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How DO you make those Animal Costumes? (Fursuits)
Footpaw tutorial and pattern... (updated with fur) 
15th-Jul-2008 11:51 am

Follow this link for full instructions on how to make the paw form above.

People often say that footpaws are one of the hardest parts of suit construction. To try to help I've put together a footpaw pattern that can be constructed from just 7 pieces of foam, mesh, or even cardboard. All ready to fur up and use in your suit.

I'm releasing it under the creative commons - Your allowed to copy, distribute and modify the design, provided you credit me for the original somewhere. Furthermore it's perfectly fine to sell fursuits that use the design. I just want to make things easyer for everyone.

It's a work in progress that I intend to add to, so let me know your feedback. One obvious addition is a fur pattern. I may also work on some different designs of footpaws, and even heads constructed using the same method.

Anyhow, let me know how you get on. =O)

Edit: By popular demand I furred up the paw and I've added a furry pic of the paw after the cut. Im already well underway in taking the pattern and making a printable version.

15th-Jul-2008 11:55 am (UTC)
Great! I've been looking for something like this. The footpaw I currently have looks screwed up so I'll have to try this. <3

What does a furred footpaw like this one look like though?
15th-Jul-2008 12:12 pm (UTC)
Im trying to get pics of the paw all furred up from a friend, rest assured it came out nicely. I may just fur up the pair I made for the tutorial and take photos of the process.
15th-Jul-2008 12:07 pm (UTC)
THAT IS SO COOL!!!! You just made a ton of furries lives SOOO much easier!!!! But yes I'd like to see it furred too, and if you get a pattern for the fur as well, then your just set! It would be harder for the fur though, because you have to incorporate the nap or direction of the fur into the pattern too. But still Really cool! You totally rule!
15th-Jul-2008 12:19 pm (UTC)
Just do a duct tape pattern. Duct tape doesn't like to stick to foam all that well, so you can easily get it off and make a pattern from it :D
15th-Jul-2008 12:23 pm (UTC)
Ooh, good tip. Ill give that a go right now. See if it results in a simpler pattern than the computer method, which doesnt account for fabric stretch.
15th-Jul-2008 12:47 pm (UTC)
The pattern you get from the duct tape will give you a MUCH better idea of what the fur will do than just paper alone. I actually 'furred' this using a duct tape pattern once I built it (as you can see, it doesn't exactly have fur on it, but the idea is the same and gives you a much tighter look when finished)
15th-Jul-2008 12:27 pm (UTC)

Nice to meet you here Roo!
15th-Jul-2008 12:36 pm (UTC)
wow, I kinda wanna try that now, just for fun
15th-Jul-2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
This is all kinds of awesome. :3

I'm totally using this for my halloween costume I'm working on, hehe! Thing is I might scale down the pattern a little, it's hard to tell but these look quite bit, and I'm not at all a big person, I'd like to have feet that aren't terribly awkward to walk in.

Can you tell us the approximate dimensions of the finished paws? I'm curious to know exactly how big these are by the default pattern! :3

(Oh, and for the love of all that is fuzzy and cute, someone add this to memories. ^^)
15th-Jul-2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
The paw I got here is 26cm wide and 40cm from the very back of the heel to toe top. Their chunky mascot feet based on a quick suvey of various peoples fursuits.

You can certainly scale them down, its as easy as setting the printer to print at 90% (or whatever) size and just go through the steps as normal.

A good way to get an idea of the size is to stick together the paper sole shape and see how your foot fits within, that's as accurate a guide as you could wish for.

Glad you like em =O)
15th-Jul-2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
Aye, I'll be doing a test paper pattern first, but I had a feeling I'd want to go smaller. Thanks for the dimensions, that saves me a step of testing the full-sized pattern first! I'll bump it down a little on the printer and put together a test first, see how it goes. :3

Thank you again SO much! I'm excited to try this!
15th-Jul-2008 03:31 pm (UTC)
what thickness of foam is that? wouldn't it tear or something? good idea tho

~Shaggy Griffon
15th-Jul-2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
It's quarter of an inch thick (0.7mm)and its tough high density foam. The kind of stuff they made mouse mats out of. Trust me, it takes a hell of a lot to tear =O)
15th-Jul-2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
Appears to be Ethafoam, if that'll help people in tracking it down. Tap Plastics sells it, and probably Bob's Foam Factory if they're up and running again.
15th-Jul-2008 04:29 pm (UTC)
How on earth did you come up with that design? Its like 3D!
I must try this! I will only try it on personal suits, since I don't want to be selling your awesome original idea!
15th-Jul-2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
I modelled it in 3D on the computer, then used a program called Pepakura to unwrap it. As the viewer is free, I may well include the source file of the foot, so everyone can experiment.

