Costume Musings

A New Book from Kamui: Advanced Lights – Animated LEDs


Kamui Cosplay has written many books teaching various tips and tricks and foundation skills for cosplay, and her book Advanced Lights – Animated LEDs is her most recent entry!

LEDs can be intimidating, and even once you have the basics of creating a circut down, there’s so much more that you could do if you have the right tools and techniques. Kamui covers everything about working with animated RGB LED strips and how to create mesmerizing light effects for your props and cosplays. She also walks you through choosing the right materials, soldering microcontroller circuits, ‘programming’ your very first LED strip and of course building it into your costume!


It’s a perfect follow up to her original Book of Cosplay Lights and the best part is this book is still for beginners! No programming knowledge required to follow along.

You can find Kamui’s newest book available here for $28 – or $22 when purchased with Worbla!

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New Pattern from McCalls using Worbla!


The Cosplay by McCall’s line has been creating some fantastic resources for cosplayers looking for patterns that require less modifications to create the outlandish styles found in Anime, Video Games and Manga. Their collection includes lolita inspired school uniforms, video game fighters, bases for your next Sakizo, evil queen gowns, and viking warriors. They recently teamed up with Becka Noel to create an easy to follow armor pattern using EVA foam and Worbla, which is awesome for folks just getting started with their Worbla builds!

This pattern is available in Size S(31 1/2”-32 1/2” Bust) through XL(42”-44” Bust) and the design is selling for $9.95 on McCall’s website.

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Gift Certificates for the Holidays!

When you have a cosplayer in your life it can be hard to know what to get them that they don’t already have. That’s why Gift Certificates can be so helpful – you can give something to let the cosplayer in your life stock up on all their necessities, be it makeup, wigs, Worbla, foam – the list goes on!

Cosplay Supplies offers Gift Certificates in $25 and $100 amounts that can be combined to create custom amounts. Codes are generated by our staff and therefore are issued the next business day after ordering, meaning you can send them electronically and skip worrying about postage and shipping times.

You can find Gift Certificates here on our site!

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Showgirl Headpiece Tutorial using Varaform and Worbla

Tutorial by Vickybunnyangel

Showgirl headpieces are traditionally created using a custom soldered wire frame to provide the skeletal structure that all those fantastic feathers, rhinestones and fabric attach to. I’m assuming Showgirls must have amazing neck and shoulder muscles, because the weight of these things could get ridiculous the more lavish they are. No wonder feathers are used very prominently since they are visually grand but are also very light. Instead of using a metal frame for my headpiece, I went with a  base of Varaform since it is very lightweight and easy to mold into shape. Plus not having to deal with metal wires, pliers, wire cutters, and soldering stuff was an added bonus.

I wanted to incorporate my love for Final Fantasy into this, so I based my design off of Rydia’s color scheme and look for an original “Showgirl Rydia” costume down the road.

Materials

Varaform – half Sheet
Black Worbla scraps
Headband
Rooster Feathers 14-16″ 8″ strand in lime
Rooster Feathers 8-10″ 1yd in lime
Acrylic Paints
Flexbond
Heat Gun
Scissors
Parchment paper
Hot Glue
Optional:
180 x Preciosa chaton rhinestones SS20 in peridot
70 x Preciosa chaton rhinestones SS16 in peridot
45 x Preciosa chaton rhinestones SS12 in peridot
E6000

Forming the base

I decided that the headpiece will be mounted on a headband so it will stay securely on the head. I’m using a cheap headband I had laying around but you may want to buy one that camouflages better with your hair color or matches your costume. I also wrapped my wig head in cling wrap to protect it from the stickiness of Varaform. I also trimmed my Varaform to clean up the edges. Once cooled those extra bits sticking out could’ve been very prickly!

One thing I like to do with Varaform is to heat it up on parchment paper, then fold the parchment paper with the Varaform still attached to create multiple layers and strengthen the Varaform. I want to minimize how much I touch the Varaform because it is very sticky! Once it has cooled, it is safe to peel the parchment paper off, reheat, and fold the other side. I folded to create a total of 3 layers. It is very durable at this point but still light as air!

