How To Make Shin Guards For Cosplay

How To Make Shin Guards For Cosplay

Have you always wanted to do a Wonder Woman cosplay but can’t seem to get her shin guards right? While there are many variations of her costume, one thing you’d want to do right is her shin guards. A lot of cosplay characters wear shin guards such as Deadpool, Arkham Knight, Darth Vader, Amazon Goddess Queen, and warriors to name a few.

Whichever character you are trying to portray, whether it’s Wonder Woman or a medieval warrior costume, you would want every part of their costume to be created perfectly and that includes their shin guards. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about shin guards and how to make a Wonder Woman costume and other famous cosplay characters.

What Are Shin Guards?

What Are Shin Guards

Before we discuss how to make shin guards for your cosplay costume, let’s define first what they are and their purpose.

A shin guard, also known as a shin pad, is a gear used to protect the shin from injury. Most athletes wear this during sports practice and tournaments. Sports that commonly use them include baseball, football, ice, and field hockey, lacrosse, and a lot more. They are worn either voluntarily or as part of the rules for the sport as a means of protection.

However, the use of shin guards dates back to the ancient past used by Roman and Greek Republics. But of course, they were not called shin guards back then, they were influenced by the concept of a greave. It is armor that is worn to protect the shin. It’s a Middle English term meaning shin armor.

In the past, shin guards were worn by warriors during battles and were made of sturdy and hard materials such as bronze. Over the years, greaves were improved and were designed to cover the whole leg, including the feet up to the knees. They were usually made of leather, iron, or cloth.

As time went on, the use of shin guards was no longer for fighting but for sports. However, they are also used for other activities such as hiking, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts. The first sport to use shin guards was cricket, though it was first used not as a protection but as a strategic gear for the batsman to gain an edge.

Football is the next sport that made use of shin guards. It was first used by cricket and football player Sam Weller Widdowson. Since he was also a cricket player, he took his cricket shin pads, cut them, and strapped them on his legs using leather straps. At first other players made fun of him but eventually, they understood how shin pads can help protect their shins. Currently, there are two kinds of shin guards that are being used by football – ankle shin guards and slip-in shin guards.

Shin Guard Materials

  • Foam rubber – This material is very lightweight, however may not be too solid and sturdy.
  • Fiberglass – This is also lightweight but is stiffer and sturdier compared to foam rubber.
  • Metal – Can be very uncomfortable and heavy, but provides utmost protection.
  • Polyurethane – Also a bit heavy but is sturdy and provides protection from almost all kinds of impact.
  • Plastic – Among other materials used in shin guards, this is the least protective. 
  • EVA Foam or Craft Foam – Lightweight but may not offer much protection. Mostly used for craft and costume.

How To Make Cosplay Foam Armor And Shin Guard

How To Make Cosplay Foam Armor And Shin Guard

Armor is a major part of most cosplay costumes. A lot of cosplay characters wear armor and shields whether they’re portraying superheroes or even elves. Making one can be challenging depending on which character you’ve chosen. However, as long as you’ve got an idea of your character’s overall look, you just need to find the right materials and mold them to get the perfect outcome.

In this tutorial, we’re going to make cosplay armor and shin guard using EVA foam.

Create Your Design

Once you have chosen your character to portray, the first step is to create your design. Most character costumes vary and it’s up to you which design or pattern you’ll end up using. You can search for different images of your character online and start sketching the design on paper.

Most armors consist of a chest pad and some arm or shoulder pieces. Depending on your chosen character, you might also need armor on your head and legs. If you are feeling uninspired, you can check out your favorite cosplayer and see if he or she had portrayed your chosen character. To make it easier, you can simply copy a particular look or do a quick Google image search.

Once you have drawn your design, it is time to transfer it to a bigger piece of paper that you’ll use as a rough draft for your final product. For your draft, you’ll need a poster board paper that you can wrap around your chest, arms, and legs if your character has leg armor.

Don’t worry about the poster board getting bent or crumpled as you won’t use it as your final armor. You’ll only use it as a measuring tool to make sure you get the right size when you finally make your real armor. In this case, it will be made of EVA foam.

