The fantastic Arlena Fae partnered with us for her Blood Moon Katarina build, using Worbla’s Black Art, insulation foam and EVA foam to create a pair of fantastic lightweight but durable swords! If you need to make swords or daggers for your next costume, check out her video below!
The fantastic Arlena Fae partnered with us for her Blood Moon Katarina build, and she shared the process she used to make her mask with us! If you’re looking to make a similar design, check out her video below!
How about some permanent pleats and pleather embossing with Kobracast Art? That’s exactly what Eva from evadoescosplay (TikTok, Twitter) did in this sponsored build creating the belt for her Red Mage, and the results are fantastic! She outlined just how she accomplished the effects in this video tutorial – take a look for yourself!
Wanda’s final look from WandaVision is amazing, but also has some very specific techniques the creators used to design the look of fabric and armor without stitching. We’ve seen a few cosplayers use Kobracast Art as a way of stabilizing and fusing fabric to a foam or corset base, and the results speak for themselves. Take a look at this phenomenal build by Carmenvalentina – and she shared how she did it in this fantastic video, so you can follow along for your own build!
We partnered with Duoqcosplay to bring you this tutorial making Sally Whitemane’s staff from World of Warcraft, using EVA foam and Worbla’s Black Art. If you need to make a staff for your own costume, the process below can be a great guide from start to finish! Final images by CMC Photography.
Cutting tools: Snap off utility knife, Exacto knife hot knife, scissors.
Worbla: For this project I used 2 medium sheets of Worbla Black Art
Eva foam: 10mm, 5mm, 3mm widths I also used some foam clay on this project.
Paper: This will be used for pattern making anything works
Markers: Silver and Black permanent markers work best.
Brushes: For painting these are really personal preferences.
Silicone Brushes: For spreading contact cement
Adhesives: Contact cement is what I used for this project along with wood glue. Tape is handy too.
Power Tools: Hand Dremel tool, heat gun.
Core pieces: For my prop core I used some PVC pipe and a titanium rod.
Gems: For my staff I used custom resin casted gems.
Sandpaper: An assortment of grits for hand sanding
Reference Images: Having images from numerous angles/lighting
Paints: whatever paints you like best are fine.
After collecting reference images and materials I find it helpful to start by breaking down the reference image into its most simple shapes for a pattern. This pattern will be used to cut the foam pieces that make up the inside base of the prop. I used a bucket for the middle circle and I looked for the shapes in the prop reference images and tried to copy it as best I can. To ensure each is cut the same and save some time in sanding, having patterns on paper is helpful. Once I’ve fiddled with it a bit and I am happy with how it looks compared to the reference images I cut out the paper. To ensure symmetry fold the pieces in half and cut away any misaligned parts.
Continue this process for the rest of the prop pieces, to ensure my prop was in scale with the resin gems I created I used one of my gems to help with drawing my paper pattern.
For this project I decided to use EVA foam as my core since it is lightweight and easy to work with. Each layer will need to be cut into the same shape and glued together to build up the size and shape of the prop. These paper patterns will be used to trace each layer of the foam.
During the cutting process I also used my PVC pipe and metal rod to measure the channels needed through the foam to become the handle. I also wanted the top part of the staff to be removable for easier transport and storage. The top part of the staff would slide on and off the PVC pipe through the middle layer in the foam.
Foam Core: Gluing
After all the foam is cut out and the channels for the PVC pipe and metal support rod have been cut the foam layers are ready to be glued. Make sure the layer with the channels cut is in the middle layer so the prop will be centered on the handle of the staff.
I prefer to use contact cement but technically other adhesives would work for this step because thefoam will be eventually wrapped in worbla. I love using these silicone brushes when I’m using contact cement. They are so easy to clean and they don’t get ruined from the contact cement.
This step of the process is relatively easy, each layer of foam gets a coat of contact cement. The internal layers for extra security I contact cement on both sides of the foam.
When the contact cement has set you should have a foam stack for each part of the prop, if things aren’t looking perfect here no need to worry during the sanding process you can clean up any imperfections.
Foam Core: Sanding
I highly recommend using a dremel for you sanding one with a handheld portion is great for small detail work. I hold the dremel tool using the sanding drum attachment at a 45 degree angle while sanding to get the curved edges to create a beveled edge.
I used this same technique to put together the pyramid shape for the point of the staff . The most important part of this step is getting as smooth of a surface as possible on the edges of your foam. The inside is filled with foam clay. My foam stack for the top of the staff before sanding. You can see where some of my cuttings were a little sloppy and they didn’t end up being all the exact same size.
After sanding. The foam is going to be the base shape for your prop, the worbla wrapping just strengthens the foam core and smooths some imperfections but For the most part you want your pieces to look as shape accurate as possible to your reference images.
Foam Core: Details
Before wrapping the foam in worbla I wanted to add some more three dimensional aspects, you can purchase foam bevels premade now if you want to save some time but I like making my own from foam scraps to not waste any foam.
To create a bevel I use pretty thick EVA foam and cut it into long strips. Once I have a few strips of foam cut I draw a line down the middle of the strips. This line will be where the high point of the bevel will be, the top of the triangle shape.
The sanding technique is holding the dremel tool at an angle and sanding away the square corners of the strips down the length. Adding three dimensional details can really make a prop look more realistic. Without extra three dimensional details sometimes props after you wrap them in worbla and paint them can look a little flat and plain.
I made more than I needed for the staff top so I would have some bevels to wrap the staff handle with and for hiding the joint where the top of the staff would slide onto the PVC pipe.
To prepare the worbla for wrapping the foam I spread the roll as flat as I can and do a light pass with the heat gun just heating it enough so it lays flat. Using scissors I cut the general shape of the foam out of the worbla giving extra room for the sides. The shiny side of the worbla is the sticky side so that part needs to be touching your foam for it to adhere properly. I highly recommend wearing heat proof gloves for this step.
For this prop we will be using the sandwich method. There will be a layer of worbla on the top and bottom encasing the foam core inside. Once both layers of worbla have been cut its time to heat form the worbla to the foam. The worbla needs to be hot enough that it changes color slightly and becomes completely malleable. While the worbla is still hot use your fingers to push the worbla around the foam.
In some areas with finer details I like to use the blunt backside of an exacto knife or a popsicle stick to push the worbla into the crevices of the foam to not lose any details. Along the edges of the prop there will be some left over worbla in spots. Trim any excess worbla along the edges of the prop be sure to leave enough that the foam is sealed inside and not poking out, you can see in the image the ridge where excess worbla has been trimmed away but the two layers are still touching. Heat the edges with your heat gun and push the ridge down as flat as possible so the seam is almost invisible.
Worbla: Detailing and Fixing Mistakes
Worbla is an incredibly forgiving material for the most part. To fix a mistake you simply reheat the worbla and place things how you want them to be. For example on the bottom left you will see where my worbla “sandwich” didn’t quite wrap all the way around my stack of foam and there is a gap.
I heated the worbla up again and tried to close the gap as much as I could, folding the worbla trying to get it to lay as flat as possible. I then heated up a scrap of worbla to patch the hole where the foam could be seen. Any seams can be sanded down to be smooth later.
For some detailing on the upper part of the staff I noticed in my reference images that the bottom part of the staff looks like it’s been carved in versus the top part looks like it’s three dimensional. I used a soldering iron to carve the line in.
Worbla being able to stick to itself is really helpful for adding details simply cut out or shape your details when the worbla is still hot and stick it to the worbla on your prop. Any mistakes you make can mostly be fixed by heating the worbla up again which is really nice.
The sanding step for the worbla is pretty straight forward. I start with sanding with my dremel tool and then move on to different higher grits of sandpaper by hand to get a smooth finish. You mostly are wanting to smooth out all the seams from wrapping the worbla and any lumps in the worbla. If you want a really smooth paint job that looks like metal for example then this step of the process is very important.
After sanding and getting a smooth finish that you are happy with it’s time to move onto sealing the worbla for painting. Worbla black arts doesn’t require as much sealing and sanding as classic worbla does but I still like to do four layers or so of wood glue just to remove the texture of the worbla as much as possible and give a nice base for the painting step next (right photo). Gesso or other surface primers would work for this step fine but I just like to use wood glue since it is cheap and easy to find at most hardware stores.
Before moving onto painting I wanted to finish the handle so everything could be painted at once. PVC pipe has a smooth plastic finish to prep my PVC pipe I used rough grit sandpaper and hand sanded it to rough up the smooth finish and create a surface for the contact cement to adhere to better.
For the top and bottom part of the staff I used 5mm EVA foam sheets and one of the thick foam bevels I made earlier to help the foam curve around the PVC pipe I used my heat gun to heat the foam up first.
The middle part of the staff looks like a thick leather fabric wrapped around the handle I knew finding the fabric I needed would be difficult so I decided to use strips of leftover worbla to wrap the staff.
With the worbla heated up and malleable it wrapped much like fabric does and contact cement was not necessary since the worbla sticks to itself pretty strongly. To keep a fabric-like texture on the middle of the staff I did not seal the worbla with wood glue but did do a few coats on the EVA foam sections.
Some other details I wanted to create before painting were some gem casings for my resin gems that will go on the bottom of the staff and on the ribbon that hangs from the staff. I used 5mm foam and traced the gem shape and cut out.
After cutting the shape out I sanded the squared corners of the foam so they were more rounded with my dremel. Sanding details like this just make things look a little more polished. Once I was happy with the sanding I heat sealed the foam.
For backing I used a really thin EVA foam that the gems can be glued to after painting the casings. I glued the casing using contact cement to the backing and made sure the gems would fit well before letting the contact cement set in place. For the larger gem casings there is a front and back side.
Once I was happy with how everything was looking sanding wise, the foam had been heat sealed and the contact cement was set, I did a few coats of wood glue to finish the casings for painting.
As a base coat layer just to cover everything I used gold hammered textured metallic paint on the majority of the staff except for the middle “fabric” portion I painted satin red. I wanted my prop to match my armor so for the top coat I used the same acrylic paints on the prop that I used on my armor.
To add some more detail and dimension to my prop I added some blackwash and weathering with watered down black acrylic paint. I find these sponge brushes handy for giving a subtle black gradient to the edges and the crevices of the prop to add shadows and highlights. First I apply some of the black paint in the crevice and then dab the sponge.
After Everything is spray painted and black washed it’s time to glue the gems in. I glued my gems down to the staff with contact cement. Here is a side by side picture of before and after adding my blackwash shadows. I did some blackwash/ageing along the whole prop. I really wanted it to look used and aged and not like it was just made brand new.
Putting it all Together
One of the final touches for the staff is the red fabric the gems hang from on the top part of the staff. I purchased some 4in. wide satin ribbon at the craft store using a dab of contact cement I folded the ribbon edge in to create the pointed shape the gems would attach to. I did not measure the exact length I just tried wrapping a few times before cutting the ribbon how I liked it best.
With the ribbon cut and all the paint dry on the staff I glued my gems and casings onto the ribbon and the bottom of the staff with contact cement. I did go back over these with a little bit more blackwash painting just so they would appear more melded with the prop and not like I just glued them on top of the prop.
Finally it is time to put all the pieces together! The ribbon can be wrapped around the top of the staff and the pyramid shape can be put on the top of the metal support rod to hide the top.
Here is the PVC pipe (I painted the tip of it to camouflage it even more with the gold of the staff) sliding into the channel of the top part of the staff.
We partnered with Mage.Cosplay for her Jessie build, and she shared the process of creating her armor and accessories with us. If you’re looking to make Jessie for your next costume, check out how Mage went about the process below!
Bringing Jessie’s Armour to Life
Source Character: Jessie Rasberry from Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Disclaimer: While the general principles of using thermoplastics, such as Worbla, will be very consistent, there are many methods to use the material to construct costume elements. My methods may not be the best for you, so please keep in that in mind! In summary: There are many tutorials out there, but I’m hoping that sharing mine will help you figure out what’s best for you!
Patterning: The base pattern you’ll see in this tutorial came from Jenny Desu; I bought it from her Etsy shop. This is also my first time using someone else’s armour pattern, so we’re learning together.
Equipment: The tools you’ll see me use include: • a heat gun; • heat resistant gloves (provided by CosplaySupplies, who carry these in several sizes!); • a silicone baking sheet (often covered in parchment paper); • a cutting mat; • a utility knife; • spherical ornament, old hotel key cards, paintbrush handles, and spoons for shaping; • wooden skewer for poking things; • rotary tool (very minimally).
Materials: • CosplaySupplies has generously partnered with me for the Worbla’s Black Art. • The foam I’m using is two types – one is a high density foam I purchased from CosplaySupplies and the other are yoga mats I picked up from the dollar store. • Metal bits included a handful of purchased buckles and connectors, split pins in a couple sizes from the stationary store, and jewellery wire that I used as a frame for my DIY fasteners and connectors. • Contact cement (as little as possible) and hot glue. • There’s also some hook and loop tape and elastic used. • Paints are dollar store acrylics, a bit of gold spraypaint, and some PlaidFX Armour.
Glove and Boot Armour
You can see here the glove pieces and also part of the boot pieces as well. The glove pieces will just be getting one piece of Worbla to add strength and give them a nice finish. I’ve left a bit of a seam around them, per usual. My tools for smoothing the corners are pretty low key—the handle of a paint brush and an old room key. I manipulate the material with my gloved hands while it’s hot and then come in with the card and brush once it’s just warm, so the heat doesn’t warp either.
Since the front of the boot might get banged around a bit, I made a Worbla’s Black Art sandwich. I’ve also put the seam a bit closer to one side by using the paintbrush to push the bulk toward the back. Afterward, the excess was trimmed off and added to my scrap pile. Those scraps will make an appearance in the fastenings and closures section.
