As a veteran cosplayer and convention goer, I've had my fair share of building costumes for myself and others. However, the thought of making a costume, let alone any necessary accessories to pair with it, is daunting for beginners. It is easier to buy it all if you have the money, but what if you don’t? You’re stuck making it. In this article, I'll show you a quick and easy way to approach prop and accessory making.
Step One: Figure out a base. If it’s a staff, scythe, spear, or any other long weapon, use a broom as the base. You can find cheap brooms at dollar stores and all you need to do is remove the bristle part.
Step Two: From then, depending on what item you are making, cardboard, foam board, or Styrofoam are your friends. Cut out the abstract parts from a durable, but pliable material using scissors.
Step Three: White duct tape and paint are your finishers. Tape the spare parts on to the base and cover it all with acrylic paint. To prevent chipping, use a sealer, which usually can be found at craft stores for no more than $5.
For Heavy Duty Props
PVC pipe is a good start. You can find cheap PVC pipes and attachments at Home Depot. I’ve used PVC piping and attachments for Seras Victoria’s gun from the anime, "Hellsing."
If you don't have the time or aren't into tedious DIY projects, fake guns and swords can be found at any toy store, including Meijer. Paint according to the colors needed.
Step One: Go to a craft store and pick up several sheets of craft foam. They can be found usually by the felt and poster boards. The color does not matter, but grey is always a good choice.
Step Two: Cut the foam into the shapes you need. Also, if you cut craft foam and glue it back together, it leaves a slight curve. This is helpful in fitting the armor to the body.
Step Three: Embellishment. If the armor has any sort of design on it, cut strips of the foam at an angle, to give it a 3-D look. Glue it onto the front of the armor.
Step Four: Using Worbla. Worbla can be purchased online, on Amazon or Ebay for roughly $20-30 a role. Worbla isn’t the cheapest supply, but it’s much cheaper than buying a costume with the armor included. Besides, you'll have the pride of knowing you made it yourself! Cut pieces of Worbla out, slightly larger than the piece of armor, and layer it over.
Use heat to mold it onto the surface. Hair dryers tend to work pretty well. Allow the Worbla to dry, then trim the edges off. For a cleaner finish, fold the edges over while the Worbla is still warm.
Step Five: Use wood glue to smooth out the Worbla and make it more durable.
Step Six: Paint!
Once you get into the costume making spirit, your brain will start thinking of crazy ways to make certain items. Your creative edge will come out and swallow you whole, so beware!
For more example of how to create your own costume props visit creative and video websites such as Pinterest, Tumblr and YouTube.