Avera Cosplay shared this amazing tutorial with us showing her technique for creating a beautiful stained glass effect using Worbla’s TranspArt – shown above with her Mercy Sugar Plum Fairy costume from Overwatch, photographed above by Tonya Barnes Photography
If you’ve wanted to create a stained glass effect and haven’t been sure where to start, take a look at Avera’s process below! She walks us through the process of making a Beauty and the Beast shield for an armored Belle build!
Stained-Glass Belle Shield – Beauty and the Beast Materials:
2mm Craft foam (EVA foam)
Thicker Craft foam 4, 5 or 6mm (EVA Foam)
Unicorn Spit Sparkling Gel Stain- Variety of colors
Unicorn Spit- artistic vivations- Zeus 24k gold
Polyurethane – Floor Wax
Acrylic Paints for base layer on EVA foam
Step 1: Make Your Pattern Find or create your pattern. Two options: find an image that is already stained glass or find a simple design you can alter to create the stained-glass appearance. Coloring Book pages are a good source for simple images and designs that can be easily turned into stained glass. Just make sure that your lines are relatively thick. If the foam is very thin, the gel stain could bleed, also it is not as sturdy. Cut out the parts of the pattern that will be the glass using an exacto knife.
Step 2: EVA Foam The foam will act as your pattern and to give structure to the worbla. Transfer the pattern to both 2mm and 4mm eva foam and using an exacto knife cut out the pattern. The 2mm will be the front of the glass and the thicker foam will be the back. Heat seal the foam by using a heat gun.
Step 3: Flatten the Transparent Worbla Transparent Worbla usually comes in rolls so you will need to heat it up to get it flat. Get all the wrinkles out. Transparent worbla will stick to itself so make sure it does not touch itself heated. Trace the base shape of the object and cut it out with scissors.
Step 4: Mod Podge Apply a generous layer of mod podge to the worbla. You do not have to let it dry. Place the 2mm top layer on the top of the worbla and add more Mod podge. This will glue to the top layer to the worbla, but it will dry clear. In addition, it helps absorb the gel stain, and seals the 2mm foam for painting. Let this layer dry. If there are gaps between the foam and worbla that heat and mod podge is not solving, you can use super glue to make sure that the foam and worbla are connected. If there is a gap the colors will bleed into each other.
Step 5: Unicorn Spit Unicorn Spit is a gel-based stain. There are a few different formulas. I use the sparkle version here, which is thinner and more transparent than standard formulas. Mod Podge is what will keep the spit stuck to the worbla and it also helps the spit dry translucent. For the Sparkle Version of Unicorn Spit: mix unicorn spit to mod podge in a 70:30 ratio, that will help to increase opacity and speed up drying time. If you use other formulas of Unicorn Spit, you will have to have mix with more mod podge to get the translucent effect at least 50:50. Do not apply it thicker than the foam, or it will spill over. You can mix colors directly in the cell to add depth and shading. You can also mix colors and mod podge first and apply. I use squeeze bottles to apply, just squeezing the spit in a circular motion. You can also play with the ratios of mod podge to get different levels of opacity.
Step 6 LET IT DRY It is going to take a while, depending on how thick it was applied. Do not touch it, do not fix it, let it do its thing. It may appear like it is “pulling” away from the edge, or that it is getting bubbles. It is ok. Glass is not perfect, let it dry. It may look like it is losing its color, it is not. Once it is sealed it will be vibrant again. Right now, the stain is attached to the mod podge for the most part. If you mess with it, it will peel. It may take up to 48 hours to dry completely. If you must add a dab or two after it is dried to any mistakes.
Step 7: Assemble the Back Using the thicker foam, follow the same steps as the 2mm, treated it with the heat gun and then seal it with mod podge. You will want to use super glue, in small dots around each part of the design to attach the foam to the back side of the worbla.
Optional Step: Details and Decorations I added more details to the Shield, this is not necessarily specific to the stained-glass effect and may or may not be relevant to your project. Using contact cement added as glue an additional boarder to the 4mm foam back. I drew a wood grain pattern and wood burned the pattern into the foam. I made the strap from 2mm foam and the handle from 4mm foam. The rivets on the front and back are painted googly eyes. I created foam flowers and filigrees by pressing foam clay in silicone cake molds. I put the molds in the freezer for 15 min to help them form quickly and dry faster. All these details were sealed with mod podge.
Step 8: Paint the EVA Foam and Any Details Using a black acrylic paint, you will want to go over the black foam on the stained glass. This will clean it up a bit if there was any spit that spilled over. Pro-tip: use black foam it will minimize painting. I used a gilding wax for the base layer of gold. Then I used unicorn spit artistic vivations in Zeus to help the details pop.
Step 9: Seal with Polyurethane. Unicorn spit is water based, if you use an acrylic sealer or anything water based it will reactivate it. You must use an oil-based sealer. Polyurethane will give it a gloss that helps the glass effect. Sealing it will bring the colors back to life as well as protect the shield from peeling or cracking. You can also use epoxy or lacquer on the spit depending on the project and how flexible you need it to be.
Enjoy! I have made bunny ears, wings and armor parts using the technique, so it is truly versatile. (Belle photographed by Tonya Barnes Photography )
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!
Worbla was at USITT a few months ago and spoke with RIT about their Polyester DyeMore line and their new Proline series. We’d discussed how these dyes might work on Worbla products – and Rit set us up with dye to test ourselves.
This ended up being a pretty in-depth test over a few weeks, so below is a LOT of information. If you’d like the TLDR: Rit Dyes Are Pretty Awesome and we’re very happy with the results.
For more detailed information, continue below!
To start with – dyeing Worbla? Dyes traditionally came in two types – dyes for plant fibers and dyes for protein fibers. Neither of these tend to work on plastics, giving at best a vague tint if they left any color at all.
Polyester dyes for home use are rather new, and are designed to dye plastics. While originally made for fabrics, folks have turned to using them to color plastic like Lego, acrylic sheeting, wig fiber and of course, Worbla!
We’ve used other polyester dyes in the past, specifically iDyePoly by Jacquard, so we wanted to run the Rit dyes through the tests and see how they held up.
Rit Dyes are also non-toxic and safe for septic and sewer systems – which makes for easy disposal when you are done.
The Rit Dyes
Rit’s DyeMore is a bottled, liquid dye. It is formulated for synthetics and easily dissolves in water and comes in a wide range of shades.
Rit’s ProLine is a powdered dye that “contains an advanced mix of direct, acid and disperse dyes enabling you to dye a wide range of fabrics and materials at scale”. These are large re-sealable packages in 1 and 5lb amounts that come with a scoop for measuring and can dye synthetic and natural fibers.
Both these dyes require heat, so you need to make sure that anything you are dyeing is heat safe, and that you use the right safety gear to avoid injury (or staining).
These are both general safety tips and things we have learned in the process of these tests.
Always follow the instructions on the package.
Always use the correct safety equipment when dyeing.
Always do a small test first to see how your dye will react.
Do not dye in or use tools you then use for food.
Always have enough room in your container to be able to stir the material for an even color.
Work one piece at a time for sheet Worbla, or make sure that the pieces will not touch in the dyebath or they may stick.
Stir or agitate gently or Pearly may deform and stick to itself.
If Pearly or TranspArt touch the bottom of your pot, they may get darker ‘spots’.
It is really hard to remember the e in dyeing every time you type it in a doc this long.
TranspArt is the most commonly dyed of our plastics – dyeing TranspArt to create flames, ice, and water effects has been part of using TranspArt since its inception.
Rit Dyemore: We dyed the TranspArt in a large stainless steel pot on the stove, over medium heat. We used roughly 10 cups of water and 1/4 cup of dye, because we needed enough water in the dyeing vessel to keep the plastic from touching the bottom of the pot while being stirred.
(Apologies that this is a cellphone pic, the cat has hidden the samples before I got to photograph them with my real camera)
DyeMore worked very well, giving an even result so long as the TranspArt was agitated/stirred. If left in the pot without movement, the dye could become uneven or splotchy. We also noticed that having the heat be consistent helped the TranspArt absorb the dye. When placed in hot water that was removed from heat, the color was less intense.