Draw the shapes for each piece of your armor on your poster board using a pencil or pen. But it’s best to use a pencil so it’ll be easier to erase in case you make a mistake. Don’t worry too much about your drawing, your goal here is to get the right size for your armor’s main pieces.

Once you’re done drawing the shapes, it’s time to cut them. Separate the pieces of your armor for your chest, arms, and legs. Make sure that you cut them exactly as how you want your armor to look.

After cutting all the pieces, trace each piece into your EVA foam. You may want to label them so you won’t get confused later on. After tracing the pieces, use an Exacto knife or blade to cut them out. Be sure to place thick cardboard on the surface where you plan to cut them for protection. This time you would want to ensure that you cut them perfectly and all edges are smooth.

Shape And Assemble The Foam Armor

Gather the pieces depending on which part you need them. Piece them all together using liquid glue, although you can also use hot glue if you prefer. To ensure the pieces will stick properly, apply a thick and even layer then press them together for at least 60 seconds. Allow the glue to dry for a couple of minutes before moving to the next piece.

If your armor has embellishments or designs, this is the best time to draw them on the EVA foam before you shape or mold the armor. It is ideal to use a pencil and lightly sketch, as this will prevent the EVA foam from forming dents. Just draw them first; painting them will be done later on.

Once you’re done sketching, it is time to shape the armor for it to fit your body perfectly. To do this, the EVA foam needs to be heated. There are several ways to heat the EVA foam: it can be done through a flameless less stove, heat gun, or an iron. You only need a few seconds to heat the EVA foam. For your own protection, you can use oven mitts.

Shape And Assemble The Foam Armor

Using a heat gun is the easiest way to heat EVA foam. Never use a stove with flame as it may also put the foam in flames. You can also practice on scratch pieces first before heating your main foam armor to give you an idea of how long you should place it under heat. This will also ensure that you won’t damage and melt your actual foam.

Once the EVA foam gets soft, remove it from the heat and start folding and bending it to the shape you want to achieve. You can use a mannequin, your own body, a box, a rolling pin, or your fingers as your mold. You may need to act a bit quickly as the EVA foam will cool fast. Once the heat is gone, it will hold its new form.

Once the armor has cooled down, try it on and see if it fits you well. In case you fail to get the right form or shape, you can always re-apply heat and make adjustments. In order to make your EVA foam armor durable, you can add a layer of fabric backing.

To do this, take a piece of cloth that is big enough so it can cover the back part of your armor. Apply a liquid glue evenly on the back and put the fabric on it. Allow the liquid glue to dry before removing the excess fabric with your scissors.

As soon as the glue dries out, paint another layer of glue over it. This will help seal it off. If you’re happy with its stability, you don’t need to add another layer of fabric backing. But if you want it stronger, feel free to add another layer.

Adding Detail

At this point, your armor is now ready to add embellishments and etchings. Adding etchings are very easy and it will help make your armor look more real. All you need to do is to press into your armor foam using a ballpoint pen and design it any way you want or depending on the pattern you are following.

If you get ink on your EVA foam, don’t panic as you will soon paint your armor. After you added the designs and etchings, mix liquid glue and fabric glue with a 1:1 ratio to two parts of water and brush the mixture on your EVA foam armor. Be sure to apply thinly and evenly. Before applying a new coat, allow the first coating to dry first. Continue to add coats. Stop when the finish is smooth and has no more air holes.

It may take at least 7 to 8 coatings to achieve a smooth finish. Sealing your armor will help protect the paint and other embellishments to be kept in place. Any set of cosplay armor requires a layer of paint to add some color. You can use acrylic paint to coat your armor after sealing it. At least 2 to 3 coatings are enough, just be sure to let it dry first before adding another coat of thin paint. Flip the armor and paint the front side and repeat the process.

It is very important to paint the front and back of the armor. People behind you will notice if the paint on your back is different from the front. After painting the armor, it’s time to add some extra features. You can use your imagination on what you want to add to your armor.

Based on your chosen character’s costume, you may add glitters, plastic jewels, and other embellishments. You can also check out other cosplayer posts for inspiration or make it your own by using your own design.