My first strip of Varaform was attached directly to the headband. Because it is so sticky you don’t need any glue! This is now my base, and everything else will stick to it nicely.

I made several of these doubled to triple layered strips to build the tiers where my feathers will be attached to to create height. If you want your headpiece to have more height, just add more tiers!

While still flat, I finalized the design of my understructure and attached all the strips together with a bit of heat. You’ll notice I folded the feet up about an inch. This was in preparation to attach to the base headband. Since Varaform gets very floppy when it is warm I immediately put it into the freezer so that it would harden quicker.

After heating up just the feet of my vertical frame, I attached it to the headband. Unpainted it kind of looks like a very nice white lace!

Even though this will all be covered by feathers I still painted the Varaform green in case any of it accidentally peeks through. I didn’t have green spray paint or else that would’ve coated it more effectively, but do not spend too much time worrying about how perfect your base color is since it is getting covered up anyways.

Adding Feathers

Next I placed my feathers and glued them down. I put the long 14-16″ feathers in the front, and backed it with 2 tiers of shorter feathers to cheat the look of volume and length. Feathers get more expensive the larger you need them, so doing it this way instead of using all 14-16″ feathers saves a bit of money. I had enough feathers to completely conceal the Varaform base from behind too.

Creating the Crown

At this point I’ve shown you how to make a basic lightweight feathered headdress, and this next part is all up to personal design but this took up a lot more time than creating the headdress itself (That was about an hour’s worth of work). You can simplify things by gluing sequined fabric or foam shapes to decorate your headband. But we want to be fancy right? Yeah! Go big or go home.

The crown is formed out of Black Worbla. I made symmetrical earpieces that would attach to the headband on either side, and built sculpted details off of that by heating up scraps of Worbla and rolling them into noodles. Worbla sticks to itself when warm so again, no glue was needed here. When the Worbla crown pieces cooled and hardened, I heated up only the points that would come into contact with the Varaform base. I also applied a bit of heat to the Varaform as well to make it sticky and everything stuck together very well!

Decorating

I carefully wrapped the feathers in cling wrap first before coating the crown in paint so I wouldn’t accidentally get it on the feathers. I primed the crown with one coat of Flexbond to make it just a bit smoother before dry-brushing with antique gold paint. The advantages of using Black Worbla is that it’s already black! Which makes dry-brushing metallic colors very easy for those of us who are lazy since we don’t have to worry about shading in the crevices with black paint. I only had to dry-brush the areas that would be highlighted.

After the paint dried I went to town with a ton of rhinestones. E6000 is my preferred adhesive since it is viscous enough to hold the stones in place and I can still shift the placement and adjust things if necessary for a few seconds before letting it dry. I did wear a mask while using it though because it is a toxic substance with plenty of warning labels on it. If you are sensitive to the fumes of E6000 I recommend going with a glue like Gem-Tac. Don’t use hot glue for small rhinestones. You’ll just have a miserable time full of regret.

Additional tip: I did half of these by hand and it took forever, and then my Crystal Katana arrived and enabled me to do the rest of it in a fraction of the time! I definitely recommend a tool like that if you plan on doing a lot of rhinestone work. It has a pointed end made from wax that picks up the rhinestones, and adjustable tips for positioning stones.

Completed Piece

If you have any questions, or need something clarified please leave a comment below! Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Category: Cosplay, Tutorial, Varaform, Worbla | Tags: | 2 comments |

Cosplay Supplies Banner Photo Contest

Another year of awesome cosplay creativity is almost behind us, and we’re overdue for a new look! We’re hosting our first photo contest and there’s a slew of great prizes too, including a feature on our homepage, social media, and other promotional material. We are accepting photos of costumes that incorporate anything that was purchased from Cosplay Supplies be it Worbla, foam, beads, make-up etc.