I’ve used split pins to fake my brads on all the armor pieces. By heating up the Worbla, I can make it pliable enough for a sharp wooden skewer to pierce both it and the foam. This makes a nice, clean hole that’s also sealed as the Worbla gets taken along for the ride by the skewer. You can see that I’ve left the back of the plates open, which makes them light and still very springy.
JennyDesu’s pattern has been transferred to thin camp mat foam and an approximately-the-right-size piece of Worbla’s Black Art is ready to go. My surface is a silicone baking mat and some parchment paper, alongside a heat gun and a large Christmas ornament to help me round off the shapes.
All the foam pieces have been hot glued at the seams. The hotglue will re-activate when I apply heat via the thermoplastic, but it is essentially just there to keep the foam in place until the thermoplastic gets there. This cheap foam also deforms very easily, but the strength will come from the Worbla.
This is what it looks like after one layer of Worbla’s Black Art. I was able to easily reposition the material as I went, although you can see I could have given it one more go to make sure I got the corner flawless. I stopped fiddling with it because I don’t mind the imperfections here; the character’s likely to be using armor that’s seen many encounters and been dinged, damaged, and repaired several times. They’re also more rounded than they appear in most reference art, but that’s partly the pattern and partly personal preference.
A test shot of how the two pieces of the pauldrons will fit together. With this, the hard parts for the base are all set. You can see the split pins in the bottom piece; they’re the same as in the glove pieces.
The cuirass consists of many parts in JennyDesu’s pattern, so the first step was to transfer these all to foam. The difference is that I wanted a more firm structure for the central plates, so instead of camp mat, I used a higher density foam that I purchased from CosplaySupplies. That’s the grey foam you see in the photos. This was also necessary to get the peaked look you see on the backplate and the stomach plate – those pieces were cut at a 45 degree angle and hot glued.
Since I knew I wanted to already have a good rounded shape present in the foam before I applied the Worbla’s Black Art, I used contact cement on the darts for the upper breastplate. It required some cold outside time, but the fumes are no joke and it’s important to not take risks with that! Unlike hot glue, the contact cement doesn’t re-activate with the application of heat and is more easily sanded.
For the side plates, I did just use hot glue – mostly because I didn’t want to deal with the contact cement fumes and these pieces would not need to take on any complex curves before they were covered in thermoplastic.
I continued working the top and bottom halves of the breastplate separately once they were covered with Worbla. This made it much easier to work on getting the breasts into the shape I wanted them, which followed the same method as when I shaped the upper shoulder armor.
Having thicker, stronger foam underneath made it much easier to really work on the Worbla in terms of smoothing it out around curves and adding in further curves and details where I wanted, which will be easier to see once we get to the paint.
For the lower breastplate, Jessie has these kind of faint abdominal muscle looking lines, so I tried to mimic that as I was shaping. I didn’t have to worry about the fact that I’d used hot glue on that centre-front ridge as the glue was nicely sandwiched between the thick foam and the Worbla.
Now the centre back plate and its side plates have been covered in a single layer of Worbla’s Black Art. Split pins were placed, although I messed up and put some pilot holes in the wrong places after misinterpreting pattern markings. You can kind of see the shoulder blade markings I worked into the back plate and the similar markings on the lower breastplate. At this point, I’d just about reached the point where I had to join the upper and lower breastplates to do any further fitting.
So this step looks a little violent, but one of the ways I made sure that the upper and lower breastplates would line up properly was to use my skewer to put one continuous path for split pins between the two pieces. Although the adhesion of Worbla with itself is fantastic, it never hurts to have a mechanical connection to back-up the chemical one. Of course, this necessitated buying some split pins with longer shanks!
JennyDesu’s pattern was transferred to thin camp mat foam. For one greave, I transferred each pattern piece to Worbla’s Black Art with about a half inch of allowance all around. Once adhered, I rolled over the seam allowance and then started to curve the piece. This was repeated for the other two main plates on this greave. The second greave followed the same initial pattern-to-foam transfer, but I next glued each of the plates to each other and continued from there. Since the foam pieces then had a shape, it was more a matter of best-guessing the size of Worbla piece needed and leaving a much bigger margin for error. I had thought this would save me time, but heating and fitting the entire greave at once took much more time than doing the heating and fitting of each piece first, then adhering each Worbla-covered plate to each other. I used an old hotel key card, pressed into warmed Worbla, to add in the seam lines, where needed. The shoulder straps show this sort of detail more explicitly.
I started with no pattern, just rectangles of foam in the correct length. I wanted to straps to be able to flex easily and they won’t bear any actual weight, so just one layer of Worbla’s Black Art, so I wrapped the Worbla around the foam and set the initial curve, then I used my old hotel room key to press the Worbla’s Black Art in around the edges of the strap. This allowed me to keep things very thin as an alternative to adding a bezel via foam and/or additional thermoplastic. You can see I put the pilot hole for the split pin in as well.
Prep & Paint
I did a little work on these with a rotary tool, which you can see showing up a bit lighter here. Worbla is capable of highlighting even small differences in foam surfaces, so you could see the seam where the two halves of the pattern met up. I chose to leave the surface as it was, so the finished pieces will reflect the native texture of the material, rather than looking for a mirror finish. You can similar results on the piece of leg armor. I used a rotary sander to take off some of the spots where I hadn’t lined up the seams very well. I was good with a dented-and-hand-hammered type of finish, but it needed to be somewhat clean,
Base Layer: I actually rather like the base texture of Worbla’s Black Art, so I didn’t prime the surface or try to smooth it further. I had some VERY old silver acrylic on hand, so I mixed that with some Flexbond and applied a thin layer over the pauldron pieces. I did some paint tests to see what depth of colour/shine I wanted to go with and you can see some of the results in the following comparison photos. On the right is acrylic silver paint with some Flexbond. On the left, the same base, but with a layer of PlaidFX’s Armour series paint in Samurai on top.
Here’s what the painting steps looked like for the shoulder straps, after using some dark grey acrylic to weather it and try to bring out the “edge” I put on the armor as well.
For areas like the backplate, I repeated the weathering process several times to try to get more difference and depth between the high and low areas. I also went in and applied some black sharpie before adding a bit of the brighter silver as highlights.
From left to right is the evolution of small buckles made from Worbla’s Black Art. These used up some of the scraps that were left after cutting out the bigger pieces for the armor parts.
I also needed to make some fasteners and buckles that were non-standard sizes and shapes. For this, I also used up some scrap Worbla’s Black Art. For the large belt buckle, I made a paper template, then used two layers fused to each other. For the pin, I used a short length of jewelry wire as a core.
Elastic straps run underneath the soft pleather pauldron, while the armored strap sits on top of it. One half of the hook and loop tape is sewn to the outside of the pauldron, while the other side is glued to the underside of the strap. While most pieces are secured with hook and loop tape, the glove plates only used the split pins to attach them to the glove base. Little pockets on the inside of the glove protect the wearer from the ends of the pins.
For a few spots, like the cuirass, there’s a mix of hook and loop tape and split pins. The main connection between the breastplate and back plate here is via hook and loop tape to a fabric modesty panel. The actual closures on top are attached on one side with split pins, whereas, for the other side, the split pins are merely decorative and the connection is via hook and loop tape underneath. For the greaves, a similar fabric connector holds the seam together with hook and loop tape. The leather strapping in this case is purely aesthetic and is affixed with hook and loop tape.
We worked with December Wynn (on IG), supplying the Worbla’s Black Art for their Ningguang build, and the final look is amazing! They shared the process of how they built the costume, specifically the Gloves, Hair Ornaments, and Shoes – and we’ve collected them here to share with you!
Part One: Gloves
4-way black stretch material (or pre-assembled gloves),
Worbla’s Black Art,
4-way stretch gold material,
Assemble a pair of gloves using a 4-way stretch material, or purchase a pre-assembled pair of gloves. (Worbla.com note: If you need a glove pattern, we’ve used McCalls 7397 ourselves to good result)
Create a paper pattern of the gold glove “attachments”. Tip: label every piece of the pattern with the handedness of the glove and the finger.
Trace the paper pattern onto black Worbla and cut out all the pieces, making sure to mark each piece with its designated hand and finger. Tip: using a little spray adhesive on the paper pattern makes tracing much easier and accurate.
Cut out all the pieces using a pair of scissors or a craft knife. Using a heat gun will make cutting the pieces out a little easier, particularly along curves.
Once the pieces are cut out, use a heat gun to shape the pieces to your fingers. For this process, carefully heat the pieces and then shape them around your fingers. Do not touch any piece that is hot enough to burn or injure skin, and wearing heat resistant gloves during this process is recommended.
Pull out 4-way metallic stretch fabric. Cut the pieces that will go on the finger units, make sure to leave a lip or “seam allowance” around all edges of the fabric.
Using a glue of your choice, adhere the fabric pieces to the outside of the Worbla finger units. This step is not the permanent glue step, so any glue will suffice. My recommendation is spray adhesive.
Apply contact cement to the insides of the black Worbla pieces and the fabric lip on the pieces. Allow the contact cement to set, then fold the fabric lip under, adhering it to the underside of the finger units.
Put the glove base on and apply the finger units to the glove using superglue. Using standard thread and needle, reinforce the glue by tacking the corners of the units to the gloves.
Using a healthy collection of gold-toned filigrees, apply filigree decoratively to the tops of the fingers. The pieces can either be glued using small dots of superglue, or they can be stitched through the fabric cover. Cut the filigree pieces to fit comfortably on the finger units, and use pliers to gently bend the pieces to better fit the curves of the units.
Part 2: Hair Ornaments
Worbla’s Black Art
black lacquer paint,
Pattern and cut an EVA foam base for the hair stick.
Cut two pieces of Worbla to cover the EVA base. Make sure these pieces are slightly larger than the base.
Sandwich the foam in-between the Worbla pieces. Using a heat gun, wrap the Worbla around the base so that the entire base is covered.
Decorate the ornaments using other Worbla cuts and texturing the Worbla using tools and continuous heat. If the ornament has any dangling attributes, insert a jump ring into heated Worbla and allow it to cool.
Once all detailing is complete, prime and sand the piece until desired smoothness.
Spray paint the entire ornament gold and allow to dry entirely.
Mask off the parts of the ornament to remain gold and then spray paint the piece with black lacquer.
Using a heat gun, heat up a pile of black Worbla scraps to melt them together.
Roll the scraps together to create a Worbla snake, and then shape the snake into the desired shape.
If rhinestones are desired, heat the piece slightly and press the rhinestones down where desired to create a space where they will sit once the ornament is painted.
Use a wig head to create a comfortable shape for the ornament, laying it on the wig head and allowing it to harden.
Prime and sand the ornament as desired.
Spray paint the ornament gold.
Once the paint is fully dry, glue the rhinestones in place. If using E-6000 or resin glue, make sure to wear gloves, work in a well-ventilated area and wear a respirator.
Part 3: Shoes
Pre-made black shoes,
Worbla’s Black Art,
gold spray paint,
strong adhesive (superglue, E-6000 or contact cement.)
Use paper to create a pattern for the shoe decorations. Trace the pattern on black Worbla 4 times and cut out the pieces with a sharp pair of scissors or craft knife.
Stack 2 pieces on top of each other and apply heat to fuse them together – because the shoe is a high contact area, doubling the worbla will help with the longevity of the piece.
Apply heat and do any desired carving to the soft surface of the pieces, using a carving tool.
Using the shoes as a base, apply heat to the pieces and shape them over the shoes to make them lay flat against the surface of the shoe.
Prime the pieces with a spray primer, and then sand as necessary to create a smooth surface.
Apply a layer of gold spray paint and allow to dry fully. Finish with a layer of clear spray lacquer.
Using a strong adhesive, glue the Worbla pieces to the shoe base.
And there you go! Thanks again to December Wynn for sharing their work with us!
If you play Genshin Impact you’re probably familiar with Childe’s iconic mask from his default outfit. We teamed up with Winterstar Cosplay for this build, supplying the Worbla as she created this tutorial on how to make your own mask from Worbla’s Black Art, some EVA foam, acrylic paints and simple tools! You can see how it came together, and the video following the whole process below!
We partnered with Brian from Perler Tricks (on IG) for this amazing Samurai Darth Maul cosplay, built using both Worbla’s Black and Mesh Art. The final project looks amazing and Brian has created multiple tutorials for the process that you can use as your own building blocks for a similar build!
Step One: Using a Cricut with Worbla to Make Detailed Bracers
Step Two: Creating a Corrugated Steel Effect with Worbla
Step Three: Making a Battleflag with Linocut Prints and Mesh Art
Step Four: Dual Blade Lightsaber Build
With much thanks to Brian for sharing his amazing skills with us! Check out his work as Perler Tricks on Facebook and on Instagram
We worked with Pearl Bunny Cosplays for this sponsored build – Ryuko’s iconic headpiece from My Hero Academia! Take a look at how she put this together with her tutorial below!
Materials needed: Headband and Wings
Worbla’s Black Art
6mm EVA Foam
Heat Gun and Heat Gloves
Black Spray Paint
Rare Earth Magnets 1inch
Tape Measure and Ruler
Rope or Cord
1. First you’re going to want to measure your head to help determine how big you want to make the wings. You want them to stick out on either side of your head, but not have them so large they go past your shoulders, or so small that they can’t be seen too well. I made mine 22 inches wide. Once you’ve figured out the right length for your head, trace and cut out a wing shape you like. I did this by drawing one side and cutting it out twice to make two sides. Be sure to keep the center band thick since that’s where all the support to hold the wings up is coming from. Trace where you’re going to put the ‘bone’ details of the wings on the front and back. If you had to make multiple sections, tape them together to make one pattern section to be cut out of the EVA foam.
