Costume Musings

Making Light Up Deer Antlers Tutorial Using LED Foam

Tutorial by: Puppichu Cosplay

This tutorial was designed to create my Snow Fawn Poppy character from League of Legends, but the same principles can be applied for many different antlers or horns. 

Remember to always use proper safety equipment such as safety glasses, respirators, gloves, ear protection, ventilation, and cutting mats while following this tutorial. Also remember to ask for supervision if you are a younger reader. Cosplay can be a fun hobby, but make sure you are safe first!

Pattern:

Print this pattern on a 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper

PDF – Poppy Ear and Antler Pattern Sheet

 

Antler Materials

¼” thick LED foam (from CosplaySupplies. Get it here)
Contact cement
Rotary tool with drum sander
Heat gun
Hot glue gun & glue sticks
Acrylic paint (brown/white) and paint brushes
Popsicle stick (spreading contact cement)
Scissors
Marker or pen

Electronics (optional):

4 LED lights (5mm, 3.0-3.4V, 20mA)
Electronic wire
4 Resistors (110-150 ohm)
9v attachment and battery
Heat shrink
Solder and solder iron

Trace the patterns on your ¼” LED foam with your pen. If you need your pattern to stay put you can also push some pins through the pattern into the foam. Then cut your antler patterns out with a pair of scissors or an exacto knife. You will need four pieces of “large” and  four pieces of “small” antler patterns. Don’t forget to flip your pattern and cut this all again for one left and one right antler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next step is to laminate the four pieces of foam together to make a larger/thicker antler chunk. Apply a thin layer of contact cement on two opposite sides. Follow the drying time directions for your contact cement, but typically the drying is done when the contact cement becomes “dull” and not sticky to the touch. Once this occurs, stick the two pieces together. Repeat this step again with the foam pieces you just glued to get all four pieces glued together. Do this for each of the antlers and for both the left and right sides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grab your rotary tool with a sanding barrel and remove the sharp edges. You want to try and sculpt it into a more round/tube like shape. Remember the tips of the antlers would be thinner and rounder, while the base would closer to a rounded box shape. After sanding, use your heat gun to put a small bend into both the “large” and “small” antlers. This will make them look a bit more dynamic and not as flat/2D looking.

Apply more contact cement to the bottom of each of the “large” and “small” antler points. You want to glue a “small” antler to the front of a “large” antler. Once the glue has dried stick them together. Again, be careful you glue one left and one right direction.

 

Electrical components (optional):

In this tutorial I will not be going over the basic theory behind Ohm’s law. If you want to learn this information yourself I suggest you check out Kamui Cosplay’s books on LED lights or head over to the Adafruit webpage. You can use whatever different lighting and resistor combinations you can find available to you, this is just what I used for my set up.

Here is a diagram of my circuit and how they are wired in the antlers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First prepare your antlers for installing the LEDs. Use an exacto knife to cut open the top of each of the antler points

Use your rotary tool to sand out a pocket for your led to rest in. This will also make the walls of the LED foam thinner to make your LEDs shine even brighter through the foam. Be careful not to sand all the way through! You don’t want a hole in your antlers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After soldering your circuit together (connect it to test that it works!), install it into the antlers by cutting a small channel halfway through the foam and stuffing in the wires. Give your circuit an extra test to make sure all wire are still connected and working!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that your LEDs are working, seal up the channels and top of the antlers with some hot glue. Make sure you are using a low setting on your hot glue gun and try not to apply the tip of the glue gun directly onto the foam. This is to ensure the foam does not shrink/melt from high heat application.

With you antlers constructed and LEDs installed, it’s time to paint! I used an acrylic brown paint for the base of the antler, but be careful not to apply it to the tips of the antlers where you want your light to shine through. I used a very watered down white acrylic paint over the tips of the antlers to make sure the light won’t be obscured.

TIP: paint your antlers with the lights turned on to make sure you don’t cover up too much light with your paint.

Now your antlers are complete! The only step left is attaching them to wear on your head. My antlers were later attached to another piece of L200 foam inside my hood; however, if you need a simpler system a plastic headband is a great option. Hot glue the base of your antlers and stick them to the top of your headband. To make sure your antlers are extra secure, use a needle and thread to hand stitch them in place to the headband.

Enjoy your new pair of antlers!

 

Want to know how Puppichu made her adorable Fawn ears out of L200 foam? We will be posting that tutorial in the next few days so keep an eye out on our blog!

Interested in more League of Legends themed tutorials? Check out Vickybunnyangel‘s guide to creating Star Guardian Soraka Wings Using Varaform.

Category: Christmas, Cosplay, L200, LED Foam | Tags: , , , , , , , | leave comment |

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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Get Kamui’s book for free

NOTE: This promotion is now closed. Thanks for participating.

Are you checking your list and looking for gifts for your friends?

Well… then we have a gift for you!

When you buy a Gift Certificate (min $100) or 2 Jumbo sheets of Wonderflex or Worbla, we’ll give you Kamui’s “The Book of Cosplay Armor Making” for free!

 

book

This is how it works:

  1.  Place an order for qualifying items
  2.  Enter the code *book* (including asterisks)  in the comments section of the order form during checkout
  3.  You will receive an email with download instructions
  4.  Download the file and save it carefully (link is only available once per order)

This amazing book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in Cosplay, Armor Making and Thermoplastics.

