Costume Musings

Interview with Jinglebooboo (Jennifer) from Cosplay Melee

Have you been watching Cosplay Melee? We have! While we can’t say the new reality series by SyFy is practically perfect in every way, it is such a huge and positive jump forward for the Cosplay Community as a whole that we’ve been tuning into every episode and cheering all the contestants along!

What is Cosplay Mele? A reality competition show based on cosplay – a mashup of Face Off and Chopped, as a friend has described it. Four contestants per episode have a theme and make a prop or accessory (the first two have been Space Opera Helmets and Game of Thrones Weapons) for the first half of the show. The top three then go on to make a whole costume, and the prize for the winner is $10 000!
(Warning, of course, that there will be some small spoilers in this post!)

One real treat for us has been seeing how much Worbla is ubiquitous throughout the show! That’s not product placement on our part, but rather that the cosplayers polled in advance of the show gave their list of supplies they’d need to have on hand and Worbla was just as expected as foam and glue! So of course, we cheered to see some of the amazing pieces made with Worbla on Cosplay Melee, and reached out to some of the contestants to ask them a bit about being on the show!

First up is Jennifer aka Jinglebooboo, who created a beautifully sleek design that was inspired by the Children of the Forest and House Baratheon.

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Q: Cosplay Melee has proven itself to be a fan favorite with only two episodes. I think we all heaved a sigh of relief when the first episode proved it was going to be a very different show than that Other Cosplay Reality Show that happened. Were you nervous applying for it? Did the interview process give you a sense that it was going to be much more about the creation process and not about drama?
A: When I first heard about the show I was a little bit worried about what kind of light they were going to put me and the cosplay community in. The more I talked to the network and casting agents I become much less worried. They seemed so welcoming and interested in what we cosplayers create and I knew when I went to my first face to face interview that they were planning on a show based on the creation process and I loved that! I completely lost all my fear at that point and never for a second regretted being a contestant.

Q: It’s pretty clear that the contestants know about their themes – no one on your episode was clueless about Game of Thrones (While I would have had to ask “So wait, which ones are which?” when the houses were named.) Did you fill out surveys or were you asked about what media you were comfortable with?
A: They did have us all answer questionnaires on what types of materials we loved and what subject matter we tended to cosplay beforehand. That being said we were unaware of what our subject would officially be until the show. I am a HUGE Game of Thrones fan but I had actually not mentioned that beforehand so it was pretty exciting for them to put me onto an episode with something I did not expect in the slightest.

Q: Did they let you keep your project? Or is it on display somewhere with SyFy?
A: We did not get to keep our cosplays afterwards, which is probably a good thing because I would totally wear it everyday XD I am not sure what will happen with them afterwards but I do hope to see it again someday.

Q: What was your favorite part of the workshop? Any tools you wanted to take home?
A: I was so in love with the airbrush. I had used one a long long time ago in high school but never on cosplay armor. It kind of changed my life and even though it was my first time using one (on tv at that ha) it was so easy and made all my worbla pieces look so good. I definitely am getting one now because I can’t stop thinking about how magical they are and keep borrowing my friends.

Q: One part of your episode that made us laugh was the editing around your breastplate. Watching, I knew for a fact you were going to be fine pulling it from your form – were you really worried it might tear? Or is that the magic of editing going on there?
A: I wasn’t too worried but even the tiniest worry probably comes off as fear on tv. I had never put worbla on a mannequin in that fashion before so of course a little bit of the unfamiliar fear kicked in. But with the amount of safety precaution vaseline I used if that breastplate did stick it would of been pretty shocking looking back.

Q: So you used Worbla instead of foam for a lot of your build – why was it your go-to material?
A: I have always been a huge fan of Worbla and have used it on almost all my cosplays. I love that it is sturdy and durable and i love how well it can take curves and fine details. I tried the black worbla for the first time on the show and was in love with how smooth it was post heating and it honestly saved me a lot of time smoothing my pieces in the end.