Rit Proline We dyed the TranspArt in a the same pot with roughly the same amount of water. We started with 1 scoop of dye, but found that the scarlet color was not quite rich enough and added a second scoop to see if that would improve the intensity. All of these pieces were stirred to prevent the color from becoming uneven.
For the TranspArt the red became a much more orange tone, and also seemed to hit ‘max’ intensity at the 5 minute mark.
Because we weren’t sure if the color intensity was more a matter of the Scarlet color itself, we did the same test with ProLine purple.
There is a much clearer difference between the timed samples here. You can see the 5 minute sample is more uneven – that piece was not stirred as often. The darker your desired color, the more apparent this will be, so make sure you have time to stir!
General notes: We expected these dyes to have a strong chemical smell, as the iDyePoly line does, but Rit surprised us: the DyeMore liquid line has no perceptible scent, so much so that we forgot to check for a scent until someone asked. The ProLine smells out of the bag, but once dissolved in water it is a very mild scent that did not linger. For this reason alone we’d use the Rit dyes instead of the Jacquard line going forward.
In addition, the Rit dyes left very little residue. There was no residue left whatsoever on the TranspArt with the DyeMore liquid dye, and the residue from the ProLine was minimal.
Dying Crystal Art or Deco Art
Worbla’s pellet plastics are used for a variety of hand formed and molded shapes. Being able to add color in advance allows you to create pieces that don’t need paint, and surfaces that can’t have the color chipped or worn away, as well as keeping the transparency of Crystal Art. While you are most likely to dye TranspArt or Crystal Art with these dyes, they are handy for Deco Art as well.
Rit Dyemore process We dyed small batches of plastic and so used 1/8th a cup of water and a few drops of dye in a small ramekin. The Deco Art or Crystal Art was added, stirred, and then microwaved for 30 seconds, then for short bursts of 5-10 seconds each until the water had boiled (your microwave times may vary). This allowed a quick way to heat the pellets and have them absorb the dye.
Please Note: Only use the microwave method if you a) own your microwave b) will watch the entire process. Do not microwave plastic unattended. Do not microwave without enough water to cover the plastic. Do not use a dish you will eat out of later.
If microwaving isn’t an option (we did it because it allowed us to run 2 tests at once, since the stove was occupied with a giant steel pot) For Deco Art: heat water in the microwave or a kettle, pour into a container you WILL NOT use for food. Add dye, then pellets. Stir occasionally until pellets have absorbed dye. For Crystal Art: use a pot for dying, heat water first then add dye. Place pellets in a metal strainer to keep them together and allow them to soak in the water.
Deco Art and Dyemore:
The pellets were activated from the hot water enough that we could remove them, let them dry for a moment and then press them into a mold right away without reheating. One thing we noted was that this gave us a somewhat mottled effect. Our second attempt we kneaded the pellets together first into one fluid bit of plastic, and then pressed it into our mold, which created less of a mottled effect – but it was still noticeable. Our last attempt, we blended the dyed pellets together and pressed it into a flat shape, then put that back into the warm dye bath for another 2 minutes. When removed we pressed that into our mold – which gave us a very even color.
In short: if you want an even color, you will want to plan to blend your pellets to unify everything, then redye the piece for a minute or two before shaping.
Crystal Art and Dyemore:
Depending on your microwave power, your pellets might be hot enough to shape or you may need to remove them and hit them with a heat gun for a bit before shaping. With Crystal Art it is important to blend the pellets together (check out our page on Crystal Art for more info here) in order to get a smooth translucent effect. You can see we didn’t quite knead the pellets perfectly on the second piece to the right.
Crystal Art takes the dye exceptionally well – so much so that you will want to work with very little dye to keep a more translucent effect. You can see on our left example just how deep the color can be with only a small amount of dye. The Crystal Art also absorbs the dye from the water more noticeably, meaning when we dyed the second piece in the same container/water it came out lighter, as there was less dye to absorb.
Rit ProLine Process We mixed the ProLine with some warm water to fully dissolve, using 1/8th a cup of water and a tiny 1/8th of a teaspoon of the powdered dye in a ramekin. We then added the pellets. We used a microwave as we did for the DyeMore above.
Deco Art and ProLine:
The pellets were activated from the hot water enough that we could remove them, let them dry for a moment and then press them into a mold right away without reheating. Learning from the DyeMore experiment, we kneaded these pellets together, pressed them flat and put them back in the dyebath for another 30 seconds, then kneaded again before pressing into our mold.
Crystal Art and ProLine:
Our microwave wasn’t strong enough to activate the pellets, so while they were dyed they needed to be heated further to shape. Keep this in mind when doing your own tests and plan to have something to drain into! The pellets were heated and blended into a putty, then pressed into the mold.
You can see from the above examples that because we took more care with blending, the individual pellets were less noticeable.
You can also see how deep the color is here. You need very very little dye for this depth of color – so consider doing serious testing if you want only a tint! One thing about this method – we did notice some residue ended up on our fingers because we didn’t rinse the pellets before getting to work. So make sure you use gloves or rinse the pellets before shaping.
Dyeing Worbla’s Pearly Art
This probably won’t be your first method of choice for coloring Worbla’s Pearly Art, but we wanted to see if it could be done – and absolutely Rit dyes work on Pearly.
We dyed the Pearly in our large stainless steel pot on the stove, over medium heat. We used roughly 10 cups of water and 1/4 cup of dye for the DyeMore, and 1 scoop of dye for the ProLine. We needed enough water in the dyeing vessel to keep the plastic from touching the bottom of the pot while being stirred: if the Pearly sat on the bottom of the pot for any extended period of time, it would get a mark where the plastic had melted and become darker.
With Rit Dyemore: We found there was a more clear progression of color intensity over a period of time.
With Rit ProLine: The ProLine absorbed quickly – so much so that there was nearly no difference between 5 and 10 minutes.
The result is not a fully opaque color as there is still a hint of the Pearly white grain to the piece, but that does not become more pronnounced as it is worked (which we expected would happen). Instead the color remains strong even when stretched or blended.
And we do think it has interesting possibilities for doing small detail work….
Can you dye Kobracast Art?
Worbla’s Kobracast Art is also white, and we thought it could potentially be dyed for pieces such as leaves for hats. Unfortunately Kobracast Art activates in the hot water and sticks to itself very easily, so we would not recommend this process unless you were working somewhere the pieces could be kept completely flat – and we suspect you would not be able to agitate the water so that might result in uneven color.
But wait! There’s more!
Of course you won’t always be dying Worbla for your next cosplay – what about wigs?
Both Rit Proline and Dyemore dyed wigs beautifully, and were easy to rinse to leave zero residue. One thing I loved was the idea of combining one colorway to tie everything together – making accessories out of Worbla dyed with the same color as you colored your wig, for example.
Rit Proline Scarlet examples
Both of these wigs haven’t been flat ironed or styled, so this is the color right out of the pot, so to speak.
We don’t have a full writeup about how to best dye your wigs with the Rit line, because there are fantastic resources to be found on the subject here and here and here.
Rit’s synthetic line of dyes are a fantastic resource for dying Worbla products. Personally we’ll be using the DyeMore line for the convenience and complete lack of scent, but we absolutely suggest you experiment with these dyes for your next project, not only because they will help you color your Worbla, but because they are a genuinely useful tool to have in your cosplay kit! As always though: test test test! The scarlet for example turned more orange for our TranspArt tests, and the Peacock Green we tried on the Kobracast (not pictured) showed up far more blue. Plastics can be odd, so ALWAYS test before starting a large project!
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!