If you are rocking a weathered-looking armor, apply a thin layer of dark green or black paint then rub it on a wall or rock. You’ll notice that the original color will still show but it will have a weathered look on it, making it look more realistic.

Try It On

Before you try it on, make sure the paint has dried completely. When you put it on, wear your complete costume to find out if it fits perfectly with your costume and other accessories. It would be easier to make changes now than on the day of the event.

When we say complete costume, that includes your shoes. If you will be wearing regular shoes, you might want to add a foot guard or anything that will hide your shoes, so as not to ruin the entire look.

Choosing The Right Foam For Your Cosplay Costume

Choosing The Right Foam For Your Cosplay Costume

Armors are often seen as part of cosplay costumes. It is very big in the cosplay settings and even has its separated category and judging criteria in a cosplay costume competition.

If you are a cosplayer and you need armor as props, the first thing that you need to decide is what type of materials to use. There are different materials you can choose but the best option for cosplay armor props and costumes is EVA foam. EVA foam is lightweight, easy to use, and cheaper than other mediums that’s why it is the favorite material in making a cosplay costume.

Now that you know the good things about EVA foam, let’s get to understand some types of foam and know which type will be the best choice for your prop or costume.

Foam Floor Mats

These interlocking foam mats that can be purchased online or at hardware stores can also be used for armor cosplay costumes. Remember that these mats are usually textured, so you need to cut them appropriately. They are also much thicker, about 10 mm to 12 mm, and lower quality but they are a good choice if you want to cut back on budget and for cosplayers who are just new to costume making

Yoga Mats

The nice things about yoga mats are that they are bendable, thin, affordable, and very workable. If you are a beginner in costume making, then a yoga mat foam is a great material to use for your first projects. They’re very easy to work with, and since they are very cheap, you won’t feel guilty if you happen to mess up your costume or props.

Foam Clay

Foam clays are fairly new materials in cosplay costume and props making. When you open a foam clay, it is very pliable and light but once it dries out, it will have an EVA foam consistency. You can now cut it just like a regular EVA foam. This is a very good choice when it comes to making organic shapes. The only downside of this material is that it can be very expensive.

Dowels and Bevels

Dowels and Bevels

You can also see some cosplayers who use dowels and bevels for their props and costumes. These foams are easy to cut and you can easily stick them with contact cement. These pieces of foam are great for making sharp and uniform detailing on your costume or props.

Craft Foam

The craft foams that you used for your childhood projects are also being used in making a cosplay costume and props now. The good things about craft foams are that they come in a variety of colors and they are very cheap. They are also great for details, particularly the 2 mm size.


This semi-transparent and porous foam is perfect for illuminated armor and other props. Plastazote appears white and allows LED light to glow through. They can’t be handled the same as other foam because they are super lightweight and are just best for making prop or armor costume that needs illumination.

Cosplay EVA Foam

Many stores like CosCom Cosplay Supplies, TNT Cosplay Supply, and SKS Prop and Costume Supply produce and sell EVA foam in various thicknesses and densities. Below are the two EVA foam sheets you can use for your cosplay costume.

EVA 38 Foam

The EVA 38 foam is great for making armor, bracers, guards, etc. It is very durable, flexible, and cost-effective. They are available in a variety of thicknesses such as 2 mm, 4 mm, 6 mm, 8 mm, 10 mm, and 12 mm. The typical thickness of foam used in making armor for cosplay is between 4 mm to 6 mm. Thicker foams are perfect for making a chunkier costume, panels, props, and details.

EVA 60 Foam

If you want to make swords or other props, then EVA 60 foam is your best option. This foam has a higher density which means it takes more heat to shape it but it also means that it can hold the shape pretty well once you finished heating. This type of foam is more expensive but they are very helpful for props and costume creation.

Wonder Woman Costume

Wonder Woman Costume

As promised, below is a tutorial on how to make a Wonder Woman costume, including her shin guard and other accessories.

Wonder Woman Cosplay Shield


  • Shield pattern 
  •  EVA foam 
  • Craft foam
  • Worbla
  • Contact cement
  • Glue
  • Craft knife
  • Upholstery twist pins
  • Black Plasti Dip
  • Matte Mod Podge
  • Gold paint
  • Black acrylic
  • Small brush
  • Dremel
  • Sanding bits
  • Heat gun
  • Leather

The first thing you should do is to buy or download a shield pattern. There are so many downloadable Wonder Woman costume patterns you can see on the web. Having a pattern will make your work much easier since you do not need to measure each part.