2. Next you’re going to trace the pattern you just made on to 6mm EVA foam and cut it out. You can use either scissors or an exacto blade. If you’re using a blade , be sure to cut away from yourself and to make sure that it’s sharp. I use a knife sharpening tool to help with my blades. Sharp blades and scissors help with a smoother clean cut in the foam. Once the wings are cut out as one piece, draw those ‘bone’ lines on again.
3. Here you can see the wings cut with an exacto blade and what it will look like after. It is OK to have a bit of a rough edge since you’ll be taking a dremel to smooth out the edge. I like to do this since sometimes I can’t always get a clean cut the first time. This also allows me to make a more natural look to the wings with soft edges [image 6].
4. Now that you have all the edges, front and back, smoothed out, cut out a square of EVA foam that’s about an inch big. This is for the square, or knot on the back of Ryuko’s wings. After you’ve cut that out and smoothed out the sides like you did with the wings, use your contact cement and glue it down in the center back of the wings.
5. Now onto the ‘bones’ of the wings! I used a thin rope I found at my local craft store. I decided on this since it’s round already and easy to move and shape. Above I show how long I made each rope and pinned it in place along the line you’d drawn earlier. I used Mod Podge on the ends to stop them fraying. After you’ve cut out the rope and put them in place, you’re going to use the contact cement to glue everything down and use the pins still to help the rope keep its shape. Last photo shows the rope glued down for the ‘bones’. Be sure to do this on both sides of the wings, front and back.
6. Once everything is glued down and dried, we can go on to using the Worbla Black Art! This stuff is great. It heats up nicely, and has a little bit of stretch to it as well making it easy to form into small details. Using your original pattern, trace and cut it out on the Worbla Black Art. You’ll want to trace out a section just a little bit larger to help go over the side of the EVA foam, but not too much. For the Worbla, you can use scissors to cut out your pattern. You’ll want two sections cut out, one for the front and one for the back.
7. Now that we are ready to heat up and cover the EVA foam wings with the Worbla wings, you want to stay safe. Wear heat resistant gloves to help avoid any burns to yourself since you’ll be working with a heat gun. Once you’re ready to start heating up the Worbla, start in the middle and work out. I started on the back with the knot. Be sure to heat up small sections and not to let the Worbla get too hot since it could eventually burn and ruin the EVA foam under it. As the Worbla becomes soft you’ll be able to take a small tool like a popsicle stick or even the non sharp end of your exacto blade to press the Worbla into the corners of the knot and the bones. Take your time doing this, work in small sections.
8. Here you can see that I had a little too much go over the edge. With this you can either roll it over to the other side or you can cut it off. I personally ended up cutting it off. Don’t throw it away though! Worbla Black Art, like with Worbla’s Finest Art, can be heated up and formed into a ball like clay! This is great since you won’t be wasting any small scraps. Small scraps are also useful for fixing any sections you might have heated up too much or pulled on and made a rip. Just heat up the section and the scrap and gently press the scrap into place and smooth it out with your glove or a smooth sided tool.
9. The front of the wings is the section that’s going against the back of my head. I used magnets for this and put them under the Worbla to keep them in place on the final product. I ended up having to add different magnets since the ones I originally got weren’t strong enough. When buying magnets online, make sure to get ‘Rare Earth Magnets’ that are at least 1 inch in diameter. They are very strong and will hold through a few layers of material.
10. Here we can see the seam from the two sides of the wings. This can be fixed by heating up the Worbla Black Art again and carefully smoothing it out with your gloved hand, popsicle stick or any other smooth tool you have on hand. Again, work slow and work in sections. Don’t worry if you can’t get it fully smooth either. Since we’ll be covering the whole thing in Mod Podge shortly. Before you go on to the next step, this is a good time for you to look everything over and make sure that you got everything pressed into place. You’ll also want to trim off any extra and use your Dremel if needed.
11. Now that you have the wings laying flat you’ll want to curve them to fit on the back of your head. I did this by gently heating up the middle section, front and back and gently bending the wings together. Just as before, take your time and work in sections. Bend it a little, let it cool then put it up against the back of your head with your wing on since the back curve of your head is going to be different with your wig on.
12. Once you’ve gotten the curve how you want it you can coat the whole thing in Mod Podge. If you didn’t get some sections smoothed out how you wanted it this is a good time to fix it. The Mod Podge will fill in those cracks and make for a smoother final painted finish. Add as many layers as you think you need.
13. After the Mod Podge has dried you’re ready for paint! I used a black spray paint for the wings. Spray paint outside or in a well ventilated area and wear a mask if needed so you don’t breathe in any of the paint fumes.
14. While the paint dries you can make the head band. I used a white scale vinyl fabric from YaYa Han’s collection and painted it green with acrylic paints for the part that will be seen on my forehead. I sewed a black elastic band for the back that goes under my wig. Using 2 sets, a total of 4 magnets, I set them in place on the elastic to line up with the magnets on the wings. I stacked up on magnets since it makes them stronger and harder for them to slip and fall off during wear.
15. Now that the spray paint is dry, look the wings over and check if you need a second layer of paint. You can now add painted details. I decided on making a grey detailing on the top half of the wings since Ryuko’s wings are two toned.
Now on to the eye cover/claw!
Materials needed: Eye Cover
Worbla’s Black Art
2mm EVA Foam
Heat Gun and Heat Gloves
Silver Spray Paint
Rare Earth Magnets 1inch
1. First you’re going to want to measure your head and face to help determine how long and wide you want the eye cover to be. The first claw covers her eye completely, so keep that in mind. For mine, I decided on making the largest claw about 11 inches long, about 10 inches for the second, 8 inches for the third then just under 8 inches for the fourth. In the first image the measurements I used are shown for one half of each claw. You’ll need to cut out two of each size, one for the top half and one for the bottom half.
2. For the sides of the claws you need to curve the triangles you just cut out to help get the right shape. The claws curve against your face, so this part is important to get the correct shape and fit. You can either use your heat gun to gently heat up the foam, or run it through your fingers a few times. To help me find the curve I wanted, I held the triangle up to my face and my wig stand as a visual. The top triangles need to curve a little more than the bottom ones Once you’ve gotten the curve you want, you’ll want to trace the curve on a sheet of paper two times for each top claw and two more times for each bottom claw. The top sections and the bottom sections of the claws will have slightly different curves, so be sure to mark them as you go. Also as you cut out the curved sections, mark them as you go too and place them in a neat pile or next to the triangle they belong too so it’s easier to keep track.
3. After you’ve cut everything out it’s time to line all the pieces up and get glueing! I used contact cement for this and left an edge on the top to give the claws a machined look. For the bottom sections of the claws you’ll need to go back in with your scissors or Exacto Blade to cut out a small section. This allows you to insert the bottom triangle under the top triangle. This helps the two triangles lay flush against each other. I used contact cement again and then I used fabric clips to hold the two triangles of the claws together as the glue set.
4. Now we get to use the Worbla Black art! It has two sides, so be sure to put the shiny side down against the foam since that’s the sticky side. I’ve found that both sides are sticky to some extent and both sides are smoother than the original Worbla formula which has a textured side and a smooth side. Be sure to have your heat gloves ready for this part as well. You’ll want a section of Worbla that is slightly larger than the claw you’re working on. You want to be able to cover the sides and have enough to fold over the edge. Don’t worry if you cut too large of a section! It’s easy to cut and the pieces can be reused for patches, or even heated up and rolled into a ball then flattened into another ‘like new’ sheet! Nothing has to go to waste! However, as you’re heating up the Worbla be careful not to heat it up too much, or you can burn it and melt it. Too much heat can also warp and damage the foam and glue of the piece you’re working to cover. Once you’ve gotten a section of the Worbla warmed up and it is pliable, take the back of your Exacto blade, pen, or some other small tool to help press the Worbla into all those details you just cut out. Worbla also stretches a little so don’t be afraid to give it a little tug in a direction to get more coverage.
5. You did it! You have all 4 claws covered in Worbla Black Art, yay! Now we have to glue the claws together so that they are one solid prop. This is going to take a lot of finagling and a lot of those fabric clips to figure out the right positioning of the claws. I think I tried out about 10 different possible positions before I found one that looked and felt good on my face. I also left the back of the claws hollow so that your eye can fit in the back of the larger one and this also saves on weight. Worbla is amazing, but it can be a little on the heavy side, especially for something going on your face.
6. After you’ve found the right positioning for the claws that works best for your face and have glued them in place, you’ll have to add rare earth magnets to the inside to keep the claws against your head band. I just made two little bridges and put the magnets on the inside. The other set of magnets are going on the inside of my head band (see above). I tried other magnets, but they weren’t strong enough to hold up the claws and hold up to me moving my head around a lot.
7. Now you have a set of black claws. You need to cover them in mod podge or wood glue before painting. This helps the paint adhere to the prop and also allows you to smooth out any small bumps and texture you might have gotten on the Worbla.
8. When spray painting make sure you are outside or in a well ventilated place. I was out in my garage with the door open while spray painting. I was also wearing a mask to make sure that I wasn’t accidentally breathing in any of the fumes. I did two layers to make sure I got everything covered, front and back.
9. Details! More details! That’s what brings a prop to life, right? So once the spray paint was dry and ready to come in, I dry brushed black against the ridges. This helps to give the claws a bit of a weathered look but still keep its shine like metal.
10. You’re done! Put it all together and admire all that hard work you just did! Isn’t it amazing what some foam and plastic can make?
The fantastic ThermoCosplay used Worbla’s Kobracast Art for her amazing Yojimbo costume, and shared a complete breakdown with us on her process from armor to sewing to painting and details! It’s such a hugs writeup we broke it down into two parts!
This page covers
1: Pauldrons 2: Sword 3: Breast Plate and Shirt 4: Hat 5: Painting
Take a look at how she created her fantastic cosplay below!
I have always enjoyed Final Fantasy X. The characters, the story, the ART…it is all so inspiring. When Sunset Dragon Designs released a female drawing for Yojimbo I HAD to create it. I knew I wanted to make some modifications so I used Sunset Dragon’s Art AND some Concept Art from Square Product Development.
I started this build in October of 2018 and finished (or THOUGHT I finished it) in March of 2019. I made A LOT of modifications to it between March 2019 and May 2019 (I will discuss why). There are still some changes I want to make (wearing this for 10 hours taught me some things) but it is an overall success in my book.
Estimated Cost for making this outfit = $400
Final Budget = $400
So enough about me, let’s get to it!
Here are some things you will need to make this costume…
Americana Fabric Paint Textile Medium (so you can make your own fabric paint)
A pair of opaque blue tights
A pair of red platform sandals
Black Flat Nylon Belt Webbing (at least 1/2 a yard)
Wide Gold Vinyl Trim (3-6 yards)
Red Bias Tape (2 Double Fold Wide Packages)
Narrow Gold Vinyl Trim (1-3 yards)
1 yard of purple ribbon
A wavy green lace front wig
Additional materials may appear in each section as I review the methods for creating this outfit.
Step 1: Pauldrons
For those visual learners in the crowd I have included a video that summarizes this process above. Below you will find the written version…
EVA Foam (2 mm and 6 mm)
Worbla’s KobraCast Art (sponsored by CosplaySupplies)
Foam-Mo Foam Clay
Paints (we’ll chat about that in section 5)
I start by cutting out strips of EVA foam so I can build up the shape of the pauldrons. Yojimbo’s pauldrons have a mix of soft and hard surface modeling so I had to find a method of balancing that by layering my strips in angles. I laid out the strip design in foam first (using painter’s tape as a stabilizer). Once I had the shape I wanted I took one strip of foam at a time, wrapped it in Worbla’s KobraCast Art (using a heat gun on a low setting to heat the material so it was malleable) then held it in the curve I wanted until it cooled.
Worbla’s KobraCast Art adheres to itself so, when warm, you can stick parts to one another. This made assembling the pauldrons a lot faster and easier than expected. I will warn that this thermoplastic has a MUCH LOWER heat activation than typical Worbla’s Original Art. Be sure to test a few bits out. Thankfully it is just as reusable as the Original Art so if you mess up, just heat the piece up, roll it out, flatten it and let it cool.
To fill in gaps/holes I used Foam-Mo Air Dry Foam Clay. It will be a bit squishy after it dries but it is much faster then trying to use Bondo, Wood Filler or Caulking.
Once I had both pauldrons assembled wanted to smooth out the surface. Worbla’s KobraCast Art, when stretched, creates this mesh texture. It also stretches REALLY far so there were a few bumps where I had knicked it or accidentally stuck it to something and stretched it out. To solve this problem I watered down KwikSeal in a paint palette then painted on a thin coat of the silicone sealant. I allowed this product to dry for 12 hours before applying two thin coats of wood glue. Allow your wood glue to dry overnight (8 hours) before proceeding with Plasti-Dip.
You DO NOT have to Plasti-Dip. I like doing this as it creates a clean painting surface for me. It also helps me add shadows.
And that’s it. We’ll discuss painting the pauldrons in Section 5 but I will say I used one coat of Metallic Gold Spray Paint and a WHOLE LOT of Metallic Gold Acrylic, Black and Red Paints.
Step 2: Sword
Dremel or Rotary Tool
Sand Paper or Sanding Stone
Marker or Drawing Implement
Ruler or Yard Stick
4 MM and 6 MM EVA Foam
Foam-Mo Foam Clay
Worbla’s KobraCast Art (sold by www.cosplaysupplies.com)
2x2x4 made of lightweight wood or other composite material
Acrylic Paints (discussed in section 5)
2 or 3 mm Sintra
Respirator / Goggles / Gloves
For starters, I measured my height from below my chin to my feet. This gave me the proper length of the sword (since Yojimbo’s sword is about as high as his chin). Next I cut out 1 piece of sintra that matched the height and width of my 2x2x4 piece of composite wood. I used the Sintra to add more height to the top portion of the wood composite (double or triple your Sintra for strength). The Sintra is secured to the wood with Contact Cement (I used two long pieces to overlap with the Sintra Handle and Composite Wood Blade for stability).