Step 1: Finding Source Material and Getting Ready for the Build Google is your friend!!! Knowing what you want to make is half the battle. For this project I knew I wanted to make killer bow and a character that I had a connection with. I went back to my teen years when I played fantasy Warhammer and had a High Elf army. I decided to pick one of my Shadow Warriors, but the game pieces and rule books didn’t have enough images and detail for me, so to the Google I went where I was able to find images from Warhammer Online of the High Elf Shadow Warrior. I also found a book full of great source material on amazon (The Art of WarHammer Online)
Once you have the source material time to decide the sizing of the bow. For this project I decided to make the bow when standing on the ground come no higher than eye level on me and I am 5’5″. The second way you can do sizing is to uses scaling I find it easier to plan the build if I do sketches of the different levels of work. I started with the base bow shape to get an idea of proportions making the life size version
Step 2: Building the Base Structure
2 2″x 4′ boards
4 or more large C Clamps
Scrap Wood board the dimensions to fit the full bow plus some extra
protective heat covering
5″ long 1/4″ bolts (50 count)
6.5′ long 1/2″ PVC pipe
Drill and 1/4″ drill bit
Dremel and Plastic Cutting attachment
Epoxy (Smooth-On Super Instant)
First things first you will be using heat to shape the PVC pipe so safety first. Wear protective gloves and shape the PVC pipe outside or in a very well ventilated area; maybe even use respirator.
Flattening the PVC pipe:
1) Determine what areas you want flat and what you want to keep the round shape. A 10″ center portion was kept round for this bow for the grip. heat up one size of the PVC pipe till it is squishy and malleable. 2) Sandwich the PVC between the 2″x 4′ and apply pressure and clamp the two boards together to smash the PVC pipe while it is cooling. 3) Repeat again till you get it the flatness you are wanting. I needed to do this twice for mine. 4) Then repeat for the other side. 5) let the PVC pipe to cool over night before shaping so you do not loose much of the flattening as the reheating of the pipe will make it want to start going back to its original shape.
Prepping the board: 1) First make the scrap wood board heat safe by covering it in the protective heat covering. 2) Draw on the board the shape of the bow. 3) Using the drill drill holes along both sides of the shape to allow just enough room for the PVC pipe to fit. Also adding more holes where the PVC is having to do extreme shaping such as curves. 4) Insert the bolts but only a little ways in.
Shaping the bow: 1) Center the PVC pipe on the board and working one side then the other start to heat the PVC pipe starting at the first place needing to curve from center and weave it between the bolts working your way to the end. 2) Extend the bolts to lock finished sections for them to cool. 3) Let the bow fully cool over night. 4) Once fully cooled test the shape to see if it feels right as a bow. 4a) Mine was too much of a horse shoe shape for me so I gently reheated and at the curves off the cent and pushing against an even surface made the curve less extreme. 5) For easier travel I cut the bow in half using my cutting bits for the dremel 6) I then attached a PVC connector to one half using epoxy and sanded out the other half to make pulling the pieces apart easier. 7) To make the connection a little stronger I epoxied an earth magnet inside the connector and to the other end of the bow.
Step 3: Adding the Detail Material:
Fine Art Worbla
Black Art Worbla
iDye poly in black, brown, yellow, green, red
Jaquard Pearl EX pigment powders
Clear acrylic paintBase Shaping Continued: Using Fine Arts Worbla I made the shapes on the ends of the bow and evened out the connector in the middle of the bow.
Once that was done I covered the entire bow in a layer of Black Art Worbla to get an even tone and texture of the Bow
Dying the TranspART When going for the look of Obsidian I did a test of black iDye Poly with other colors to get a good combo of dyed pieces to combine. I chose to go with the Black/Brown, Black/Yellow, and Black/Green combos
I used the red dye for the gem pieces
Adding the Detail First step was to make the gems by heating up the red TranspART and forming it in my dome silicon molds to get different size gems.
Then using Black Art Worbla I added the detail to Bow minus the wings
I then made the wings using the obsidian dye combos of the TranspART by doing alternating feathers using two combos; black/green with black/brown and black/yellow with black/brown.
I created templates that I used to tape to the TranspART mashups to ensure the feathers all matched and lined up with each other.
I then used Fine Art Worbla to lock them in at the base and hot glue to glue the feathers together down the length.
Once the feathers were made they were added to the bow and shaping around them was created using Fine Art Worbla and then covered in Black Art Worbla.
With the feathers on the final wing details were added.
Painting: I used Jaqucard Pearl EX pigment powders in various metal tones and mixed them with a clear acrylic to paint the bow
I did not do a coating as I liked the look and feel that the paints had on the bare Black Art Worbla Then I did touch ups to clean up the edges and did a final clear coat in satin to seal it all in
Kazzy Cosplay created this tutorial for round three of our TranspArt Competition!
As part of the final round of the Worbla TranspART contest, all contestants are required to create a tutorial for their build. So buckle up, kiddos! This is a LONG read but hopefully helpful if you are looking to build your own geometric prop with TranspART.
For this round, I deliberated for quite some time over what I should make. I showcased the fire/visor capabilities of TranspART in my last build, so I wanted to look for something that would showcase alternate uses of TranspART. Many ideas later, I decided to create my own interpretation of Traditional Sejuani’s ice flail and battle helm from League of Legends.
First things first – for this oddly shaped flail, I sketched out the shape and started creating a pattern out of card stock. This tutorial should work for most bulky/geometric props that need TranspART sides.
This may take a lot of adjusting, but once satisfied with the smaller shape, scaled it up to your size. I multiplied mine by 3 so that I would have a large flail fitting of a battle mistress of the Freljord.
Translate these pieces to TranspART and add a seam allowance .
Ice time! Make sure you test your dye on practice pieces before you dye your final pieces! To figure out the appropriate shade of blue, I tested multiple pieces in varying times in different baths. Once satisfied with the test pieces, dye the large pieces. I used varying baths and purposely tried to get a bit of an uneven dye to represent ice.
Now let’s shape it up! TranspART does not adhere to itself very well while maintaining a strong, straight edge. To best represent ice, I wanted strong line edges but the TranspART was rounding with the heat shaping.
To combat this and get geometric edges, cut bits of thick craft foam (I used 5mm) on a 45 degree angle so you have triangular strips with a right angle.
Now use the angles to align your edges of your pieces. I adhered mine with Loctite but I believe most cyanoacrylate adhesives will work.
If your prop is big, use strips of worbla to line the edges for extra structural integrity.
Now glue your structure altogether!
Use craft foam and worbla-covered craft foam to create any details, structural points, handles, etc. For the flail, I used this for the “metal” bars, spikes, and top of the flail. I used a Gatorade bottle top as the center to connect to the chain!
Attach your flail to your chain with worbla and attach the chain to a pvc pipe.
Now seal your worbla and foam. I used flexbond for the first time with this project and I loved it! Strong and super flexible. You can also use wood glue, mod podge, etc. if you choose.
Paint and weather your weapon! Don’t be afraid to really dirty up the “metal” with some black and brown paints and bring attention to highlights/snow with a white or silver paint.
Ta da! Enjoy your new ice flail and swing that baby around!
BUT WAIT! There’s more?!
Helmet time! Because I am a crazy person, I wanted to make Sej’s helm as well. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: To make this battle helmet, cover your head or wig head with plastic wrap and wrap it in masking tape.
Use a pen to line off your masking taped head to get a pattern. Carefully cut a long the lines, and translate the masking tape pattern to craft foam.
Trace the foam pattern to worbla pieces adding a bit of a “seam allowance” to shape over the foam. Use the “tab method” to fold the allowance of worbla over the foam edges so you get clean pieces. Adhere your pieces together with heat.
For the Viking horn, cut out a horn shape in pink foam. Sand and carve down the link foam til you get a nice smooth horn.
Use worbla and foam to add details to your helmet. Seal the helmet with flex bond (or your choice of primer).
Wrap your horn in HOT pieces of TranspART and be careful of your fingers! Use gloves or silicone finger tips for safety!
Adhere your horn with loctite or magnets for easy removal. Paint and weather your helmet and make sure you add some snow to your ice horn!
I hope that was helpful and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!
Valkyrie Studios created this tutorial for round three of our TranspART competition.