All you got to do is to put the shield altogether. In this project, we will use an EVA foam. Draw the pattern into the EVA foam and take your time doing it. Ensure that you have the right measurement and all the lines are straight so that your work will be perfect.

Next is to trace out the circle designs to a tracing paper to make a pattern. Cut them out of larger pieces of EVA foam strip instead of putting them together. Do this on both the outer circle and inner circle.

After you’ve traced the pattern onto the EVA foam, get your craft knife and make some grooves inside the inner circle. This will make it look textured and will pop out more once you put the worbla down. Then heat it by using the heat gun, and you will see how it will dramatically transform into a cool textured design. Just continue with the process until you’re done with the design.

The next step is to cut out the EVA foam pieces for detailing. Use a 2 mm EVA foam for this so that you can easily attach them to the shield. Just finish all the tiny detailing of the shield, and after you are done with all of them, the next part will be the gluing process. Glue all the little patterns you made to the shield. This may take a while so make sure you have some patience for this part.

You can use contact cement, hot glue, or super glue. Feel free to use what you’re comfortable with. Don’t use contact cement if you don’t have a well-ventilated space. Once you have glued all the little details, it’s time to get your Dremel and sand the edges of the shield so that it will look curved and less straight-edged. After doing that, cut the worbla and put it on the shield.

Use the heat gun again and make sure that you won’t heat the worbla too much because it will make the EVA foam hot underneath. This can be a very difficult process and you need to be very patient doing this. After making sure that worbla looks perfect already, you can now cover the back of the shield by cutting 2 mm craft EVA foam. Use contact cement to attach the EVA foam to the back of the shield.

After that, you can seal the worbla by using the Mod Podge to make the shield smoother before painting. Once you’re done with that, you can paint the whole shield with black paint. Then put gold paint on the spots that are gold.

The last part is the backing of the shield. Cut the leather to the size that you need. You basically need two pieces of leather, and you have to measure your arm and wrist for the strap. After you have cut the right sizes, attach them by using split pins and glue. Once you have connected every point with the twist pins, your Wonder Woman cosplay shield is now complete.

Wonder Woman Cosplay Shin Guards


  • Pattern
  • EVA foam
  • Contact cement or adhesive
  • Plasti Dip
  • Red Acrylic paint
  • Gold paint
  • Velcro
  • Brown leather
  • Hole puncher
  • Split spins

Cut the Wonder Woman costume pattern and transfer them all to the EVA foam. Use contact adhesive to stick them all together. After you have finished sticking each part, the next step is to use a wood-burning tool for engraving tiny details. Then once you’re done with that, spray them with Plasti dip to prime the shin guards before painting them.

Paint the red part first before putting the black paint to add shade in where it’s needed. Then you can paint the gold details. Paint the outlines of the foam armor to have a nice metal effect.

The next step is fastening the Wonder Woman shin guards. For this project, we will use velcro fastening. Cut multiple leather straps and then put some holes by using a hole puncher to push the split pins through. Then take your velcro and cut them according to the size of the straps. You can now fit your Wonder Woman cosplay shin guards and make sure you are comfortable walking with them.

Wonder Woman Cosplay Bracers

  • Pattern
  • Foam
  • Stationery knife
  • Chalk
  • Glue gun
  • Building dryer
  • Elastic acrylic glue
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Silver acrylic paint
  • Gold acrylic paint
  • Velcro
  • Rubber band

Make your own Wonder Woman costume bracers pattern or you can just get a bracers pattern that is already made. Draw a pen line on the EVA foam. Double-check your work before cutting the foam. Use a craft knife when cutting the pieces of the bracers.

After that, draw a chalk line on your paper bracers pattern and then put it on the EVA foam. Transfer the chalk lines by pressing them with your hand or pen. Next is to push the lines by using a pen or pencil. It’s like you are retracing the paper bracers pattern to the EVA foam.