Now that I had the length correct I created a flat oval disc from foam and cut a slit into. This slid up to where I wanted my handle and sword to join. This would be where I created the guard on the sword. Once I was certain all adhesives were cured, I drew a curve onto the bottom of the sword for the blade and used a dremel to sand down the sides (NOTE: check with your local events to determine how “sharp” an edge may be). My edges were created to look dulled so they are considered con safe in my state. To remove the excess wood composite at the bottom, I used a cutting bit on my dremel (see this in the attached video).
Next I used a sanding stone to smooth out all rough edges and add a bit more definition to the handle. Please wear safety gear (respirator, gloves and goggles) when sanding, cutting and using power tools.
For the guard I used Foam-Mo and built up the shape. Next I use Painter’s Tape to create a pattern which I transferred onto 4 MM foam. Finally, I wrapped the foam around the Foam-Mo and secured it with contact cement.
For the detail on the handle I followed these steps…
Wrap the handle in 4 mm foam (for padding)
Cut a BUNCH of scallops or half circles out from Worbla’s KobrCast Art the match the width of the handle and are about 2-3 inches high at the arch.
Use a heat gun to warm up a scallop/half circle and stretch it around the handle
Repeat this step in a series of staggered patterns until you have the entire handle wrapped in Worbla’s KobraCast Art
Apply the pommel design with foam or Worbla’s KobraCast Art
When all items are created on the sword apply one thin coat of wood glue to the entire prop. Allow it to dry 3-4 hours before applying 1-2 coats of Plasti-Dip. Then you can paint the sword with acrylics, spray paint or airbrush paints.
Step 3: Breast Plate and Shirt
SUPPLIES / TOOLS
Worbla’s KobraCast Art (sponsored by CosplaySupplies)
Breast Form and/or Mannequin and/or Yourself
Marker or Drawing Implement
4 Way Stretch Gold Spandex
Sewing Machine & Hot Glue Gun (high temp)
Gorilla Glue Hot Glue
Fabric Paint Textile Medium
This was A LOT of fun to make. To get the shape correct you MUST have something with breasts on it (or a chest for the male persuasion). I am not overly busty and the female version of Yojimbo is VERY busty. So to pull this off I purchased a Breast Plate from BoobsForBoys on Etsy. The Breast Plate is made for men so I had to pull out a little bit of expanding foam from the back (this allowed my own breasts to sit behind the plate without warping its shape). I attached the breast plate to a sports bra for comfort and used makeup to have it match my skin tone.
You can avoid this complication if you ARE busty OR if you don’t plan on making large breast armor. Using Saran Wrap and Painter’s tape, you can create your own shape. I placed my breast plate on my dress form then wrapped it gently in Saran Wrap. Next, I tore off strips of Painter’s Tape and slowly applied it in layers on the breast plate until both breasts were fully covered. If you have done this correctly the breast shape should still exist (DO NOT wrap the tape around as it compresses breast/skin and will shrink your measurements).
I drew on my Breast plate pattern with a marker then carefully cut out the back side of the saran wrap so I could gently pull off the full pattern without losing its shape. Next I cut out the pattern, transferred it to Worbla’s KobraCast Art, cut the pattern out on the thermoplastic and FINALLY taped it to my breast plate for adjustment.
Once I was happy with the shape I pinned the thermoplastic to the back side of some 4 way stretch gold fabric and sewed along the outside of the Worbla’s KobraCast Art (do NOT sew on the thermoplastic). Once you have a thread barrier created, cut off the excess spandex. Next, get your hot glue gun and carefully wrap the spandex around the edge of the thermoplastic (gluing as you go). Since Worbla’s KobraCast Art IS heat activated you may have some warping occur. DON’T WORRY, this will cool and be hidden under the spandex.
When I finished covering my Worbla’s KobraCast Art in spandex I let it cool as I quickly sewed a tank top. If you don’t know how to do this, just use any old tank top, lay it out on your fabric of choice, and trace the pattern. Stretch stitch the sides and you’re done! OR you can buy a tank top and not be all extra like me (seriously, buying a tank top is absolutely ok).
With my tank top ready I pinned the breast plate to it then added stitches along the underside. Finally, I used MORE Gorilla Glue Hot Glue to secure it to the shirt. Now that it was secure I was able to cut away the center of the shirt to create a boob window (the armor acts as a stabilizer).
The final steps are as follows…
Grab your Fabric Textile Paint Medium
Grab your acrylic paints
Mix your acrylic paint 1:1 with the medium
Congrats! You just made fabric paint!
Now paint your booby armor!
Allow it to dry for 24-48 hours
Heat seal it with a heat gun (6-12 inches away)
The textile paint medium allows you to turn acrylic paint into fabric paint. This means your clothing is MACHINE WASHABLE. Now, I would suggest avoiding washing thermoplastic but if you must please wash on cold and air dry. You can also clean cosplays that are delicate with a mixture of 1 part Vodka, 1 part Water and 1 part fabric softener. This disinfects and freshens your cosplay.
Step 4: Hat
SUPPLIES / TOOLS
Dollar store serving tray (oval or circle)
2 MM and 4 MM EVA Foam
Cutting Shears or Utility Knife
Gorilla Glue Super Glue Gel
Hot Glue Gun (high temp)
Gorilla Glue Hot Glue
Marker or Drawing Implement
Rare Earth Magnets
Rubberban with plastic case
This is actually VERY simple to create. So here we go…
Take your dinner plate and trim off any excess material so the oval/circle only has a very small “brim”
Wrap your plate in 2 MM EVA foam (use a heat gun to help mold it and wear safety equipment)
Cut out 2 circles (4 inch diameter and 2 inch diameter)
Cut out a BUNCH of strips (how many depends on you – mine were 2 inches wide by 12 inches long and I had 12 of them) in 4 MM foam
Place the 4 inch diameter circle in the center and glue it down with super glue gel OR hot glue
Place the strips around the circle evenly (I used painter’s tape to figure out the placement of mine before gluing them down)
Glue down your strips (make sure they wrap over the brim so you can see them on top and in front)
Place the 2 inch diameter circle on top of the center circle
Cut out 12 1.5 diameter circles (I used a sewing thread bobbin)
Glue your small circles onto the front brim of each strip (one per strip)
Use your Heat Gun to Seal the foam
Wig / Clips / Securement
Take your wig and give it a high bun (I used a bun clip to create this)
Add your hair clip to the bun and glue on 2 rare earth magnets to the clip
Take your metal washer and glue OR sew it onto the front of your wig (right at the hair line)
Place the hat on top of the head at an angle and use a marker to mark where you need to glue magnets onto the hat
Use the marks and glue 2 magnets to each section.
That’s it! Next is painting. Be sure to do the following…
Cover your magnets in painter’s tape
Plasti-Dip the hat so your paint has a smooth surface to paint on
Use Spray Paint and/or acrylic paint to create your design
Version #1 of my hat only had red and gold paint. I added purple and blues to it later which punched up the color and effect.
Step 5: Painting
The video pretty much covers it all but here are the supplies and steps just in case you don’t have time to watch :)
SUPPLIES / TOOLS
Acrylic Paints (in a variety of colors)
Seal with one coat of wood glue (use paint brush)
Seal with one THIN coat of KwikSeal (wear respirator and gloves, use paint brush)
Seal with one more coat of wood glue
Apply one coat of Black Plasti-Dip (wear respirator and goggles)
Paint gold using Metallic Folk Art
Shade with reds, coppers and black (dry brush method)
Seal with High Gloss Mod Podge OR Plasti-Dip
NOTE: In hot climates the Plasti-Dip Glossifier FAILS spectacularly. Use Mod Podge if your average temperature is over 80 degrees Fahrenheit
Apply 1-2 coats of wood glue
Apply 1-2 coats of black Plasti-Dip
Paint using Acrylics and/or spray paint
Seal with Mod Podge High Gloss Spray Sealant
Apply 1-2 coats of Plasti-Dip
Paint using acrylics and/or spray paint
Seal with Matte Mod Podge Spray Sealant
Mix acrylic paint 1 part to 1 part with Fabric Textile Paint Medium
Allow fabric to dry for 24-48 hours
Heat seal with Heat Gun (6-12 inches away – quick once over)
NOTE: 3/4 of the way through the video is a recording breaking down HOW I painted the pauldrons.
The fantastic ThermoCosplay used Worbla’s Kobracast Art for her amazing Yojimbo costume, and shared a complete breakdown with us on her process from armor to sewing to painting and details! It’s such a hugs writeup we broke it down into two parts! You can find part 1 here.
This page covers 6: Capelet 7: Skirts 8: Belt and Bandages 9: Armor Attachment and Getting Dressed 10: Testing Fit and Appearance and Final Thoughts
Step 6: Capelet
SUPPLIES / TOOLS
1 yard of stretch polyester in purple
1.5 yards of ombre 4 way stretch YaYa Han Fabric in orange
.25 yards of gold vinyl trim
1 gold snap
Gold or Yellow bias tape
Tulip Aerosol Fabric Paint
Gorilla Glue Hot Glue & Glue Gun
For the capelet I wanted some structure underneath for support. I created a purple bolero. I used an old button up shirt as my pattern but you can follow THIS TUTORIAL for more on how to sew a bolero. You could also just buy a purple shirt and cut/alter it to become a bolero following THIS METHOD.
For the capelet itself I folded a 1.5 yard of fabric length wise and sewed down the middle. Then I folded it width wise and sewed the edges together (be sure the fabric is inside out). I left a small opening so I could flip it so the outside ombre was visible and I sewed up the little hole.
Next I sewed and glue the capelet to the bolero collar area, leaving some room for the gold design work that I created from scraps of vinyl trim.
After wearing this once (and getting professional photographs) I DID NOT like how vibrant the color was. I mean, Yojimbo is ANCIENT and he lives in a CAVE. So, I laid the capelet on a tarp outside and proceeded to spray horizontal lines across in different colors. I started with a light, glittering gold then moved on to a deep red, next was a deep purple and finally I used the gold again to blend the lines and edges.
The paint needed 12 hours to dry but once it settled NO GLITTER ESCAPED. That was AMAZING because glitter is scary to work with. Finally, I added bias tape to the collar and installed a snap at the hollow of my neck seam so I could easily remove the garment.
Step 7: Skirts
SUPPLIES / TOOLS
4.5 yards of deep purplish navy bridal satin
4.5 yards of red stretch knit polyester (heavy weight)
1 yard of metallic burgundy
3 packages of red bias tape (double fold wide)
2 yards of gold performance fabric
1 package of blue bias tape (double fold wide)
3 yards of gold vinyl trim
1 yard of purple polyester
LOTS OF THREAD
Fabric Clips and/or Pins
Double Sided Velcro (Sew on)
Ok, this looks SUPER intimidating but it wasn’t THAT hard. It’s just A LOT of measuring and A LOT of clipping/pinning.
Outer Skirt 1. Go to THIS SITE and calculate a circle skirt. The over skirt is a FULL LENGTH circle skirt. That means you MUST get fabric that is 60″ or wider or you won’t have the proper length. If you can’t find wider fabric then be prepared to add fabric to the bottom (which you have to do with this design anyways as the bottom is red). 2. You will need to create a Maxi length circle skirt in both the purple satin and red stretch (red is the lining and trim/bottom while purple is the outside). 3. Clip the waist of both together so the red is inside and the purple outside. Cut a line down the front center then pin your skirt to your dress form OR yourself (be careful). 4. Create pleats at the back so the front opening widens. 5. Take off the skirt and create the bottom trim (Mine is 4 inches tall) 6. Clip/pin the trim to the bottom and sew (DO NOT SEW THE WAIST YET) 7. Once you have the bottom and front side sewn, flip the fabric inside out so your seams are hidden. 8. Sew the waist by folding the fabric in and using a straight stitch at the top (this also sews your pleats in)
Inner Skirt 1. Create a 1/2 circle skirt using the metallic burgundy fabric and the purple polyester 2. Sew the bottom and edges together (leaving the front and waist open) 3. Sew bias tape everywhere except the waist (red bias)
Waist Belt 1. Using the remaining metallic burgundy fabric, create a waist band 4 inches tall by whatever your waist length is + 3″. 2. Pin/Clip the inner skirt to the waist band and sew it on (do not start at the edge, you need 1.5″ on either side available in the front) 3. Pin/Clip the Outer skirt to the waist band and sew it on (ditto) 4. Where the excess 1.5″ on either side is sew on velcro. (under side for one flap and outer side for other flap) 5. Try on your skirt using velcro to keep it on
Underskirt 1. Measure your hips and draw a straight line on the fabric that matches that measurement 2. Make sure the skirt is as long as the over skirt (to your feet) 3. Cut out long rectangle 4. Hem bottom 5. Apply blue bias to front sides 6. Use velcro to create wrap around skirt style (should be big enough if you matched your hip measurements)
Final Details 1. Add gold Trim to outer skirt front edges using gold vinyl 2. Add small details using gold vinyl to inner skirt 3. Spray fabric with metallic gold tulip glitter spray
Step 8: Belt and Bandages
SUPPLIES / TOOLS
1 yard of 4 way stretch nude spandex
.5 yards of polycotton blend in red
Iron On Gold Vinyl
Red Bias Tape (single fold)
Paint Brushes / Sponges
Fabric Paint Textile Medium
Acrylic Paints (brown and black)
Interfacing (mid weight)
Bias Tape Red (double fold wide)
Plain Scissors or Exacto Blade
Bandages / Waist
For the waist “bandages” I took a full yard of 4 way stretch nude spandex and made sure the width matched my waist measurement. I folded the fabric in half and sewed along all edges except where the two ends were to meet. I flipped the fabric inside out (so there were no raw edges) and sewed the two opposing sides together. When sewing I pulled the fabric taught so it would create pleating when I slid it onto the dress form. Essentially you are creating a tube with your folded over fabric.
