Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Plants in Rings?

Last weekend I visited a the Got Craft, craft fair in Vancouver BC and came across this interesting artist Lara Lepper that used 3D printing to print plant pots as a jewelry piece.  She used air plants which look pretty, yet are easy to manage.  Just a really creativ piece I felt the need to share it

Friday, December 20, 2013

Turn Shoes into Furry Winter Boots

Sure, be all '80s and call these leg warmers. Or call them "leg corsets" or "boot uppers". They transform any shoes into fur-trimmed boots!

They were fairly quick and easy to make, even though I hadn't worked with fur before. I made them for my Diablo 3 cosplay (currently in progress), but they are also very festive for the winter holidays! I may even wear them to a Seahawks game.

Here they are pictured with the clawed footwear (still in raw Worbla, not painted yet) that I am working on for the Barbarian costume.

I'll include some construction notes here in case anyone is interested in making something similar.

Disclaimer: I plan to reinforce these later, to make them less slouchy, perhaps using Buckram or boning.

  • 2 packs of 13 Large Grommets (I used 20 grommets total)
  • White "Mongolian" faux fur, long-haired (fabric.com)
  • Suede fabric
  • Black Grossgrain ribbon (for lacing)
Construction Notes:

Start by creating a pattern of your leg. Cover your leg in plastic wrap, then masking tape, mark a line where the top and bottom edge should be, draw a line down the center front, then cut down the center front line and you've got your pattern. You can allow for the curve of the calf by snipping the pattern from the top down about 4 inches in two or three places to create darts.

Cut the suede using your pattern. I serged the front and top edges - a roll hem would also work - and just cut the bottom edge since this fabric doesn't fray easily.

When dealing with long fur, use a comb! Figure out which direction is "down" when you look at the fur and how it is laying. When you cut the fur you can try and slide your shears against the fabric to "part" the hairs, and that will give you less cropped short hairs at the bottom.

The fur strips are 4" wide on top and 3" wide on the bottom. Start with a wider option because you can always trim it later.

For the bottom fur, on my "boots" this is not attached, it is just like an anklet I slid on over my foot, and this works because there is a little bit of stretch to the fur fabric. I serged the top edge, left the bottom edge raw (it's hidden and fray-resistant) and sewed the two 3" end together to make a loop.

After sewing the fur onto the suede, I added grommets. After marking the placements with chalk, I use a hole punch to make holes down both sides before I go get my hammer out and start pounding away. A regular hole punch is the right size to get a hole started for Large grommets.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Frosting Technique

To dull some shine, and leave a frosted coating.  Try coating your object in some white glue.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Avalyn's Handy Cosplay Project Planner

Hi everyone, I just wanted to share my handy cosplay planning workbook with three fabulous spreadsheets you can customize for your own project!
  • Do you have trouble finishing a cosplay project before the next convention?
  • Do you find yourself spending too much money on your costumes?
  • Are you taking on a big costume build with too many things to keep track of in your head?
  • Have you ever made an awesome costume on time but forgot to buy the wig and allow time for shipping?
If any of this sounds familiar, then maybe this workbook will help you get organized for your next project. Or maybe you are a spreadsheet geek and have your own methods, but are looking for some new ideas. Either way, check it out!

With this workbook you can:
  • Plan out each Phase of your project
  • Create a project Timeline
  • Track your Purchases
  • Make a Budget
Click here for Avalyn's Handy Cosplay Project Planner
(Hosted on Google, Yes it's FREE to download)
Select File
Download it to your computer.
Save and Open the file from your computer.
Read the Instructions to learn how to customize the workbook for your own project.

Feel free to leave me your feedback! Is it too complicated? Is it useful to you?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Weird Present Idea for White Elephant Game

There's a fun version of White Elephant Gift Exchange game that our fellowship plays at every Christmas.  Everyone comes with a secret gift.  And we all take turns either opening a gift, or stealing an existing opened gift.  It becomes an alright war in our group.  