Wonder Woman Cosplay Bracers

Once you have completely transferred the chalk outlines to the EVA foam, you can now draw the lines again using a pen. Then make a notch by sliding down a knife along the lines. Repeat this process for all the lines on the EVA foam. This may take a while and after you finish making notches, you can now heat the bracers with a hot gun. This will make the EVA foam very bendable and you can easily change its form. 

The next step is to prime your bracers before painting them. You can use any primer but in this project, we will be using elastic acrylic glue. Apply a liberal amount of glue onto the bracers. Once the glue has dried out, you can start painting. Use black acrylic paint for the base. Then dab the silver paint over the black paint by using a sponge. After that, paint the gold parts of the bracers.

The last method is fastening the bracers. Attach velcro and rubber band to the back of the bracers. Use a glue gun to attach them. Measure your arm so that the bracers will perfectly fit you.

Wonder Woman Cosplay Tiara

  • Template/pattern
  • Craft foam in red and gold 
  • Craft knife
  • Glue gun
  • 1/2″ wide elastic
  • Pair of scissors

The first thing to do is to decide whether you will design your own Wonder Woman costume tiara pattern or just get a template from the web. Of course, it is easier if you just get a ready-made one. Once you have the pattern, trace the template onto the back of the gold craft foam and cut it out. 

Next is to draw a star shape on the back of the gold crown foam. Use a craft knife when cutting out the star. After that, cut a small piece of the red craft foam to put on the back of the gold foam through the star cut-out. Attach it by using a hot glue gun to put the piece.

The last step of this project is to cut a piece of elastic that will fit around your head. Use hot glue to attach it to the back of the tiara. Your Wonder Woman tiara is now done!

Wonder Woman Cosplay Chest Armor

  • Craft foam
  • Cling wrap
  • Duct tape
  • Bra inserts
  • Hair dryer/heat gun
  • Red, black, and gold acrylic paint
  • Glossy modge podge
  • Pair of Scissors
  • Super glue

Make your pattern by wrapping yourself in cling wrap. Bind the part of your body where you like your armor to go. Have a friend put duct tape over the cling wrap and ask to cut off the cling wrap and duct tape cautiously.

Draw the pattern you made onto the craft foam and slice the foam out. Stick the pieces together with super glue. Cut a slit on the breast area with a pair of scissors and place your bra pads on the front of the armor. Push in the foam from the slit and attach using super glue.

Heat up the foam with a hair dryer or heat gun to make it more pliable. Mold it to your body while you’re doing this and just remove it once it cooled down. This will make the foam stay in the position of your body shape.

Cut out pieces of foam strip and stick them to the armor. Lay them all first before gluing it so that you can see how your armor will look. Then trace the symbol to the foam and cut out the pieces. Lay them all together and stick them down. Remember that you need to use a photo reference when doing this part.

You can now paint your Wonder Woman cosplay armor. Start painting the red part. Then paint the symbol with gold paint. Remember to apply two coatings of red and gold when painting the armor. You can add black paint in between the raised foam strip.

Once you are already content with the colors you can now apply coats of glossy modge podge over. You can make it look weathered by adding scratches with a pair of scissors. Then you can put straps on the back and you’re finished with the Wonder Woman cosplay armor!

Wonder Woman Cosplay Skirt

  • Pattern
  • Fabric belt
  • 1 mm thick black smooth floor rubber
  • Fabric 
  • Blue and gold acrylic paint
  • Needle and strong thread

Buy or get a pattern you can find on the web. Transfer the pattern on the floor rubber and cut them out. Then, put some glue on the floor rubber cutouts and attach the fabric to each skirt panel. Snick the excess fabric once the glue has dried out and fix any corner that may stick on the rubber.

You can now paint your skirt. Color the edges with gold paint and then cover it with tape so that it won’t get ruined when you paint the blue part of the skirt. It is better if you use a sponge when you are painting the blue part because you can easily smear the paint with it. Then just all the pieces together and attach them to the fabric belt. Your Wonder Woman costume skirt is ready to wear now!

Other Cosplay Character Shin Guards Tutorials

Other Cosplay Character Shin Guards Tutorials

If Wonder Woman is not your thing, then here are other popular characters to try. Below are some tutorials on how to make cosplay shin guards.