I crafted Felo’melorn for the third and final round of the TranspArt Competition put on by Worbla.com.
For the final round we were able to build anything we liked using the materials sent to us, and then make a tutorial about our process. My entry for the previous round– The Sword of Fire and Ice– was surprisingly popular, and I received a lot of questions about how I made it. In particular, people were interested in the hollow blades, and how I made my project glow.
Because of this I wanted to make a project in a similar vein. Since I’m very invested in Blizzard cosplay, and so many of their weapons have a glowy magical blades, I decided to go with something from the World of Warcraft Universe. In honor of Legion — the new expansion that releases in August — I wanted to craft one of the new, super powerful, Artifact Weapons.
I may not have a Mage in game, but I fell in love with Felo’melorn, Pride of the Sunstriders the minute I saw its design. For my build I decided on the blue and gold version (since it comes in several colors).
WE WERE GIVEN:
1 Medium Sheet of TranspArt
1 Medium Sheet of Worbla‘s Finest Art
1 Pair of Heat resistant gloves
A set of silicone fingertips
A set of Earth Magnets
1 small bottle of Flexbond (I promptly misplaced this, but I had been planning on trying it out anyways, so I bought a medium bottle.)
I ALSO USED:
Adafruit Neopixel Strip (1/2 a foot)
Adafruit 3V Trinket Pro
A Soldering Iron
1″ PVC Pipe
Airbrush & Airbrush Paint
REFERENCE & BLUEPRINTING One of the really nice things about crafting things from World of Warcraft is that there’s a 3D model viewer for every item on Wowhead.com. This allowed me to get some nice screenshots of the sword from a few angles.
I then took the screen shots into Adobe Illustrator to make vector blueprints (Inkscape is a free alternative). This allows me to scale it, and print it out as templates for my foam and transpArt shapes.
MAKING THE BLADE I made a video tutorial showcasing my method of making hollow TranspArt blades using a soldering iron to ‘weld’ the edges together.
You can also fill these blades with resin, colorful fabric, or cover them in more TranspArt to look like fire; such as I did with my Sword of Fire and Ice.
There are all sorts of possibilities, and super cool projects you can make with this method!
ELECTRONICS I use a pretty similar electronics set up for my builds like this. I plan on making a more exhaustive post about arduinos and neopixels and such, but I’ve been so busy that it keeps getting put off. (Soon™)
Anyways I hope that a little of what I show here can help out.
So this is the blade after it was heat welded together. I generally like to run my strip of Neopixels (programmable LEDs in a chain) down the spine of my blade so that it points down into the more interesting areas. Then I superglue it down so it doesn’t move around.
This is my basic setup: an Adafruit 3V Pro Trinket (my arduino), and a JST switch that gets connected to my battery. The switch input (+) from the JST switch goes into the 3V pin on the Pro Trinket as well as connects to the wire (colored red) that will get soldered the positive pad on your Neopixel Strip. The ground (-) from the JST switch goes into the G pin (ground) on the Pro Trinket as well as connects to the wire (colored black) that will get soldered the negative pad on the Neopixels. The third wire comes out of pin 6 on the Pro Trinket, and will be soldered into the Data In pad on the Neopixels.
This is your Neopixel strip. You want to solder to the end that has the arrows going away from you because that is the direction of data flow. In this photo the top pad is 5V (+) — it works with 3V, but is dimmer. The middle pad is the Data In pad which carries the signal that tells your lights to do things. The bottom pad is Ground (-).
This is what it looks like running the basic Strand Test that is available in the Adafruit Arduino IDE. I tried diffusing the light with some fabric, but it didn’t work as well as I wanted.
After I airbrushed the blade blue the LEDs diffused pretty nicely, so I was happy with how it turned out.
The electronics and battery were hidden on the inside of the PVC handle, and the pommel pulls off so I can get at them.
The final effect looks really good!
CRAFTING THE SWORD Ok. So now we have a glowy blade, now we have to make it into a sword.
I used superglue and hot glue to stick each half to the blade. The worbla ‘wings’ were then heated up and squished together around the sides of the transpArt blade.
The reference has the blade and handle float separately, but gravity doesn’t work that way in the real world unfortunately. I tried making a clear piece out of transpArt to connect the two halves, but it wasn’t quite strong enough (and floppy blades are not what I’m after). So I just used regular worbla. This also got wrapped around the PVC handle.
I made the decorative hilt the same way as the wings, using my soldering iron to burn designs into the foam. ((*Worbla.com note: Please make sure you work in a well ventilated area if soldering or otherwise burning foam, as the fumes released can make you ill and kill small pets.))
This also was wrapped in worbla, and I used a tool to press the lines back in.
Here’s what it looked like all put together with the detail pieces, and the connecting piece is strong enough to hold the blade.
I wasn’t entirely happy with the seams where the wings came together, so I mixed up some Apoxie Sculpt and smoothed them over. It’s an easy way to get a seamless effect without having to dremel the edges– which can get sort of messy.
One of my favorite aspects of the design of this sword is the eagle wings that wrap around the blade. Using my blueprint I cut them out of EVA foam floor mat. I used my soldering iron (you can also use a hot knife) to burn in the decorative channel.
I then covered this with worbla, electing to use the fold-over method to save material since you woudn’t see the underside anyway. You can use sculpting tools to press designs into the worbla, but it works better if the foam already has indents to start with.
PRIMING & PAINTING Naked props never look as good as you want them to, but the paint job is what makes the magic come to life!
Normally I use 6+ coats of wood glue to seal my WFA projects, but since I had been given Flexbond, I decided to try that out instead since I heard it can make worbla smooth in two or three.
The Flexbond worked pretty well, but unlike wood glue, it isn’t self leveling, so brush strokes were evident even if you were being careful (which becomes an issue with metallic things, oops). I ended up using three coats, but I probably should have gone to four to make things extra smooth.
After everything had dried, I base-coated everything with either blue, black, or a yellow gold using my airbrush. From here I like to build up shadows and highlights.
My next step was to add rose gold accents that would add depth– since yellow gold looks super fake and plastic-y by itself.
Since the blade was already painted and I didn’t want to get gold on it I like to use scraps of worbla or cardboard to prevent overspray. It’s faster than using masking tape, but I recommend that if you use this method you should be experienced with your airbrush.
To add even more depth as well as some weathering, I mixed up an almost black burnt sienna color, and sprayed areas I wanted to have more shadow. I also applied this as a wash to the channels that I cut earlier with my soldering iron.
The final step is to hit the edges and raised areas with a gold paint pen. They can be fickle though, so be careful that it not spurt ink all over your project!
For silvery metals I like to sponge on gunmetal and aluminum colored paint using a paper towel or sponge to get a more steel-like appearance.
As with the gold areas, I highlight the edges with a silver paint pen, to add some weathering, and also to make the details pop.
The handle was wrapped with leather to hide the PVC pipe, and some details were painted on. And now you’re finished!
All in all, I’m very happy with how my project tuned out, and I hope you find this useful to make glowing or transparent blades for other projects!
In this tutorial we’ll be creating a crown primarily using Black Worbla and transpART, inspired by My Little Pony’s Princess Celestia! This sun-themed headpiece involves several components and has been broken into several parts for easy reading: 1) the base crown and sculpture motifs 2) the sun “halo, 3) painting and priming, 4) semi-transparent sunbursts, and finally 5) the horn. Keep reading to create your own crown!
Since Celestia is the matriarch of the My Little Pony World who seems to have been raising the sun for just about forever, I wanted to go with a regal, sun-themed crown filled with baroque-like horse sculptures. Of course your own crown can deviate from this design as much as you’d like – however to follow this tutorial exactly, you will need the following materials:
1 medium sheet black worbla
1 medium sheet transpART
37 wooden BBQ skewers
Brown spray paint primer
iDye Poly yellow and iDye Poly orange or red
Amaco Brush and Leaf antique gold paint (or other gold paint)
Flexbond (or other worbla primer)
Black and brown acrylic paint
Pearl EX powder in pink gold and gold
Testors clear lacquer or other sealer
Clay sculpting tools
Scissors and/or tin snips
Several sheets of poster board for drafting
A pen or sharpie
Sandpaper (I used 100 grit but anything somewhat rough is fine)
Thermal gloves (optional but highly recommended!)
