Choosing the right kind of glue and using that glue correctly is very important when working with EVA Foam. The glue has to be strong, accurate, and flexible. The glued parts will be squished and have to endure a lot of strain, so there aren´t a lot of glues, that check all of these boxes.
So what is the best glue for EVA Foam? In short, the best glue for almost every EVA Foam project is Contact Cement. Contact Cement is a strong glue, that is also slightly elastic, so it will endure bending and twisting. It is also easy and fast to use and very accurate to use.
How do You Use Contact Cement for EVA Foam?
Contact Cement is the number one glue, that I use for glueing EVA Foam.
The glue is cheap, easy to come by (you can get it in every hardware or crafts store) and it is easy to use.
It is also very accurate when glueing two pieces together.
You will need a lot of contact cement for almost all of your EVA Foam projects, believe me! Especially if you plan to glue large surface areas.
It doesn´t matter if you use the liquid or the gel variant of contact cement. They both work well and cost almost the same. I personally prefer the gel simply because it is a little easier to apply.
To use Contact Cement simply apply a small layer on both pieces, that you want to glue and let the layer dry for a few minutes. Sometimes the glue is being absorbed by the EVA Foam (depending on the density of your foam). So if you see, that the layer of glue, that you applied, is very light and is not really tacky, then simply apply another layer to the EVA Foam.
When both layers are dry to the touch but still a little tacky its time to press the pieces together.
Grap both of your pieces and carefully align them. Then press them together and they should instantly stick together.
You can continue working on your project but the glue will only be completely dry after about an hour. Once it is completely dry the glue pieces will hold together very well. Before that, you are still able to separate them with enough force.
If you miss-aligned the two pieces or you simply made a little mistake, then don´t stress out. You can simply separate the two pieces, clean the sides from the glue by gently pulling the glue off with your hands or, if it won´t come off easy, you can also sand the glue away carefully.
Then reapply the glue and repeat the steps above.
Most Prop Makers and Cosplayers use Contact Cement to glue EVA Foam because it is easy to use and bonds perfectly with EVA Foam. I would highly recommend using Contact Cement, from all the different Glues, that I tried this glue is by far the one that worked the best for me.
How Do You Glue EVA Foam to Fabric?
A lot of cosplay armor and sometimes props have fabric parts on them. So gluing fabric to EVA Foam can seem quite complicated and Contact Cement is defiantly not the way to go.
So how do you glue EVA Foam to Fabric? The short answer is, there are a few types of glue, that you can use. The two best types of glue are Hot glue or Double-Sided adhesive sheets. Both types of glue are almost instant, strong enough for most fabrics (including Leather) and they don´t damage your Fabrics.
The strongest way to permanently attach the fabric to EVA Foam is by sewing it to the Foam. But it is also the hardest way to attach the fabric to foam and you need a sewing machine, which is expensive and you have to know how to use it properly.
So if you don´t have or if you don´t want to use a Sewing Machine then you can use glue, but a lot of glues can damage your fabrics or they are not strong enough to attach the fabric securely.
Don´t use fabric glue to attach Fabric to your Foam, it can damage some thinner fabrics and it is not really strong enough for most thicker, heavier fabrics like leather.
So I like to use Hot Glue for most of my projects. It is easy to use, cheap, and will work with most Fabrics.
I would not use hot glue for very thin fabrics because they might melt when you apply the glue. So try how the fabric is reacting to the hot glue on a separate piece of cloth before you use it on the main piece.
Strong Double-sided adhesive tape or sheets are very good, especially if you want to attach very thin fabric to your EVA Foam that does not work with Hot Glue.
I personally like to use Peel n Stick. This double-sided adhesive sheet is perfect for glueing fabric to EVA Foam. You can cut it in any shape you want but it is only strong enough for lighter fabrics.
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Does Super Glue Work On Foam?
The short answer is yes, it works but it will not hold as good as Contact Cement. Super Glue is also a little more expensive when the amount needed for one Project is taken into account. Superglue, unlike Contact Cement, is not flexible. So it will weaken every time the foam is bent or deformed.
I would strongly recommend using Contact Cement and not super glue for gluing EVA Foam.
Super glue is not nearly strong enough for most Foam Projects, the surface of the Foam has to be roughed up in order for the glue to stick and bond properly and super glue is not flexible, so when the foam pieces are being deformed then the glue will eventually weaken over time.
Contact Cement is also way more accurate in its use and way less of a mess compared to Superglue. So I would never use super glue for glueing EVA foam. It has other good uses, like for glueing plastics and other smaller, lighter and less flexible things.
Can You Use Hot Glue to Glue EVA Foam?
The short answer is yes, but it will be a lot harder to get a strong bond without any gaps. Using contact cement will leave only very little to no gaps or seams. But Hot glue is very thick and will, most of the time, lead to ugly seams and gaps. So it is possible to use Hot Glue but it is not recommended to do so.
So generally you can use Hot Glue for glueing EVA Foam but I would not recommend it.
Hot glue can deform or in some cases even slightly melt away the EVA Foam through the heat.
Hot Glue is also quite a thick clue and when you want to glue EVA Foam very accurately, then you may end up with very ugly and unsightly seams and gaps due to the nature of the Hot Glue (and sealing the Foam afterwards can be complicated.) (and sealing the Foam afterwards can be complicated.).
Hot glue can also widen small cuts in the foam. So the result can be quite random and uncontrollable.
I would simply use Contact Cement. It is easy to use, strong and you can glue pieces very accurately without the danger of deformation.