Since the bandages are meant to look bloodied and old I used the Fabric Paint Textile Medium mixed 1:1 with acrylic paints. I watered down the fabric paint so I could layer the color and “soot” texture on the fabric. Once it was painted I allowed it to dry for 24 hours before machine washing it so it was soft when worn.
Crotch Cover Thing
For the front flap thing (I really don’t know what to call this…it’s not really a Sporran although it resembles one) I took .5 a yard of fabric and doubled it up (so I would not have to sew lining, the back WAS the lining). Next I drew a oblong shape and cut it out. I added some fabric interfacing to the top then sewed all sides except the top. I flipped the fabric inside out (so the interfacing was now inside) and used bias tape to seal the top.
Next I drew the swirly patterns onto some Siserweed iron on vinly in gold and cut them out. I carefully laid the patterns onto the fabric and ironed them on (be sure to use parchment paper on top of the iron on vinyl as direct contact with an iron can melt it). Once ironed on I added details with a purple sharpie and put velcro on the back.
To attach the “sporran” to the “bandages” I used spare Double Fold Wide Bias Tape in red and wrapped it around my waist twice. At the front I added velcro so everything could secure together
Step 9: Armor Attachment & Getting Dressed
This is fairly easy. For the Pauldrons I used Nylon Belt Webbing and attached a 3 inch long strip to either side of the bolero shoulder under the capelet. Then I cut a small slit in the capelet on each shoulder and slid the webbing through. I glued on some velcro to the webbing and also added velcro to the Pauldron. Please see the 30 second video explaining how I did this for visuals or check out the image above.
This outfit includes the following parts…
1. Hat 2. Wig 3. Hair Accessories (just clip in) 4. 2 Pauldrons 5. Bolero with attached capelet 6. Two Fingerless Yellow Opera Gloves 7. Tank top with attached Breast Plate 8. Breast Form 9. Waist “bandages” 10. Waist Belt Sporran Thing 11. Over Skirt with attached inner skirt 12. Under Skirt 13. Blue Opaque Tights 14. Geta 15. One Sword
Please watch the video above showing how I attach/wear all of these pieces.
Step 10: Testing Fit and Appearance
I met my goal of completing this costume by March of 2019 however; after have professional photos taken of it I realized it was missing that Final Fantasy Grunge. So I made the following modifications between March and May of 2019…
1. I added MORE shading to the skirts. I even painted the INSIDE of them. 2. I painted the waist bandages as they were too plain. 3. I added MORE COLOR to the hat and increased the magnet count for stability. 4. I created a scabbard for my sword using scrap fabric and foam. 5. I painted the capelet with a more dingy gradient. 6. I changed the sealant on the pauldrons to Gloss Mod Podge after the Plasti-Dip Glossifier failed. 7. I changed my tights to blue from black for more color. 8. I changed my face makeup (and still plan on adding more detail the next go around). 9. I re-styled the wig and raised the bun up higher so the hat had a better tilt when I tipped my head down. 10. I added a waist pouch.
These improvements made moving around in this costume easier, increased my love for its design and truly met the vision I had in my head.
Final thoughts? Well…I WANT TO WEAR IT AGAIN.
It was a TERRIFIC costume. I decided to NEVER WEAR GETA again. They broke while I was competing and I BARELY avoided face planting in front of hundreds of people. I have platform Geta inspired sandals that are MUCH safer that I will stick to.
I also want to add MORE White and Orange to my face paint. I want to mimic Yojimbo’s mask from the game.
I also want to meet MORE Final Fantasy cosplayers.
Honestly…ALL positives. I learned lessons but they were worth. I also cannot stress enough how WONDERFUL COSPLAYSUPPLIES is. Seriously, go give them some love :)
If you haven’t seen the video for K/DA – POP/STARS, you’re missing out on some fantastic music and designs of everyone’s favorite League of Legends characters, including Ahri and her glowing nine tails.
Stella Chuu recently used TranspArt and cellophane to create her tails, and shared the process with us. You can also find the pattern for her design for sale on her Etsy if you want to try making your own!
Ivorivet created this stunning wig for her Amethyst from Houseki no Kuni, achieving a glossy, crystalline look. She shared her process with us below!
I just got back from Cosplay America in Raleigh, NC and I’m really excited to share how my Amethyst wig turned out! I watched Houseki no Kuni after seeing a bunch of lovely pictures of people cosplaying from it, and once I finished the show I started kicking around a few ideas of how I could make a wig that had a glass-like finish like the way the 3D models are rendered.
Using iridescent cellophane and other shiny materials for the gems’ wigs is not something that’s new, and I had the benefit of seeing how a lot of other people completed their wigs so I could see how things translated to real life. A couple of really lovely cosplayers I drew inspiration from before I started making my own wig are Kleiner Pixel, Schmemy Cosplay, Taaarte, and Sorairo Days.
A neat twist on the cellophane technique that I wanted to try out was to incorporate compound curves into the wig to make things look more organic. Cellophane is usually sold in rolls or flat sheets and is difficult to manipulate into curved shapes. My solution for that was to use a clear thermoplastic called TranspArt as a “carrier” for the cellophane, which provided enough support that I was able to glue the cellophane down into more organic shapes. An added bonus is that the TranspArt is shiny itself and really made the whole of the wig look super slick and glassy. I picked Amethyst’s wig to test out this technique on because she has a very round head and also a distinct stop at the end of her hairline because of the braid that’s wrapped around her head. I might try to adapt this to other gems in the future, but for this time around it was really nice knowing I had the braid to help disguise the ends of the TranspArt.
For the outside of the horizontal highlights: Prismcrafts Colored Iridescent Wrap in Purple (it appears as though this seller is out of stock of the purple now, but it’s very similar to the Purely Gates sheets above except a little thinner and more transparent)
Pattex contact cement (Tacky Glue would have worked fine here too, I just had this stuff around and was looking for an excuse to try it out)
Purple craft felt
I also used the following tools for this project:
Metal baking sheet
Frog tape/painters tape
Got2B Freeze spray
Nail polish remover/acetone
Plastic Christmas ornament on a wig stand – this was to help stretch curves in the TranspArt, any other convex curve will do
Head cast – I did most of my styling on a slightly distorted resin head cast that I made a couple years ago. You absolutely do NOT need one to make a houseki wig, but I have a very deep curvature at the name of my neck that is not shaped like any of the wig heads I own (my chiropractor says this is a problem, yay!). Since I wanted the back of the wig to be as fitted as possible to the nape of my neck, I decided to use the head cast as a base since I already had it made. If I didn’t have it, I could have used a box cutter to modify a styrofoam wig head to the same effect.
Prepping the Base Wig
The first step was to cut and style the base wig. The Dark Lavender color from Arda was pretty close to what I wanted but I was worried it might look a little dull, so I dyed the base wig and the wefts with a very dilute bath of RIT Dyemore in red to warm up the color a bit. I straightened the wig and wefts back out again using a blow dryer to direct heat down the lengths of the fibers as I brushed them out with a wig brush.
To give myself a guide to determine where hair needed to stop (and later act as a backing where the braid would be sewn on), I used some purple craft felt to extend the cap of the wig. I put the wig on and then slid the felt between the wig and my head, marked with a sharpie where I wanted the felt to end, and used straight pins to hold it in place. After that I took the whole thing off my head, sewed the felt to the wig with a needle and thread, and then trimmed the excess felt off.
The Grace was longer than I needed it to be but it was the only wig that was available in the color I wanted that wasn’t on backorder, haha. There was a lot of extra hair that needed to be cut off, but I found the added length made things easier when I was teasing out the wig. I sectioned the wig with alligator clips, started teasing the sections of hair, hitting them with some heat from a blow dryer to kink the fibers, brushing them out, teasing again, etc. until I got the volume I wanted. I did a blunt cut of the wig hair about 2 inches past the felt and then used thinning shears to feather the ends up until the ends of the sections were even with the felt. A lot of Got2B hairspray and blow drying later and I had the base style done!
I knew that during this process I would have to handle and roll the wig around at a lot of different angles which would cause the styling I just did to fall out, so to reinforce the bottom edge of the wig I ran a bead of Pattex glue over the edges of the hair and squished it into the fibers/felt with my fingers. Tacky Glue would have also worked in this situation but the Pattex dries faster and I wanted an excuse to try it out.
Adding the TranspArt
The next step of the project was to create a TranspArt shell that would sit on the exterior of the wig. To figure out what shapes I had to cut out, I used strips of painters tape and stuck them to the vertical sections I had previously styled. The tape barely stuck to the hair, which was nice for removal but not so much for when I was creating the patterns. I had to use a couple of straight pins to hold the tape in place for some of the sections. This particular wig had 18 strips – I made sure to number them and also indicate which side was up.
The nice thing about the painters tape is that it was super easy to stick onto the TranspArt sheet to determine the cutting layout. I gave myself a few millimeters of extra room around each template, but things ended up being pretty tight on a medium sheet (20″x30″). If you want to do a gem with longer hair than Amethyst, it would probably be a good idea to get a large sheet. Once I cut out all the TranspArt pieces, I was able to peel off the templates and stick them to my wall for storage and easy access for when I needed them again.
The next step was to tint the TranspArt to a slight purple shade so it would blend in with the wig. I made a very dilute dye bath with a mix of the red and purple RIT Dyemore and did test pieces until I figured out how to get the translucency and color that I wanted. To avoid over-dyeing the TranspArt I ended up dunking the pieces in one at a time for about 20 seconds per piece. To keep the pieces from getting mixed up, I made sure to re-label them with painters tape as soon as I had rinsed them off and dried them. I also dyed the larger scraps of TranspArt just in case I needed a backup piece. (Eventually I’d like to use the backup pieces to add TranspArt to the braid as well, but that’s another mini project.)
To mold the TranspArt into the correct shape, I set up my work space with a metal baking sheet in front of me, a heat gun, a small bowl of ice cubes, and a plastic Christmas ornament on a wig stand. I followed these rough steps to form each TranspArt carrier to the correct shape:
Heat up the whole carrier until it is soft enough to be tugged into a relatively flat shape. It’s probably still a little wonky from the dye bath. Allow it to cool to the point where it’s no longer stretchable.
Heat up only the center of the carrier, trying to avoid the outer edges as much as possible. The goal is to make the center malleable while leaving the edges as cool as you can so they will stretch less.
Immediately stretch the center of the carrier over the Christmas ornament to start forming the compound curve.
Pin the top of the carrier to the wig head over the area where you want it to lie, and clip the bottom of the carrier to the end of your hair section. This will help it to form a curve in the general shape that you need. The carrier will be a little too large at this point and also the edges won’t be curved in too much – this is okay. Allow it to completely cool.
While the carrier is cooling from the last step, use a sharpie marker to trace the exact outline of the hair section onto the TranspArt to use as a cutting guide. You can use a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover/acetone to remove these marks at any time, so don’t be shy about where you mark things. It’s also a good time to write whatever number the piece is directly onto it so you can get rid of the painters tape labels.
Remove the carrier from the wig and cut the excess TranspArt off the edges of the carrier, following your guideline from the previous step.
To tuck the edges of the carrier in even more and really exaggerate the compound curve, use your heat gun to heat up a small length of the very edge of the carrier. A rough guideline to use is that you want to heat up about 2″ of the edge, going only 1/4″ of the way into the piece. This will make the edges flexible and able to be tucked in while preserving the overall shape of the carrier that you established in the previous steps.
While the edge of the carrier is flexible, hold the piece so the concave side is facing you and the heated edge of the carrier is pointing down. Press the heated edge against the baking sheet and gently roll the carrier towards you, using your thumbs to press into the curve to exaggerate it more. In the pictures below I’m only using one hand because the other is holding my camera, but it’s easier when you can use both of your thumbs.
When you’ve got the shape you want, you can either let it cool on its own, which is suuuuper slow and boring, or you can greatly speed up the process by running an ice cube along the edge a couple times. This will eventually create a cold pool of water that can be used to cool things as well.
Work your way around the edges of the piece, heating up small sections at a time and using the ice cubes/cold water to cool them. Try not to let the center of the carrier become too flexible – every so often hold the carrier up against the wig to make sure your overall shape hasn’t become distorted.
Once your carrier is molded into the right shape, pin it to the wig and keep it there. This will help you figure out how to trim the other carriers so that there isn’t too much overlap between them.
Here’s what my wig looked like once I had all the carriers molded into their correct shapes:
At this point I used a sharpie marker to mark where I wanted all of the horizontal highlights to go. (For those of you who spent all of middle/high school drawing 90’s anime hair, NOW IS YOUR TIME TO SHINE.) With the carriers on the wig, I was able to create a continuous highlight strip all around the wig and know exactly where to place the cellophane for it later.
Adding the Cellophane
Having the carriers and painters tape templates available for me to draw on made it very easy to draw specific shapes and cut them out of cellophane for particular parts of the wig. I started out with the horizontal highlights and used two iridescent types of cellophane for them (see materials list above). Using the general marks I had made to indicate where the horizontal highlight would go on each carrier, I put painters tape over the outer surface/convex side of the carrier and drew a more detailed version of each highlight, then removed the painters tape and stuck it to my cutting mat. Then I placed my cellophane over the painters tape, and using a light cutting pressure, cut a matching shape out of the cellophane with an X-acto knife. I did this twice, cutting out a slightly larger piece the second time to help soften the edges of the highlight. The painters tape template was peeled off my cutting mat and discarded.
