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Guide to Gluing Craft Foam

Discover the best glue for craft foam costumes and more.

Guide to Gluing Craft Foam

Craft foam is great for many different projects. It's affordable, flexible, and comes in a variety of colors. It's popular for kids crafts like puppets and Halloween masks, and it is actually great for making costumes for all ages.

But, as any experienced crafter will know, it can be tricky to figure out how to adhere different materials to each other. Especially if your craft foam has to stand up to hours of wear, as in the case of a Halloween or cosplay costume, you want it to be secure.

So, we've collected our best tips for gluing craft foam. This simple guide will show you when you can hot glue craft foam, how to help your craft foam stand up to some wear, and the best glues to use for craft foam.

Can you hot glue craft foam?

Yes! Hot glue works great with craft foam. Hot glue will not melt craft foam in a significant way. It may melt a tiny bit, but it will only strengthen the bond between the foam and whatever you are gluing it to.

However, there are a few things that you might consider when you start your project.

  1. You should think about what you are gluing the craft foam to. Hot glue may not stick well to materials like smooth plastic unless you use sandpaper to make the surface rough first.
  2. Be sure to apply an even layer of hot glue, especially if you are working with a large surface area of craft foam. If you apply the hot glue unevenly, then you will see a lot of bumps beneath the foam in the finished project.
  3. Consider using a low temperature hot glue gun. If your hot glue is very hot then your foam may be more susceptible to wrinkling or deforming under the heat. This is more important if it is desirable to maintain a specific texture to the foam, such as in a costume.

Hot glue gun

Other Glues That Work with Craft Foam

You can use many different types of glue with craft foam and get good results. It just depends on your needs for the project. A costume that has to be worn for hours (or over a weekend) has very different needs from a simple handmade card or other craft project. Here are some suggestions for a few different types of popular projects.

Best glue for costumes: Hot glue,  E6000, or DAP Weldwood contact cement

Hot glue is the simplest option, and it will hold up well over time. It also cures more quickly than E6000, which can take a few days to set up (and you may need to use clamps on the project to secure it). E6000 is a super strong glue and will also work well, plus it will work better if you need to adhere craft foam to a smooth surface like plastic (still sand the plastic if possible).

The last recommendation comes from Mikaela Holmes in her great introduction to working with EVA foam. DAP Weldwood contact cement is a favorite of cosplayers, and it might be the best solution for you when tackling this type of project.

You might also consider the different properties of different types of EVA foam. EVA foam comes in different thicknesses, which can require a different amount of hold in order to make it stay in place. Check out this in-depth tutorial on the different types of EVA foam for cosplay costumes, which is a great resource for anyone starting a project like this. 

Best glue for light use crafts (greeting cards, home decor, etc.): PVA or Elmer's glue

If your foam craft won't need to stand up to a lot of handling or movement, then PVA or Elmer's glue will work fine. You could also use rubber cement for a nice even application of adhesive.

Craft foam puppets

Best glue for heavy use crafts (toys, masks, Easter baskets, etc.): Hot glue or PVA glue

Hot glue is really a great all purpose option here. But if you don't have a hot glue gun or would prefer not to use one, PVA glue will also work well.

Best glue for metal or jewelry: E6000 or hot glue

It can be difficult to get craft foam to adhere to small metal pieces, such as in jewelry making. So E6000 is a great super strong glue that will help your craft foam stick to just about anything. Hot glue is also a good choice if your craft is a little larger. If you are using hot glue on a piece of smooth metal, it is a good idea to use sandpaper to rough up the surface of the metal so that it will stick better.

What are some of your best tips for working with craft foam? Let us know in the comments!

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I always use hot glue for most of my craft foam projects like flowers. I found that it gets messy sometimes but it works pretty well. For bigger projects I use that E6000 glue I'd recommend this article to any beginner crafter.

This tutorial has some great advice on what kind of glue to use depending on what you are using the craft foam for such as just a craft to look at or card or for wearing such as a piece on or for a costume and which one is best. I am glad I came across this and it is always better to hear with others think or come across. Thanks.

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