Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Monster High Cosplays (Ghoulia & Abbey)

I've started progress on my Ghoulia Yelps Fearleading outfit! I'm so excited! Hopefully this will be one of my cosplays for Wondercon 2015!!! Ever since I first found out about Monster High, I've been obsessed with Ghoulia and Abbey.
For those of you who are unsure of what exactly that means, here are some reference pictures.

The two projects I've completed are the giant Monster High foam finger, and the ghoul spirit flag.
I started the foam finger with zero clues on how to construct it. I've never had a sports foam finger before, so I was assuming that those were made out of shaped foam, of which I am incapable of creating a shaved foam version, because my carving skills are also zero.
My method was craft foam, glue, paint, and hope. A whooooole lot of hope.

Here is what happened: (I'm super proud of it)
Now, let's go over the steps involved. There aren't many, and I assumed it would be soooooo easy as the idea formed in my head of using sheets of craft foam glued to strips of craft foam to create the 3d finger.
You will need: 3 and a half big sheets of craft foam, hot glue, fabric puff paint in white, mod podge or elmer's glue, black, white, and hot pink paints. Oh and a pencil or marker. Probably a ruler, unless you can trace that Monster High logo reaaaaallly well.

 The first thing I did was make a fist, and lay it on one end of the craft foam sheet, right in the middle to give myself room to work with, and traced around it, down to my wrist for the opening/entryway for your hand. I couldn't manage to get a picture at that stage, so in the pictures below, you can see where some of the marker is and what I am referring to.

Then I sketched out the monster high hand based on that reference photo, about three times the size of your regular hand or pretty much as big as you want it. Cut along that line, and trace it onto a second sheet of foam so you have a front and a back piece. Cut the second one out as well.
Paint the front side of one black, and the back side of the other black.

Cut out 1-1.5 inch strips of the third foam sheet, my hands are very small so I only needed 1 inch pieces, but if you have wide hands, go ahead and make them 1 1/2 inches. These are going to be your bracers and also running along the perimeter of the whole hand to make it 3d.

Next step, hot glue, strips, and patience. Seriously, the more time you take on this step the better it will turn out.
Take those strips, and glue them down perpendicular to the monster high hand that will be your back piece, along the edges. Sounds too complicated? Here's a picture.
Try to get the strips as close to the edge as possible, and don't let the hot glue glob on the outside (visible in the final product edge). Work in SMALL sections. when you get to the end of a strip, fuse it together with the next piece using hot glue so you won't have any open cracks. The finger and pointed edges are the hardest parts, so try bending the strips into shape right before gluing them down.
When you have finished going around the perimeter, use strips to do the same along the perimeter of you fist outline. at this point if you feel like you need a few more pieces for support (so the top hand doesn't cave in in places) you can put more of these strips in there, branching from the top of your fist outline to the walls of the hand. Just keep that fist area clear for...your hand.

Now, glue that top hand on, I found it easiest to go from the top of the finger, and work my way to the bottom. It's tricky to get the hot glue along just the strip and press on the top hand before it drips down, so again, GO SLOW. After you have it glued together, use eagle eyes to search the perimeter for any cracks, seal and smooth them with hot glue. Paint the perimeter strips hot pink or black, your choice!

Print out 2 Monster high logos the size you want on your hand, or you can be slightly slow like me and sit there with a ruler, drawing it out and doing math for an hour. use one for the "back plate" and one for the letters. (See below) Paint them white and hot pink respectively.

It takes a few coats, and I found the hot pink paint works best on a white base.
Glue those together, and then glue them onto your hand.
Use a pencil to sketch nails and fingers onto your hand, again using the reference photo as a guide.
Paint the nails first using white base and then hot pink. Coast the whole thing in mod podge, and let dry.
Now trace your finger lines with the white puff paint, and let dry. Don't forget the little #1 up at the top.

The flag I used a dowel for the handle, canvas triangles sewn together for the flag, and polymer clay to make the Monster High skull. I traced on the school crest to both sides, and used fabric paints to paint them. One side is black and white and the other is the full color scheme.

Here it is in progress, you'll have to wait for the cosplay to be complete for the whole flag.
I still need to make their awesome lightening heeled cheer boots, and her wig. I hope to have more Monster High updates for Nerd Rendezvous soon!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

DIY Geek Gift Ideas

This post is super last minute for the holidays, fortunately most of these crafts can be made in a day. That's right. One day. The best part is, your friends or family members won't give that a thought, when they see how special and personalized the gift is. If they do think that it's a fast and cheap gift, blegh, you don't need to be friends with a greedy materialistic person.....that's just my opinion because these gifts are super awesome, and I'd love to receive them myself. Not to mention, many of them are past gifts to some of my friends.

Not only do these not take much time, a lot of them are wallet friendly. There is a little something for every age/every fandom.

