Using Worbla to Make Sturdy and Removable Cosplay Boots!
I like to use Worbla for my boots since it provides structure and stability on a piece of armor that has to withstand wear and tear. I also always make my boot armor removable so that I can wear my comfiest pair of boots! Here’s how I do it:
Your first step is to pattern! For this project, I began with my basic boot armor pattern (which you can make yourself using the saran wrap and tape method). Building from there, I refined the shapes and did some additional saran wrap and taping to emulate the reference. Of course, all patterning is done on the actual shoes I’ll be wearing with the costume.
Using your pattern, cut your pieces from 2mm foam and then contact cement them into shape. Using a rotary tool, round down the edges and sand the seams to get a cleaner Worbla application.
Cut pieces of Worbla (I used Worbla’s Black Art for my project since it has a smooth texture) slightly larger than your foamsmithed pieces. Heat the Worbla and form it to your pieces. Fold the excess material to the underside of the foam to create clean edges.
Perfect the Worbla
You can reheat the Worbla to perfect your application (pop out dents, round edges etc.). You can also use a rotary tool to clean seams. Make sure that you shape your pieces to fit the contours of the shoes you’ll be wearing under the armor!
Use a foam brush to apply wood glue to the Worbla. The smoother your application the easier your smoothing and sanding will be later – you can tell from my drips that I didn’t do a great job…
Perfect your finish
Alternate sanding and filler primer until you’re happy with the surface of your armor. To correct my sloppy sealing I used sandpaper grits from 60 up to 400.
Paint and top coat
Paint to your taste! In this case I used rattle cans for color and Rust-Oleum Universal High-gloss Clear for the top coat, but acrylics, Mod Podge, airbrushing, etc. all work perfectly.
This step can be tricky – it’s time to strap your armor so that you can either put the armor on after you put on your shoes or put your shoes on your feet after the armor’s on the boots. I chose the latter, and used a combination of purse snaps, elastic, and Velcro to connect all of the pieces. I like to use elastic on my boots so that there’s flexibility to allow for comfortable walking.
And with that, you’re done! I use this strategy for almost every armor cosplay I make. I love that I can walk on them at a con or shoot and not worry about wearing through soft foam. Thank you for reading – I can’t wait to see what you make!