If you want to mess with people.  Here's an idea.  Take the most CHEESY item you can find, and pair it with something pretty cool.  That way, when someone wants to steal the present for the cool element.  Everyone can make fun of them for the Cheesy element.

I wonder how many times Justin Bieber will be stolen?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Harley's Hammer

I wanted to dress up as Harley Quinn, but my friends wanted to dress up from Assassin's Creed IV.  So I decided to do a Pirate Harley Quinn to walk around with my pirate friends.

Got a large plastic sheet and spray painted in red

It looks splotchy, but that doesn't bother me.

Covering the plastic sheet with some decorative lace

Got a long cardboard tube (pvc pipes will work as well) and wrapped a decorative ribbon around it.

Drew out where my holes will be when I wrap the circle into a cylinder 

Locking in the pipe from sliding up and down the pipe with some decorative beads

Covered the drum of the barrels with more lace.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tip of the Day: Tulle for Plushie Stuffing

Run out of cotton filling for a plushie project?  Or have too much left over tulle from a wedding?

Fluffed up tulle makes great plush stuffing.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Comic Book Headband

I got some old comic books and decided to tear apart this Captain America single issue to make a collage.  A collage on what?  A plastic headband.  GEEKY HAIR ACCESSORY ALERT

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Worbla Techniques: Embossed/Relief Patterns

Worbla is a thermoplastic, popularly used for cosplay armor because it is so easy to work with and the resulting armor is quite durable. You can cut it with a good pair of scissors and you can mold it by hand after heating it up. Also, there is virtually zero waste because you can heat up the scraps and use it like clay to create detail ornamentation.

Worbla armor is usually created by sandwiching a stabilizing piece of craft foam between two pieces of Worbla.

Here's how you can create a relief design using inexpensive craft foam instead of using extra layers of expensive Worbla. The relief pattern will have smooth edges like an embossed design; if you layer Worbla instead you will have sharper edges.

You need:
Sheets of craft foam (in two contrasting colors)
Worbla (available from cosplaysupplies.com or yayahan.com)
Heat Gun
A pointy wooden tool
Sharpie for drawing your design
Good scissors
Elmer's glue
A surface to work on that the Worbla will not stick to (I use a piece of glass shelving from IKEA)

Cut out your design in craft foam and glue it to your craft foam pattern piece. Then layer Worbla over the craft foam and use a pointed wooden tool to press the thermoplastic down around the edges of the design.

Let's see an example:

Here I layered my design in green foam over yellow. The yellow will become my pattern piece for an upper-arm plate.

First I heated a piece of Worbla, then stuck the pattern piece on it with the green design side against the shiny side of the Worbla sheet. Then I flipped it over.

Here you can see how it helps to use contrasting craft foam colors. You can see the darker green design through the plastic. I can use my fingers to feel out the design and start to press the Worbla down, but it is much easier if I can see the pattern.

Next, I used the pointy tool to press the heated Worbla down around the design shapes and get nice, smooth edges.

The Worbla cools and hardens pretty quickly so I heated and worked on one quadrant of the piece at a time.

After finishing the relief, I heated a second piece of Worbla and stuck it to the back of the craft foam. Then I pressed the edges together to seal in the craft foam (sandwich!) and trimmed the excess.
Save your Worbla scraps, you can heat them up and use them for decorations, like claws and scrollwork!

Lastly I heated up the whole piece and curve it into shape around my upper arm, then let it cool.

Here's the hand plate with ornamentation added. On this piece I used both the craft foam relief technique and also layered strips of Worbla for the edge details.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Coffee Wood Stain

Want to give your wood projects some carmel goodness.  Dunk it some coffee for a few hours :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Custom Buttons from FIMO

I made these custom buttons for my Riven costume. Here is an easy way to make buttons from a product called FIMO.

First, sculpt the shapes with your hands and a few tools. Then bake them in the oven, following the directions on the package. The baking process hardens the polymer.

