Costume Musings

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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Just in Time for the Holidays: The Costume Making Guide

Looking for a great gift for the cosplayer in your life? Kamui’s written a whole new guide, a fantastic step-by-step book introducing the fun and fantastic world of cosplay. It covers multiple techniques and tutorials for armor and props.

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Bring your cosplay dreams to life with your own two hands. The Costume Maker’s Guide is a beginner’s guide to armor and prop making so that anyone – no matter their background knowledge – can make their costume dreams a reality.

Internationally known cosplayer Kamui Cosplay (a.k.a. Svetlana Quindt) shows you how to easily create elaborate costume armor and successful props out of items available at your local arts and craft or hardware stores: turn foam into a realistic axe, create a breastplate from scratch and use a glue gun to modify just about anything. Also includes the basic process of building and working with Worbla!

Packed with more than 30 step-by-step demonstrations that teach the skills you need to bring all your favorite characters to life no matter the genre, Kamui Cosplay deconstructs the work that goes into making a complete costume, from the first thought to the final photo. Tutorials cover design planning, fabricating body armor, 3D painting techniques and more.


How to choose a costume and find good reference art
Patterning and Construction advice
A short shopping list of necessary materials and tools for beginning cosplayers
Basic safety tips
How to create realistic paint jobs with simple acrylics.
A beautiful photo gallery featuring inspiring images from other cosplayers
How to grow your workshop, take professional photos, participate in contests and join the cosplay community

128 full color pages.

Available for purchase here!

Category: Cosplay, Costumes | Tags: | 2 comments |

Holtzmann’s Iconic Screw U Necklace

The summer movie hit Ghostbusters has already inspired cosplay based on the new characters and designs, and the fan favorite has to be Holtzmann – played by the fantastic Kate McKinnon – who has several iconic looks throughout the movie.

One piece of official Ghostbusters merchandise we’ve brought in for cosplayers is Holtzmann’s iconic necklace – a pewter toned ‘U’ with a screw drilled through it on an 18″ chain. It’s sold out almost everywhere – and we have limited stock ourselves! Once it’s gone, we have no idea when a second batch will be made.
The necklace is available while supplies last for $25 including shipping and you can see the product listing on our site here.

We have the stock on hand which means I was able to get a close look at the piece: it’s solid metal and a fun piece to wear normally if you want to show your fandom. The chain is just long enough that the pendant sits about 2 inches below my collarbone – but the pendant can easily be switched to a different chain.

Need a refresher on how awesome Holtzmann was? Here’s an official feature on her. And if you haven’t seen the gag reel on the DVD and Blue-Ray? I highly suggest you check those out.

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Fosshape Tutorial Videos

The following three videos showcase Costume and Prop building with Fosshape.

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Worbla’s Mesh Art Comparison and Breakdown

With the announcement of Worbla’s Mesh Art, there were a lot of questions about how it compared to Wonderflex. I spent the last week doing some tests to see for myself, and show anyone curious where the value in using Mesh Art over Wonderflex might be, depending on your project.

(Personally, this was a fun experiment, as many years ago I was one of the first cosplayers to use Wonderflex, long before there was a smooth option. So part of this writeup will also be talking about differences I have found between the ‘old’ Wonderflex, if you use it before the smooth version, and the current ‘smooth’ line.)

Initial breakdown:

Complex Curves:
Mesh Art takes better complex curves than Wonderflex. Wonderflex will take a complex curve, but it just does not stretch enough, and so more extreme curves need to be darted.
(Interestingly I found that smooth Wonderflex takes curves less well than the older product.)


(Above: you can see how Mesh Art takes a smoother, fuller complex curve. This is without any additional smoothing or ‘smushing’ of the overlap or darts.)

Wonderflex and Worbla’s Mesh Art are very very close in strength. I find that, with extreme effort I could tear Worbla’s Mesh Art, but it does not warp. Wonderflex is more difficult to tear, but warps in extreme. This is with a D ring, single layered plastic heated and cooled, and twisted back and forth.
In comparison, Finest Art and Black Art both tore, though Finest Art did take more effort to tear.

Mesh Art and Wonderflex both will take a great deal of ‘pull’ weight. I could not year either with a direct pull, though Wonderflex did warp slightly, it was very minor.

Strength on Curves:

Difficult to photograph, as I don’t have easily quantifiable weights or tools, but have a short video and some books. Basically? Mesh Art is noticeably stronger, even after stretched over a curve.

Wonderflex also stayed indented and had to be pushed back into shape from the books, and was slightly warped from doing so. Mesh Art did not, even after the larger stack.



Mesh Art vs Wonderflex test

A video posted by Amanda (@elementalsight) on

Tearing Note:
Wonderflex and Mesh Art are similar to duct tape – when cold and unused (before heating/shaping) they can be torn easily along one of the grids, but not along the other. Once heated and cooled, the activated plastic is much stronger!