Q: What Worbla project are you most proud of, that you’ve made in your own time?
A: My favorite Worbla cosplay I made was a character named Cherche from Fire Emblem. I had leg armor, arm armor, a chest plate, hip things, a neck guard, and well, I was pretty much just armored out everywhere.

Photo by JwaiDesign Photography

Q: And lastly: What suggestions would you give someone who wants to compete in the next series of Cosplay Melee?
A: My suggestion to you is to not hold back and push yourself. I was going to play it really safe on the show but am so proud of myself for pushing my abilities and in the end I am so proud of my cosplay. Never hold back 🙂

Jennifer has created some amazing work, and we have a gallery of some of our favourite images below. Check them out or find her full gallery on Facebook, at Jinglebooboo. Finished costume photos below by JwaiDesignPhotography and WeNeals Photography and Retouching.

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USITT – Let Your Creativity Soar!


Can you get to St Louis? Interested in seeing products for stage and screen, and getting a chance to meet some Worbla Experts and see our products hands on? The USITT Conference and Stage Expo is March 9th – 11th and Cosplaysupplies and Worbla will be there!

From their webpage:

“USITT is the place where theatre and live entertainment production technicians, designers, managers and consultants meet. Where the industry learns about the latest technologies and methods available to them. Where people connect with each other and make a network that last their entire careers.”


What does this mean for you? Well if you’ve wanted a chance to see and handle Worbla products live, we will have examples on display and will be doing live demonstrations for the whole of the show and allowing booth visitors to handle Worbla and see how easy it is to shape and use. If you’ve got a project you’re working on and need some advice, this is a great way to get some troubleshooting done as well!

Interested in attending and seeing us? We have free badges to the show floor we’d love to share! Email me at for more info.

USITT 2016 in Salt Lake City. Photo ©2016 Richard Finkelstein -
Want to learn more about the expo? Take a look at their website here for details, hours, vendor lists and much more!

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Heat Resistant Gloves – The Search is Over!

Cosplay Supplies is excited to announce a new product coming soon – Heat-Resistant Gloves for working with thermoplastics!


Plenty of people who teach or write about working with plastics like Worbla mention that you ‘get used’ to the higher temperature on your fingers (even me!) – and plenty of us use sculpting tools to help with fiddley bits or when things are too hot. One trick I always suggest is to dip your fingers/hands in room-temperature water to make working with hot Worbla easier, but sometimes you need things to be hotter than you can handle, or you have extra sensitive hands that just won’t ever be comfortable handling hot plastic – and of course, TranspArt, Worbla’s clear thermoplastic, requires an activation temperature that is too hot to handle – so you either have to activate it and let it cool to touch, use tools or water, or – as we suggest – use gloves.

The Problem:

Finding the right sort of gloves to use with Worbla can be tricky! Most work gloves have seam lines, fabric textures, or raised stitching – all things that can transfer onto your project. They can also be bulky and uncomfortable, and difficult to find in your size. Full leather gloves are often what people settle for – but the cost can be too high for something you plan to use in your workshop, and they can be difficult to find in the summer – or if you live somewhere where Winter Happens to Other People.

The Solution:

We’ve sourced Heat-Resistant Gloves that are thin enough you can still work with fine detail – even rolling Worbla ‘noodles’ – that are also completely smooth from palm to fingertip – no rough bumps or seams to get in the way of your smooth finish. The material is a bit like neoprene – enough to let you grip things without having a noticeable surface. All the while providing a great barrier for your hands against the heat!

Exclusive Launch at Anime North!

These gloves will soon be available online – but we’re doing an exclusive launch next weekend at Anime North! If you’re attending, drop by the Cosplay Supplies Booth in the Dealers Hall (V1) and you can buy a pair for yourself – or if you buy TWO Jumbo Worbla of any type, you’ll get a pair of gloves for FREE!

