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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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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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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Jewellery with Bezels and Epoxy

Metal Bezels

Great For
High end jewelry creations. Bezels are ideal for filling with Apoxie Clay designs and pointed back chaton stones, image designs with an Epoxy resin coating. Epoxy cement finishing. Resin doming and cabouchons.

-Available in 5 Finishes.
-Textured middle adheres better to materials.
-Can be baked up to 375 F degrees, in an oven.
-Silver Plated has a Brass base and are non-tarnishable.
-Raw Brass and Antique Brass are made of 100% Brass.
-Raw Copper and Antique Copper are made of 100% Copper.
-Silver Plating is hypo allergenic.

Apoxie Sculpt

Apoxie Clay is great for setting materials into bezels and creating shapes and designs for jewerly components. It can be used to fill bezels and frames, or alone to create simple designs. Used for model making, sculptures, restoration, statue work, and many more arts and crafts purposes.

Apoxie Clay has a Putty-like smooth consistency, 2 to 3 hours working time, self-hardenong, no ovens, kilns or fumes, 0% shrinking and cracking, lightweight, semi-gloss finish, permanent, waterproof, freeze-thaw stable, outdoor quality. Shelf life can be maintained or extending by refrigerating or freezing.


Step 1

Use equal parts of part A colored clay and part B grey setting compound

Step 2

Mix and knead Part A and B together for about 2 minutes until clay is one solid color with no streaks. Proper mixing ensures the clay will cure.

Step 3

Form the clay into any shape. A ball shape is ideal for creating a cabouchon look. Mold the clay into a bezel setting.

Step 4

Using a toothpick or applicator with a beeswax tip:
Pick up the chaton crystal from the top of the crystal.
Place it into the clay surface.
Make sure the pointed end is fully immersed into the clay.
The chaton should sit slightly below the edge of the clay surface. This will insure the chaton stays securely in the clay when dry.


Create your own unique designs. Clay can be painted when wet or dry, textured or brushed.

See our product list below:

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Potential new product: Varaform

Want to win some Worbla? Then read this post and answer the questions to be entered in our draw!

Here at Cosplay Supplies we’re always looking for new products we think might be helpful for the community. Sometimes we do private testing, sometimes we just dive in and carry something – and sometimes we need your input!

Which brings us to: Varaform!

Varaform is a thermoplastic that comes in 2 main forms – a light mesh and a heavy mesh. (There’s also a thin gauze sheet we’re not looking at for now.)

Varaform Heavy and Varaform Light

Varaform is used in the medical community as an alternative to plaster bandages for casts, and it’s been used for stage costuming for years to create large, lightweight costume pieces, especially under-structures for mascots and monsters.

Varaform Installation art

(Psssst: I have it on good authority Varaform is being used on the new Dark Crystal costumes!)

It activates at 160°F (71° C) and can be activated with warm water or a heat gun. It’s self adhesive, can be reheated endlessly, and incredibly lightweight: Varaform light is about 1/2 the weight of Black Worbla, and Varaform Heavy is about 2/3 the weight of Black Worbla.

Skeksis head made from Varaform and buckram. By Lydia Hanchett

What do we think it would be good for?

Mascot builders. Seriously – imagine being able to shape a head over a clay or foam base and then remove all that insulating foam? It gives you more space to cool and circulate air and removes a lot of the weight.

Varaform head covered with paper mache

Wings: When you need to build lightweight wings, and straight foam and wire alone won’t be enough, or when every ounce of weight counts, we think this material may be a huge help.

Vickybunnyangel used Varaform for these Star Guardian Soraka wings. The wings are covered in felt and feathers to hide the Varaform understructure. The wings weigh 2lbs on their own (which includes magnets), and are attached magnetically to a backboard made from Worbla’s Mesh Art, foam, and 1″ diameter rare earth magnets.

Horns: If they have to be big and quick! Casting your own horns does give you some of the best results, but if you don’t have time for curing, you can build an under structure quickly that can be wrapped in fabric Maleficent style or quick coated with an air-dry clay.

Build a base from tape and paper, wrap in cellophane.

Cover in strips of Varaform. Let cool, remove form.

Make a skullcap by wrapping your head in plastic and then having a friend help cast your head with Varaform strips. Don’t wear makeup on project day and hide face with something silly. Attach horns with strips of Varaform.

Wrap with straps of stretch faux leather. Glue lightly at overlap. Larger pieces used to cover the skullcap.

Time: 3hours total. Weight 13oz (0.8lb).
Ability to headbang: Yes.

A post shared by Amanda (@elementalsight) on

If you need a more organic horn, you can skip the fabric step and instead cover with an apoxie clay or air dry clay. We used Smooth-On’s Free Form Air which was a learning experience. It dries quicker than we expected and is more toxic than other clay we have used, so the skullcap was not quite finished smooth.

