 2mm foam and the handle from 4mm foam. The rivets on the front and back are painted googly eyes. I created foam flowers and filigrees by pressing foam clay in silicone cake molds. I put the molds in the freezer for 15 min to help them form quickly and dry faster. All these details were sealed with mod podge.

Step 8: Paint the EVA Foam and Any Details
Using a black acrylic paint, you will want to go over the black foam on the stained glass. This will clean it up a bit if there was any spit that spilled over. Pro-tip: use black foam it will minimize painting. I used a gilding wax for the base layer of gold. Then I used unicorn spit artistic vivations in Zeus to help the details pop.

Step 9: Seal with Polyurethane.
Unicorn spit is water based, if you use an acrylic sealer or anything water based it will reactivate it. You must use an oil-based sealer. Polyurethane will give it a gloss that helps the glass effect. Sealing it will bring the colors back to life as well as protect the shield from peeling or cracking. You can also use epoxy or lacquer on the spit depending on the project and how flexible you need it to be.

Enjoy! I have made bunny ears, wings and armor parts using the technique, so it is truly versatile. 
(Belle photographed by Tonya Barnes Photography )

Legend of Zelda Hylian Shield

Termina Cosplay (dA, Twitter) shared this tutorial for making the Hylian Shield from Legend of Zelda

Materials

  • insulation foam (2 inches thick)
  • craft knife/carving knife
  • sandpaper
  • paper
  • pencils
  • worbla
  • heat gun
  • apoxie sculpt
  • scissors
  • clay tools
  • water
  • wood glue
  • paint
  • paint brushes
  • leather straps
  • screws and washers
  • screw driver
  • dry wall anchors
  • drill
  • possibly a nail and hammer (for poking holes in your leather)
  • Steps
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    1: First, you’ll need to draw out your full sized pattern. I like to use multiple references when making patterns. I used a shield that we bought for a Dark Link cosplay and the concept art for the shield in Twilight Princess from the Hyrule Historia. The Dark Link shield was used for size and the concept art was used for the details. To make your pattern perfectly symmetrical, draw only one side by hand, and then fold over down the middle and transfer what you drew over to the other side.
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    2: Next, take your insulation foam and use your pattern to draw the shape of the shield onto it. Then, take your carving knife (I use an adjustable exacto craft knife) and cut the shape out.

    3: At this point, you will need to carve the round edges onto your shield. You can draw guidelines on your foam if you would like to, but I just kind of eyeballed mine. Just take your knife and cut off small amounts of the edges until you have your curve the way you like it. As you can see, my shield has curved edges but the center is still mostly flat. Thats how I wanted my shield to be, but if you want your entire shield to be curved, you will either need thicker foam, or you’ll need to double up another layer of foam on top of your first. One layer of 2 inch foam just isn’t enough to cut a curve through the whole thing and still look nice. Once you have your curve cut, you can sand it down smooth, though this isn’t necessary because your curve will likely be covered up later anyway.

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    4: The next step is to cover your foam in worbla. This will add durability and give it a nice surface. Cut out enough to cover the back of your shield and another piece to cover the front. Cut a little more than you think you’ll need to avoid any mistakes and make sure you have enough on the top layer to account for the curves. Now set your shield face up on the bottom layer of worbla and heat the top layer of worbla over the foam. The worbla will stretch a little, but be extra careful not to let it stretch too much, because it could easily rip in the process. Press the worbla down on the foam to seal it and work slow to make sure the curve doesn’t end up with creases all over it. try to keep it nice and smooth, but if you end up with some seams and creases along the edge, it isn’t that big of a deal. As long as the center is smooth you’ll be ok.

    5: Once its cooled off a little bit, flip it over and heat up the back side and press the worbla down to seal it. Also go over the seems between the two piece at this point to make sure its sealed all the way around.

    6: Next, cut off the excess along the edges, but make sure you leave about a centimeter of space around it.