One of my most recent posts would work for a Disney fan so head to that, and show your friend you know their favorite things by customizing them a pair of Disney ears. Custom Disney Ears Tutorial

So here we go with some mini tutorials, and links to my past tutorials to show you techniques!

I love make up. It's no secret. I have buckets of make up, I think it's a mental disorder... so this gift was inspired by my crazy make up looks I do when I go out. A lot of people ask what make up I used, or "hey is that inspired by _(insert character here)_?"
I did one of these simple and inexpensively priced sets for a friends birthday, you can make it as expensive as you want depending on the make up brands you choose. This particular character is Cheetah, and you really don't have to be able to draw at all. There are a ton of blank eye shadow diagrams on the internet that you could copy/paste, and type up instructions on a word document, then color in the lines. You could easily turn this into a comic nail art gift, with the colors of a character, and a diagram of how to paint the design on a nail.

 This is a make up organizer (see? it's all about make up) you can pick up for extremely cheap at Big Lots or Walmart, or even more likely on the internet. All I did was cut out some comic scenes and mod podge them to my organizer. The sky is the limit here. You can paint it and then mod podge ANYTHING the person likes on this thing. You could put glitter on it and seal it with mod podge. You could line those little drawers with fancy paper. You could then fill it with brushes and make up if you really wanted. And then you could put a little tag with a diagram like the one above of how to do a special themed make up. (I'm really pushing this make up thing)

Oh my gosh...All this talk about make up and nothing for a run of the mill male comic nerd? AAAAAAAAA! Wrong. Here is a frame. A simple cheap frame from Michael's. Mod Podge + Comics (Specifically Grayson, Tim, and Stephanie) You can then put a super great print from any number of artists in it, or leave it empty for a comic cover or print you know they have.

At this point you may be thinking, aw poo, I don't have any comics (shame) or any that you'd be willing to cut up. Or furthermore, any comics that your friend reads/likes. Or even FURTHERMORE, my friend doesn't like comics, but he or she likes _______. Print out anything on regular paper and use mod podge. You have NO EXCUSES.

Hey, back to fancy stuff. Remember way oh way back when I wrote up a post about how to customize a pair of shoes? (I think I wrote 2) Here are the links, go make your fancy friends some shoes. (Again, sky is the limit. Disney, Anime, Comics, Doctor Who, Supernatural, Labyrinth, the list of fandoms is huge)

One of my new found favorite weapons in the old arsenal is Sculpey. Seriously, there are tutorials ALL OVER THE INTERNET for everything you could possibly imagine. You can make ornaments, jewelry, props, hair's crazy. Popular things? Tentacles. Make your friends some tentacle things. Because tentacles. You just roll out a snake of sculpey in the thickness you desire, shape it, roll tiny little balls and push them on with a pencil to make the suckers. Bake it according to package instructions. Done.

You can also get clever for the holidays and theme the tentacles, I've done several pairs of these candy cane ones, they are so hot right now!

Are you good at crochet? Knitting? Whip up a character themed scarf or hat. Again, billions of tutorials on the google. Here we see my attempts at Gir from Invader Zim scarf with pockets, and hat.

 This hat is my favorite. And the friend really really loved it.
 This was a gift for myself. I found a 12 dollar table and put my favorite characters all over it. I then sealed it in several layers of clear coat spray paint.
 Last but not least, gift wrapping can be part of the whole gift too. Don't forget my previous post on gift wrap, seen here:
Comic Wrap

I've been doing a lot more styles, if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know all about them, but here is some new eye candy. A quick version of Aquaman:

Also, here is my favorite gift wrap look of the year:
You've got a little pouch on the belt to hide something small in, it has a cape, and pecs!

I think my favorite look from last year was definitely nightmare before christmas paper, which you can either find on or make yourself with whatever background color and sharpies. Bows can be made with big black ribbon and white paint, or one tutorial was all about duct tape and white out. (Kinda messy process.)

I hope this was helpful, Merry Cthrsthmasth from Cthulhu!

Stay tuned for my Monster High Cosplays and corresponding tutorials coming soon!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Female Winter Soldier Cosplay / Groot Progress

Hello all,

I thought I'd quickly share a completed Hydra project, as well as an ongoing project so you can see I'm human and all these projects aren't always quick and easy.

I had a great time at this year's C4 Con! I had originally planned to debut Winter Soldier at Wondercon this year, but once I got to the con I realized that several pieces of it were broken, and I had to completely redo the arm with fabric instead of foam.
I needed accessories and didn't have much extra money at the time. I assembled what I had on hand and surfed the YouTube trying to Frankenstein my way into some smoke grenade canisters. (Mainly because I love me some Red Skull toxin.)

Project 1 (Quick & Easy) This project will literally be done in the blink of an eye. The longest part of this is waiting for the paint to dry.