Great for most things but…

These gloves have been tested and work well with Worbla’s Finest Art, TranspArt, and Black Art, as well as Fosshape thick and thin, Sintra, Styrene, PETG and EVA foam. These gloves do NOT play well with Wonderflex, as the glue in Wonderflex just sticks to the gloves instead, and likewise are not recommended for Worbla’s Deco Art/Friendly Plastic/Polymorph as again, the plastic just sticks TO the gloves.

While these gloves are heat-resistant, they will not make you invulnerable. Please always use your heat tools responsibly and work in clear space to prevent injury.

Category: Cosplay, Crafts, News, Worbla | Tags: | 5 comments |

A New Book Approaches! Advanced Prop Making – Guns & Rifles by Kamui

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Kamui Cosplay has revealed her newest book, and it looks excellent! If you’re looking for some advanced help in making your next gun or rifle – or even just tips and tricks to apply to your Worbla props in general – Advanced Prop Making – Guns & Rifles will help you out!

The sixth in her current lineup of Worbla and Wonderflex Guides, Advanced Prop Making – Guns & Rifles covers the following:

Tools and materials
References and scaling
Printing screenshot patterns
Creating your own blueprints
Working with EVA foam
Working with Worbla
Priming EVA foam

As well as the following extensive work examples:

Borderlands 2 – Miss Moxxi’s Rubi
Overwatch – Symmetra’s Photon Projector
League of Legends – Miss Fortune’s Shock and Awe
Heroes of the Storm – Master Nova’s Rifle

High quality print edition. Soft cover, 48 pages high quality full color print. Perfect as a gift or for browsing while you work!

Available for purchase here!

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Worbla Holiday Sale!

We’re putting our Worbla’s Finest Art and Worbla’s TranspArt on sale for the holidays! Take advantage of the discount and make something awesome – and remember is always looking for new content!

Need some inspiration for your next project? Take a look at these awesome pieces below!

Erza Cosplay used Transpart and Worbla’s Finest Art for her Heavy Luminescence Armor and Sword from Guild Wars 2

And used Finest Art for her beautiful dragons

Team Paraluna used TranspArt and Resin to make ‘glass’ slippers and Calypsen Cosplay used TranspArt to make a glowing rose.

This Monk from Diablo III by Littleblondegoth Cosplay was made using Worbla’s Finest Art

With Worbla the limits are often only your own imagination. You can see hundreds of other examples here!

Happy Holidays!

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All the way to Germany for Worbla!

This past weekend part of the Cosplay Supplies team were lucky enough to take a trip to Frankfurt, Germany – where we got to explore the town, meet some local cosplayers and of course visit the Worbla Factory for a tour!

While of course we can’t share all the details (new things are always being worked on, but the what and when are never finalized until we have something ready to ship) we wanted to give you a bit of an idea of what we did and learned while in Germany!

Frankfurt is a very international town, with everything from local businesses to big chain stores surrounding their tourist areas. It surprised us to realize that even in such a busy city, everything closed early – many shops closing before 8pm, and everything but cafes and restaurants closed on Sunday! One of our favourite stops was to visit the only cosplay shop in Germany, .
They have an excellent selection of Pebeo paints and mediums, as well as an in-house wig brand that comes in colours we’ve never seen before – especially the blue-green petrol mix! It was great to see their Lolita designs in person as well.

Meeting Up and New Information:
We got to hang out with the wonderful Kamui Cosplay and her boyfriend, who took us to eat excellent food and show us what craft and hobby shops in Germany are like. One of the most eye-opening things was the fact that what Kamui calls Wood Glue would be called craft glue or PVA here in North America – so we’ve been using very different products! It makes sense though, considering I’ve found North American Wood Glue cracks and flakes, especially off of Worbla Black. We met up with Boris from Cast4Art to talk about Worbla and KobraCast and all the conventions Cast4Art attends every year. (It’s a LOT!)