    7: Use that centimeter of extra worbla you left along the edges to seal the seams even more. Heat the edge up, and press the excess up onto the side. Make sure you press it up on the side rather than down on the back. You want to keep the back nice and smooth.

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    8: Now, you’ll go back to your pattern and cut all the details out of it. If you want to you can leave one side uncut, like I have in my picture, But I think its easier in the long run to just cut all the pieces out.

    9: Next, tape the center of the shield pattern onto the shield, like it shows in the picture.

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    10: Use the pattern as a stencil to draw out all the details onto the worbla. Make sure you get the outside edge as well, and not just the center details. If you only cut half of your pattern details out, like I did, you’ll have to flip your pattern over to get the details on both sides, but if you cut everything out you won’t have to do this, which is why I recommend just cutting everything out in the beginning.

    11: Some details might actually be easier to free hand. I did this with the swirly details on the top and with the bolts around the triforce and the corners.

    12: Once you have all your details drawn on your shield, its time to add the apoxie sculpt. Move your shield to a workplace that can get messy.

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    13: Apoxie sculpt is a two part epoxy clay. All you have to do is mix equal parts of A and B to use it. I was able to do my Hylian Shield and my Master Sword with a 4 pound kit. It is a little expensive, but the quality is worth it in my opinion. The clay doesn’t shrink or crack at all and is very strong and solid when completely hardened, so you’ll have a hard time damaging it. It is also very easy to work with and can be smoothed out nicely with a little bit of water.

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    14: To mix, just grab equal parts of A and B.
    15: Roll them into logs
    16: Twist the logs together
    17: And knead them together until you can no longer see any streaks. If you don’t mix it well enough, it won’t harden properly.

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    18: The first thing you’ll add with the apoxie sculpt is the outside edge. Follow your lines around the outside edge and cover it with a thin layer of apoxie sculpt. Get it as close the the same thickness all the way around as you can. Use your clay tools to get a nice sharp edge, and smooth it out with some water. Add the sharp edges around the corners here too.

    19: Optional: While your clay is still soft, go in with your heat gun and a clay tool to add some gashes and battle scars to the center of your shield. You could also do this before you start adding the apoxie sculpt, but the order here doesn’t matter

    20: Optional: You can also add some gashes to the sides where the apoxie sculpt is. You can even make the slash go from the apoxie sculpt up into the worbla if you want! Its up to you :D

    21: Next, you’ll add in the details on the center. Just fill in the lines with apoxie sculpt…

    22: and shape it into place with your tools! make sure to dip your tools in water to keep it from sticking.

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    23: Do this with all the details on the center. Some places might be easier to just use your hands rather than the clay tools. Also use your fingers to smooth the surface out with some water. Make sure that if you have slashes in your shield, to also put the slashes through the apoxie sculpt before it hardens.

    24: Once you have all your main details on, let that harden for a few hours before putting the finer details on the top. letting it harden first just makes it easier not to mess anything up when you put more on top of it. Here, add your swirly details and the bolts around the triforce and the corners

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    25: Here is what your shield should look like after all these steps. Let it harden for at least 24 hours before proceeding.

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    26: After 24 hours, prime it and add your paint! How you paint it is up to you, but I mixed metallic pigments into my paint to give it an extra shine. For details on how I paint my props and armor, check out my painting tutorial here! If you want details on how to use metallic pigments, click here!

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    27: At the very last step I added a couple of leather straps (from an old leather belt) to the back for holding. This isn’t exactly what the back of the shield looks like in the game, but it works quite well. I marked where I wanted the straps to go on the back, drilled a hole through the worbla where I wanted the screws to go, then I pounded some dry wall anchors into the holes for extra support. I then poked some holes through the leather straps where the screws would go through with a nail and hammer, and then screwed the straps into the dry wall anchors. You can find dry wall anchors at any hardware store. If you want to make sure your leather doesn’t rip away from the screws, use washers with the screws.

    master_sword_and_hylian_shield_by_terminacosplay-d7ugubi

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    Thanks again to Termina Cosplay for sharing this with us!