Until you wear gloves for a cosplay you might not notice how annoying they are! You want your phone out for pictures and connecting with your fellow nerds online, but it sucks having to pull your glove off for every photo op- sometime the crowd on the floor moves to quickly.
I discovered conductive thread about a week before WonderCon 2015 so I whipped up these gloves for the phone-addicted Riddler in our Arkham Starfleet group cosplay. SInce it was in a rush, the stitches are pretty sloppy, but I’m happy to report they worked great!
I found my thread on Amazon.com since I was in a super hurry and needed speedy delivery.
How to Make Touch Screen Cosplay Gloves
All you really need are gloves, conductive thread, and a needle, but you might find a hair curler useful if you have one on hand.
You need something to put in the finger of the glove while you stitch. This is where the curler will come in handy. First, take the foam off the roller.
Insert the frame of the roller into the finger you want to make touch screen friendly.
Whip stitch rows along the pad of the finger you’re working on. You need at least enough rows to cover the pad of the finger.
Once you’re done, you’ll be able to text and take pics to your hearts content ❤
So I did this quick cosplay with ordinary clothes from my closet and a few strategic accessories. That is called a “Closet Cosplay.” Apparently. Thank you Instagram friends for using the power of The Internets to acquaint me with that term. I owe you my firstborn.
Put on my trusty Poison Ivy wig (and my own for real glasses to actually see) and snapped a quick selfie.
For me the most essential part of a DIY Harely Quinn cosplay is an iconic Harley Quinn prop! This is how I made a Harley Quinn hammer (also called a mallet).
MATERIALS I USED
- 2 Home Depot Buckets
- Half of an Adjustable Drapery Rod with a Cool Finial
- Thick Craft Foam
- Sticky Back Craft Foam
- Masking Tape
- Various Fabric & Ribbon Trim
- Drill with 1″ Paddle Bit
- Epoxy or Super Glue
- Hot Glue Gun & Sticks
- Black Spray Paint, Clear Acrylic Spray Paint
- Red & White Craft Paint
STEP ONE: BUILD OUT YOUR HAMMER HEAD
I cut the top off of two Home Depot buckets and stuck ’em together. Then I smoothed out the seams with a combination of masking tape and craft foam.
STEP TWO: COVER IN WORBLA AND EMBELLISH WITH TEXTURE
First I covered the whole thing in worbla for a uniform, paintable texture. Then I used a hot glue gun to add some rhinestone ribbon trim and diamonds cut out from sticky back foam. This added some cool texture to my hammer head- and also cover some seams. 😉
STEP THREE: THE HANDLE
First I covered the curtain rod in worbla and used epoxy glue to attach the finial to one end. Then I chose the paddle bit closest to the diameter of my covered rod and drilled a whole in the hammer head where the handle would be attached.
I applied epoxy to end of the rod opposite of the finial and inserted it all they way through so that the end of the rod hit the opposite end of the hammer head. I carefully held it in place until the epoxy set and my handle was secured to the inside of the hammer head.
I also added a gasket of craft foam where the handle met the head and used epoxy to secure it in place.
STEP FOUR: PAINT IT BLACK & RELAX!
When my fabrication was complete, I spray painted the whole thing black and then finished with a light coat of clear acrylic spray paint. I then I took a break and let it set for a day. It’s hard to be patient but if you let the paint cure your less likely scratch or smudge stuff. 🙂
STEP FIVE: FINISH IT OFF WITH DETAILS
To finish off my Harley Hammer, I used a couple different techniques. I dry brushed red craft paint over my textured parts and added some Harley touches with a bullseye and psycho laughter. I cut strips of some left over deep red velvet and glued it in a spiral pattern around the handle and added some assorted ribbon details.
Although this mallet could be used for any Harley cosplay, I also made a little hobo satchel that we attached to this mallet to fit the Gotham Hobos theme of a group cosplay.
This is a pretty involved DIY project that takes at least 2-3 days to complete mostly because you have to let papier-mâché dry- ugh!!). I suggest setting aside a weekend to tackle it depending on how quickly you paint. So strap in and be ready to get messy.
On top of that, I also had to go back to my original design and make some major changes to improve stability!
What you’ll need:
- Cardboard and/or poster board to construct the shape of the ears and head and horn. Shoe box cardboard is ideal.
- Craft foam- 1 sheet
- Masking tape
- Hot glue gun & hot glue sticks
- Pencil & black Sharpie marker
- Craft Paint for your Unikitty palette (see below)
- Clear acrylic spay paint- I recommend Rustoleaum Crystal Clear Acrylic
- White primer spray paint
- A variety of paint brushes. This multi pack of paintbrushes worked for me. Most important is the angled brush for all the hard lines and a half inch wide flat brush. You may want to invest in extra angled brushes to clean up edges without having to rinse out your brush.