To attach the cellophane highlights to the TranspArt carrier, I used Elmer’s spray adhesive and applied everything to the underside/concave side of the carrier. I first put down the small horizontal highlight, then the large one, using the sharpie marks as an indicator of where I should place things. I really like this technique because the sharpie marks and the cellophane go on opposite sides of the carrier, which allowed me to wipe off the sharpie marks later without touching the cellophane. It also helps to protect the cellophane from getting peeled off, since it was sandwiched between the wig and the carriers.
The spray adhesive is initially very tacky but gets less so after it dries for about 24 hours, so it’s best to apply the cellophane to the carrier as soon as you hit it with the adhesive and smooth it out as much as you can to get rid of wrinkles and air bubbles.
To make the vertical highlights, I used a metallic purple mylar and a slightly more opaque non-iridescent cellophane. My large painters tape templates were looking pretty haggard at this point, but I was still able to use them as a cutting guide for these. I sketched a couple of large vertical swoops on them, placed the cellophane/mylar on top, and cut some strips out. Unlike with the horizontal highlights where I went one carrier at a time, I found that with these vertical highlights it was easier to work with 3-4 carriers at a time so I didn’t have to move the large cellophane/mylar sheets that I had to tape down on top of the cutting templates.
I then used the Elmer’s spray adhesive to attach the highlights to the concave side of the carriers, pretty much the same as before.
Making the Braid and Assembling the Wig
Initially when I planned to make this wig, I wanted to make little eye-shaped TranspArt bits to go over each section of braid, but I ran out of time before the con. (This has never happened to me before, ever. Not at ALL.) Instead what I ended up doing was cutting several strips of the iridescent and dark purple cellophane and incorporating them into each third of the braid, which gave it enough of a shiny look to blend in with the TranspArt portion of the wig. I also got super lucky and had JUST enough hair in Arda’s long wefts to wrap around the wig and have the braid end exactly where I wanted it to. I used Pattex glue and a little bit of hot glue on the backside of the braid ends to create a smooth taper on both ends.
To make it easier to sew the braid down to the wig, I decided to give myself a felt backing similar to what I had done before. I cut a few strips of felt that were slightly smaller in width than the braid, pinned them around the wig head where I wanted to place the braid, and tacked them together with hot glue. I removed the felt from around the wig, and attached the braid to the felt using more hot glue.
Next came attaching everything to the base wig! I removed all the carriers from the wig and kept them stored in the correct order by pinning them to a second wig head. Then I took one at a time and pinned it back on the base wig, pulled the wig off the wig head, sewed the top end of the carrier to the wig, then put the wig back on the wig head to make sure it was sewn in the correct place before moving onto the next carrier. Once all the carriers were attached to the top of the wig, I did the same thing for the bottom edge of the carriers, making sure my thread actually went through the felt at the bottom edge of the wig to form a TranspArt/wig hair/felt sandwich. Attaching the braid went the same way – I strategically pinned it down on the wig head, carefully removed the wig and braid from the wig head with the pins still in place, and sewed through both layers of felt as I worked my way around the periphery of the wig.
At this point, it was ready to wear!
Care and Maintenance
For those of you who followed my Instagram stories over the weekend of Cosplay America, you’ll already know this wig survived a near disaster. For those who didn’t, the lesson learned is do not put pressure on these wigs (e.g. stuffing them in a cramped bag) and allow them to sit in a hot environment for a long period of time. Because of traffic around Chicago, it took me two hours to drive to the airport, it was 95° F outside, and I don’t have air conditioning in my car. I wanted to be able to grab my luggage and sprint immediately to the airport so I had stuffed the wig into my carry-on bag ahead of time. (To be fair, I kept the wig on the wig head, wrapped it up in its own bag for protection, and then packed it in my carry-on… but unfortunately it was a little too full of other stuff.) This put enough pressure on the TranspArt that combined with the high temperatures during the drive that it caused the TranspArt to slump and get somewhat reformed to the squished shape it was in my bag. I almost screamed when I took it out at the con and saw what had happened. :(
Fortunately, I was able to use the hotel’s blow dryer to heat the TranspArt up enough to reform it into the correct shape, and everything turned out okay. So if your wig gets damaged in transport, it is possible to fix things with a blow dryer, but it’s best to take proper precautions so you don’t have to fix anything at all!
I did notice that by the end of the weekend, the styling I had done on my base wig was falling out because the hairspray was starting to break down. I’m probably going to have to snip through the threads that are attaching the braid and the bottoms of the carriers, so I can lift up the carriers to get at the wig hair underneath and do some touch ups. I’ll edit this post with any further tips I have about maintaining this type of wig, but I have a feeling this type of maintenance is something I’m going to have to do each time the wig gets worn and transported over long distances.
Anyway, I hope this write-up had helped given you some ideas of your own about how to make a Houseki no Kuni wig! I would love to see any pictures you have of your own wig if this helped you out in any way, so please drop me a line on Instagram/Tumblr/Twitter. Thanks so much for reading!
(photo taken by my fiance who when I asked how he wanted to be credited for the photo made the :I face and shrugged)
Thanks again to Ivorivet for sharing this tutorial with us!
We asked Air Bubbles to create a tutorial for us using Black Worbla, and she shared the process of making her headdress or Helmet for her Una costume, a character from Warmachine.
Materials Black Worbla 3mm Craft Foam Heatgun Scissors Hot Glue Super 77 Spray Glue Felt Wood Stick
Reference and Blueprinting
Thankfully there are many reference photos for Una, The Skyhunter since she is a minifigure and character from the tabletop game, Warmachine. I took the reference for her headdress and hood and created a vector pattern which I was able to resize and print to fit my head. (Inkscape is a free program and great for this use)
Making the Headdress Overall the headdress is quite simple, but getting the correct shape and size and keeping it symmetrical is always a difficult task! Also, since this would be going on my head, it needed to be kept light. To start, I cut the pattern out of 3mm craft foam:
After that, I traced out the foam pattern onto the new black worbla and cut out a piece that is about a ½” wider on all sides. This leaves space to fold over the extra worbla under the design. This is known as the ‘fold over method’. I chose this method over sandwiching the foam with worbla to help keep the headdress light.
Once all the piece of foam were wrapped in their worbla counterpart, I tested strength at the seams to ensure this headdress was not going to fall apart. Despite the bond between the worbla pieces being strong, I wanted to give extra reinforcement and lined the interior of the top of the head seam with regular worbla:
After that, it was all about assembly and shaping the piece to fit my head. Since the headdress goes over a hood I would shape the headdress on my head while I was wearing a hood to ensure the shape would not be too small for the actual hood.
Depending on how the hood will be secured to my head, the headdress will most likely be velcroed onto the hood and strapped to ensure it will not fall off!
It’s all in the Details
Now that the base of the headdress is done we need to add the details. At first I thought of cutting out the details in the foam prior to pressing the worbla on top, however, that would jeopardize the stability and integrity of the headdress. In order to keep the headdress lightweight, a foam overlay would be the best method. Using the same pattern drawn out in a vector before hand, I cut out another set of foam pieces, but this time with the holes cut out:
After cutting the detail out of foam I took some Super 77 glue spray and glued them down directly to the worbla. It came out to look like this:
To finish off the headdress I needed some feathers. To make a feather I printed a vector pattern of a feather from Una and cut it out of felt. To get a nice stiff feather with some weight, I cut out the pattern twice and stuck a small stick in the center. I glued the two halves and the stick with some more Super 77 Spray Glue. To tint the tip black, I used some regular spray paint (safe for felt/foam) and sprayed the tip black:
After that, just rinse and repeat to make a few more feathers and you’re done! You’re ready to be an all powerful warlock and summon your feathered friends for aid in battle.
We asked Jessie Pridemore to create a tutorial for us using Black Worbla, and she shared this excellent breakdown on how she made her unique horns for Elizabeth Bathory below.
Elizabeth Bathory’s Horns
Elizabeth’s horns are very unique and different than normal horns because they are flat and have a lot of deep texture. These horns are deceptive in their difficulty and it took a few methods to get exactly the look I wanted. At the end of the tutorial, I’ll show my mistakes and ways you can avoid them.
Here’s what her horns look like
I started with styrofoam discs from Michaels since I felt they were the right size.
Using the bottom of a can of spraypaint, I imprint a ring into the styrofoam
Take a spoon and slowly start digging the insides away. This doesn’t have to be perfect since it’s going to get covered and it’s going to be really hard to see the insides.
I took some sandpaper to it to make it a little more even.
Using foamy sheets from Michaels, I make rings (that will go on the outside) and strips that will cover the outer ring
Using hot glue, I cover the inside of the ring with fabric. **THIS IS THE ONLY TIME I WILL BE USING HOT GLUE** It is VERY important when working with thermoplastics that you do not use hot glue where heat will be applied. You’ll undo the glue and it will be a huge mess.
I will be using Zap a Gap for my glue. You can order it on amazon or get it at hobby shops. It’s a very fast drying super glue (you can get even faster versions too). It’s dries REALLY fast, so be careful if you use this. Always test glues on the styrofoam you are using since a lot of chemicals eat it.
Put glue on the ring and foam
I put them under some weighs for 45 seconds to make sure it’s on there nice and good, but since we are covering everything with Worbla, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Time to glue the foam on the outside!
Go into the crevices and glue them shut. Worbla picks up on minor details and you want to make sure it’s as smooth as possible.
At this point I will be cutting out the “ridges” for the groove effect in her horns.
**TIP** When gluing down your strips, keep in mind that when you put the Worbla over it, it will make the grooves smaller. So over compensate how you place them, putting them wider apart than you would.
Using the thicker foam sheets (also from Michaels), cut out strips and start gluing them around the edges.
The thicker sheets aren’t as large, so you’ll have to do it in segments, just place it smartly and use a gap as a “seam.”
Now take a knife and cut away the parts at the openings.
Take out some wax paper. This is important because the Worbla won’t stick to it. Heat up a strip of Worbla to where it gets soft.
**TIP** I use silicone finger guards to put the Worbla into the shape because it doesn’t stick to the plastic and I don’t have to worry about the heat.
I use my finger indent the groove so I can go in with a tiny tool and start pushing in the Worbla into the groove. This is a very slow process. You don’t want to rip the Worbla.
There’s no clear shots of the side of her horns and I wanted to do something more stylistic than I normally would. I cut slits into the plastic where each groove is and start folding down each section, folding it under and into the ring.
Now I can heat up the rest and start pushing in the remaining grooves. Remember when you are pushing Worbla out, always push it away and out. So choose a center point and always push Worbla away from the point.
Now that the ring is complete, I can start working on the horns. First and foremost, I need to figure out how long they are. When figuring out how big a part of a costume is, I use my head as a basis. My head is eight inches tall. Using PS, I see how many “heads” tall the part is so that I know how big it needs to be on me to be accurate. I have determined that the smallest horn is 12 inches and the tallest 14.5.
Using a bendable ruler, I can see how long the horn is to be 14.5 inches tall. In this case, it needs to be 17 inches long.
I make a paper pattern of what I want the horn to look like.
Each horn has one foam base and two sets of “strips” for ridges.
I glue the strips onto on side. This will be the inside. The side you have to do first because it’s flatter.
I cut out a piece of Worbla slightly bigger than the piece. Heat it up and push it onto the plastic. Remember to use your wax paper!
Just like with the ring, heat it up and push through the grooves taking your time. This time I’m using one of my leather working tools to drag it out. Push the edges down flat to the wax paper.
Once it cools, flip it over and glue the frame onto the other side. Cut out the grooves like you did with the ring.
Heat up the Worbla and slowly start pushing it on like you have done many times before.
Push the edges of both sides together and after it cools, cut off the excess.
Dremel the edges flat.
Heat up both sides thoroughly and slowly start shaping the horn. Let it cool. **See end notes for a better tip on this than what I did**
Heat up the tab that goes inside the ring and push it in and fold it over. Place the horn in the position you want it to cool in.
The final horn. Though I want to play with the shape a little more. For more progress on this costume, or to see more of my work, please follow me on Instagram as @jessie.pridemore or on Facebook at Jessie Pridemore
I really only made one. I should have shaped the horn after the inside layer or Worbla was put down then put of outer later of Worbla on. It would have prevented this from happening.
Cowbutt Crunchies Cosplay did this introduction to Crystal Art and tutorial for Yuri’s Eros crystals for us as an initial test of Crystal Art. Take a look at their process below!
Cosplay Tutorial: Creating Yuri’s Eros Crystals (also) An Introduction to Worbla’s Crystal Art
Need a transparent object for your cosplay? Worbla’s TranspArt has you covered, but what about a three dimensional object like a gem? Better yet: how about one that will flex with your fabric? Forcing flat sheets of TranspArt to do your bidding can be a little tricky, and working with clear resin is tough for even experienced cosplayers. Instead, we had the chance to experiment with a new product called Crystal Pellets, which is a super easy alternative for making small semi-transparent items that flex even after hardening!
Crystal Art come in small, clear beads that meld together after you apply heat, which means they are great for pressing into silicone molds or just molding by hand. If you’ve worked with opaque friendly plastic in the past, this is a very similar product – these beads can be heated with a heat gun, in a toaster oven, or even in a pot of near-boiling water (always be sure to heat them in a pot you do not use for food). If using a toaster oven or a heat gun try to place your pellets on silicone of some sort to keep them from sticking to plastic surfaces. These pellets can be re-heated again and again after cooling so like most of Worbla’s line they are completely re-usable with no waste product – if you make a mistake, just apply more heat and try again!