1 pair rare earth magnets (optional)
The design I chose for Celestia is heavily sun-influenced, and also involves many baroque-styled “sculptures” for a regal look. However no matter how you decorate your crown, you will want to begin with a solid base.
1) Begin by drafting a test version of your tiara from poster board to gage the size and fit. Don’t forget to fit this template on top of your wig, since it will alter the size of your head!
2) Trace your draft onto your worbla and cut out a worbla version of the base. If you are heavily decorating in motifs, a single layer of worbla should be fine, but if gaps will be showing you may wish to double up your worbla for strength. Cut the side edges into a raggedy, flame-like pattern, and pinch each flame slightly to give it additional dimension.
3) Trace a second worbla draft, but leave this at half the height. Cut the entire top into a flame pattern, pinching these like in step 2. With the worbla still heated, lay it over your larger base piece, matching the bottom edges together.
4) Heat the entire piece very lightly and bend it into shape to fit your head, over your wig. Hold in shape until it cools. With your base out of the way, it’s time to move on to creating the decorative sculptures.
To construct a 3D, “sculptured” relief:
1) Don your heat proof gloves, heat a pile of worbla scraps with your heat gun, and then kneed them together to create one solid, very thick piece. If your worbla is at a hot enough temperature, you should easily be able to kneed the worbla like playdough to smooth out any folded lines. You do not necessarily have to use a piece this thick, but I wanted more of a sculptural look to my crown, rather than a flat one. Also, the thicker your worbla is, the more freedom you will have to press lines and add dimension later. Sketch the largest “base” part of your sculpture and trace this onto the worbla – for me this was the head and body of my horse. Heat your worbla slightly and then cut your shape – making the worbla pliable will really help with any tight curves.
2) Use a sculpting tool and trace along any hard lines. Try pressing down with the tool or your finger on one side of the line to add even more dimension (for instance, giving a “pop” to my horse head above). While still heated, prod any raw, jagged edges with your fingers to smooth them out.
3) Take a new piece of doubled or tripled kneaded worbla, and cut out any additional pieces for your relief. For my horse, this included strands of hair, legs, and wing base. Heat up the tip of your new piece where it will connect to the larger base and press them together to form a bond. If possible, heat the base piece as well for a stronger hold. Once connected, mold or sculpt your top piece into your position.
4) For more complex shapes like wings, continue to repeat step 3 to build each new layer on top of the last. Here I added a second and third layer of feathers to the wings. Allow the entire piece to cool. Check out the below graphic for some examples of how to make the various sculptures I used in my crown:
To construct a 2D, “flat” relief:
1) Cut two piece of worbla, heat, and press together. Sketch your design and trace it onto your double thick worbla piece. Heat it slightly and then cut the shape out, smoothing out any jagged edges with your fingers before it’s cool.
2) Re-heat the top of your worbla slightly and use a sculpting tool to gently carve out any decorative lines.
3) If you have a complicated shape like my large sun design, repeat steps 1 and 2 to cut out any smaller shapes that should be positioned on top of your base. Heat both pieces and then lightly press the smaller shape over the base to bond them together. Allow them to cool.
Once all of your reliefs are sculpted, it’s time to attach them to your tiara!
1) Heat the area of your tiara where you plan on attaching your first sculptures. Simultaneously, heat the back of your relief. Don’t overdo it or you may lose the relief’s fine details – most of the heat can be focused on the tiara itself.
2) Press the relief into the tiara. If layering sculptures, press in your first relief, add a little more heat, then press in the relief that is positioned over it. Remember, go slow and heat up one crown area at a time to prevent bending the base too much.
3) Once all of your sculptures are attached, test the fit of your crown again. If it’s lost its shape slightly, heat the back of your crown and hold the crown against your head in the right position until it’s cooled.
We’re going to cheat a little by using BBQ skewers for the Madonna-halo tines. While technically possible to use worbla, I found it fairly difficult to get a straight, thin enough shape. Just be aware that wood /is/ breakable so be gentle, and if sturdiness is a concern, consider coating your skewers in a thin layer of resin.
1) Place the crown on your head over your wig and measure from back tip to back tip, over the top of your head.
2) Heat a piece of black worbla, and quadruple fold it together. You can also just mash a bunch of scraps into a thicker piece. Cut it to measure the length of your head measurement by about ¾ths an inch wide. Heat this piece slightly and then – with the worbla touching the edges of your crown – lay it against the curve of your head. Allow to cool and you should now have the shape of your tine base.
3) Take your skewers, and using your scissors/tin snips, snip a few millimeters off the pointed tip. Sand this tip with a few strokes of sandpaper until it’s still pointed, but blunt enough to rub your thumb over. This step may seem irrelevant, but it’s important to reduce accidental snags and pulls, since a super-sharp skewer tends to catch on any nearby fabric or wigs.
4) Measure your skewers and cut 32 of them to 6″ including the point. Cut the remaining 5 to 7.75″.
5) I found it easiest to arrange the tines when I had a template to go off of. Trace your tine base onto a sliver of cardboard. Begin laying your tines in a radial circle out from that base outline. You can arrange these however you’d like, but I personally liked spacing the big tines out 2″ from each other, with five smaller tines in between. To save yourself a lot of headache, tape each tine down to your workspace, avoiding taping over the template.
6) Lay your curved base over a fresh piece of worbla and trace the shape. Widen the width slightly so that you’re left with a semicircle that’s around an inch thick. Repeat this a second time and cut both semicircular shapes out. Eventually these two pieces will form a stability layer that keeps the tines tightly in place and clamped to the flat base.
7) Heat your first semicircle and then fold the bottom half upward so that the worbla forms an “L” all the way around. Lay the worbla over your tines so that the bend in the worbla is flush with the bottom of the skewers (you don’t want them sticking out into the open too much). Heat a little more until the worbla is pliable and then begin pressing the worbla down around the skewers for a snug fit. I found that using a spare skewer to push the space in between each stick worked great.
8) Allow to cool completely and then flip the whole thing over. Your tines should be pretty secure at this point, but be careful nonetheless. Repeat step 7 for your unused semicircle by first folding it into that “L” shape. Then, lay it over both the tines and the bottom worbla layer so that you fuse both semicircles together and create a snug fit.
9) Heat the bottom of your tine contraption where the two “L” shape flaps are exposed. You may also heat your base slightly if you wish, but I did not heat it particularly much, since I didn’t want to risk losing my head imprint shape. Spread the flaps out and place the flaps flush against your worbla base, with the BBQ skewers along the base’s center. Generously press the flaps against the base worbla and allow to cool.
10) Heat the ends of your worbla base as well as your crown edges. Press these edges together to fuse the tine base to your crown. If you’re paranoid like me, you can also mush together a big old wob of worbla heated to a high heat, and then press it into the juncture for added security.
11) Didn’t add enough tines? No problem! Mush together a wob of worbla, heat it severely, and then stick it to the edge of your crown before inserting a tine straight into the plastic. Just be sure to press the worbla in around the tine hole to hold it securely in place.
Before moving on to the transpART, it’s time to prime and paint! Priming is an important step in any worbla project, as even black worbla tends to have a slightly gritty texture. To get rid of this, there are a host of different primers you can use, from gesso to wood glue to Flexbond to Plastidip. Because our crown still has the ability to flex slightly, we want to use a primer that will not crack under strain. My pal Kidbunni has a great rundown of primers and their flexibility at http://kidbunni.tumblr.com/post/143657850128/worbla-tutorial-part-1-primer and you can also find some primer comparisons here on Worbla’s own website. I decided to go with Flexbond partially because I was curious about how it would shape up, and also because I knew that sanding this crown would be very difficult because of all the tight edges, which eliminates a big advantage of spray gesso.