Deadpool Cosplay Shin Guards

You can make your own pattern or just get an available free template online to save time. Trace the template on the 6mm EVA foam and cut all the parts of the shins. Heat the main part of the shin with a heat gun to make the foam more pliable. Apply some barge cement on the seams and make sure there is no gap.

The next part is to add the details of the shin guards, which are made of 2 mm EVA foam. Attach the pieces on the main part of the shin guard with the barge cement. Add zippers to the side of the shin guard. You can attach the zippers by simply applying adhesive, or by making a stitch if you want. After that, add buckles in the lower part of the cosplay shin guard with velcro. After you have assembled all the parts of the cosplay shin guards you can now paint them.

Prime your Deadpool shin guard with Plasti dip before putting the red acrylic paint. Then, paint the black and silver parts of the cosplay shin guards. You can now try your Deadpool’s cosplay shin guards after everything has dried out!

Batman Arkham Knight Shin Guards

Get your reference picture and start drawing it on a large piece of paper. There is no need to get the exact picture with designs at this point, so don’t worry too much about it not being perfect. Your goal here is to get the right shape of the shin guard as this will be your pattern.

Once you’re done drawing the shin guard, cutting the pieces will be the next step. You can use a pair of scissors or a sharp blade. After cutting down the patterns, trace them on your preferred shin guard material. For this tutorial, let’s use foam as the main material.

After you’re done tracing it on your craft foam, repeat the process of cutting them out. Once you’re done cutting all the pieces, put them together using an adhesive. After applying your adhesive, press the pieces together firmly for a few seconds and let them dry before moving on to the next piece. Just repeat the process until you’ve put all the pieces together.

Clean up and trim the edges for a smooth finish. For the shin guard base, heat it up first for a few seconds so you can shape and form it before you attach the designs. Once you have achieved the right shape, apply adhesive to the edge where you will put the velcro or strap to hold the shin guard together when you wear them.

You can also apply rubber cement first before putting the velcro for better results. At this point, you can also add the other design or knee pads on your shin guard to make it look beefier or bulkier. After that, set them aside and let the adhesive dry.

While waiting for the adhesive to dry, you can start drawing and cutting your foot guard. You would want to do this so it will cover your shoes. Use a razor blade to score the surface to give it that mechanical layer look to your foot guard. This will make your life easier than cutting several pieces and gluing them together.

After that, it’s time to sand down the smooth surface and spray paint your shin guard with gray paint. Allow the paint to dry completely before you try them on.

SubZero Shin Guards

The first step is to gather the supplies. You’ll be needing the following tools and materials:

  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Acrylic Paint – black, blue
  • 6mm, 2mm EVA/Craft foam
  • Contact cement
  • Adhesive
  • Primer or Mod Podge
  • Paintbrushes
  • Heat gun
  • Elastic or velcro

Once you have gathered all the materials needed, draw your pattern on a piece of paper or board. Have a picture of SubZero’s costume beside you while doing this, so you know exactly how his shin guards look. Then the next step would be cutting out the patterns for your shin guards using your craft knife or scissors.

After cutting the different pieces for your shin guard, you may want to label or put a note on each pattern so that it would be easier for you to assemble them later on. Once you’re done cutting the different patterns and labeling them, you need to trace these patterns on your EVA foam.

After tracing them on the EVA foam, repeat the process of cutting each pattern for both of your legs. Once you’re done tracing and cutting them, get your heat gun and apply heat to the EVA foam. The heat will help you bend and fold the foam easier and mold it to your desired form.

When forming the shin guard, you may want to use your own legs as the molder or you can also use a mannequin or your friend’s leg. Next is priming the foam – use a primer or Modgepodge and apply it to your shin guard. Let it dry.

Once the primer is dry, it’s time to paint the different pieces with blue paint. For your shin guard, place a strip of tape in the middle before painting the main part of the shin guard. Make sure to paint the surface evenly. Let the paint dry.

While waiting for the paint to dry, you can start cutting out the shin details. Once you’re done cutting, paint the pieces using your black acrylic paint. Again, let the paint dry. Check your shin guard if the paint is already dry and remove the tape on the center. Cut a thin strip of blue EVA foam and paste it in the center. Paint the remaining sides in the center black.