Heated Crystal Art feel very similar to TranspArt in its ‘moldable’ stage, so your pellets will become fairly hot while heating. To keep from burning your fingertips, be sure to wear some sort of protection such as heat-proof gloves. Be warned though – hot crystal pellets are good at picking up ANY sort of dirt or residue, so if you’re like me and use your gloves to mold Black Worbla, you may end up with tiny flecks of plastic residue mixed into your nice, clear pellets: Yuck.
Instead I liked using these silicone finger tips, which provided just enough protection so that I could moosh the pellets around. They’re also much easier to clean residue from. You can pick either these tips from most craft stores in the Mod Podge accessories section, or heat-proof gloves from cosplaysupplies.com.
For my first Crystal Art project, I decided to mold several clear “ice crystals” for Yuri’s Eros costume from Yuri on Ice. This seemed like a perfect choice for crystal pellets since the crystals need to be transparent but flexibility is a huge plus, since they would be attached directly to fabric.
Optional pre-crystal prep: Creating your mold
For Yuri’s ice we created our own silicone mold, but if you have a pre-made mold, skip straight to part two!
Hardening clay (Paperclay, wet clay, etc)
Aluminum foil, Legos, or other barrier material
Silicone (Smooth On Rebound-30)
Disposable cup and popcicle sticks
1) To get started, sculpt clay versions of your ice crystals from any sort of hardening clay, ideally something like paperclay or wet clay that can be sanded. Allow to dry for several days until they are completely hard. 2) Once hardened, sand away any imperfections in the clay to try to achieve a smooth, flat surface.
3) Create a container with tall walls for your silicone mold. We used aluminum here, but Legos or even Tupperware works great too! 4) Place your clay pieces in the base of your mold, leaving a bit of space between each object. Spritz the bottom and sides with mold release.
5) Put on your non-latex gloves and mix your silicone in a cup per the manufacturer’s instructions. We like to use Smooth On’s Rebound-30, which is a two part mixture that sets up quickly. Pour your silicone into your container, completely coating your clay pieces, and allow to set.
6) Remove your hardened silicone mold, remove the clay pieces, and clean any residual clay dust from the mold using rubbing alcohol.
Forming the Crystal Art
Now time for the fun and easy part!
Silicone baking mat
Protective gloves or silicone fingertips
Heat gun, toaster, or other heating device
1) Pour a small amount of crystal pellets onto your baking mat. An easy way to estimate how many you need is to first pour the pellets into your mold and then add a small amount of extra pellets to make up for the space you will lose when the beads are squished together.
2) Heat the pellets using your desired heat tool.
If using a toaster oven, put the temperature on the lowest possible temperature. My oven only began at 275 degrees, which was unfortunately a little hot, so if this is also the case for your oven be sure to keep a careful eye on the pellets and take them out very quickly! If heating in a pot, like the toaster oven you do not need much time at all in this heat. Pop your pellets in hot but not boiling water, and remove when the plastic turns glassy. With a heat gun, place your temperature on low and begin to evenly heat the pellets. They will begin to stick together very quickly to form a solid mass of pellets:
3) You can then kneed this mass together to form a solid, slightly more opaque shape.
Remember – do not OVER heat your pellets or they will burn! Keep your heat gun moving at an even pace. Discoloration is a sure sign of burnt plastic:
4) If your plastic begins to stiffen slightly, heat it again until it forms a slightly glassy ‘sheen’ like in the below photo. The plastic should now be malleable enough to easily press into your mold.
5) Place the plastic into one of your molds and press down hard with your fingertip. Continue pressing until it has filled every space in the mold. Allow to set for several minutes.
6) One hard, remove your new ice piece from the mold. Repeat this process for your remaining ice pieces.
One of the cool things about Crystal Pellets is how flexible they are even after molding! This is perfect for Eros because the piece will flex with the fabric. Bear in mind however that the thicker your piece, the less flexible it will become.
It’s also important to bear in mind that your final piece will not be perfectly transparent. TranspArt will also take on this slightly cloudy appearance once you heat it to a moldable state. Folding and heating the plastic immediately caused the pellets to cloud up slightly – this is not very noticeable with flat pieces but the thicker your plastic piece, the less transparent it will look. We tried a few experiments to see if it was possible to smooth the pellets into a solid form while still maintaining transparency, but unfortunately you really do need to work the plastic at least a little bit in order to mush it into a solid shape. Heating the plastic directly in a silicone mold will smooth out the front but not the back or center, and even heating in a toaster oven at 300 degrees will not be enough to completely remove the trapped air.
Above: Pellets heated in a silicone mold in a toaster oven. The pellets picked up more residue than usual, creating a cloudy look. You can also still see trapped air bubbles in the center of the plastic. This is really not a great way to heat your plastic.
The best method we found for the clearest result was to heat the pellets once and then form your shape without re-kneeding or re-heating. This gives less opportunity for dust or residue to accidentally find its way into the plastic.
Just like transpArt, Crystal Art can be easily dyed using any sort of color that ‘sticks’ to plastic! In the Cow Clan house this means sharpies or iDye Poly, but you may find other options that work too.
1) To dye your Crystal Art with iDye Poly, heat a small amount of dye in a pot that you will not use for cooking in the future. Heat your water to hot but not boiling. We do not want to completely melt the plastic or it’ll be a little tough to clean out of the pot. If you do not have a non-cooking pot, you may instead heat your water and then pour it into a different container, such as a plastic bucket.
2) Drop your plastic into the bucket/pot. Personally, I like to mush the pellets together before dropping it in – it is a lot easier to fish out a single object instead of many pellets, plus you will get a much more accurate sense of the color.
3) Remove your plastic once it’s reached the desired tint. For a light tone you will only need a few minutes in the dye, or for deep tones you may leave it in for up to thirty minutes. Darker colors like purples also seem to absorb faster.
4) Run your plastic under cold water to remove any residual dye.
Your plastic may now be molded or pressed! The dye does not seem to fade with use, but I do recommend kneeding the plastic a few times just to make sure that the color is evenly distributed. For my second project, I pressed colored plastic into a silicone making mold:
Both clear and colored Crystal Art work great for use with LEDs! Just like resin gems, light from an LED will bleed throughout the entire piece. Just place your LED either behind the plastic or even embed the light within the Crystal Art before it hardens!
All in all I’m a fan of this material – while there are a handful of clear materials out there, this is by far one of the most user-friendly and beginner-friendly to use!
Here’s the first of my progress photos for My Sparrow skin Genji from Overwatch and it’s the shin armor! I made a template in Illustrator and then printed “mockup” on paper! I measured it on my leg to check the fit and sizing. When I was ready to go, I traced and mirrored all the pieces into craft foam and then covered it in black worbla. There are a total of 4 pieces for the shin armor. The top, bottom and two sides (with holes for the green cord). Doing it this way saves you worbla since you don’t need an foundation layer that covers your entire shin! The results are much more light weight and still extremely durable!
Next up its bracers: These were done the same way as the shin armor. Here you can see the blueprint I created in Illustrator. I only draw up half of the armor and I print two copies on paper and tape them together to test fit it to my body! I do it this way so they are as accurate to the reference picture as possible as I’m bad at freehand drawing patterns.
I made the base of my Sparrow skin Genji belt with two layers of craft foam. I carefully cut curved details from the 2nd craft foam and glued it on using glue stick for temporary adhesion. After I was done, I sandwiched it between two pieces of worbla and carefully used sculpting tools for sculpey clay to push all the worbla down and create sharp, crisp lines! I really like the way it came out and it was super fun to make
The completed belt for Sparrow skin Genji right before priming and painting! I used two layers of worbla strips to line the edges and give it a finished look. The side bevel swirls were made out of worbla scraps and I used AMACO Tri-bead roller to shape them out perfectly (you can get it from Amazon). I love using black worbla for making the bevels as the results are extremely smooth and is very easy to work with! I rubbed hand creme in the bead roller before pressing in the worbla so that it doesn’t stick.
I started making the pauldron for my Sparrow skin Genji by printing out the blueprint I made in Illustrator. Then I sandwiched card stock in between two layers of worbla and puzzled each piece together slowly. It’s a bit of work and the results are thinner than using craft foam. There’s lots of prep work in doing it this way but it’s not the only way to do it – You can use EVA foam, pink insulation foam or worbla scraps! Don’t be afraid to experiment since you’ll never know what you might discover!
The beginning phases of my pauldron. I traced and cut the craft foam using the blueprint I made in Illustrator and then covered both sides of it with black worbla. I trimmed the excess worbla away with Gingher brand dressmaker shears to get a nice clean edge. Then I added the swirl design I made. I carefully and lightly heated the design and the pauldron base before I joined the two pieces together to make sure the bond is super strong. Definitely one of the harder pieces to construct but I love the challenge and seeing it come to life!
Here’s the completed pauldron build. The holes were made with a tool used to cut out clay jewelry and they make the perfect holes for the green cord that’s to go through them later.
Shoe armor! I used mini d-rings and secured them to the armor using worbla strips. I put one on top of the toe part and tied it to the shoe laces to prevent them from slipping down. I used pleather strings to secure it to the bottom of my shoe and walking all day in them doesn’t rip these either – They’re super tough! Shoe armor is one of the hardest to get to stay put. I tried out lots of ideas before I wear them to a con, always test your attachments!
The Breastplate: I started at the bottom of the breastplate and made my way upwards and slightly layered each tier over the other to save on worbla and weight.
I cut out the shapes of the boobie cups first and combined 2 layers of worbla for each side. I draped the heated worbla over a 6 inch acrylic globe used for lamps I found at my local hardware store. I used hand creme to make sure it doesn’t stick to the acrylic globe.
This works better for armor that doesn’t call for very large boobies since the black worbla doesn’t stretch as much as regular worbla. Black worbla has great structural integrity and I was able to get an awesome looking breastplate with less effort than regular worbla!
I was able to get really smooth boobie cups for my breastplate by using a polycarbonate globe I found at my local hardware store in the lighting section! This one is made of plastic, hollow and has an opening at the bottom so it doesn’t roll around when you drape hot worbla over it. I also use Burt Bees Hand Creme as a releasing agent so that the worbla doesn’t stick to the plastic surface. Plus it smells awesome and keeps my hands soft after working with worbla so long! You can roughly cut out the shape of the cups and then shape it with the polycarbonate globe, wait for it to cool of completely, then remove it from the globe and trim off the excess with sharp Ginger dressmaker scissors! I use two layers of worbla for each cup with Black Worbla and found them to be sturdy and easy to work with.
Priming! One of my least favorite stages of the armor making process, yet it is essential to achieving a flawless paint job. I really like black worbla for this step since it only takes 2 layers of wood glue to get a super smooth finish.
I use the Gorilla brand wood glue made for outdoor use and I don’t dilute it at all. I squeeze some into a small bowl and then dip my brush in and paint it on my armor. I allow the first layer to dry completely and you can tell when it turns completely clear (around 10 to 20 minutes depending on your location). Then I apply the second layer and I wait until it dries clear again. It doesn’t matter how neat the wood glue is applied at this point as long as the surface is fully covered and there are no crazy pooling or drips, you can have streaks! Then I take 400 fine grit sandpaper that I submerged in warm water and lightly wet sand the surface. This makes the top layer of glue turn pasty and you are able to get a smooth finish and at the same time add texture onto the surface for the paint to hold on to. It is best to wet sand up to an hour after the second layer has dried. After 24 hours it will completely harden so allocate some time before you begin. You can see in the pic the difference in the surface texture. The left is before and the right is after I sanded it.
I used a new product to prime my shoe armor called “Flexbond” and I got mine from CosplaySupplies! They come in the smaller 16oz bottles which is the perfect amount for a cosplay project! It’s my new favorite way to prime shoe armor and armors that will show more signs or wear and tear. It’s way more flexible than wood glue and adheres to black worbla better. Wood glue is easier to wet sand so you’ll have to be careful when applying Flexbond to the armor since it will be harder to fix streaks and pooling. But the results are amazing and definitely a keeper in my cosplay stash!
After I finish priming all the armor pieces, I paint it all a matte black. I use Winsor & Newton paints in Mars Black but any matte black paint will do! I like to brush on my paints as there is little space to do much spray painting when living in tiny apartments in NYC! And the next part is my most favorite part! Painting! I’ll show you how to bring black armor to life using silver paint and other techniques!
Painting black armor was super tricky! After I painted my whole armor set a matte black, I dry painted a really thin layer of silver paint using dabbing motions with my paint brush. I found that the silver was too pronounced and so I diluted black paint in some water and gave it a wash to dull the metallic look. I just brushed on the diluted black paint all over and wiped off the excess with a paper towel. The results were great! The armor had dimension from the silver yet appeared to be black armor from the wash!
And here is the completed paint job after the green paint details! I added black details lines with a small brush and regular acrylic paint in the crevices of the armor to make the lines pop! I used a bunch of dark greens and layered on lighter greens in the center to make the green bold! I even added some green interference paint to give it a glow when the armor hits the light.
This is how I made the shurikans for my Sparrow skin Genji! I stared out by tracing the outline of the ninja stars. I just opened Overwatch, zoomed onto it from the hero gallery and put the paper right on to my computer screen and traced it. Then I made the base out of craft foam and wrapped it in worbla. Then I applied triangular details with one layer of worbla. I used left over worbla scraps and rolled them into circles and cut them into 3 pieces and applied it carefully with a crafting knife and ruler making sure to slightly heat up the base and circle for a strong bond. After that, I primed the worbla with 2 layers of wood glue and painted them with black acrylic paint. I layered silver paint on the blade edges and the raised details and done!
Termina Cosplay documented the process of creating her Cia costume, and shared it with us. Take a look at how she achieved this character’s iconic look!