1) Pour a little of your Flexbond out and select a relatively small-medium sized brush. I’ve read guides where folks preferred to use a damp brush with their Flexbond, but to be honest this did not work out great for me, possibly because I was working with such small shapes. Any added water just made the Flexbond too watery to use efficiently. Instead I simply dipped my brush in and began painting the glue on.
2) Take care to sweep and thin out any pools of glue – you want a thin, even coat with minimal brush strokes. Work fast and keep to a concentrated space. While the glue is still wet you can easily thin it out to make an even coat, but if you try to go back to that spot after a few minutes you’re just going to make any strokes more obvious.
3) Allow to dry completely and then repeat steps 1-2 until you are satisfied with the finish. Black worbla can be primed in as little as two coats, but I used four just because I wanted an ultra smooth finish.
4) With your prime layer dry, spray your crown with a brown spraypaint or primer. Acrylic paint works too. The brown layer is important as it will give a warm undertone to our gold finish.
5) For the gold layer I used Amaco Brush and Leaf in antique gold. This stuff is AWESOME – it’s a lacquer so it’s extremely opaque and shows very few brush strokes; just be sure to ventilate your area while using it. Allow your first layer to dry then add a second. If using acrylic paint you may need to use a third layer.
6) Weather your gold by drybrushing very small amounts of brown and brown mixed with black into the deeper grooves and recesses of your sculptures. Adding a darker color behind the motifs will help the color pop.
Adding transpART to the crown helps really drive home the sun theme and gives a really cool textural contrast!
1) Begin with a poster board mock up and cut out various sunburst shapes. Keep each piece to a single point to keep it looking more like a sun and less like fire. Tape your pieces together and arrange them behind the tiara until you like the shape. Trim off any excess poster board.
(You may notice that I drafted my mock up prior to constructing the halo – this is perfectly fine so long as you attach your finished transpART after the painting step)
2) Remove your taped-together poster board pieces. If you layered pieces over each other like I did, add a few more pieces of tape so you can keep the front layer together and separate it from the back row. You will be cutting these two pieces out separately.
3) Use a sharpie to trace your patterns onto the transpART. Cut your shapes out.
4) Bring a pot of iDye yellow poly (without the intensifier) to below boiling (make sure this is poly and not natural or your pieces will not dye!). It is always important to boil dye in a pot you do not use for cooking, in a well ventilated area and away from any pets or children. One at a time, drop your transpART pieces in the dye and allow to boil for 7-10 minutes. A pair of non-food tongs works great for working with the transpART, as it’s a good idea to occasionally move your piece around to make sure that your points do not accidently fold and stick to each other for a long period of time. It is fine if the pieces stick a little as they’ll separate right away once cool, but do not allow the transpART to remain in a hard fold for a long period of time, or the dye may get caught in that folded area.
5) Remove your transpART and rinse under cool water. Your shape probably looks pretty floppy right now, but don’t worry! Next, bring your pot of red or orange iDye poly to a boil. (Why orange OR red? Without the intensifier your transpART will only turn orange, even in a red dye bath) This time however, grip your transpART with your tongs and lower the bottom half of the flames into the dye. I did this by rolling the piece together so that I could grip all of the points with my tongs. Continuously raise and lower your flames, taking care to soak the bottom third at all times, while keeping the next third or so only sometimes submerged. This constant movement will help create a gradient ombre effect, rather than a hard line where the orange color stops. The top third should remain completely untouched and will stay a bright yellow color. Once finished, remove and rinse.
6) Lay your crumpled transpART on your table and apply your heatgun until you can push the piece back into a flat shape. Allow to cool slightly and then heat just the tips of your sunbursts, using your fingers to twist the edges and tips slightly to give them a more three dimensional effect. Once cool, apply superglue to the bottom inch or so of your larger sunburst piece, all along the bottom edge. When gluing transpART, I find that applying a thin layer of glue to a large area works best – oversaturating will mean that the glue takes longer to set. Align your top and bottom sunburst layers along the bottom and hold into place until the glue dries.
7) Apply your superglue along the inside base of your worbla where the flames will lay. Hold the transpART piece against the glue and hold in place for several minutes until it’s dry.
**If you’re feeling intimidated by the prospect of molding transpART, don’t be! Click the below link for a timelapse demonstration of how I made the horn portion of the crown from both molded transPART as well as flatter pieces. This mini video tutorial covers steps 1-6 below:**
1) Decide how long you would like your horn and cut out two triangular pieces of transpART to that length. My pieces were approximately 6.5 inches long by .75 inches wide on the widest side.
2) Put your gloves on! To heat transpART to a moldable temperature the plastic must become very, very hot but loses that heat very, very quickly. It’s important to work fast and not let the heat impede you. When over-heating or getting it to a moldable temperature you will notice that the worbla takes on a cloudy look. This is fine but we do not want to over-damage it to the point where it’s completely opaque or contains bubbles. Try to aim for just hot enough to mold, but not so hot that it begins to cloud. Get your transpART to this magical temperature and begin to roll your first triangle back and forth. Apply more heat to maintain the temperature and roll some more until you have rolled it into a cone shape. Repeat for the second triangle.
3) Apply one more final burst of heat and then very quickly pinch the wider base of your triangles together. Twist them upward into a single spiral shape.
4) Apply heat directly to the base and tip so that you can smooth them into a solid, secure shape.
5) For the decorative wings, sketch a shape to your liking on poster board and then trace it onto the transpART. Cut three layers of feathers, each smaller than the last. Use a drop of superglue to affix the smallest feathers on top of the medium layer, and then that on top of the largest layer. Heat the center of your horn to a fairly hot temperature and then press it to the center of your wings – the heat will cause the two piece of transpART to bond.
6) Right now your transparent horn is looking pretty cool, but to add a shimmery, pearlescent finish, dip a dry paintbrush in your rose gold Pearl FX powder and liberally brush it on. Add a few strokes of gold powder near the base of the horn as well. Spray with Testor’s clear lacquer to set.
7) Create a “holder” for your horn by heating a circular, kneaded wad of worbla and pressing the horn directly into it to obtain the right shape. Trim off any excess, and use decorative rolled worbla pieces to bridge the gap between the holder and where you will attach it to the crown. I pressed down on the edges of my rolled pieces to make a wider surface area, which will help when gluing. Prime and paint following the steps you took in the priming/painting section.
8) Apply a thin layer of superglue to the flat part of the rolled pieces and press to the inside base of the crown. Apply a layer to the bottom of the horn and hold against the base until dry.
While the crown should be well balanced on its own, for extra security you can use a rare earth magnet to clamp it to your wig. This will not provide a huge amount of support but it should help ward off any sliding or small bumps. Take one half of your magnet set and generously apply your glue of choice. Press into the center of the base of your halo. To clamp it to your wig, just take the other magnet half and place it under your wig net. So long as you have aligned the polarity, your magnets should clamp together through the wig.
Melting Mirror created this creepy and lifelike glowing heart with TranspArt and shared the process with us!
Want to be a villain in the Once Upon a Time universe but you don’t want to get your hands dirty? Well, I have to tutorial for you!
TranspArt (available at Cosplay Supplies)
iDye Poly red
Vaseline (or mold release)
Glass paint (I use Pebeo)
Sheer red fabric (I used a veining lace)
STEP 1 – Dye the TranspArt
Cut two pieces of TrasnpArt large enough to cover half the heart. An extra 2 inches on each side is plenty. In a pot – specifically used for dyeing and not one you’ll eat in later – bring water to a boil, add dye and intensifier. Mix contents until dispersed then bring to a simmer. Add one sheet of TranspArt and let soak while keeping it submerged. Keep in water for about 10 mins or until TranspArt is properly tinted. Then repeat for the second piece. (You can see more info about dying TranspArt here.)
STEP 2 – Vacuumforming
Check out this video by Naruvien Art & Design as a primer for the process.
Cut a circular hole slightly smaller than your vacuum hose opening into some stiff cardboard. Apply some Vaseline to your fake heart and to the cardboard to prevent sticking.