I needed accessories for my Winter Soldier Cosplay and didn't have much extra money at the time. I assembled what I had on hand and surfed the YouTube trying to Frankenstein my way into some smoke grenade canisters.

Hydra Red Skull Gas Grenade Canister

Things you will need:

Toilet Paper Roll
Printed design of your choice to wrap around the toilet paper roll ( I just used a word document where I cropped a hydra logo and posted a few text boxes)
Mod Podge and Paint
Craft Foam
Hot Glue & Gun
Key Ring
Bobby Pin
Newspaper for stuffing

 Step 1:  Cutting out your foam pieces
Draw 5 circles for each grenade (The diameter of the hole of your t.p. roll)
Draw 2 3 1/2 inch rectangles for the handle for each grenade
Draw 3 3/4 inch rectangles for the top of the handle for each grenade.
Draw 5 1 1/4 inch odd shapes for each grenade for the top of the grenade where the pin goes through. In the photo below it is the slanted rectangle, the right side of which has a concave.

The reason you need multiples of each is because craft foam is thin, and you want a grenade that won't smoosh. Yes, that's a technical term.

 Step 2: Gluing
Once you have cut them out, glue 3 of the circles together for the top, and the two remaining ones to each other for the bottom.

Glue all five slanted rectangles together, three 3/4 rectangles together, and two of the long rectangles together with the top circles as seen below.

Top sections, bottom circles, and hydra design
Step 3: Glue the bottom circles in the toilet paper roll, and stuff them full of newspaper to ensure they don't "smoosh" in the middle. Then, slide he top piece in with glue.

If you have any excess pieces anywhere that aren't smooth, trim and smooth with hot glue.
 Step 4 Paint!!! Paint everything silver, and dry. Wrap your printed design around it, glue it into place.

Step 5: Details
Make a hole using a small screwdriver or dremel. Slide your keyring onto your bobby pin, and push the booby pin through the hole (see picture below)  and then hail Hydra!

Now for my ongoing Groot cosplay progress. I have been sitting and texturing bark pieces for-ev-er. What do I have to show for it? Just a pair of shoes.

My gnarled and twisty roots, complete with moss!

These puppies took forever, mainly because I couldn't figure out how to do it until my AHA! moment.

I used aluminum foil to construct the shapes, and heavily taped them onto the base shoe.

I then heated a sheet of craft foam and laid it over the shoe, pulling and pressing it to take the shape of the aluminum roots. I found that I could shape it better when I hot glued the middle in to place and kept heating up each "toe" with a hair dryer and shaping, then gluing in to place. The longer you take on this step, the better they will look.

Bottom of shoe. I later on painted these brown, just in case.

After you add mod podge they become shiny like the leather of the shoe. It also creates an easier canvas to paint on.

In that picture of the final shoe you can see bark detail, veins, etc. All of that was done with paint, puff paint, grooves in the original foam.

I hope you liked this post. If you have any questions (because I am sure I didn't list every minute detail) just comment below!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Custom Disney Ears (DIY Style)

A while back I had an inspired idea to make some mickey mouse ears in the style of characters my friends and I loved for when we eventually can get our group butt to Disneyland.
I had no clue what I was getting in to, because other than a headband I didn't know how to do anything remotely close to mickey ears.
I had an excess of ribbon spools from a bridal shower I had worked on, so I thought "excellent" in that creepy voice and forged on using those as the supports for my ears.
My Little Mermaid ears with a Flounder inspired bow!

What you will need:

Hot glue
Craft foam
Empty ribbon spools
Anything you want to decorate with (Ribbon, Paint, Glitter, Etc.)

How I did it:

 I traced the two circles plus a strap in between (the width will depend on how wide your headband is, I needed about an inch-inch and a half) so I could secure each ribbon spool to the headband. You'll need one of these for each ear, so make two while you have both ribbon spools to trace around.

Detail for a Rocket Raccoon inspired set.
I highly recommend adding your designs (and letting them dry) before you attach your ears to the band. Same goes for anything you may want to put on the headband, just be sure to leave the sections bare for the ears!
 Next step is to glue all the pieces together one side to the ribbon spool, wrap the other under the band to secure/glue it to the back of the ribbon spool as in the pictures below.

So here was a slightly more complicated set of my favorite fur ball Rocket. For the fur I just brushed yarn until fuzzy, and hot glued it on. Then I trimmed it into the right shape.

After glue, needs a trim
 Alternatively, you could most certainly use plushie raccoon ears, because that would be 100 times easier and probably look more "raccoon" like.
Rocket Raccoon ears all trimmed up WITH A TAIL!
 Tail....I just used a yarn tail tutorial straight from pinterest. Basically its a braid of yarn (I braided mine around a wire to be able to shape it) and then tied on strands of yarn. A lot of yarn, a lot of brushing, a lot of straightening.

Side detail
 And there you have it...Disney ears for any character!