Adhesive Qualities:
When I used the oldest Wonderflex, I found the adhesive to be very strong and leave residue all over my hands. Wonderflex Smooth does not leave that residue, which is great! But I found it also doesn’t have quite the same adhesive tackiness. Mesh Art is stickier/tackier.
That said, I didn’t find either was better than the other. Mesh art holds slightly stronger – I was able to pry Wonderflex up from Finest Art and from Black Art, but only at the edge and not all the way. It also took all my strength to do so.


The mesh in Wonderflex really does make it difficult to engrave detail, recycle scraps, or make ‘noodle’ details. It’s possible, but I would personally never use it for details except in a real pinch. The ‘smooth’ side tears when sculpting into, and the mesh does not want to indent.
Mesh Art can be sculpted and detailed the same as Finest Art, and scraps can be smoothly recycled.



‘Noodles’ for Mesh Art and Wonderflex:
Above: Mesh Art will take organic curves much easier than Wonderflex, though not as well as Finest Art or Black Art.

Originally, I tested Mesh Art’s ability to flex against the other Worbla plastics.

Above: showing how far I could bend Black Art, Finest Art, and Mesh Art.

Above: While Wonderflex does not snap on curves, it does ‘crease’ and hold the crease. Mesh Art I found would return to its original shape.

Surface Finish:
Both products have a smooth side. Wonderflex has a slightly more pronounced texture when stretched.
Above: Wonderflex painted without primer.
Above: Mesh Art painted without primer.

Overworking Finish:
If you overwork your plastic, you probably know it can end up very rough. These pieces were pushed as far as I could take them. Wonderflex gains a much more pronounced texture when overworked and warps easier.
Above: Left, Wonderflex. Right, Mesh Art.

Overheating Finish:
Just to see how well each handles heat, I overheated Mesh Art and Wonderflex. One of the most interesting things I found was that Mesh Art can be slightly smoothed down again after overheating with a wet finger.
Above: Top, Wonderflex. Bottom, Mesh Art. Far right side of Mesh Art is slightly smoother – was smoothed with a wet finger while warm.

Smoothing Edges:
One thing I really like about Mesh Art is how easy it is to smooth edges. As shown in the sculpting scraps, you can really make edges disappear by heating and smoothing – working with a wet finger for edges, and over a smooth work surface for ‘noodles’ or rolls, helps.
Above: Mesh Art noodle, left edge allowed to keep seam, seam smoothed to the right.
Above: Worbla Mesh on the right, Wonderflex on the left. Wonderflex still has a small noticeable ‘edge’ where the overlap has been added, Mesh Art the overlap can be smoothed completely.

Other Notes:
Mesh Art retains heat longer than Wonderflex, giving you more working time. It also is just hotter on the fingers – more like Worbla’s Black Art! So keep that in mind when working to either let it cool a bit, use gloves, or keep a bowl of water handy for work.

Work Surface:
Because Mesh Art IS so sticky, you really really want to work over a surface that is either a silicone sheet, or a piece of parchment or freezer paper. Wax paper and aluminum foil can still stick (and I nearly ruined a $100 cutting board as the sculpted mesh ‘leaf’ stuck so well it had to be cut away in chunks.

Final Thoughts

If you need a thermoplastic only for flat reinforcement (straps for armor) or minor curves, Wonderflex still does the same work it has always done – it’s an excellent, strong non-toxic thermoplastic.
If you need a strong non-toxic thermoplastic that will take complex curves very well, and has the added benefits of allowing scrap recycling, surface detail sculpting, more strength or resistance to warping, a longer working time and a far smoother surface when overworked, overheated or just fully stretched, consider Mesh Art as a replacement to Wonderflex or a complement to your usual Worbla Armor and Props.

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Now Available: Heat Resistant Gloves

We’ve now added stock of our Heat Resistant Gloves!

Gloves avail

We currently carry sizes from Small to Extra Large. Because of the coating on these gloves, think of the fit more like a leather glove than a knit, and size up not down if you are between sizes.
Measure around the palm of your dominant hand (or whichever hand you know is larger). The measurement around your palm is your glove size.
Glovesize copy
We currently carry:
Size 7 Small (7 Inches)
Size 8 Medium (8 Inches)
Size 9 Large (9 Inches)
Size 10 Extra Large (10 Inches)

You can see more information about our gloves here, but for those just looking for a list of plastics we have tested these gloves with:
Worbla’s Finest Art
Worbla’s Black Art
Worbla’s TranspArt
Fosshape Thick and Thin

These gloves have been tested and work well with vacuformed plastics/pulls, and while they are not waterproof they can be worn with latex gloves to handle hot water dyeing.

They are NOT recommended for Wonderflex and Friendly Plastic, as both materials just stick to the gloves themselves when heated.

We have not tested these gloves with other thermoplastics, and suggest always testing with new materials to ensure the adhesive qualities are not too strong.

You can find our gloves here
! They ship free with Worbla Purchases!

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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: | 4 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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