Preheat the TranspArt till it’s soft. Start up the vacuum and place the hose below the hole, place the heart over the hole and the TranspArt above that. Use the heat gun to continue to soften the TranspArt. It will reach a point where the plastic will stick to the cardboard on all side and the last of the air will be sucked out causing a tight seal. Continue heating till all the folds and creases are defined. Be careful not to overheat the plastic or else it will bubble and melt.
Let the plastic cool a little before popping the heart out. Repeat this process for the other side of the heart.
STEP 3 – Trim and Paint
Cut off all the excess plastic around the edges. For one piece cut the plastic along the halfway point of the heart. For the other piece leave a little extra so that you can overlap the pieces essentially snapping them together so that you don’t need to glue them together.
Paint the inside of the TranspArt with glass paint – I use Pebeo Vitrail paint – to define the details. I used a dusty pink colour, but anything pink, orange, or red will do depending on the look you are going for. Let dry for 8 hours.
STEP 4 – Stuffing and Lights
I used some bright red vein-like lace as stuffing in the heart to diffuse the light and to make the heart more opaque. Other materials you can use are: chiffon, curtain sheers, organza, or anything sheer and red.
Insert a little red LED inside and you are done! See the before (the prop heart) and after photo below.
If you need to make a copy of something fast, or need a very smooth mold of a prop, you can get a quick and easy pull from TranspArt, a sheet of cardboard, and a vacuum cleaner – all without having to worry abut making a special table or dealing with more toxic plastics.
If you want a highly detailed or ‘deeper’ draw, or something a bit sturdier for multiple uses, a simple table build can be used as well as shown here!
Naruvien Art&Design explains two easy ways to create copies of shapes using TranspArt – both of which can be accomplished in minutes with minimal prep!
(These are in German with English Subtitles, but the process is very easy to follow.)
Forming with a Table and Frame
Last Minute Man’s Kitchen shows us the process using a simple table and frame that he used to create both sides of his TranspArt Gunblade.
I wanted to try my hand at dying TranspArt and then turning those pieces into a flame prop for photos. If you want to make one yourself, these are the steps!
Step One: Cut out some basic flamey shapes out of paper. Use them to get an idea of how big you want your finished piece to be.
Step Two: Cut out the same shapes in your TranspArt.
Step Three: Dye your TranspArt. For a tutorial on dying, click here!
Step Four: Heat your pieces one at a time, then pull, stretch and pinch them to help make your individual ‘flame’ shapes.
Note: Costumes by Cassandra used this tutorial to create her own flame for her Lup costume, and shared a great trick with us regarding shaping: aluminium foil!
I asked how she acheived the effect and if the foil sticking to the TranspArt was an issue, and here was her response:
“So if I tried to move it off the foil while it was warm it got a bit sticky, which I played with because it did cool things to the tips of the flames, but for the bodies of the flames, I let it totally cool before I moved it and it peeled off just fine. That said, if I overheated the plastic, it stuck a bit, but the foil bits were easy to pick off. There was just a bit of a learning curve to how long to heat it to get it to sink into the foil and do cool things and how long was too long. I made a few extra pieces assuming I’d mess up a bit.”
Step Five: Heat and shape your pieces around one another, pressing the bottoms together. (I shaped mine around a small ball of parchment paper to help keep the middle open.) If you have trouble joining pieces, you can use hot glue for this. If you want a handle, I used a strip of TranspArt and then covered it with thin peach spandex.
Congrats, you have a hand flame thing! You can also build an LED into it for additional effect. (I just tucked a red LED under mine for photos)
Worbla’s TranspArt is awesome for clear applications, but sometimes you want it to have a colour while still being able to see through it. Automotive spray tints are an option, but depending on where you live, they’re hard to get – or only come in very limited colours. And if you need the piece to remain flexible, spray tints can flake off your surface.
It’s possible to dye TranspArt, however, and quite easy – and the dyes are decently priced (though somewhat limited to single day/project use). TranspArt once dyed still retains a great deal of the colour depth (even when stretched) and shaped pieces can be dyed, though they may need to be reformed as the process requires hot water.
Worbla’s DecoArt is known as Friendly Plastic (or Polycaprolactone) in North America and takes colour very well, allowing great light transparency – though it can be difficult to dye evenly.
Keep in mind that this tutorial is based on iDyePoly Yellow and Red – and I’ve had success with Blue as well. Always test your dye and plastic before working on a big piece!
I used this process for this handflame prop. You can find the short tutorial to make your own here!
You will need: iDyePoly by Jacquard (THE POLY IS THE IMPORTANT PART!) A dye-safe container (I use disposable foil trays. Do NOT use a pot you will cook in!) Tongs, chopsticks, or something to grab your pieces with (that you won’t use for food again!) A stove top Paper Towel
Step one; Hot water: Because I use foil trays and I don’t like dealing with them and high heat, I use a kettle to boil water first. Since I was working with small pieces of dye, I only used half the package of the dye and did not use the intensifier for the yellow and red pieces, saving that for later. For the most intense effect, always use the whole package and intensifier. I empty the dye into the container, then add the hot water from the kettle and stir to dissolve. I add just enough hot water to cover my pieces. (Seriously, do not use any tools that will end up with food later!)
Step two: Once the dye is dissolved, I add my TranspArt and make sure it’s fully submerged (or up to where I want it dyed)
If dying Friendly Plastic, I keep my pellets spread out inside a strainer.
Note: Transpart’s activation point is higher than boiling water, but it still gets very soft. I found the shaped pieces I added drooped significantly, but did not become completely flat. If you were dying something like a dome, or a simple curved visor, you will probably have to reshape it – still the best idea if you want the highest concentration of colour. If you don’t mind a loss of some colour, you can dye your transpart first, and then shape it.
Note 2: It’s not very easy to use this method to get an even, predictable gradient. If you need a perfectly smooth shift between colours over a certain area, you will probably have to do a lot of dipping and shifting of the plastic/babysit the piece for a solid 20 minutes or more. An airbrush might be your best bet at that point, with the loss of visibility taken into account.
Step 3: Keep your water hot. I turned my stove on to medium-low.
Step 4: Leave your plastic alone, coming to stir and shift the water every 5 minutes or so, flipping your plastic over or shaking up the pellets in your strainer. The longer your plastic is in the dye bath, the more dye there is, and using the included intensifier – these will all help give you the deepest colour possible.
Step 5: Remove, rinse, and wipe down with paper towel.
You’re done! You can play with overdying, gradients, light tints and heavy colours – the possibilities are endless, especially when you then layer different shades of TranspArt together!
From left to right: Friendly Plastic 20 minutes in iDyePoly Red Pre-shaped transpart pieces 20 minutes in iDyePoly Red Pre-shaped transpart ‘flame’ 10 minutes iDyePoly red (sat bottom first with top exposed) then 10 minutes iDyePoly yellow submerged
Left: Preshaped flame (very ‘droopy’ 20 minutes in red (base) 10 minutes in yellow (top only). Following same as above.
Left to right: Sanded TranspArt 20 minutes iDyePoly yellow TranspArt 20 minutes iDyePoly yellow Sanded TranspArt 10 minutes iDyePoly yellow then 10 minutes iDyePoly red (half)
Left to right: TranspArt 20 minutes iDyePoly yellow TranspArt 10 minutes iDyePoly yellow 10 minutes iDyePoly red (half) TranspArt 10 minutes iDyePoly yellow 10 minutes iDyePoly red
Previous test results left to right: Tintex brand yellow 1 hour Blue iDyePoly with intensifier 1 hour. Both of these started in hot water that was allowed to cool. Right: Resin dye folded into center of TranspArt.
Sanded Transpart: If you want a somewhat frosted look to your TranspArt, it’s absolutely possible to sand your pieces with fine-grit sandpaper first and then dye them. It gives a very slightly deeper colour compared to un-sanded TranspArt.
Notes for DecoArt or Friendly Plastic: It’s much easier to dye your pellets instead of dying finished pieces, and try to keep your pellets spread thin in a layer on your strainer, rather than clumped together.
