Hey guys, my name is Drune Hess. I’ve been cosplaying for about two years now. I’m here to share some basic tips and tricks with you. The longer you cosplay, the more you will learn as you go, as it’s a never ending pool of potential.
You can follow my Facebook Page and Instagram to see my cosplays under ‘Hey Drunni’.
I’m going to share with you some simple tips for people starting out in cosplay. In this article we will outline some basic items you will need to make armour and props.
First thing to remember when you start cosplaying is that it’s not a competition!
Cosplay is about fun and enjoying the company of people who share the same passion for dressing up as their favourite characters.
Second thing is never feel intimidated. People are cosplaying to enjoy themselves just like you. Converse with people and express your interests.
When choosing your first cosplay, try to keep it simple and don’t set your expectations too high. Making costumes can be tricky and very costly. Keep it within your ability (and your price range). To keep your enthusiasm high about your costume, pick a character you really enjoy so you don’t lose morale.
Foam. Your friend.
Getting Started With Armour
If you have chosen a character with armour, the best products to use for lightweight armour are:
- Eva Foam for light armour (Purchasable from art shops)
- Foam Floor mats for heavy armour (Purchasable from hardware stores)
- Wood Glue (Purchasable from hardware stores)
- Worbala for coating chosen foam (Purchasable online)
You want a general understanding of the armour you are going to make using foam mats such as these.
Create a pattern from these mats that you can glue together for a sturdy piece of armour. For some pieces of armour you may need to heat up the foam so it can be moulded to shape your body better.
With props (weapons, shields etc), you want to keep them as lightweight as possible as you will be carrying them around for (typically) a long period of time and they can become uncomfortable. Remember that many anime and video game weapons are unrealistically scaled so light weight material is a MUST.
You can make weapons out of:
- Expanding Foam (purchasable from hardware stores)
- Floor Mats (purchasable from hardware stores)
- Worbala (Purchasable online)
- Wood (For extremely sturdy weapons but I wouldn’t recommend it for large weapons)
With props, you want to draw up an outline of the prop you are making. It can be drawn on something sturdy (preferable) such as cardboard but you can use paper if you wish. Once you have your outline you can draw it onto your foam or you can use expanding foam to place onto your outline and shape the foam once it’s expanded and dried.
This is a finished plastic sheet outline of a League of Legends weapon known as “Battle Bunny Riven”:
The design phase.
Once the outline was completed it was covered in expanding foam. Once the foam is dry you are able to cut and shape it with a scalpel, blade or knife. This is the prop after it was shaped:
Expanding foam… expanding.
Once the foam is shaped and you are satisfied, you need to coat it for protection. There are many choices. I personally choose either worbala or paper mache for larger props.
The finished product.
Thank you for reading my basic cosplay tips. Remember, cosplay can be VERY messy and there are so many tricks to cosplay but there is a large and supportive community. Don’t ever be shy to ask for help because there is always so much to learn and so much to teach.
Complete with cosplay.
Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on cosplay!