Project Cosplay

Project Cosplay

This blog is about the behind-the-scenes aspect of the hobby. The process that makes it happen, tips, tutorials, memorable quotes, and the little moments that make it all worthwhile. Brought to you by mods (Xaynie & ElfGrove) and our cosplaying cohorts.

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This is a quick tip regarding how to start sizing your props: Use the character’s body in reference to the prop and project it onto yours for relatively accurate sizing. Read below for more info.

1) Find reference photos and decide which version you are going to use. I’m currently working on Claves for Eternal Sonata. Here are two reference photos.


Notice in one photo, the rapier is much longer than the other? Yep, often times you’ll find reference photos are not consistent. What should you consider when deciding between which version? The first question is how will you be transporting this weapon? If you are taking it in a car then you can make it as big as you can stuff into your car. If you have to stuff your prop into a suitcase then you will have to think about how you are going to break it down for transporting. The second question is which can I accomplish based on my skill level? A few months ago, I did not know how to make props that broke down so if I were a few months back, I probably would have decided to use the shorter version. But since I’m challenging myself to make sure my weapons always break down, I have decided to go with the reference photo with the longer rapier. Also, the shorter one looks like a magician’s poking stick and rapiers on average are 39” long.

2) Estimate how big it is in relation to the character. For the version I am using, her rapier, if turned completely vertical (I did this using photoshop or you can just eye it), would be about the length of her waist to the floor.

3) Measure your body based on that estimation. I measured my floor to waist length and coincidentally it’s exactly 39”. So I will make my rapier about a meter long.

There you go, simple right? You can do this for anything- wigs, gauntlets, small props, accessories, weapons, 3D Maneuver Gear, etc. Use the character’s body in reference to the prop and project it onto yours for relatively accurate sizing.

Hello :) I'm making an Elsa cosplay from Frozen but with the wig I want to know what is the best way for styling the fringe? I was thinking gel and a whole heap of hair spray but I don't want it to get clumpy.
projectcosplay projectcosplay Said:

I think all you’ll need is hairspray, a blow dryer, and a small curling iron to get her crown / fringe looking good.

supernovadobe created a pretty good video tutorial here: (the link is directly below the banner).

At point 4:10 you’ll see how she makes the widow’s peak. At the 10:00 minute mark you’ll start seeing how the rest of the crown is styled. I hope that helps!


Aw snap it’s time for another round of Cosplay Basics, or, Stuff You Probably Already Know!

I am not particularly good at wigs.  There’s something about them that seems to have a personal vendetta against me.  Although I styled almost all of my own wigs in the past few years, I’ve gone back to commissioning simply for ease.  There’s no point in getting stressed out over something I don’t like doing, and don’t feel like I have a talent for!

But even if you’re not getting into any major wig styling, there are a few basic things that you should have on hand!

1) The first thing you’ll need is a wig brush, or comb.  Everyone has their preferences, my favorite is a wire wig brush like the one pictured.  You can actually get this kind in the dog care section.  Mine’s lasted years and I have no complaints about it. 

Combs are something a lot of people prefer, and I use for small touch ups like fixing bangs. 

The only thing you want to avoid are soft plastic or bristled brushes.  They create a lot of static, and that’s a major cause of tangles.

2) Not pictured is a foam wig head.  These are crucial for detangling as well as styling any parts that you can’t do while wearing the wig.  However, they are smaller than the average head, so it’s recommended to not do any tight styling on this.

To hold your wig in place while you work, quilter’s pins are great.  They don’t have any edges for the wig to tangle on, they’re long, and they’re colorful so you don’t accidentally leave any in your wig when you take it off the foam head.  Not that I have ever… done that… I hear it’s really painful….

3) The third thing is probably the best invention ever.  It’s a razor comb!  Razor combs are phenomenal for getting a nice edge on your wig, rather than the blunt cut scissors can give unless you know how to use them properly.  It’s also almost impossible to hurt yourself while combing.  All you have to do is comb, and the razor slices the hair off!  They’re great for bangs in particular.

While you can get disposable combs at places like Sally’s Beauty Supply, they’re a tad expensive and go dull fast. However, a razor comb with replaceable blades, like this, only ran me $3 for the comb itself, and $10.00 for 100 blades (4) , on ebay.

5) Use big clips to hold the hair out of the way while you style.

6) And finally, we have a wig stand for foam heads.  This fits on the edge of a table or shelf (you screw it in to tighten it.)   However, I much prefer to use a free stand—I found that my dressform’s stand works wonderfully.  That way, you don’t have to worry about bumping against the table or shelf while you’re working!

So maybe you learned something, maybe you didn’t.  Feel free to add any of your own advice in reblogs!

I would add:

  • small, sharp scissors in case you want to cut big chunks of hair ( the razor comb might take too long)
  • foam curlers if you will be creating curls
  • hair spray to set the styles

Completely forgot to upload armor or progress pics for my latest cosplay debuted at Anime Los Angeles 2014. She’s Cynthia, a pegasus knight, from Fire Emblem: Awakening. Any FE fans out there?