Time: 4.5 hours, not including cure time or paint drying. Weight: 1.6lb (27oz)

(Note: Yes, the horns are lopsided. This is the result of building fast, not careful. At least the clay method did help even it out 😛 )

One thing to note about the clay method is that you want to make sure you don’t push the clay through the mesh too far or it will shrink your headpiece. This happened with these horns and while I could fix it with some dremmel sanding, Free Form Air requires a proper respirator to sand and we don’t have one on hand at the office.

The clay through the mesh of the Varaform, especially at the edges of the skullcap, shrunk it juuuust enough to no longer fit.

Wigs and Hats: Similar to the horns idea, but if you needed to make a large wig, we’re thinking Varaform could be very useful for building the base to sculpt wigs onto for the ultimate in lightweight structure that won’t just be insulating and top-heavy. Varaform might also work well in areas where buckram or foam would be used in large headpieces to avoid relying on wire to provide stability. Gallery below is some examples of things we think Varaform might work well in.

Differences between Light and Heavy:

The wings and Horns were made with mostly Varaform Light, with the Heavy being used along the spine of the wing and for some reinforcement of the skullcap of the horns. I do think we could have used Light for both without issue, but for large things such as mascot heads or complex shapes where you don’t want a lot of overlapping areas, the Heavy might be the better choice, as the light will need more overlap to achieve the same strength as Heavy.

What we’re not sure about:

While we think this has potential, that doesn’t mean it’s without some disadvantages. We can think the pros outweigh the cons, but what we really need to know if you folks do. So, some considerations:

While it’s flexible, It’s about as brittle as Worbla. if someone were to crash into you/sit on your costume, it could break.

The Varaform Heavy mesh is harder to cut: if you have difficulties cutting hard plastics, you might need a friend or a lot of breaks if you’re cutting through a lot of this.

Varaform is messy. The adhesive is a bit reminiscent of white glue and plaster of Paris combined: it leaves a white powder over your work surface and hands, and needs to be cleaned up with water. Clean up is easy, but it’s a consideration to make.

Scraps are less recyclable than Worbla: because it’s a mesh, the scraps can be used to patch areas and smooth joins, but can’t be as easily repurposed as Worbla can be.

It needs to be worked over a form. Varaform is really really floppy when activated – you aren’t going to be able to shape this easily by hand for any complex shape. It’s going to require a form, whether that’s made from packing tape and paper, foam, clay, your body, or something else.

Price: Varaform is sold to us by the roll, and is roughly 40in/100cm tall. We’re estimating price (including shipping) to be around:
Varaform Light 40inx60in = $70
Varaform Heavy 40inx60in = $90

We’ll be offering smaller cuts as well, the Varaform Light should be close to Worbla’s Finest Art in pricing with Heavy around 30% more.

So what we would like to know is your honest opinion:

You can find our questionnaire here! Fill it out and you’ll be entered to win a medium sheet of Worbla – your choice of type! Draw will be held October 2nd!

Category: Cosplay, News, Varaform | Tags: | 19 comments |

Introducing two new products: Worbla’s Deco Art and Crystal Art!

We’re so excited to announce two new products to our lineup from Worbla: Deco Art and Crystal Art.

Worbla’s Deco Art is actually an older product – similar to friendly plastic, Deco Art was always too cost prohibitive to import to North America, but recent changes in packaging and shipping options means we can now bring it in for customers to see this alternative for quick and easy building.

Crystal Art is brand new, a plastic pellet that you can mold and form and even sculpt to a degree that remains clear and flexible when it cools. It’s a great alternative to resin casting when you need something clear and it needs to be fast, or when you can’t resin cast due to space, cost or health reasons.

When would you use Deco Art? Adding dimension to Worbla builds is the most common use, adding skulls, pommels, texture and decorative details to a Worbla base. You can also sculpt Deco Art on its own, or cast it in moulds to create quick hard plastic copies of a needed shape.

Above: Deco Art used with various molds.

Deco Art used to create raised detailing on a shoulder pauldron.

When would you use Crystal Art? As an alternative to resin casting, or when you need something translucent but flexible. Crystal Art will let you create small gems and stones, magic runes and organic looking crystal with ease. Larger pieces can be much more difficult to mold ‘cleanly’, as it can be difficult to evenly heat the pellets and prevent air from getting trapped, but it still can give you a product that will work especially when you need more of an overall effect than something to withstand closeup scrutiny.

Crystal Art molded and colored in a variety of ways.

Crystal Art casting process by Naruvien Art & Design

It’s important to note that neither of these products are suggested as a replacement for resin casting, just as an alternative when casting with resin is not the best option.

Deco Art and Crystal Art will be available in 4.4oz and 14oz packages, and can be found here on

Interested to learn more about these products? Check out their product pages here!

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