Once the paint is dry, paste the other details on the shin guard. Apply contact cement on the part where you will attach the elastic or velcro. Measure how much elastic or velcro you will need for your legs. The velcro or elastic will serve as the strap or support to keep the shin guards in place. So, get the right measurement so it won’t be too loose or too tight.

Now, try it on and see if you can walk properly while you wear your shin guards. Try it with the rest of your costume to see your final look.

Tips For Making Cosplay Shin Guard

Tips For Making Cosplay Shin Guard

If you are a cosplayer, one of the things you need to master is your crafting skills since cosplay would require you to do a lot of DIYs. If your costume requires you to wear an armor or shin guard, here are some helpful tips to guide you.

  • Research about the costume. Check online for inspirations. Don’t stop on the first shin guard design you see; browse for more. You’ll realize that there are tons of other interesting designs online.
  • Always have a picture of the shin guard with you while making the project. If possible, try to get pictures of it from every angle. This will ensure that you get every detail correctly.
  • Use the right material. You would want something that is lightweight and comfortable. A lot of cosplayers prefer using EVA foam or crafting foam for a shin guard project. Other materials you can use for shin guards are leather, plastic, cardboard, metal, and a lot more.
  • When using EVA foam, you need heat to form it to the figure you want. Choose a heat source without flames. 
  • Practice with a scratch first when heating your foam, before doing on your actual EVA foam. This will help you gauge the right amount of heat needed and how long you should heat it.
  • If you want your shin guard to be sturdy, make sure it is covered with several coats of sealers. Never add another coating of sealer or paint while it is still wet. Allow it to dry first before adding another coating.
  • Make sure the front and back of your shin guard are painted. The look of your shin guard’s back part is as important as the front. 
  • If you are struggling, you can watch video tutorials. If you have a favorite cosplayer, ascertain if he or she has a video about making a shin guard or other tutorials related to it. Just be patient with the ads, a lot of YouTubers earn from them.
  • Always double-check the measurements. If your shin guard will be worn over your pants or costume, take that into account with your measurements.
  • Be patient. You ma need to do trial and error with this project. But don’t worry, it will all pay off when you see the final project.
  • There are downloadable patterns online that you can use to make your life a bit easier. Most of them you need to buy, but if you do your research well, you might find some free patterns.
  • Ensure that all areas are covered with sealers and paint and close any gap on your shin guard. Ensure that you don’t miss a single spot as it will show on your final costume and may ruin your overall look.
  • Your shin guards should be measured correctly. The top of the shin guards should rest below your knee, and the bottom should end at around one or two inches above your ankle. It’s very important that your shin guards won’t hinder your movements.
  • If you are struggling in making your own base for the shin guard, of course, you can always use your old shin guards, the ones you used when you played sports. With some alterations, designs, and paintings, you can easily achieve the look you want to portray.
  • For more inspiration, you can always check out different cosplay communities and sign up. It is always nice to meet another cosplayer. Most online communities have different categories so it would be easier for members to search what particular topic they need help with.
  • DIY projects can be very tiring even if it’s just a shin guard. If you chose a shin guard design with intricate details, it may take you hours or even days to finish it. So, take time to rest when you’re tired. DIY shin guard project should be fun and not be too taxing.

Tips For Buying Shin Guard Online For Cosplay

Tips For Buying Shin Guard Online For Cosplay

Not into DIY? Let’s face it, making your own costume can be challenging and tedious most of the time. This is especially true for those who are new to cosplay. But don’t feel bad, a lot of cosplayers’ costumes were also purchased either online or in retail stores. So, don’t be too guilty if your shin guards were purchased in a store.

In case you decide that DIY is not the route for you, then you can always buy a ready-made shin guard for your costume. However, expect to spend more money when you buy ready-made shin guards compared to making your own costume. You can find a lot of these online or at any cosplay costume store.

