Category Archives: Tutorial

Shiny Wig Fiber Tutorial

Making Wigs (and wig fibers) Less Shiny Tutorial!  I’m not sure how useful people will find this, but I’ve used it a lot so I may as well share in the hopes that it’s useful to someone else!
Sometimes you buy wigs and extensions and they’re lovely and nothing needs to be done to them – places like Arda Wigs already have fantastic fibers on their wigs.  However, I like to get a lot of my wig supplies from my local Beauty Supply Store (er, that’s actually the name of it) downtown.  It’s just so convenient, inexpensive, and I don’t have to wait for stuff to arrive in the mail.  The downside to this is that a lot of their extensions are really obnoxiously shiny and plastic-y looking.  They have that undeniable PARTY WIG look about them.  And that is an awful thing.
So here’s how I take care of it!  First, brush out your wig or extensions to get rid of tangles- then fill a bowl or bucket (I think I used a vase in these photos) with liquid fabric softener.  You don’t need any sort of fancy fabric softener- just pick some up from the dollar store and you’ll be fine.  Submerge your wig/extensions in the fabric softener and swish them around a bit to make sure that they’re fully coated in the stuff – then leave them to stew in that for about a week.

When the week is up, rinse your wig/extensions in cold/lukewarm water (don’t use soap!).  Hang them up to dry.  Once dry, shake baby powder/talcum powder onto the wig/extensions and brush through- applying more powder as you feel necessary.  The fabric softener takes away a bit of the shine and also helps the powder to stick to the wig fibers and mute the obnoxious shine.  Style however you want, applying more powder if you feel it’s needed.

I did this on my Leia extensions so that they matched my own hair better (since… my real hair is not QUITE as shiny as a party wig), and also on my Sailor Moon ponytails since they were originally very very shiny!  I’ve used it on a few other wigs and sets of extensions and like the way it makes the fibers look more natural and less shiny.

(download the image to view properly- it’s a bit large…)

 

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Colored Shoes Tutorial

Maybe not so much of a tutorial, but details on how I put together a lot of my shoes for costumes.

I usually use pleather shoes for most costumes because I love the way they look!  Also, they accept paint easily.  So that helps.

There are some awesome options available for painting leather (and faux leather/pleather), but for the longest time I didn’t know about them and I just used acrylic paint and mod podge to color shoes.  It’s cheap, readily available, and I could mix pretty much any color I needed so that the shoes would match my costume.  Generally two-three coats of paint and one coat of mod podge is enough to cover the whole shoe.
The downside to using acrylic is that it can crack (particularly if you use it on tall boots, or anything which needs to flex a lot when you wear it).

For shoes that have extra straps (like Neptune’s and Uranus’s) I cut pieces of pleather, painted them, and sewed them to the shoes.  For Neptune’s I sewed a loop  of elastic to one end of the ankle strap and a button to the inside of the shoe that the loop hooks over.

I hope that helps someone!  I promise, having the strap on Neptune’s shoe match the rest of the shoe looks a lot nicer than using ribbon, and only takes a little bit more time to add on.

As a final note- there are paints made specifically for changing the color of shoes.  Angelus leather paint and Meltonian Nu-Life spray are two that I would absolutely recommend!  For any sort of boots, or shoe with a lot of movement the result is going to last longer using those paints rather than acrylic.

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Quick Fuku Sleeves Tutorial

I’ve made and looked at a lot of fukus over the years and the question I get the most is about the sleeves.  I thought I’d type up some basic info on how I make mine in the hopes that it helps someone further on down the road!  This isn’t really a step-by-step tutorial since… I don’t really think it needs to be.

For fuku sleeves use white foam sandwiched between layers of fabric.  Since the bodysuit part of the fuku is white, the foam you use should really be white as well- the green and tan foam will show through most white fabrics and won’t look right.

I cut a sort of pointed oval shape out of foam and fabric.  Place the fabric on top of the foam and fold from point to point- sandwiching the foam in between the fabric.  The folded edge is the outer part of your sleeve.  Pin and baste the foam-and-fabric-sandwich together along the raw edge.  Then simply top stitch with white thread and you’ve got some swanky outer-space-y looking sleeves for your fuku.