While the plastic takes dye wonderfully, it’s easy for it to miss some of the pellets, or dye them a bit unevenly if they’re grouped together – which can lead to white pellets in your finished product.
The dyed plastic gives a mottled, swirled effect when a light is shone behind it. I think it could be totally useful for some styles of gems, especially as it allows for a lot more light to pass through than just painting the plastic with acrylics or spray paint would!
Intensity after shaping:
iDyePoly maintains a surprising amount of colour depth after the TranspArt is shaped/stretched. This piece was almost doubled in length, but the colour stayed even (didn’t get straky or splotchy) and is only a bit lighter in the center.
Final thoughts The amount of colour the TranspArt will pick up depends on the length of time it spends in the water and how much dye is used. The intensifier can help make the colour stronger, but deeper colours (blues, reds) will take more noticeably than yellow or orange. Friendly Plastic takes the actual colour very well, but can be tricky to dye evenly, and is best used for small batches and small projects.
And remember to always, ALWAYS test your plastic before you work on a big project! Some dyes can have surprising results!
So here is a super easy tutorial on how to make clear domes from Worbla’s Transpa Art. These domes are perfect for round crystals, robot eyes and goggles that you can actually see out of.
What you need: Worbla’s TranspArt Heat gun Empty masking tape roles Rounded non stick object (I used half a Gashapon ball ) ((Worbla.com note: if you’re worried about things sticking, you can use a mold release spray or petroleum jelly to help keep things non-stick) Lens Tinting Spray
Step 1 Stack the empty masking tape roles on top of each other make sure they are higher than the height of the dome you’re using,
Step 2 Cut a square of worbla transpa that’s about an inch larger than masking tape trole roles on all sides.
Step 3 Evenly heath the center of worbla till it starts to sag depending on the heat gun this can take 2-6 seconds.. (Make sure not to overheat or it will lead to imperfections in the form of small bubbles )
Step 4 place the dome into the sagging worbla and turn it upside down give it about 3 minutes to cool down and you should have a perfect dome
Step 5 Trim around the dome then remove it the flexible nature of worbla transpa means its easy to remove you (can pretty much turn the transpa dome inside out without damaging it )
Step 6 you have a choice you can spray tint the inside or outside ,Whichever you choose you need to spray it lightly and evenly. the more coats you do the darker it will be (3 coats of this brand seems to be the ideal number)
To make the worbla transpa dome stronger you can also stack 2 or 3 domes on top of each other before painting or repeat the forming process mutable times on top of each other This tutorial can be used to make other shapes as long as they are smaller than the roll but the larger it is the thinner the worbla will in the end result
Melting Props,Cosplay & Projects shared this tutorial on how to make lightweight, perfectly smooth horns with Worbla’s TranspArt that you can paint either opaque, or with transparent paints so that they can be lit with an LED!
How to make light up translucent Demon horns form Worbla’s TranspArt.
These horn are lightweight , cheap and easy to make ,you can get insanely creative with this but for the purposes of this tutorial going with some classic bull like horns
Things you need: Worbla’s Transpa art DAS (other clays work but DAS is the most predictable, get something that can be baked hard) Heat gun fine Sandpaper or Sanding block scissors life sized sketch of the horns you want to make
Step 1 Size up the sketch and figure out how much clay you you’re going to need for each horn
Step 2 Knead the clay adding water to make sure it stays soft (skipping this step is lead to cracking) (Follow the instructions on your clay if you are using a different brand!)
Step 3 roughly form the clay into the shape you want using water to smooth it out (longer horns may require wire inside to keep their shape)
Step 4 once you have the shape you like place in the oven at 80°C the thickness of the horn can mean this step can take an hour or 3 (Again, follow instructions on your clay)
Step 5 if done right you should be able to sand it smooth without it breaking or cracks
Step 6 once the horn is perfect cut out a sheet of transpa worbla longer than your horn with allot of room on both sides if you’re not sure how much you need on both sides it’s better to over estimate than under
step 7 place the worbla on the front facing side of your horn and heat downwards till it gotten the shape of the tip
Step 8 you’re going to have to work your way from the top down Stretching and then pinching where the worbla meats on the other side ( high risk for burning heat proof gloves recommended)
Step 9 trim the excess worbla so there is only a small bit of even flashing left .
step 10 Heat and fold the flashing over to whatever side isn’t facing outwards it’s (right horn fold left left horn fold right) important to do this smoothly or you will be left with on uneven seam lines.
step 11 If you’re horns has more than one curve or has an overhang you may need to break it to break the clay inside it out if the clay was cooked for the right amount of time the very center should still be soft making this step very easy to do clearly if not it’s still pretty easy.
Step 12 wash the horn to remove any clay dust and let dry
Step 13 Painting, nice and evenly applied to layers of the red spray tint once fully dried blend in black (very lightly )
If done right this should be both nice and translucent as well as perfect for lighting effects will get into lighting and electronics in later tutorials but for now I recommend trying this out it may take a couple of attempts
Also if you’re 2nd horn is the same as the 1st it’s possible to fix the broken clay horn by mixing DAS with water and using it as a glue put it back in the oven for an hour and and you’re ready to make a 2nd horn.
I wanted to see how well Worbla’s TranspArt would work as a clear layer that would add shine and protect my paintjob, as well as allowing me to use cutout stencil shapes instead of having to paint geometric designs on props. I chose to make a small Captain America shield as a test.
First, I made the base out of some scraps of Wonderflex, pressed into am old lampshade. The finished product was pretty bumpy, so I coated it in woodglue before painting it. Then I added a silver ring made of plastic vinyl, and the star was cut from white wrapping paper.
Once the paint and glue were dry, I cut a piece of Worbla’s TranspArt larger than my shield, heated it, and carefully stretched it overtop, folding the edges over.
The final product is a super shiny shield that’s indestructable – I can throw it into walls and down stairs and it doesn’t take a scratch, so I don’t have to worry about scratching or chipping my paint, and as a bonus it was much faster to cut out the silver ring and star than masking and painting them both by hand.
First technique: I painted on top of the foam using 3 types of different colors and then used the TranspArt as a clear coat over foam. What I did – I painted the foam with spray paint only. Then sandwiched the foam between the Worbla’s Finest Art and the TranspArt together heated it up with a heat gun. Pros- The technique gave me exactly what I wanted a clear coat over my paint, the heat gun did not burn the paint that was on the foam. Was able to form the worbla without any defects. Cons- have not seen anything that would cause a negative effect.
Second Technique: Designs and Chrome paint on Worbla’s TranspArt. What I did- Painted the TranspArt to have a chrome mirror affect, then cut out designs in the foam . I sandwiched the foam between the TranspArt chrome sheet and Worbla’s Finest Art. Pros – once I heated the foam and the worbla sheets together, it stayed its mirror like affect. Perfect for a knight in shining armor look. Worked well with the designs. Was able to form without any defects. Picture #1 above before being heated and formed
Cons – However I wanted to try to stretch one of the corners of the piece to see how it would react. When I stretched one of the corners the paint particles started separating out making it more see through again (Seen in picture Number 2 above) this affect caused it to have a less mirror affect and more see through, I guess it all depends on what kind of effect you want would make it work out.
However besides the top right corner having a defect. The rest of the area kept its mirror affect even after being formed. Seen in Picture #3 above.
Elemental also used TranspArt for a protective coat over a mini Captain America Shield.
I created this shield by using Wonderflex, heated and pressed into a curved lampshade. I coated it with woodglue to help smooth the top out, painted it, then created the silver ring out of thin silver vinyl and the star is a paper cutout. The TranspArt was heated and stretched carefully over everything once it was dry, and it makes a great, perfectly smooth glossy finish that means my paint can’t be chipped no matter how many times I throw this ‘frisbee’.
If you’re looking to make perfectly smooth armor and want a way to keep your paint from chipping, seriously consider TranspArt layered with Worbla’s Finest art as an option!