Next, sand the edges.

 Lastly, paint! I sprayed them black first, then dry brushed on silver.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Baby Teemo

It's Teemo!
I made this costume for my daughter for Halloween. Babies need comfortable costumes so I translated Teemo's outfit into just a simple hat, beard, and booties.
For the hat I had an adult version I bought from Riot, so I used it as a visual guide to make a baby version out of fleece and flannel.

I added a Velcro chin strap to the hat because babies need one to keep their hat on.

Here she is with her hat!

For the chin beard fur thing I made a bib!

Here are the finished costume pieces!

Soooooo cute!

Click here for my post on making the baby booties.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Plushie Friends need Passports too

Story Time:  So my niece and nephew decided to come visit us in Washington and sit in our car as we visited Canada a few times to visit family.  My nephew is at that stage where his plushie Piggy is his best friend.

I was playing with this kids, questioning them how the pig was going to get across the border without a passport.  They both got pretty panicky when we told them that without a passport the pig would be taken into customs and not allowed into the country.  So their uncle help make them a passport.  It's got a bit of an identity crisis, if you can spot the oddities.

The border crossing agents were pretty humored by the passport and we got three different border crossing agents to sign the passport as we went into Canada and back into the USA

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Product Testing - Colouring Fabric

Dying of fabrics doesn't have to only be done through the traditional soaking method.  Here's some alternative products I've been experimenting with.  I'm testing these on relatively difficult material; using a starched hat, which means it can't be made wet or else it will lose it's shape.  It's also made of felt which has a rough surface.

Fabric Pen:  Just like using a marker, you can colour the fabric surface.  The pen was relatively cheap ($4 USD), but at the same time, I ran out of ink before the project was complete.  Because the fabric was rough it definitely ended up splotchy, but consistent across the piece.  One thing that I didn't like was how time consuming this was, remember when you were a kid trying to completely cover an entire sheet of paper with one pencil crayon (aka ColoUred pencil for you yankees).  

Fabric Spray:  A little more expensive per unit ($6), but cost wise it's worth it because one bottle could cover a lot of projects.  It worked just like spray paint so it was pretty even.  Unfortunately it's very wet, and my hat began to flatten out . . . .  It did seem like a pretty good product to use if I was working with flattened fabrics, regardless of texture

Pastel Chalk:  This is something I just came up with on my own.  Pastel chalks from the art department can be used to draw on the fabric.  The result was slightly better than the Fabric Pen for two reasons.  Because it's dusty, it could get into the layers of texture easier.  The pigment also flakes off easier which made colouring this super fast.  Than seal in the pigment with a spray.  Warning, this should only be used on projects that will not be washed as I do not know how the chemicals in the spray will react with other products.  Oh and as for price, this was extremely cost efficient.  I got this entire set of chalk with every colour for $10 and I only used a fraction of one chalk piece for this whole hat.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2013 Pax Prime Cosplays

Easy to wear, fully effective Gamer Score for the Win

Found Jerry on the escalator and decided to get his attention with my Hammer.  

Comfy looking Scraggy

Simple way to keep your pass visible at all times

Trading Pins with Robert Khoo FOR HIS FACE

Wait that's a freaking person in there

Lolly Assassin 

Hipster Ariel, I love Flounder's glasses


Simple but effective, love it PokeBall

Final Fantasy XIII-3 Music Director and Community Manager wanted to play with my Hammer

Blue Fairy from Zelda, so that's what she looks like

Look at that yarn work! so detailed

Awesome job dad, I thought it was weird when you were wearing a cape backwards, until you turned yourself into a backdrop for your Nyan Cats

Oh that Sim just walked out of the shower

1st place at the cosplay contest, HAPPY MEAL with Toy.  I voted for her too

Freaking # that is an awesome Borderlands Cosplay

Romantic Portal cosplay, love ya!

Mini Master Chief & Pirate Harley Quinn (ME)