Cia was my most in-depth and complex costume to date! It all started when I first laid eyes on Cia’s official artwork. I instantly fell in love with her design. It was dark, seductive and unrestrained- a winning combination in my book!
To start off with, we’ll look at the armor-ish metally bits. I made them with the same techniques I make all my armor with, craft foam and Worbla! First, I make a pattern for pieces by drawing them out on paper, then I transfer the patterns onto craft foam, cut them out, and cover with Worbla. Most details are made either with foam before the Worbla is added or afterwards with just more Worbla.
For the details on the mask, I made a pattern by covering the mask with masking tape, drawing on the details, and transferring the pattern to a single sheet of Worbla.
Sometimes I use Apoxie Sculpt for the details instead!
Next we move onto the shoes. If you want to see detailed tutorial on how I made them look on my Facebook page. Basically, I altered a pair of heels by patterning out craft foam details and glueing them on. I used fabric glue to attach everything, and coated them with Mod Podge to seal them, and painted with acrylic paints.
To make the hat, I started by making a base out of craft foam and foam board. Then I filled the points I formed out of foam board with expanding foam and let it cure. Once cure, I carved out their shapes.
I also made the metal looking parts out of craft foam, EVA foam, and Worbla. Like always, I started with a paper pattern, transferred to foam, and then covered with Worba. The filigree details on the sides were cut from a double layer thick piece of Worbla.
To put everything together, I covered the hat shape with fabric, and attached the Worbla pieces on with neodymium magnets. I wanted to be able to take the hat apart so I could prime and paint it easily, and magnets worked perfectly for this! I used magnets to hold on almost all of my armor pieces, including the belts!
To prime my armor, I used a spray primer, and I didn’t bother to try and smooth it. The Worbla texture didn’t bother me at all for this project, so I left it. As for paint, used metallic spray paints to give it a base color and I weathered with acrylic paints. Last, I added in gems that I cast from resin.
The fabric parts of the costume were definitely the hardest for me. The project was way over my skill level when I started, and I ended up hating my first attempt at the bodysuit. Eventually though, I leveled up enough to where I was able to make something I was ok with. I used an existing bodysuit pattern and altered it to look like Cia’s costume. I used gold stretch vinyl to make the trim and the stripes, and I had to hand sew each stripe on individually to the bodysuit.
The cape was actually dyed to the white/purple gradient for me by a friend, and I simply made a rectanglular shape with the fabric and attached it with magnets to the inside of the pauldron. I also made the feathers on the pauldron detachable by glueing them to a piece of Worbla and attaching the Worbla with velcro.
Lastly, I added LEDs to the inside of the mask to make the eyes glow red. I really don’t know much about LED work, and I had help installing and wiring the LEDs together. There are three red LED’s that shine down into each of the eye holes. To make the red translucent piece that sits over the eye hole, I actually used resin! I cast a very thin piece, formed it to take the shape of the inside of the mask before it fully cured, and attached it to the inside of the mask with Worbla.
Now here’s a look at some more of the finished pieces!
Craft Dad created another amazing Video series showing how he used Pepakura and Worbla to create a durable Darth Vader Helmet for his son’s Halloween costume, without needing to vacuform or cast anything.
The amazing folks at Labinnak & Mangoloo Cosplays created this fantastically detailed writeup of how to make the Robot Arm Rhys sports in Borderlands!
Worbla (or Wonderflex) (about 1 and a half sheets of XL) Craft foam Foam board Exacto knife Scissors Wood glue Toilet paper roll (for the elbow) Gesso Acrylic Paint Elastic straps (black) Velcro (black) Fucktons of fast drying super glue Lights (I got my lights at Adafruit.com) (blue lights:LINK Red Lights:LINK) Soldering iron Copper wire Clear plastic (I used plastic from a clear storage box lol) Sandpaper Paint pens (black and white) Matte spray Sealant
1. Download and print the PDF [LINK] (pdf includes printing instructions & actual sized patterns for each piece)
I REPEAT, THE PDF IS ALL THE HARD WORK DONE FOR YOU! IT INCLUDES THE PEICES FOR THE ARM IN ACTUAL SIZE WHEN PRINTED ON REGULAR PRINTER PAPER! (8.5 X 11) :)
2. Cut out patterns. Because the pattern is fit to my arm, it may not fit your arm perfectly. Therefore make adjustments where needed.
*****Note that I have not included the shoulder or the fingers. That is because those pieces will need the most modifications to fit you. See picture to see what the basic shape of the fingers will look like… (one piece of worbla… so no craft foam or sandwiching)
3. Transfer the paper patterns from the pdf to craft foam and cut out.
4. Now the fun part – WORBLA (or Wonderflex)! Sandwich the craft foam in worbla. (If you don’t know the Sandwich method then here’s a quick video on the process.)
****Elbow piece is a little different because instead of using craft foam as a base… you will use a toilet paper roll… cut to fit your elbow and cut open to fit your elbow inside. Cover the roll in worbla. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it until it was finished because I’m a hot mess.
5. After the worbla is sandwiched and extra on the edges is cut, Re-heat the piece and begin folding along the lines. Let cool to keep shape.
****If you are adding lights… make sure you cut out the pieces where you want the light to shine through (on forearm and upper arm).
****Also on the forearm you will notice that there is a piece that bumps out of the arm with a blue and red light. That is the only piece that requires the use of the clear plastic. Cut the plastic to triangular shape + small square for red light. Sand pieces so that when the light hits the surface… the light fills out the space. Glue piece to worbla and finally to arm piece…. MAKE SURE TO ADD THE LIGHTS IN BEFORE YOU GLUE TO FOREARM!
Below is an example of the clear plastic before and after sanding to give it that clouded look so the light distributes properly.
6. When all pieces are assembled. Apply 2-3 coats of wood glue. Then 2 layers of gesso (sand between each coat). As you can see below each of the pieces are at different stages of coats.
TIP: If you decide to use lights in your robot arm, a great place to hide the battery pack is in the bicep piece! I WAS ABLE TO HIDE 2 OF THOSE IN THERE YEAHHHH
****unfortunately you are going to need 3 battery packs because the red sequins (you need 2) need separate battery packs or else the light won’t be as bright. unless you can find a battery pack that can power both sequins at full power.
7. After all the pieces have been properly coated with wood glue and gesso, you’re ready to start PAINTINGGGG. This part is pretty simple, just add a few coats of acrylic paint (yellow) with a bit of white to make it look kinda uneven and worn or whatever. Add white stripes where needed (use painters tape to keep lines straight). Dirty up with watered down blacks and brown acrylics. And finally cel-shade with paint pens (along every edge).
8. Seal with MATTE sealant (this is important because if its a shiny sealant it takes away from the cel-shaded effect!)
9. When it comes to the lights, I always make sure to install all that wire stuff last, makes it easier and you don’t have to worry about getting paint on everything, but don’t forget to make sure the lights are working properly!
****I forgot to take a test picture of the piece above when it was painted, but I’m literally just holding the lights there to test how bright it is, so no I didn’t put in the lights juuuust yet.
Because scrolling up to the top of this post is probably a pain by now, I’ll just repost the links to where I got the lights
I always get my lights at Adafruit.com.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BATTERY PACK LAB?!!!?
shhhhh its okay the links take you to a starter pack, so it comes with everything you need (with the exception of a few extra copper wires for soldering the red sequins)
10. Grab a shirtless ab-tastic sidekick (or whoever you have available) to help you size the piece onto your arm with elastic straps.
****For fingers you will only need to attach with the glue the top fingers to a black glove (make sure you have all the parts of the finger on before gluing! And careful not to glue your fingers to the glove! As for the palm… attach black fabric to the back of the worbla and use the fabric to sew the piece to the glove.
AND LASTLY BRO FIST YOUR BRO BECAUSE NOW YOU HAVE AN INSANELY COOL ROBO ARM TO MAKE ANY HYPERION JACKA** JEALOUS!
Feel free to message us if you have any questions! And bro, share any progress with us because we’re bros, bro!
Thanks again to the amazing folks at Labinnak & Mangoloo Cosplays for sharing this with us! You can find them online:On Facebook, Tumblr Instagram: @labinnak and Twitter: LMcosplays
Laura Sánchez aka Nebulaluben created this beautifully detailed necklace for her Ballgown Morrigan from Dragon Age Inquisition. You can find her tutorial below!
Hello everybody!! Today it’s time to write about my Morrigan necklace so let’s go!
To make the pattern, I wrapped myself in plastic and masking tape to get a basic shape. I drew its shape with its details and I cut it out to obtain the pieces. As always, I just made one half to make it symmetrical later.
I made most of the necklace using Worbla but the pendant, that was the same from DAO and I already had its mold. I made the necklace base with a Worbla sheet and I shaped it with the heat gun.
Then I cut the strips and the leaf shaped ornaments and I stuck them using the heat gun again. The smaller blue ornaments were made using thin craft foam.
I glued the polyurethane resin pendant with epoxi glue.
I primed the collar with a couple wood glue layers and priming spray. It needs a lot of work to smooth it out. After priming, I had to sand it conscientiously till it looked smooth enough.
Once the surface was ready, I painted it with a layer of brown acrylic and, to finish it, I used my favourite golden paste.
I don’t quite like the final shape of this collar. I mean, it’s not bad, but I’d like it to be a litle wider. I was in a rush while making this costume, so I didn’t have time to remake it. Anyway, I hope you find this tutorial useful. As always, you can follow me on my social media and feel free to ask me anything in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
The following is a basic breakdown on using either Worbla’s Finest Art or Worbla’s Black Art to make Automail from Full Metal Alchemist.
Using Worbla’s Black Art and/or Worbla’s Finest Art Tutorial by Rinkujutsu
In this tutorial, I illustrate the basics of using Worbla’s Black Art and/or Worbla’s Finest Art. These two materials are thermoplastics, which can be heated up and shaped however you want. For a breakdown of the differences of the two materials, check out my comparison here.
Materials and tools needed: Worbla’s Finest Art and/or Worbla’s Black Art Craft foam pieces Heat gun Sculpting tool
Method 1, “Sandwiching”:
Step 1: Cut out your project patterns out of pieces of craft foam. In this particular project, I am making armor, but you can make almost anything. I have also successfully used pieces of cardboard, model magic, and other things as a base for Worbla.
Step 2: Cut out two pieces of Worbla’s Black Art or Finest Art slightly larger than your craft foam pieces so that they have a “seam allowance.” To conserve on the amount of Worbla’s Black Art that I had, I decided to use black on top and regular on the bottom.
Here you can see how there is going to be a layer of plastic on top and bottom. You are going to sandwich the craft foam piece with Worbla, so it is encased in plastic.
Step 3: Before sandwiching, I personally think it is easier to emboss any detailing first when using Worbla’s Black Art. To do this, gently heat up only the top piece of plastic while it is sitting on top of the craft foam. After it becomes soft, stretchy and pliable, use your fingers and/or your sculpting tool to emboss any designs or detailing that you have on your craft foam piece.
Step 4: After you are done embossing the details, heat up the edges of the top piece and the entire bottom piece. Stack the two on top of each other and press firmly to fuse them. Use your sculpting tool around the edges of the craft foam piece to create nice, crisp lines. Trim off the excess material and smooth the edges.
Step 5: If the project you are making needs to be curved in any way, now is the time to do it. Carefully heat up the entire piece and form it over a found object or yourself. If you have multiple separate pieces that need to be connected to each other, just heat them up and stick them together! The plastic will fuse and make a near permanent bond.
Method 2, “Folding”:
Step 1: For this method, you only need your craft foam piece and one piece of Worbla’s Black Art/ Worbla’s Finest Art that is a bit larger than the craft foam.
Step 2: Like in the first method, heat up and emboss any detailing now.
Step 3: Cut tiny slits on outer edges of the plastic. Leave at least 1/4 allowance between where the slits end and the craft foam begins.
Step 4: Heat up the edges, flip the entire piece over, and fold the edges onto the back. Worbla’s Black Art doesn’t adhere to craft foam as well as Worbla’s Finest Art, so it might take a bit of extra effort to get the edges to stay. Use your sculpting tool to smooth the sides and edges.
Step 5: After you are done folding the edges over, you can shape and curve the entire piece however you want. For this particular piece, I formed it around the palm of my hand.
Whether you are using Worbla’s Black Art or Worbla’s Finest Art, always save your scraps no matter how tiny they are! You can heat them up, smash them and sculpt them. I sculpted all of the bolts and screws for Ed’s automail using scraps.
That’s it for this tutorial! I hope you found it helpful, and feel free to ask questions or make suggestions for improving this tutorial. I am documenting the entire process of making my Worbla automail, so you can expect to see tutorials specific to this build soon.
———— Thanks again to Rinkujutsu for sharing this tutorial with us!
First, the pattern was drafted by covering the cosplayer in plastic wrap and then tape, drawing out where the armor would fall across the back, chest, and then arm. The tape and plastic pattern is then cut out, and transferred onto fun foam and Worbla.
The foam is then sandwiched between the Worbla sheets for stability. Each piece is layered together following the pattern. The spine is attached by strips of elastic that are glued into the underside of the panels with more Worbla. This lets the spine move and sway while still holding the shape. D-rings are added to the bracers for strapping that will keep them closed.
The mask is a great example of layering Worbla. The frame was made separate from the eyes and mouth, then attached. Then the forehead and lower jaw were attached, with layers of Worbla adding more depth and detail. Finally, a large sheet was heated and draped over the entire form to even out the layers but keep the depth, making a seamless but 3-dimensional mask.
More details including the creation of the staff, formed by carefully molding pieces of Worbla over carved Styrofoam. Be warned you can’t use a heat gun on Styrofoam directly! It will melt! Instead heat your pieces separately and then add them to your form. Then everything was primed, then painted.