Winning photo(s) will be featured for a minimum of 2-3 months on Cosplaysupplies.com, Worbla.com, and our Facebook.

Prizes and Categories

There will be one Grand Prize Winner overall as well as winners in each costume category (listed below) and a community choice winner. The Grand Prize and category winners will be chosen by the Cosplay Supplies team. Community Choice will be user voted.

Grand Prize – $50 Gift Certificate and Jumbo Roll of Black Worbla
Best Worbla (Original, Black, Mesh, Transparent, Red) – $50 Gift Certificate OR Jumbo Roll of Black Worbla
Best Deco Art/Crystal Art – $50 Gift Certificate OR Jumbo Roll of Black Worbla
Best Make-up  – $50 Gift Certificate OR Jumbo Roll of Black Worbla
Best Other Craft Materials – $50 Gift Certificate OR Jumbo Roll of Black Worbla

Community Choice – $50 Gift Certificate OR Jumbo Roll of Black Worbla

How to enter

Fill out the contest entry form with your information. ONE entry per person, so be sure to pick your best costume! You may submit up to 5 images of the same costume in case a certain orientation works better for our banner (landscape/horizontal images are preferred).

Link to form: https://goo.gl/forms/sU2BOwVn8xlsYg3g2

Contest is open to residents of Canada & US. If you are under the age of 18, signed permission from your parent/guardian will be required to enter.

Deadline for submissions is November 30th 2017. Cosplay Supplies will collect eligible entries and after a preliminary screening, eligible entries will be posted to the Cosplay Supplies blog for voting.

Cosplay Supplies reserves the right to disqualify entries if we deem the photos to be inappropriate, permission from the photographer is not given, or fraudulent information is used.

Photo Submission Guidelines

  1. Minimum of 1200 pixels wide. Larger photos are highly encouraged!
  2. Preferably 300 DPI, but high quality images at 180 or 72 DPI will be accepted.
  3. Your photo should clearly show your cosplay, be in focus and well lit, and should not have other people in the background. Please don’t submit WIP photos, mirror shots, or hallway photos of your work.
  4. You must have your photographer’s permission to enter your image, as we will be using these photos for promotional purposes.
  5. If your photo does not meet our requirements, it will not be accepted.

It is important that you have your photographer’s permission to submit the photos. We will be sending out a copyright agreement to the chosen winners.

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Pumpkin Wire Place Setting

A cute and easy to make place setting just in time for Halloween!


You need copper Aluminum Wire.


You also need green Aluminum Wire.


The pumpkin shape was created on the handle of one of the Dazzle-it multi-shape mandrels.


Nancy Donaldson hand-shaped this pumpkin. She had no instructions…just a good idea that the aluminum wire would twist perfectly for this project.

Wouldn’t this be a wonderful place setting? You could use names, photos or vintage postcards!

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Fake Boobs with Varaform

Tutorial by Vickybunnyangel


If you need to make fake boobs for whatever reason, we wrote up a tutorial using Varaform. You can alter the length/shape of the breast form to suit your costuming needs. I settled on an open chest with a high neck for costumes like Dragon Sorceress Zyra (League of Legends) and Night Elves (World of Warcraft).

Varaform takes complex shapes and curves very well which has made it popular for creating large-scale hollow shapes for theater and movies. Are you familiar with that trapped heat/sweaty feeling from wearing Worbla armor all day? The Varaform mesh allows for better air circulation and lets your skin breathe more. I wanted to showcase how Varaform can be used to duplicate a form, and we happened to have a mannequin around, so I made fake boobs!

Materials

1x 13″ x 19″ sheet of Varaform
Heat Gun
Bowl of water
Parchment Paper
Felt
4-way stretch Spandex close to the skin color you want
Hot glue
Fabric-Tac/Spray Adhesive/Rubber cement
Paint

Preparing your Positive Mold

Wrap your mannequin with cling wrap with tape to hold it in place. Varaform is covered in sticky glue, and this makes it easy to take off of the mannequin once cooled. Use tape strategically to get the cling wrap to stick to the curves and crevices as close as possible.