- 100% acetone nail polish remover
- A plastic cup you don’t mind destroying
- Papier-mâché supplies:
- Newspapers (or an old phonebook!)
- School glue
- Large mixing bowl
- Trash bags
- Masking tape
- Optional: latex/vinyl gloves
I have made waaaaay too many papier-mâché projects in the last year. Believe me, if you don’t think it through, it can be a bitch- if you’ll pardon my French. 🙂 My Papier-Mâché Tutorial will help you avoid some large messes and mistakes I made along the way. ❤
Fabricating Your Shapes:
I used cardboard to build the shapes for the head and ears, poster board for the horn, and craft foam to build the round lego gasket piece that attaches the horn to the head.
To make the horn, I rolled up poster board until I got the cone shape I wanted.
If I could start over and do things differently, I would make sure that the width of the face block (from front to back) was as wide as my head so I could just cut a hole in the bottom, stick it straight on my head and be done…
…but I didn’t think of that until it was too late so here are the actual dimensions of the hat I made:
Round lego gasket: diameter 3.25″ – Horn height: 9″
Cover Your Shapes in Papier-Mâché
Cover each INDIVIDUAL SHAPE in papier-mâché except for the foam gasket piece.
Check out this article for detailed papier-mâché instructions.
After my papier-mâché horn was dry I wrapped it in masking tape to give it spiral ridges:
Prime Your Pieces
Once your individual papier-mâché pieces are totally dry, cover them evenly with 2-3 coats of white spray primer. (Whatever it takes so no newsprint shows through.)
When using spray paint it’s best to apply one light coat at a time, letting them dry to the touch in between.
Sketch the Unikitty Face
This is where things start to get tricky. You will need to be able to sketch out your Unikitty face on your headpiece so you can paint it.
I sketched my face by hand, but you could also find an image online and then blow it up to the size of your hat.
When I was happy with the face, I folded it in half and chose the best side to be my template for tracing.
Paint, Paint and More Paint!
Paint all your shapes the appropriate colors, and then fill in your face sketch.
Sounds pretty simple, but I have a few tips for you:
- Apply colors from lightest to darkest.
- Let each color dry to the touch before the next color
- Use the acetone to completely clean your brushes when you switch colors
- I like angled brushes best for getting clean edges (or touching up edges) on my shapes.
Seal and Gloss
When your paint is totally dry, apply 4-5 coats of Rustoleum Crystal Clear Acrylic to really make your hat look like a plastic lego piece.
REMEMBER: When using spray paint it’s best to apply one light coat at a time, letting them dry to the touch in between.
Congratulations! You have a giant Unikitty head…but not yet a hat. Let everything dry and cure for 24 hours before moving moving on to the next step.
Now it’s Time to Build Your Hat
As previously mentioned, if I could start over and do things differently, I would make sure that the width of the face block (from front to back) was as wide as my head so I could just cut a hole in the bottom, stick it straight on my head and be done…
… but that is not what happened.
When I debuted my Punk Princess Unikitty cosplay at Wondercon 2014, I did cut a hole in the bottom so the block was somewhat contoured to my head.
I ended up attaching the Unikitty head to a thin little headband because my hair wouldn’t have covered much more and I wanted the illusion of the block just poised on my head.
It worked JUST OKAY.
I had to stand perfectly straight and not turn my head too fast or it would fall off… just how you want to be at a con all day, right?
Luckily I used to train in ballet, so that was helpful but a few hours into Wondercon and my neck was killing me!
Here is what the janky headband rig looked like:
Seriously it was so bad, lol!
How I Stabilized My Hat
Some Special Recognition ❤ ❤ ❤
When I made the Unikitty hat, I never intended to write a tutorial… hence the extreme lack of step by step photos (sorry).
A special thank you goes out to Cindy A. for inspiring this tutorial. As the first person to ask for details, my emails to her
forced helped me to organize my thoughts. 🙂 Then Cindy and Katherine made AMAZING Unikitty and Angry Unikitty hats of their own!
Using the wig for a snug fit has worked like a charm. ❤
Girls tired of seeing girl cosplayers only representing the sexy side of women.
Girls drink a lot of wine and hatch a plan to do the most sexualized characters we could think of in a whole new way.
Gotham Hobos are born and I send my early costume sketches to Jimmy at Been Better comics for a cartoon rendering:
Old friends meet new friends and several months of crafting (and giggling) ensue.