Breastplate: Mostly worbla with gesso. Some parts had styrene

Gauntlets: Long pleather glove and styrene

Shoulder pauldrons & elbows: Worbla & styrene

Shoes: pleather & thigh high tights

Lance: PVC pipe with couplers and Worbla

Cynthia reference photo source.


Cosplay tip: Crepe Beards

You will need the following:
-Crepe hair (you can purchase this on eBay)
-Sprit Gum (Costume stores, makeup sites such as Kryolan,eBay etc)
-Makeup brush

1) Cut a piece of crepe hair from the braid and tease out the hair. You want the sections to be relatively thin so you can build up the beard gradually.
2) Apply spirt gum to small section, I usually start from under the chin and work my way up. Wait until the spirit gum goes ‘tacky’. You can determine this by touching the spirit gum with your pinky finger - if you see small ‘strands’ appear you know it is tacky.
4) Apply a small section of hair (you do not need to worry about the length just yet) apply pressure with the handle of your makeup brush. Repeat steps 1-4 until you get the desired thickness/shape for your beard.
5) Trim to desired length/style when the entire beard has been applied.

You can use this method for eyebrows, moustaches, ageing hair on bald caps etc. This method can be used for theatre and has been used in tv/film. I personally think it’s a cost effective way to make a slightly realistic looking beard.

Now you can have crazy beards for cosplay!

P.s I stole these images from google images but I’ve done this method many times for my Hair and Media Makeup course.

Great for either crossplay or if you want a beard for a costume but don’t want to grow one out.

(via fontscosplay)


/This is mainly aimed for cosplayers, but you obviously don’t need to be a cosplayer to find this helpful/

When shopping for fabrics, you can get that a lot look very similar in the same color, and you don’t know which is best. When buying any fabric, it’s an amazing habit to…

When shopping for fabrics, always do a flash/no flash test!

(my thoughtful question) How did you discover cosplay?
projectcosplay projectcosplay Said:

OH! This is a fun question.

ElfGrove: I discovered cosplay when I joined an anime club at my university, AUSAM (Auburn University Society of Anime and Manga). Back then, the club made annual trips as a group up to Anime Weekend Atlanta. The club president at the time, in preparation for the trip, told us about cosplay and other things we could expect to see at the con. I ended up doing my first costumes that year, a female Ranma (with no wig, and my hair was not red) and Wizard from Angelic Layer (with a cheap party store wig and painters tape creating the arm stripes). Looking back now, they were pretty terrible costumes, but they were my first attempts, so I’m still fond of them. Everyone starts somewhere, and I find that endearing and encouraging rather than something to be embarrassed of. I’ve only really started amassing a wider array cosplay skills in the last 5 or 6 years. I could not be prouder of the improvements I’ve made to my skill set. I revisited Ranma 1/2 as a Ryoga cosplayer in 2012, and I’d like to do something from Angelic Layer again one day in memoriam of that first costume.


Xaynie: I have always wanted to cosplay ever since I started watching Sailor Moon on t.v. in 1992. I made poor attempts in high school to cosplay Mercury. I wish I had the pictures to show it but I dyed my real hair blue and cut / styled it the way Mercury’s hair was. I no-sewed / hot glued all her pieces of clothing and made a really crappy version of her but I was proud of it because I was able to cosplay one of my favorite characters. Then high school and college took over and I never attempted again. It wasn’t until after college where I had time and money to invest in cosplay. In 2006 I went to my first AX and cosplayed Yoruichi from Bleach. From then on, I just never stopped perfecting my craft and hobby.

Everyone’s first cosplay will be crappy. There are a few of us who are blessed with the skill and talent to get it right the first time. I’m not one of those. Over the years, I’ve gotten better. So if it’s your first time cosplaying, don’t be intimidated! You have to start somewhere like the rest of us!




Tip of the week for keep oddly shaped articles of clothing against your body.

I wish I thought of these things but, alas, I am only a Banana D:<

This is a great tip for keeping things from rolling up or over themselves, especially those pesky thigh highs or arm warmers.


What any cosplayer needs to survive a convention:


No matter how prepared I think I am for a convention I always seem to leave something important at home. To fix this I keep a small bag packed with items I know I can’t survive without in case I forget to pack them into my regular luggage.

I would add to the kit:

  • Double sided foam mounting tape - for those pesky costumes that just won’t stay put
  • Clear thread and needle - that way you won’t have to bring separate thread for every different fabric color
  • I would suggest duct tape over the masking tape.

Worbla Tests - Making Worbla Smooth

We did some testing with Worbla, Gesso, Mod Podge Spray Sealer, and Plasti-Dip.

(a more detailed post on method will come shortly)

In your opinion, which yielded best results? A or B?