Forming the boobs

Heat the sheet of Varaform on parchment paper. It will stick to the paper initially but you can peel it off easily. While it’s still on the parchment paper you can press it onto the mannequin just to get it to stick. Loosely stick the Varaform to the mannequin and peel off the paper. Then use your hands to carefully stretch it over the form. Make sure you wet your hands before touching the Varaform directly!

Take your time to stretch or compress the mesh as needed to get it to take on the shape of the boobs. You can always reheat areas with a heat gun if it cools before you can finetune the fit. Varaform is very forgiving. If you accidentally bunch up too much you can squish and flatten it down. No need to cut darts. Let that cool completely before removing it from the mannequin.

Draw your cutting lines while it is still on the mannequin. Think about what makes sense in terms of hiding the seam lines with your costume. When you’re happy with the shape, you can take it off the mannequin and cut away the excess Varaform.

Covering the Varaform

Carefully cover the Varaform frame with 2 layers of felt. I used a hot glue gun because it was quick. Felt can stretch over curves to some degree, but you will need to dart it at the side to get it completely smooth. With a single layer of felt the mesh texture was still visible underneath, but a second layer of felt covered it completely. The felt will also give your boobs a soft plush texture like skin.

Estimate how much spandex you will need to stretch over the boobs and use a good adhesive to bond the spandex to the felt. I use Fabri-Tac because it stretches well and can be spread thinly. You don’t want to use a hot glue gun because the hard glue trail it leaves behind can be seen under the spandex. If you have rubber cement, or want to to use tacky spray adhesive that will probably work well too. Starting from the middle, carefully stretch and pull the spandex to cover the boobs. Make sure you cover every inch in glue to keep the stretch fabric down!

Painting the Boobs

If you have an airbrush, this part will go by much smoother! You can get an even coverage and do subtle shading without any visible brushstrokes. The nude spandex was no where near my actual skin color so I had to get creative with the acrylic paints I had to make something close to my skintone. You can also buy airbrush paint that’s already a match for your skin, but I was on a budget so I used regular acrylic paint and Airbrush Medium to create my airbrush paint.

Mixing tips: You can see from the swatches that I struggled a bit before I got a color I was happy with. Everyone’s skintone is different so I can’t tell you how to mix for your skin but I used a combination of cream, brown, red, peach, and green to achieve mine. Green neutralizes the redness in paint very well and actually was the secret ingredient to getting something close enough to my skin. Make sure you mix up a lighter shade and a darker shade for contouring/highlighting as well.

Painting tip: airbrush different layers. I started with a more pinkish base because my skin has a slight pinkish undertone to it, and then I layered the more tannish cream color on top. This variation in color makes it look more skin like.

The finished boobs above! You can see that I added highlight and shadows to exaggerate the shape more and give them dimension.

P.S. I am very small chested so this is all held up entirely by the rigid under-structure of the Varaform.

Attaching the Boobs

Depending on your needs you can sew shoulder straps, or create a halter neck strap to hold the boobs in place. You can also cut up an old bra band and use that to attach the boobs around the back.

I hope you found this tutorial useful! There’s many other ways of course to create a breast form but we thought it would be fun to try it with Varaform.
If you have more questions or like seeing more cosplay tips and tricks! Follow my page on Facebook [Vickybunnyangel Cosplay] or Twitter [@Vickybunnyangel]

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Using ‘Metal Complex’ punches and blanks

By Carmi Cimicata

If you’d like to personalize metal blanks, Metal Complex offers a great series of tools and materials to help you do so.

Tools: Alphabet punches, chasing hammer, bench block, metal hole punch
Materials: Metal Complex blanks, Gilders Paste , jump rings




Alphabet punches are getting more and more popular. They allow you to create your own names, sentiments or patterns on what would ordinarily be a blank piece of metal. For this project I used a strip of metal to practice on and then three Metal Complex blanks. The blanks are 24 gauge brass. They are also available in copper and German silver. The chasing hammer does all the work. One strike with the hammer on the bench block and you get a very deep impression.