That’s it!

If you have trouble finding the foam, I sell it here.

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Fancy Shmancy Shoes Tutorial

This isn’t particularly cosplay related, but I made myself a pair of Sailor Moon shoes over the weekend and got a lot of questions as to how they were made.  It was really straightforward so I figured I’d just post the information here for anyone who might want it.

I’ve seen a lot of people making comic book heels lately, and I really wanted to try and make a Sailor Moon pair.  These shoes were originally a terrifying grey snakeskin-y print… I like to think this is an improvement.

What you need:

– Shoes
This pair was only $10 in some clearance section, they don’t have to look good- in fact, the uglier the better.  Then you don’t have to feel guilty about destroying them.  Just make sure they don’t have too much of a raised texture.

 - Paintbrush

 - Bowl of water

 - Modge Podge
I like Modge Podge- partly because I have a few big bottles of it lying around the workroom- I have a feeling you could use white Elmer’s Glue as a substitute though, they seem to be basically the same thing.

- Whatever you want to design your shoes with. 
If you’re doing comics, most stores have quarter bins where you can get some pretty cool stuff for only $.25/book.  Or you can just print stuff out.  Just make sure that whatever you print out isn’t going to bleed if it gets wet.  I printed my stuff out onto completely average printer paper.  Maybe something a little less sturdy would’ve worked better, but it seemed to turn out fine as it was.

-Scissors

-Exacto/Knife

-Ribbon (to finish the inside of the shoe)

First you should probably make sure that your shoes are clean.  That may be stating the obvious, but then again maybe not.
Cut out your source material- smaller shapes will work better over big curves (like the toe area).  Try to decide where you want the different pictures to go (I started at the heel and worked my way forward).  When you’re ready to start gluing, put your first cutout piece into the bowl of water for a few seconds to soften it up and then stick it on to the shoe.  The water alone should hold it there pretty well if you want to mess around with different pictures and see how they fit together- once it looks alright, paint over it with a layer of modge podge.  You’ll probably want to make sure you have some overhang on the pieces so that you can tuck them into the top of the shoe afterwards.  Sometimes cutting or scoring the pieces with the knife will help them fit around the curves of the shoe.  Do this to the whole shoe.  And the other- because you probably have two feet.  DOES IT LOOK AWESOME NOW?

Maybe not.  Mine looked pretty ridiculous at this point- but they were at least looking less snakeskin-y.  To finish off the shoes I scored and folded the flange/overhang bit into the top/opening of the shoe and glued a bit of ribbon over it (on the inside of the shoe) so you didn’t see the strange paper edges.  I cut along the sole of the shoe with my knife to remove the excess paper/decoupage bits and to give it more of a finished edge.  It might’ve looked better if I’d done this as I went and sort of pressed the finished edge into the gap between sole and shoe- ah well, hindsight.

After all of this I went over the whole thing with another layer (or five…) of modge podge in the hopes that it would stand up to a bit of wear and tear.

I hope this was sort of kind of helpful in some way and that it leads to there being more swanky well-loved shoes in the world.  <3

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Shiny Things (A Tiara Tutorial)

Since the last one was lost, I’ll… retype this.  ;__;

This is just a sort of simple tutorial for how I make my moony tiaras (and any other shiny things on costumes when I am feeling lazy).

Also, since this is a lot of text here is the short version:

Cut out craft foam and stick metallic spandex to it with spray adhesive or rubber cement.  Then attach other do-dads and stick the whole mess to your face.  Ta-da!

If that’s not what you wanted, here’s the long winded version:

Materials:

  • Craft Foam (1 sheet of the thin (3mm) stuff)
  • Card stock or light plastic
  • Scissors
  • Rubber Cement/Contact Cement or Spray Adhesive
  • Gold Metallic Spandex (about 1 sq ft)
  • Glue (E-6000!)
  • Gem Thingy (Star or Oval Cabochon depending on what version you’re doing)
  • Bobby pins to attach this thing to your face (optional)

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