We also found out Germany has VERY strict rules regarding photography in public spaces. While you can be a tourist and snap photos as you like, if you want to take photos with a model – like cosplay photography – you need to write to the government and get a permit. There went all my plans for an epic photoshoot down some of the pretty older streets of Germany for sure!

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The Worbla Factory!
Getting a chance to meet the people who process Worbla was a real treat! They have dozens of machines in a huge space and we got a chance to watch how the raw material gets processed all the way to a final sheet of TranspArt – plus, meeting with the people who do Research and Development. I can’t say what’s coming next (of course) but we have some really interesting things in the works I can’t wait to see come together! Want to see something really neat?


This is one of the first runs of Worbla, before it was even Worbla. It’s a lot closer to Wonderflex in texture but in the brown we’re more familiar with.

We also got to see Worbla being die cut, up to 5 layers at a time!

All in all it was an amazing trip and quite the experience. While we really only saw a tiny part of Germany it was still a great chance to meet new people and experience a place that’s different from home – even if they have so many of the things we’re familiar with, like Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Now it’s time to sleep off the jet lag and catch up on everything! Have a Happy Halloween everyone!

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Worbla Black: Everything you need to know (and why it’s awesome!)

It’s been a while since we’ve done a blog post, and part of that has been because we’ve been working hard over the end of summer convention rush. One of the most exciting things to come out of that hard work has been the newest in Worbla’s line of thermoplastics: Worbla’s Black Art, now available for pre-order!

Image from Erza Cosplay

Image from Erza Cosplay

Worbla’s Black Art (WBA, Worbla Black or Black Worbla, depending on naming conventions) takes the aspects of Worbla’s Finest Art (the ‘original’ Worbla, so to speak) and adjusts it specifically with cosplayers and crafters in mind. There are some fantastic benefits – but also some setbacks – to the new material, and I want to give you as FULL a possible breakdown on this new thermoplastic as possible.

So let’s go!

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The Book of Advanced Armor Making – Helmets & Pauldrons now available!

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If you know Kamui, you know she’s one of the foremost experts on Worbla – and her books are a great help to anyone looking for how to get started with Worbla and Wonderflex. She’s just added a fifth book to her current lineup of Worbla and Wonderflex Guides: Advanced Armor Making – Helmets & Pauldrons.

If you’ve been looking for great information not just on making awesome helmets and complex pauldrons, but advanced Worbla and EVA foam tips in general, check this book out! With 48 full colour pages it covers:
– Tools and Materials
– Basic helmet and pauldron patterns
– Modifying and understanding patterns
– Working with EVA foam (Skulls)
– Working with insulation foam (Horns)
– Working with clay (Antlers)
– Working with expanding foam (Pauldrons)
– Attaching pauldrons
– Attaching masks
As well as the following work examples:
– Crusader Helmet
– Barbarian Pauldron

The Book of Advanced Armor Making – Helmets & Pauldrons is available for $28, and can be combined for a discount with Kamui’s other books – 2 for $26 each, 3 for $25, and shipping is free. Kamui’s books are a great resource if you’re just starting out with thermoplastics, and have a lot of tips and tricks even for the experienced cosplayer.

Looking for a bigger discount? We offer Kamui’s books for $22 each with any Worbla Jumbo or Combo Jumbo order as well. The discount is applied automatically in your cart.

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Worbla’s TranspArt Overview!

Last week we got a chance to finally play with Worbla’s TranspArt, the new product that’s been called ‘clear Worbla’ when it was announced. After a full day of work and testing a bunch of theories, we found ourselves surprisingly enlightened.

