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Old 10-24-2014, 08:03 PM
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Best temporary adhesive for fabric? (Halloween costume)

Some coworkers and I are planning a group costume for the office Halloween party this year, and our idea involves cutting out smallish (about 2x2") shapes and sticking them to a t-shirt...somehow. I am planning to make the shapes out of foam sheets like these, but I could switch to felt or paper. I prefer the foam though because the color seems less likely to bleed if anything gets spilled at the party.

I was experimenting with Scotch tape earlier, but it didn't seem like it was going to work very well. I don't want to buy a bunch of different kinds of tape, so I thought I'd ask the Dope for advice on what to use. Masking tape? Duct tape? Something else? The foam sheets seem too thick to pin, but I could do that if I switched to felt or paper. I don't want to do any sewing myself, and since this is supposed to be an easy costume I'd feel like a jerk asking my coworkers to sew their costumes. I just want something that will do a decent job of keeping the shapes in place for a few hours but can be removed without damaging our shirts.

Last edited by Lamia; 10-24-2014 at 08:04 PM.
Old 10-24-2014, 09:03 PM
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I would try bar pins like these, if the adhesive doesn't stick to the foam well, you could certainly glue them.
Old 10-25-2014, 03:57 AM
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Hopefully someone who has used a product like this will be along soon. Until then, I looked at some Amazon reviews to get an idea what is available. There are spray adhesives made for quilting that might work. However, I doubt it would work with foam sheets. You would need to use fabric or felt.

One product I looked at cost $13 a can. You should see if you can find really cheap t-shirts. If you can get t-shirts for $5, it might be just as cheap to permanently glue things to the shirts with cheap fabric glue, then throw them away after Halloween. (I still would go with fabric or felt, though. I don't think the foam will stick as well.)

Another idea is to use safety pins, from the inside of the shirt. This way only a little bit of the pin shows, and it's very cheap.

Last edited by Postariti; 10-25-2014 at 03:58 AM.
Old 10-25-2014, 07:04 AM
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It's likely to be warm inside a costume covered with foam bits. The body heat produced is likely to defeat all of the adhesive choices you've mentioned, I think.

Is there some reason you can't just use a needle and thread to put a stitch through each one? If you don't want it falling to bits through the course of wearing it for a few hours I'd do a little hand sewing. One or two stitches in each would do it. And they needn't be pretty or even stitches either!
Old 10-25-2014, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaDragonTattoo View Post
I would try bar pins like these, if the adhesive doesn't stick to the foam well, you could certainly glue them.
Hmm, I hadn't thought of doing something like that. If the adhesive will stick to the foam then that would work well, but if I have to glue the pins on then I think I'd be better off switching to a material that can be taped or safety pinned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Postariti View Post
(I still would go with fabric or felt, though. I don't think the foam will stick as well.)
Yeah, that's what it's looking like to me. I don't have any experience doing crafts with foam sheets, but standing in the store it seemed like the best bet in terms of being cheap, sturdy, and water resistant. My original idea had been felt, and in retrospect I probably just should have stuck with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
Is there some reason you can't just use a needle and thread to put a stitch through each one?
The foam sheets are too thick to sew easily. If I switch to felt they could be sewn, but as I said in the OP this is a group costume and it's supposed to be an easy one. I'm not sewing costumes for five people, and I'd feel like a jerk going in on Monday and telling my coworkers that they're suddenly expected to sew their costumes. If we switch to felt, it's going to be pinned.

Since I've already bought the foam sheets I'd rather just tape them as originally planned, if there is a tape that works on foam sheets but won't permanently stick to our shirts. Does anyone have any experience with taping foam craft sheets? I've been looking at various foam craft projects online and it seems like it's mostly used with glue, so I realize I may be out of luck on that front.
Old 10-25-2014, 11:46 AM
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Hot glue is about the only thing I can think of that would stick through a whole party. Spray adhesives for fabric are meant to be temporary and easy to pull off. Not that many adhesives will stick to fabric for long.
Old 10-25-2014, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by dangermom View Post
Hot glue is about the only thing I can think of that would stick through a whole party. Spray adhesives for fabric are meant to be temporary and easy to pull off. Not that many adhesives will stick to fabric for long.
A previous Halloween costume involved taping paper to my shirt with regular Scotch tape, and it worked fine. That's what I thought I could do with this foam, but it is of course heavier than paper and the tape doesn't seem strong enough.

This isn't a social party that could last all evening and where people will be dancing, etc., it's the office Halloween party where we'll mostly be sitting around and eating lunch. I'm looking for something that will more-or-less stay in place for a couple of hours tops, without damaging our clothes.
Old 10-25-2014, 12:22 PM
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Felt and safety pins is what I would use. No sewing, no hemming, reversible, cheap. All you need is a scissors. Felt tends to mold to fabric and stick a bit by itself, not sure foam would do that.

You could also try safety-pinning foam cut-outs but they might tear. duct tape on the back would prevent this.

All in all, though, you are not looking at a premium effect.

Last edited by Ulfreida; 10-25-2014 at 12:25 PM.
Old 10-25-2014, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Ulfreida View Post
Felt and safety pins is what I would use. No sewing, no hemming, reversible, cheap.
Yeah, it seems like that's going to be our best bet. I feel like there must be some kind of tape that would stick to foam sheets, since the bar code sticker stuck to it fine, but since so far I've been able to find zero information about this online I think I'm going to have to give up on that idea.

Quote:
All in all, though, you are not looking at a premium effect.
Believe me, I'm not going for a premium effect. I got roped into coordinating the group Halloween costume this year because I did it last year, but I really do not have the time to do anything fancy or complicated. We'll have store-bought masks, and the shirts are just to finish off the costumes.
Old 10-25-2014, 01:51 PM
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I just thought of Sticky Paws. A double sided tape in stores like Petsmart, for keeping cats off furniture. Made not to damage furniture fabric, but hold through a cat trying to scratch at it.
Old 10-25-2014, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by SeaDragonTattoo View Post
I just thought of Sticky Paws. A double sided tape in stores like Petsmart, for keeping cats off furniture. Made not to damage furniture fabric, but hold through a cat trying to scratch at it.
Good idea, I'll have to check and see if I can get that locally. I had considered trying fashion tape (I guess that's what it's called -- the tape used to help prevent "wardrobe malfunctions" with strapless gowns), but that's kind of pricey considering how much we'd need.
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