Crazy Cat-Lady Catwoman was the first to take shape:
Then Homeless Hippie Poison Ivy started to come together:
And last, but not least, everybody’s favorite certifiably insane girlfriend, Hobo Harley Quinn, came to life:
Hopefully con-goers would see us and get a chuckle. Hopefully, a few gals would see us and think “hey that’s cool, I don’t always have to be sexy to be awesome.”
As long as we were having fun we were stoked!
We never thought in a million years we’d win anything- all day we went back on forth on whether we should even enter the official cosplay contest hosted by Nerds Like Us!
So you can imagine how stoked we were when Gotham Hobos actually won Best Group Cosplay!!! There was lot’s of squealing and jumping up and down, lol.
Best of all we made friends with some very talented, creative and awesome female cosplayers who are not afraid to cosplay outside the sexy box, so to speak! All in all, it was a fantastic experience and so much fun.
I could not have had two better partners in crime than Ms. Natasha and BHArtDesigns!
Yawn. I am so over sexy cosplay. That’s why I wanted to do a group cosplay called Gotham Hobos. We thought it would be an interesting twist to portray some famous Gotham citizens in odd, poor, frumpy, dirty versions of themselves.
First, let me be clear. I’m a nerd and I love sexy cosplay! But think about this:
When you read the words “sexy cosplay,” what type of people popped into your head? Dudes, right? Lots of beefy sexually dressed men. LULZ, of course not!
You instantly pictured women dressed as Slave Leia, vinyl clad Catwomen, tiny bodysuits, corsets and of course tons of boobs. ::Le sigh::
Women should be allowed to be as sexy as they want to be! I would never dream of telling women not to display their bodies how they see fit or shaming them for doing so! I just wish that the collective consciousness glorified us for being whole people, not just one part of a person.
What if I said “epic heroic cosplay?” Did you still envision Slave Leia? I didn’t think so.
I do think it’s high time more women show more sides of themselves in cosplay. How about some strong, armored characters? (Without the ridiculous bare midriff armor). What about funny characters? Scary characters? All with nary a boob to be seen. Is that asking too much? IDK.
Now all of that being said, part of the the problem is the actual content women who cosplay have to draw inspiration from. I think we can agree that both male and female characters in video games, comic books, etc all have ridiculously proportioned bodies. However, at least there are more male characters where the correct “form” can be fabricated.
A skinny bean pole guy could put on Batman armor with built in muscles and voila! Dope cosplay, dude! I’m not saying that guys don’t ever get crap for being too pudgy, too skinny etc in a spandex Superman cosplay…but not as much as women. Even portraying characters professionally, somehow women are just put under more scrutiny.
MY FAVORITE EXAMPLE OF THE NERD DOUBLE STANDARD
Do you remember when the first Tomb Raider came out? Some nerds somewhere took a shot of Angelina Jolie’s body in costume. They ran it through a program where it compared her EXACT measurements to the EXACT measurements of the completely fictional human-anatomy-defying video game version of Lara Croft. Her tits were huge but dammit they weren’t EXACTLY as huge as the video game!!! How could Angelina dare to play this role!? How could the studios RUIN such an iconic game!? Nonsense. I’d like to see Adam West’s body run through the same program and compared to the comic book Batman.
Also, of course, there’s not as many female characters as male characters in video games, comic books, etc. So women started gender swapping their favorite male superheroes. I think it’s a fantastic idea and I’m excited that I’m starting to see more men gender swapping too! I just wish that the majority of gender swapping wasn’t simply making a sexy skimpy version of the male counterpart. I’ve seen pinup versions of literally every comic character I can think of. Every single one. Do you know how many women I’ve seen in an actual Iron Man (or I guess, in this case Iron Woman) suit? One. I saw one once on the internet. It was pretty badass!
I have a theory that we don’t see more equal gender swaps from women because as a group it’s easier for us to use our bodies to get attention for our cosplay than dudes. Which is unfair for them too when you think about it. Don’t have the time, energy, skills, or whatever to do a full Iron Man costume? That’s ok if you’re a lady. Just throw on lingerie in Iron Man colors and add a light on your chest. Maybe get the helmet- but for fucksake don’t wear it- just carry it so you don’t mess up your hair and makeup- duh!
As long as you have big tits and are showing them off, please believe you will make a splash on any con floor and your photos will be shared all over the internet. I have witnessed this exact costume in person surrounded by photographers and admirers. A so-so attempt at Iron Man from a guy? Who the fuck cares? Exactly nobody. Unless it’s crafted perfectly nobody cares.