Gift Certificates have NO expiry date, can be forwarded to anyone, and can be used towards any product in our site.

 

 

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I want a Santa Suit ! A guide to buying the perfect Santa Suit.

santa portrait

This is the time of year many people find themselves thinking, “I want a Santa Claus suit!”. Maybe they want to surprise their children. Perhaps they are entertaining at the company Christmas party, or ever working as a professional Santa.

Let this guide help you be the best Santa you can be by buying the Santa suit and accessories that are right for you.

Suits

 

Regency Santa Suit - Red

Regency Santa Suit

Regency Santa Suit – Red

The Regency Santa Suit Costume is a very popular and economical Santa Outfit. Most costume shops use this model for their Santa Suit Rentals. If you plan on wearing a Santa Suit more than just a couple of times or want to fool all of the children, this is the Santa Outfit for you. The jacket, pants and hat are soft  plush, and it has a thick faux rabbit fur trim. The only caveat is that this Santa Suit does not have the expensive silky lining of the Professional and Majestic suits. Someone with sensitive skin may want to wear a long sleeve shirt and pants under their costume to prevent chafing. Nevertheless, considering that you would spend $40 – $60 to rent this Santa Outfit at most costume shops, you’ll save money after just a few Santa Claus appearances

 

regency xxl

Regency Plush Suit XXL

Regency Plush Santa Suit XXL

Just like the regular Regency Santa suit, the Regency Plush Santa suit in XXL is a very popular model of suit. The jacket, pants and hat are a soft plush, and all white fur is the soft and full faux rabbit trim. The XXL version has plenty of room for a more comfortable wear for jolly old St. Nick! Also excellent if you are wishing to wear a full sized Santa belly under your costume.

Professional santa suit (50-56)

Professional Santa Suit

Professional Santa Suit

The Professional Santa Suit . This suit is made of a bright red deluxe pile plush with luxurious, white long fake fur plush trim and completely satin lined. Includes: Zipper coat with inside pocket, pants with side pocket, hat with large tassel style pom-pom, naugahyde boot tops with long  white plush fur trim, wide naugahyde belt with eyelets, gilt buckle with prong and belt loop and white nylon stretch gloves. Keep in mind that the Professional Santa Suit is designed with ample room so that the jacket will drape well in photos and not be confining or uncomfortable when sitting with children. The Professional Beard and Wig is commonly bought with this Santa Outfit.

 

The Blue Santa Suit

Blue Santa

“Ho ho ho! The New York Yankees never get coal in their stockings!”

Yes, you read that right, the Blue Santa Suit! This Santa suit although highly unusual is very popular. Blue Santa suits are often used by families who celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. Other reasons  for Santa having a suit of blue is to tie into corporate colours, or the colours of themed events such as Christmas cruises. One of the most popular reasons people order the blue Santa suit is to tie into their passion for sports teams. If your Santa is a fan of the New York Yankees or the Dallas Cowboys, he might really like to show his team support by wearing the Blue Santa Suit.

This Plush Blue Holiday Suit includes: Jacket, elastic waist pants, black boot covers, wig and beard set, matching hat, and white knit gloves.  Santa glasses sold separately. This suit is proudly made in United States.

Wigs and Beards

Santa Suits most often do not include beards or wigs. Why? Some Santa Claus have natural beards and others already own a Santa Beard or Wig. If beards and wigs were included with Santa Suits, folks might be paying for something that they didn’t need. People have different preferences for beards and wigs and it would be unfair to stick them with one style or colour when they may prefer another.

Deluxe Santa Beard & Wig

Deluxe Santa Beard & Wig

The characteristics that determine the appearance of the Santa Beard and Wig are the strength, color and texture of the fibers or hair. The good Santa Beard and Wigs have strong fibers that allow for multiple washings while retaining their shape and appearance. The next consideration in choosing a Santa Beard and Wig is the color. The less expensive models are bright white – a color easily created by adding bleach in the manufacturing process – while the ones with natural colors are more realistic but expensive to produce. The last consideration is the texture of the fibers. For something truly lifelike, the fibers must be soft, supple and silky – like real hair. This quality is only achieved with the Kanekalon fibers.

If you’re thinking of dressing as Santa but do not need a wig and beard that is going to get much use, you might wish to try an economical model such as a Cotton Wig and Beard Set or and Economy Wig and Beard Set. They are not washable and may only hold up to half a dozen uses or so.

A mid range quality White Santa Wig and Beard Set  is a basic white but nicely styled.

If  you need a wig and beard set that is going to fool all the kiddies, the Deluxe Santa Wig and Beard Set is recommended. This is a very full wig and beard with natural colour. It can be washed and styled, and holds it shape excellently. Perfect for professional and very serious Santa Claus players.

Other important Santa accessories

There are many details that are easy to forget. When we see Santa at the mall or on parade we often don’t even realize what we are looking at. Santa often wears wire framed glasses, and of course that big belt he’s always wearing. Mall Santas and generally Santas that work with the public wear white gloves, much the way professional clowns do. It lends to a more clean and polished appearance. Last but not least, don’t forget Santa’s toy sack, ready to fill with holiday surprises!

 

Category: Christmas, Costumes | Tags: , , , , | leave comment |