What we learned:

Differences between TranspArt and Finest Art: First off, Worbla’s TranspArt is not simply a clear version of Worbla’s Finest Art – they’re different plastics, and heat and shape and sculpt and react differently. Transpart has a higher working temp and a shorter working time, and works best when heated more gradually. This means it takes longer to get it to a malleable point, and it cools back to unworkable (but stil flexible) faster than Worbla’s Finest. Transpart will pick up fingerprints, the texture from work gloves (recommended when doing extensive shaping) and while it does not become brittle or crack, it does stretch to a thin, almost brittle quality. Transpart is not completely clear, though it is transparent – it has a wavy appearance though the plastic is leveled flat, and marks from the injection moulding can be seen on the surface. While this becomes less noticeable as the plastic is heated and shaped, it’s difficult to remove completely and therefore is not the best material for visibility items such as simple curve visors and eyeglasses. If you have the opportunity to work with standard acrylic, PETG plastics or vacuform materials, you may find those better suited for vision-centric props. IMG_8451 Transpart is much more flexible than Finest Art – it lacks some of the rigidity inch for inch that Finest Art has, but as a trade off it is incredibly resilient. At the moment we still haven’t been able to break or tear a piece of TranspArt, even after it had been stretched and cooled to the ‘brittle’ consistency point. When bent in sharp half or even turned inside out from a shaped form, it does not stress fracture – there’s no stress lines and extreme crumpling gives only the slightest denting when returning to the original shape – though paint will flake off.

Complex sphere painted with windshield tint, crumpled.

Complex sphere painted with windshield tint, crumpled.

Sphere returned to shape with no damage. (Paint has flaked, and was scratched off to easier show the lack of stress lines)

Sphere returned to shape with no damage. (Paint has flaked, and was scratched off to easier show the lack of stress lines)

Attaching pieces and layers: TranspArt sticks to itself when heated in a similar way to Finest Art, but we quickly discovered that while it ‘sticks’ it doesn’t ‘glue’ in the same way – it’s very difficult to form a solid bond between TranspArt pieces just with heat, and we can see why the Worbla manufacturers suggest solvent-free glues instead. You can use a soldering iron or heat knife to melt joins of TranspArt together, and for layering pieces to keep clarity, crazy glue is best. We’ve also found hot glue worked decently well, though it generally became cloudy, and rubber cement does also work though it is plainly visible within the join. Likewise, joining TranspArt to Finest art is tricky – when hot, they’re easy to stick together, but we found that it was just as easy to snap pieces apart once cooled. Because of this, we suggest again melting the pieces together with a soldiering iron or hot knife, using hot glue, or rubber cement, all depending on what you need the final look to be. Always test your joins once cool/glued, to make sure they’ll hold before progressing on!

Making things Shine: One of the most exciting things we really discovered from TranspArt is how glossy it is. You can paint the underside of your piece once it’s been formed (if you’re doing an extreme curve) or even before it’s been shaped if you’re doing a more simple shape. This leaves you with a perfectly smooth surface with a high gloss, almost chromed effect – and leaves you with a surface that is impossible to chip, meaning no touch-ups are required! For example, I made this simple bracer in under an hour, without needing to sand or prime anything.



And this quick test of a breastcup for armor is very promising.

Because TranspArt is less rigid than Finest Art, for the above bracer I used the sandwich method – instead of Finest Art, craft foam, Finest Art, I used finest art for the bottom, craft foam, and TranspArt on top. That gave me the stability and rigidity I needed, While gluing TranspArt and Finest Art together can be tricky, the bracer wasn’t likely to be in a position for the edges to pry away from one another much, so I mostly just mushed them together while hot. The parts that didn’t stick enough once cool, I joined with hot glue. If you’re using heavier foam, such as the EVA foam that’s used for floor matting, you’ll find you don’t need the layer of Finest Art for strength, it’s often rigid enough with TranspArt alone.
For the breastcup, I shaped Finest Art and TranspArt over a styrofoam half sphere and drew out the design I wanted. I painted the inside of the Transpart black, and joined the pieces together with hot glue. For this sort of work I do suggest making sure at least one area has a ‘lip’ of Finest Art that wraps around to the TranspArt to help keep things together. (Pictured above)


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In a similar idea, you can also layer stencil cutouts of foil or other materials underneath your TranspArt. Making a Captain America Shield? You could cut your star out first without ever having to worry about perfect paint lines.

