Hot glue and CosplayPosted: April 12, 2010
I read through this article that was posted on cosplay.com: http://www.glueguncrafts.com/2006/06/the_costume_designers_secret_w.cfm
It discusses costume designers ditching sewing kits and going for hot glue as an alternative. I decided to go overs the pros and cons of hot glue for cosplay, because it is a useful tool but you shouldn’t ditch the sewing tools yet 😉
– Saves time (especially when in a pinch)
– Good for a non-sewer (no skill required)
– Cheap (I got 100 glue sticks for under $5 and my best glue gun was $1)
– Cannot be washed (Hot water might melt it, cold water will weaken it)
– Sacrifices Quality
– Not Very Durable
– Doesn’t adhere to some fabrics!
– Possible burns
Overview: Why you shouldn’t Ditch the Sewing Kits
While hot glue can be a time saver, it’s quick and it’s easy … there are a lot of downsides to consider too. You can make some nice costumes with hot glue, they may hold together for the convention but it is likely to split open since it is not as strong as sewing. It also cannot be washed, for hot water will melt the glue or warp it and cold water loosens it’s grip, especially on fabrics that expand in water.
What Hot Glue is Good For
– Quick Fixes: When buttons fall off at a convention, you can hot glue them on until you have a chance to sew them, same with ripped seams. A glue gun is a great addition to any convention fix kit.
– Armor / Props : Raised designs on armor can be done with hot glue, and depending on what you are making it out of you can use hot glue to hold the armor together as well. Props are usually made from stuff that can be held together with hot glue, especially cardboard.
– Areas you can’t sew: If it’s something you can’t sew because it is far to thick for your sewing machine, or whatever other reason then hot glue is a good secondary option. I’ve used hot glue on some of my hats to attach pieces of sculpty or keep the fabric attached to the base.
– Things you don’t plan to wash: Wings, bootcovers, hats … you aren’t likely to throw these in the washing machine, and sometimes sewing is just not an option, so hot glue is great for these