10 Things Every Cosplayer Should HavePosted: February 23, 2010
There are tons of things that cosplayers may end up gathering for various costumes, but there are things that every cosplayer should have – whether for emergencies or just to make your life easier. These are the ten things I think every cosplayer should have:
1. Safety Pins
Where would cosplayers be without these amazing things! During construction you can use them to hold things together when you are trying it on so you don’t get stabbed with a straight pin. When packing you can use it to hold pieces together so they don’t go missing in your suitcase. When you wear the costume they can be used to prevent your bra from poking out or parts from falling down. And if your costume ends up ripping or falling apart at the con these will hold it together until you can fix it! These are definitely worth having around your house, and bring a couple of various sizes if you are going to a con!
2. Glue Gun (and a large pack of glue sticks)
The glue gun is also very useful for many aspects of cosplay! You can glue parts of props together, you can use it to add raised details, hot glue can even be used to cast gems! If you are a thrift store cosplayer you may even use hot glue to attach pieces to your costume, especially if you don’t know how to sew.
3. (Hand) Sewing Needles
Sewing with a machine is great, it can be quicker than sewing by hand and depending on the machine you can do stronger stitches, basting, and even embroidery, and of course serging is good too. But sometimes you come across things that can’t be machine sewn, or it would just look better if it was hand sewn … so having a couple of sewing needles around is always useful.
4. Hook and Eyes
These clasps are great for closing the flaps above zippers, and you most likely will run into a zipper on something, since you need to get in and out of your costume somehow! They are also good for keeping a belt end down flat, acting as a hidden button, closing corsets, or closing necklaces.
5. Measuring Tape and Ruler
No matter what you are making, you need these! Making armor? You need to measure your body. Making a sword? Need to measure for accuracy. Making pants? You need it for the hem. Measurement is crucial to a good cosplay because you don’t want it to be too tight and uncomfortable, or too loose that it hangs off you. Good measurement also helps avoid random bumps or weirdness!
6. An Iron
If you are making your costume you are going to want to iron your seams flat, you may also have to work out some wrinkes or creases in the fabric, or even do some appliques. If you are buying your costume you’ll want to iron it too, a lot of store-bought costumes end up looking bad because people wear them right out of the box – but they still have creases and folds from when they were packed! Even hotels have irons available in the rooms so make use of it – it will definately improve the overall look of your costume.
7. Tide to Go (or another quick cleaner)
It is pretty easy to get a costume dirty, whether you drop something while eating or someone with messy hands glomps you … tide to go or shout wipes are great ways to get out stains quickly. If you don’t have that at a con, you can always run to the bathroom for a quick cleanup, but you’ll have to wait for your costume to dry the slow way.
8. Tailor’s Chalk, Fabric Pencils or Watercolor Pencils.
At some point you may need to make a marking on your fabric, especially if you are altering a pattern or noting where to baste stitch. Tailors chalk and fabric pencils are made specifically for this and wipe off the close easily. Watercolor pencils are also good for marking on most fabrics because they easily wash off. They also come in a variety of colors so you can get one that is close to the color of your fabric if you are marking on the outside, or contrasts with the fabric if you are working on the inside.
I have a huge chunk of velcro in my house because I find so many uses for it! It’s a very simple way to attach stuff to your costume that you want to be detachable for getting in an out of it, especially for stuff that doesnt have straps – like armor! it is also a good clasp, for belts with no buckle, scarves that you want to stay a certain way. Or for closing things like jackets when you don’t want to add a zipper and there are no visible buttons.
10. A friend! (or handler)
I’ve gone off from my group of friends and something will go wonky with my costume, and nobody is around to tell me! It’s always good to have a friend somewhere at the con who will tell you when your wig is crooked or there is dirt on the back of your leg. Friends are also useful for helping get on a crazy costume, holding your stuff when you pose, helping you walk while in a bulky costume, and fixing things without you noticing. If you don’t have any friends going with you to the convention, you can always ask people around you for help, or check a washroom mirror to see if anything is up with your costume.