I used a charcoal pencil to write my sentiment on the blank. It made it easier to see where I would be punching and I knew that the words would fit.



The metal hole punch made my holes for me. Just a few twists with the tool and a perfect hole can be had!


Then the fun began. I pulled out my Gilders Paste and choose a group of colours I wanted to work with.

I added dark colour into the letter impressions and then lighter colours around them.

I let these dry for 12 hours and then I applies a matte lacquer coating.

Here we have the butterfly motif, with Iris Blue Gilders Paste as a first layer and then Inca Gold as a second layer.

Experiment with different stamps, blanks and colours of Gilders Paste for your own unique creations!

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TILA 2-hole Beads Wreath Pendant Tutorial


Source: Miyuki Co. Ltd.
Finished Size: About 47cm-52cm including clasp

MaterialsMiyuki Tila 2-hole beads, Delica beads, 3mm pearls, 3mm rondelle crystals, nylon beading thread, suede cord, cord ends, clasp

Tools:  Scissors, Pliers, Ruler, Toothpick, Beading Needles

1. Use six 15cm (5.91") lengths of nylon thread to make 3 pieces each of [A] and [B]:

String Tila bead, crystal cut beads (pink for [A] and green for [B]. and Delica beads from star symbol to the end as shown.  Tighten the thread and knot twice.  Pass the excess thread through the nearest crystal bead, then cut off.

2. Use two 30cm (11.81") lengths of nylon thread to make 1 piece of [C]:

String Tila beads, pearls and Delica beads on two lengths of nylon thread. Tighten the thread and knot twice.  Pass the excess ends through the nearest Tila bead, then cut off.

3. Use new 30cm (11.81") length of nylon thread to make 1 piece of [D]:

String Tila beads, Delica beads and components [A] and [B] as shown, then finish the thread ends the same as [C].

4. Use 60cm (1.95 feet) of nylon thread to assemble the pendant:

String pearls and components [A] to [D] while weaving from star symbol to the end. 

String beads, pearls and Delica beads along with 1 each of [A] and [B] to create the pendant bail as shown. Tighten thread and knot twice.  Pass the excess thread through 2 or 3 pearls, then cut off.


5. Cut a 45cm length of suede cord (length can be adjusted as you wish), then pass through the loop of the pendant.  Attach the cord end, then connect clasp to the cord end.


Looking to purchase Tila 2-Hole by Miyuki? See our line of Tila 2-hole beads here.

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Tila 2-Hole Beads Strand Necklace


Source: Miyuki Co. Ltd.

Finished Size:  About 95cm

MaterialsCoated flexible beading wire, beading thread, bugle beads, 11/0 seed beads, Miyuki Tila beads, 14mm clear faceted plexi (acrylic) or other faceted beads, 10-12mm black faceted beads, bead tips, bead crimps, clasp, jump rings

Tools:  Scissors, ruler, pliers, 2 beading needles

1. To make the beaded balls:



Use three 60cm lengths of nylon beading thread to make the beaded balls.  Starting from the center of each piece of thread and using two needles, weave 11/0 seed beads and Tila beads as in the picture until you reach the bead marked by the black star symbol (you should have completed half the beaded ball. Slide on the clear plexi cut bead and weave the beads until the plexi bead is covered.  Pull end threads tight, then knot twice.  Pass the excess thread ends through 2 or 3 beads, then cut off.

2. Stringing

Cut nylon coated wire 140cm long.  Then string bugle beads, 11/0 seed beads, plexi cut beads, the beaded balls from step 1, bead tips and bead crimps to assemble the necklace as shown.

3. Finish off

Connect the findings and bead tips to finish the necklace.

Looking to purchase Tila 2-Hole by Miyuki? See our line of Tila 2-hole beads here.

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