This whole train of thought gets me down. At times it seems so huge that I don’t feel like things will ever change. That it’s pointless to even try… but “be the change you want to see in the world, fuckers!” Ghandi said that, although I may be paraphrasing. I’m not saying I don’t ,or will never wear sexy cosplay, or you’re wrong if you do. I’m just saying that if we all all shake it up once in in a while we might start to change people’s minds. So maybe take a risk at the next con ladies and don’t just go for the T&A. And if some hot dudes want to do shirtless Thor, I won’t complain, either. ::wink::
I personally find taking the sexiest (and most cosplayed) Gotham characters and making them weird dirty hobos funny. It’s not going to be sexy, that’s for sure- unless you have some hobo fetish. To which I say, to each their own! You do you.
The Gotham Hobos will be at Long Beach ComicCon 2014 and we can’t wait to show off Harley Quinn, Catwoman and Poison Ivy like you’ve never seen them before! You can follow the #GothamHobos on Instagram @jojossocreative to see what hijinks they get up to in the weeks leading up to the con.
My friend Jimmy (who happens to write/illustrate a great web comic that you should totes check out) is going to the Labyrinth Masquerade tonight! I’m super jealous because I can’t go, but I’m living vicariously by playing Fairy Godmother and sending him of with a custom made masquerade mask. He was just looking for something simple, but since Jimmy is a super fan of The Joker (from Batman) I was inspired to go for a Joker mask with a definite jester vibe.
Here is my journey to the finished product. Enjoy!
I knew I wanted to build out a custom shape for my Joker and I thought a store-bought mask, craft foam and scrap pieces of Worbla would do the trick. Once I played around with my materials a bit, I came up with a concept design and started building my piece
Next it was time to cover the whole thing with a papier-mâché . In the process I decided I wanted a slightly different texture for the hair and tried a new technique. Some tissues did the trick, but since they are so absorbent it took almost twice as long to dry as regular newspaper. Very happy with the results though!
After the papier-mâché dried completely it was time to get down to painting. First I primed it with white primer from my total spray paint crush- Rustoleum. Then I used acrylic craft paint to do the rest and silver liquid leaf for some shinier accents.
I sealed all my detail work with Rustoleum Crystal Clear Acrylic (My absolute favorite glossy sealer of ALL TIME). Once a few coats had dried I added some 3d accents for texture. Since I was going for a masculine look, the only rhinestones I used were black. For other accents I opted for iron-on metal studs…only I just used hot glue to attach them.
Some inexpensive chattering teeth on wire gave me that extra Joker pizzazz to really put my mask over the top.
The very last thing to do was attach the head strap. I attached black elastic to either side with epoxy glue and used hot glue to create a loop at the end of each piece of elastic. Using the loops I was able to thread through a piece of ribbon for an adjustable fit. I also found the mask rubbed uncomfortable against my nose but it was an easy fix. Just a regular makeup sponge attached with hot glue.
Added a few matching embellishments to a Joker smile-on-a-stick that I made before and voilà!
Welcome new friends! I met so many amazing people at Wondercon yesterday. If somehow you manage to find this lil ol’ blog- even though I somehow managed to leave the house without a single business card- I’m deeply appreciative!
I started this blog basically to teach myself how to use WordPress for my job…but the freedom to blog my own feelings and drop the occasional F-bomb (cuz I’m a grown-ass woman, dammit) left me feeling like I could finally breathe. So here I am blogging intermittently, making grand plans to seriously blog, then immediately abandoning those plans to work on craft projects. Which I sometimes epically fail to document and post.
If you had the chance to holla at me in my Princess Unikitty cosplay (all hand drawn and painted BTW) thanks! I made the hat out of papier mache and the “masquerade mask ” of “Business Unikitty” and “Angry Unikitty” out of craft foam. The shoes were a craft project themselves and are part of my regular wardrobe. Everything else (lace bodysuit, moto jacket & jewelry were all store-bought things in my closet.
Here’s some pictures of my skirt in progress:
Here’s the journey of my Unikitty hat & the “masquerade mask” face:
So I’m super excited for WonderCon in a few weeks. I am slightly kinda mostly obsessed with making hats right now…
Anyhoo, as soon as I saw the Lego Movie, I instantly fell in love with Princess Unikitty, and it inspired me to design a very pop-art Unikitty hat.
Right now I’m sewing a fancy Unikitty-inspired dress I designed to wear with the hat. The Easter-egg colors aren ‘t really my thing so I’m going accessorize with dark makeup, dark nails and moto boots for a kind of “Punk-Princess Unikitty vibe. This is a pic of the ginormous skirt in progress:
I don’t know what to call this cosplay… Couture Cosplay? Is that a thing?
Whatevs. Its gonna be dope and I’m excited!
A love note from JoJo: This post was updated on June 12, 2014