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Tips & Tricks

Cellophane & Resin Fairy Wings Tutorial Documents (PDFs)

Always use your iron! An ironed costume is a happy costume, and an ironed cosplayer is a successful cosplayer! I know cosplayers who didn't sew a bit of their costume, it was held together with tape or toothpaste or spit or whatever, but because it was ironed, it looked gorgeous. On the other side of that same coin, I've seen costumes that had literally hundreds and hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars put into them looking like crap because they were wrinkly. USE YOUR IRON!

Wear makeup. Any good theatre or TV person will tell you that a little makeup goes a long way. Even if you NEVER wear makeup, all you need to do is put on a little powder, just a tiny bit of mascara, and perhaps even a little lipstick (if you're a magical girl and you're going without lipstick, you're not a magical girl!). If you want your photos to look the best, wear good makeup. Fake lashes are fantastic for photos, and really make your eyes pop! Don't worry about caking it on; you can always wash it off. And do wash it off! Sleeping in your makeup is really hard on your skin, not to mention your pillowcase!

Sewing can be hard. Be patient with yourself and your costume. Choose something that fits your skill level. If this is your first costume, trying to make Anthy's Rose Gown or a full set of armor is not a good idea. But don't be discouraged! Sometimes trial and error is the only way to make things work. Be patient, you'll learn more as you do more. If it doesn't work the first time, get that seam-ripper out and try again. Put some interfacing in there if that bow doesn't stand up. Natural fabrics (cotton, silk, linen) are your friend! Iron, iron, iron, while you're sewing and after you're done. ALWAYS machine wash and dry your fabrics before you sew (except those fabrics that must be dry-cleaned).

Beverly's First Rule of Satin... Don't use it. Synthetic satin is silly, uncomfortable, and hard to work with. However...
~ The Mahou Shoujo Corollary... You may use satin if you are a magical girl. BUT!! You MUST iron it. You will iron it. I know you will. And you should serge it, too, because it's a big pain otherwise.
~ NEVER make period Japanese garb out of shiny satin. It looks like crap. Period.

Let people take your picture! This is one of the best parts of cosplay. When someone is taking your picture, be in character, don't just stand there like a lump! Strike a pose, make a face, do something. Take a look ahead of time at the way your character stands, sits, poses for transformations or attacks, and learn to emulate those actions. It'll make your costume and your photos look fabulous.

Get professional photos of your costumes. You'll never regret this. If you don't have a friend who's a really great photographer, think seriously about shelling out the cash, because it's worth it. You've put so much work into that beautiful costume, make sure you have a record of it! Professional-looking photos make a nice costume even BETTER.

Have fun, fun, and MORE FUN! You're a cosplayer! You're doing something you love, and representing a growing community. When you're having pictures taken, or people are paying attention to you (or your costume!), be in character as necessary, be gracious and patient, and remember that cosplay is fun! Feel free to be excited, animated (get it, animated? ^.~ Okay, don't quit my day job...), and enthusiastic!