  • When you buy online, make sure to check you have the right size so you won’t have to do any alteration. Check the specifications carefully and make sure you are using the same measurement scale.
  • Compare prices and try to find the best value for your money. Take note that not all expensive ones are always the best; sometimes the cheaper priced costumes are better. So, learn to scale between price and quality.
  • Read reviews from other customers. This will give you an idea of the quality of the shin guards you will receive. A positive review will give you an idea about the seller and the product you will receive.
  • You should also take into account the location of the seller and if they deliver to your area. You can save a lot of money from shipping fees if the seller’s area is nearby.
  • Check out if the seller offers a return, exchange, or refund in case they send you the wrong item or you ordered the wrong size.

Related Questions

Related Questions

How do you make shin guards?

You can make shin guards out of cardboard paper. The first thing that you need to do is to measure your leg. Cut the cardboard according to the measurements of your leg. Snick two pieces of cardboard for each shin guard. Remember that your improvised shin guards should be enough to protect your shins. Thus you need to measure them as accurately as you can.

Insert additional cardboard for extra protection. Apply glue and make sure that they are securely attached to prevent them from falling off when hit. Then, attach both cardboard pieces together. Use super glue to attach both pieces together securely. Let the adhesive dry by leaving it in a dry place. You can now paint your shin guards once the glue has dried. Repeat the same process in order to make another shin guard for your other leg.

How do you make leg guards?

One method that can be used in order to make leg guards is by using thermocol sheets and old plastic bottles. The first step is to open up the bottles by cutting off the bottle top with a knife to take off the cone-shaped part. Remove the base of the bottle too.

By now, your bottle should look like an open-ended cylinder. Slice the bottles vertically to create curved rectangular pieces of plastic. Then, smooth the edges by lighting up matchsticks to ensure that there are no rough edges to protect your legs from injury. 

Next is to slice the thermocol sheets to the same size as the plastic bottles. They should be the same in measurements. Attach the plastics and sheets by using a strong adhesive. Make sure that they are properly aligned, and just slice the excess parts with a knife if there are any.

Lastly, attach the elastic bands by making holes on each side of the plastic. Each plastic should have four holes – two from the top and two at the bottom. Insert the elastic through the holes and tie a knot to make your leg armors stay in place.

How do you make cosplay leg armor?

There are many ways to make cosplay leg armor. You can use different materials including EVA foam, plastic bottles, cardboard, etc. When making your own cosplay leg armor, the first thing that you should do is to take measurements and make patterns of your legs. There are also plenty of cosplay leg armor costume templates that you can just easily download from the web.

Just trace the template to the material of your choice and cut each part. Bind them together with super glue. Then paint your cosplay leg armor with acrylic paint. Lastly, put elastic at the back of the cosplay leg armor costume in order to make sure that they stay in place.

How do you make shin armor?

One way to make shin armor is by using cardboard and used clothes. Place the cardboard on your shins and trace lines to get your exact measurements. Then, snick the cardboard lines by using scissors or knife. Cover the cardboard with newspaper and then stick them together. 

Cut your old clothes into two rectangular pieces, Make sure that the width of the fabric should be double the size of the cardboard to allow the fabric to be folded in half. Place one folded fabric near the top of the cardboard and the other at the bottom. Glue or stitch the fabric to the cardboard.

The next step is to cover the whole cardboard with fabric. Wrap the cardboard and stitch the clothes around it. Once you are done with this process, you can now paint your shin armor with fabric paint. Then, attach elastic to your shin armors, and you’re done!

How do you make foam bracers?

The first thing that you need to do in making foam bracers is to wrap your forearms with plastic wrap to take out the pattern and then cover them with tape. Cut them and then paste the pattern to the paper.

The next step is to paste the cutouts to the EVA foam and cut them. After that, you can now add details to the bracers with foamy borders and assemble them accordingly. Cover everything with wood glue and once the bracers dry out, you can spray some plasti dip for its primer. Paint your bracers with the colors of your choice and let them dry before putting a layer of mod podge to seal everything up.

Final Words

final words

Now do you think you can confidently make your own shin guards for different cosplay characters? We hope that the tutorials and recommendations above have helped you gain confidence with DIY costumes, especially in making shin guards. In case you fail to do it right the first time, don’t worry with enough practice, the right tools, and materials, you’ll soon be the star of the next cosplay event or Halloween party you will attend.

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Picture of Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
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