9th May 2018

Closed Cell Polyethylene Foam For Professional Film and Theatre Props and Cosplay Costume Creation

Whether it’s prop design, set design or costume design for film, theatre or simply a hobby, a large amount of time is spent researching, meticulously designing, and understanding the technical creation of the final product. From the initial scale modelling to the full-sized end result, we understand the need for materials that are pliable, easy to work with, cost-effective and robust.

Closed cell polyethylene foam (also known as craft foam) is incredibly popular amongst prop designers within the film and theatre industry, as well as amateur and professional costume designers (such as cosplay and LARP). Due to its lightweight structure and durability, as well as being a cost effective solution, there are few better materials for creative sets, armour, costumes and a range of other props that require mass production or detailed work.

Our variety of closed cell polyethylene foam comes in a range that includes ethylene co-polymer, conductive and static dissipative foams, as well as flame retardant and antibacterial grades. We offer a range of densities, colours and sizes and each one is non-toxic, thermally insulating and resistant to UV, moisture and chemicals.

Closed cell polyethylene foam

Several of the key benefits for those in the prop and costume industry when using closed cell foam are:

  • It’s smooth on both sides
  • The foam can be sanded
  • Easy to seal, prime and then paint
  • Cuts and scores easily
  • Easy to add textures for 3D looks and greater realism
  • Dense and comes in a variety of thicknesses (it can also be glued together)
  • Can be cut with a hot wire
  • Flexible and lightweight
  • Shaped with ease once heated
  • Strong and tear resistant
  • Waterproof
  • More durable than some foams
  • Easily joined together with a glue gun

Shaping closed cell polyethylene foam is fairly easy for achieving any desired result, including round or curved shapes. When heated with a heat gun, the foam can simply be shaped by hand or using simple objects like glass bottles or mannequins heads. Once left on an object whilst the foam cools, the closed cell foam will hold its form and remain rigid.

Closed cell polyethylene foam is durable but it will require reinforcement to maintain its shape. Many prop and costume designers will seal the foam and cover it with a clear sealant, glue and/or fabric such as cheesecloth to achieve rigidity. It also makes the foam much easier to paint to create realistic textures.

Polyethylene foam

Prop examples:

  • Hats and headwear
  • Head and hair designs
  • Armour
  • Scenery
  • Trees
  • Decorations
  • Creatures
  • Character costumes
  • Ornate detailing
  • Weaponry

Provision of samples

We offer a closer look at our product ranges by supplying free samples, as well as project advice. Get in touch with our expert team for more information about free samples of our closed cell foam.

Our technical team can work with you to choose the best material for any design, so you can more effectively develop the props and costumes you’re looking to create. We can split, saw, rout, die cut, water-jet cut, butt-weld, laminate, adhere, thermoform or compression mould all of our foams to create even the most complex shapes and sizes in preparation for your project. Simply contact us today to speak to one of our experts.

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