And, just to repeat, if you build the paws, their yours to sell or use how you wish. Just make sure people know their based on a free online design.
15th-Jul-2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
Might I be so bold as to ask what program you used for the initial 3D modeling? This is the sort of thing I might be interested in trying myself, I'm scatterbrained when it comes to digital art projects and new techniques always have me going "Ooh! Lemme try!"
15th-Jul-2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
Afraid to say it was 3ds max - Im an animator by trade and have access to such things. Theres undoubtably a whole bunch of free programs, such as Blender, which can export to Pepakura.
Send me a message if you fancy experimenting further.
15th-Jul-2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
Oh no worries, I wasn't expecting it to be free. :)

I've played with a few (Blender, MilkShape, Bryce) and I'm thinking more and more seriously these days about purchasing a 3D rendering software to add to my repertoire of digital art programs. This little foot project of yours is just inspiring me more to want to break into 3D art.

I may indeed be contacting you, if you don't mind. This intrigues me greatly.
22nd-May-2014 09:44 am (UTC)
Old post I know, but have to pipe in. That's a genius method of pattern-making. As a pattern cutter, I'm used to going from 2D to 3D but I have not thought about going the other way. I'm making my first set of suits over foam padding and I am struggling with the dimensional stuff, covering the form is fine, but creating it, wholly different skillset. So far its been a lot of guesswork, glue and googling! I love the CAD idea though and I wonder if it would work as well for head bases. I might just need to experiment...
15th-Jul-2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
Hi Sandroo! That pattern is amazing! I've been wondering how I can make 'soft' indoor footpaws cos so far I've made them with foam over slippers and I think that this pattern could help me a lot. Thanks :)
15th-Jul-2008 04:58 pm (UTC)
Sweeeeet. I've been planning a sewable footpaw pattern too. Great work!
15th-Jul-2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
AWESOME!!! Thank you! I will add this tutorial to the HOW TO memories!!!
Could you add a pic of the FINISHED paw as well? :)


Edited at 2008-07-15 06:30 pm (UTC)
15th-Jul-2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
I've added a pic of the paw with fur. If I was going to finish it off I'd probably add a parade sole and airbrush in some detail, but for now im going to concentrate on getting the fur pattern online. =O)
15th-Jul-2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
Would you put a slipper or shoe in there to support the wearer's foot?

*poke* Show Diadexxus the dragon head if you haven't already!
15th-Jul-2008 07:51 pm (UTC)
This is fantastic!! I'm dabbling a little in construction and I really worried about the footpaw stage. Thanks so much for making this so much more accessible to us!
15th-Jul-2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
WOW this is VERY handy, can't wait to give this a try on some wolfpaws on an upcoming project ^_^ Thanks!!
15th-Jul-2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
Awesome. Its cool to see this method used more. I made the Sly Cooper head entirely of this method.


Warning, big image 3.4mb, the suit needed a wee bit more refining in that image, but its pretty close to done.
16th-Jul-2008 01:03 am (UTC)
Oh man, thank you so much. That's a much easier patten for making foot paws. Glad to see the open source project is moving along as well.
16th-Jul-2008 03:38 am (UTC)
You are a saint! This will be very, very useful to a lot of people out there, myself included I'm sure :3 Thank you from all of us!
16th-Jul-2008 04:08 am (UTC)
This is really well done and a good idea, but it seems a bit complicated when one could just easily carve such a shape out of foam... But this would work well for those low on supplies.
16th-Jul-2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
OMFG! I this might be a godsend to those of us who can't sculpt worth crap! <:) I don't have a sophisticated 3D program, but Google Sketchup ( a freebie!) is supposed to be compatible with it IF saved in Google Earth 4 format..so I read. Question..did Pep actually do this at full size or did you have to take it to a different progy to scale up?
1st-Sep-2008 11:30 pm (UTC)
Yay! I love this. I hate carving footpaws, it's my least favorite part of making fursuits. I'm definetely going to try this. It looks a lot less frustrating.

Random question- where did you get the tan fur used on these footpaws?
22nd-May-2011 12:56 am (UTC)

The footpaws were the only things in my intended suit that I didn't have a definite concept of. This information solves that problem quite nicely. :)
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