Transpart layered over craftfoam with cardstock foil shapes. Thinner foil would give a more seamless approach.

Transpart layered over craftfoam with cardstock foil shapes. Thinner foil would give a more seamless approach.

Dye and colour: TranspArt can be dyed, and it’s a great way to get a solid, translucent colour. We got the best results with iDyePoly, getting a deep rich blue fairly easily – but we also found that cheap brands like tintex (which is meant for cotton and other natural fibers) does give a very slight tint, which may be useful if you’re looking for slight changes. Of course, you should always test before dying your piece – and for complex shapes, we do suggest dying after you’ve shaped them to keep the colour even. We mixed the dye in a container large enough submerge our piece, using boiling water from a kettle – though we did not keep it continuously hot. The heat from the dye bath didn’t affect or warp our shaped pieces at all.

Elemental-8504 We also found that Transpart can be shaped into easy ice gems and lit with LEDs. We dyed some with resin dye, others with nail polish or iDyePoly, to get different effects. Scraps that were recycled and reblended became cloudy, which was great for diffuse light. IMG_8458 IMG_8476 And for shapes like swords – we used sandpaper to frost the inside to help the light diffuse. Elemental-8487

Shaping/Working with TranspArt: Shaping TranspArt took a bit of getting used to, because there’s no real way to ‘see’ if it’s hot enough. For some things, we just laid our TranspArt sheet over the form we needed and heated and pulled as we went, but that could be slow – especially with one set of hands, heating and setting down the heat gun to test the sheet, then picking it up again to reheat as you weren’t at the right temp was frustrating. We quickly found an Infared Thermometer was very useful. It let us know when our TranspArt hit the right temperature and also kept us from overheating it. Once our TranspArt was warm enough, for sphere shapes we just pulled the sheet over our form (with a mould release to keep it from sticking) and removed it when cool. For more complex shapes we pressed in our details using wet fingers as well as a damp sponge, working from one area at a time. Using wet tools and smooth work gloves is very important – rough textured gloves will leave a small but noticeable, almost cloudy texture on your finished piece. We did manage to get rid of small marks from gloves and even fingerprints by heating the areas again carefully, but your mileage may vary. For most things, TranspArt will do best when shaped over a form, as it’s a bit too floppy when heated to hand shape with ease.

Cutting tools: Lastly, we found that TranspArt can be more difficult to cut – probably because of the flexibility and resilience, it’s just harder on scissors and hands, and using a cutting blade was even more difficult. We suggest heating pieces that give you trouble slightly before cutting them, and investing in heavy duty scissors or tin snips or aviation shears if you’re layering and cutting TranspArt and or Finest Art together. You can absolutely use a hot knife to cut through TranspArt, but a respirator is heavily suggested if you intend on doing so extensively, as the fumes of burning Worbla is not meant to be inhaled.

Other neat things: TranspArt, once stretched somewhat, will work over a touch screen like a phone. And while the Worbla Thermoplastic guys have warned about overheating creating bubbles, what we found most of all was that overheating TranspArt gave us goop – we’d melt it and would have to wait for it to cool before it would harden, as it was much closer to friendly plastic or hot glue at that point. We still haven’t been able to tear TranspArt at all, and we’re excited to see what else we can do with it next!

Have any questions about Transpart? You can always comment here, or email me at!


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Patternmaking for Worbla Armour

Wondering how to make a custom pattern for your own body?

519 geeks is putting up a great tutorial on creating patterns for Worbla armour!  They show how they made a gorgeous steampunk corset/vest. Some highlights from the first part:

Wrapping the model in plastic film:


Covering the plastic film with painter’s tape:


Marking out the seamlines onto the tape and then cutting it  into a pattern:


Using the pattern to cut out the Worbla:


A teaser of the finished product, demonstrating how the pattern was designed:


The full tutorial (part 2 coming soon) can be seen here.

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