Cosplay Tutorial: Changing the Color of Leather, Pleather and PVC

81o2X8E7YzL._SL1500_Sometimes it’s hard to find the right color shoe to match your costume! This is an easy way to change the color of any leather, pleather or PVC shoe (it also works on clothing!) with a type of spray paint you find in an auto store. The spray is made for changing the color of car seats so it’s made to soak in and stay flexible.

I use this technique a lot and it works way better than regular spray paint. If you’ve tried that then you know how it will flake off and crack after one wearing. I’ve had good luck with Color Bond Seat Stylin, which can be found on Amazon. <– affiliate link. This brand has some colors that are harder to find in-store, like purple and blue. You can always find red, black and tan at any auto parts store.

It works best to use several light layers so it has time to soak in. Make sure you stuff your shoes with tissue paper to avoid painting the inside and also cover any zippers or parts you don’t want painted with tape.

I did a video showing this technique on my YouTube channel:

The Total Cosplay Makeover – Mom Edition

The night I started the meds for my IVF cycle, I was supposed to run a table for my boutique at a big cosplay event. I had worked really hard to bring my character to life and was excited to wear the outfit as part of a trio. Things did not go as planned. The drugs made me really ill and I ended up puking in the parking lot before the event started. We never even got photos of our group – the Lady Luck dressphere from Final Fantasy X-2. I was Paine, the one in blue and black.

So that costume has sat in a drawer for the past four years. The best part of cosplay is wearing what you put all the effort into making, so I never got to really enjoy it. I was not in shape to wear it post-baby. And now, the event I made it for is coming up again, and the theme happens to fit. So I was thinking…maybe…maybe I can wear it again and finally get to enjoy it!

And now the fun part- I’ve managed to convinced a mom buddy, who has never done anything like this, to make and wear the Yuna cosplay. (The pink and purple one) So here is our before photo:

I’ll be helping a first time cosplayer put together an outfit, and covering it on the blog, to show the progress and eventual transformation from stay-at-home-mom to video game vixen. My friend up for the challenge is Effie from Project Mom Strong, and she will be posting on her accounts as well.

We will be wearing the costumes at GAAM, which has consistently been voted one of the top cosplay events in Jacksonville. We also have a friend doing the third one in the group, Rikku, so I will finally get that group photo!

Effie has a son around the same age as mine, so we are both in the same place of getting used to our post-baby bodies and working on getting them back to where we want them to be. It’s a process of hard work and also acceptance that some things are permanently altered. We both could use a little extra motivation at the gym, so this is our motivation! We have a month to push a little harder, lose those last few pounds, and then celebrate by dressing up and partying.

Follow our Total Cosplay Makeover progress on social media:

Instagram: @SewGeekMama & @Project_Mom_Strong

Facebook: Candy Keane & Project Mom Strong

YouTube:SewGeekMama & Project Mom Strong

The Most Expensive Cosplays Ever Created

Cosplay has experienced a boom in the past few decades, becoming a huge part of pop culture fandom. Starting in Japan, the subculture can be seen at events and conventions across the globe.

Cosplay conventions have them all, from low-cost costumes to expensive and intricately-designed suits. The price doesn’t necessarily reflect a build’s quality, because it all boils down to the talent of the artist who’s making the costume. However, there are some cosplays out there with a hefty price tag that truly capture some of the most popular characters in fiction.

Here are some of the most beautifully crafted and expensive costumes ever created:

Steampunk Iron Man
Cost to make: $4,000

IronMAnSteamPunk Image credit: Geeky Tyrant

This Steampunk version of Iron Man first graced the halls of comic cons in 2010. It’s easy to see why it won the Marvel Costume Contest at New York Comic Con. The fusion of steampunk and Iron Man is nothing short of inspiring, and truly a thing of beauty.

The costume was built by Matt Silva of Penny Dreadful Productions.

Trivia: What’s fascinating about this suit is that it was recycled from a costume used in Heartless: The Story of the Tin Man – a short film that featured the non-canon back story of the Wizard of Oz’s Tin Man. The suit underwent a lot of modifications that cost around $4,000 to become a highly detailed steampunk version of Iron Man.

Metal Gear REX
Cost to make: $7,000

metal_gear_rex_by_djrubynyc-d8pqhvyImage Credit: DeviantArt

Metal Gear REX is one of the mechas (robots with a pilot) used by villains to defeat Solid Snake — the protagonist of the critically acclaimed Konami game Metal Gear Solid. The outfit is quite possibly the most accurate cosplay ever built in honor of the mecha. According to the suit’s creator, Ruby Taki, it took her several trucks, 3 people, and at least 8 months to move and assemble the parts.

It isn’t easy to move around in the costume either. In order to maneuver it, the wearer needs to stand on two-foot stilts and bear the weight of the heavy metal.

The creator speaks: Taki states that one of the best compliments she received for her Metal Gear REX was an online comment that said, “It’s CGI; it’s not real.” She also finds it fun when people don’t realize that there’s actually a person inside the costume.

Reinhardt
Cost to make: $30,000

58065d636d8e031a008b4d8d-750-562Image credit: Insider

This is quite possibly the most expensive costume ever constructed in the history of cosplays ever. At Comic Con 2018, a Reinhardt cosplay, which stands at 9 1/2 feet tall and weighs around 100 pounds, graced the event and wowed the fans of the videogame Overwatch.

The costume was made by Thomas DePetrillo, a veteran costume maker who made impressive Hulk Buster and Bumblebee cosplays for previous Comic Cons.

How to get a Reinhardt costume like this: Three ways come to mind in order to obtain a costume like this: The first way is to learn from experts like DePetrillo, and use a different set of materials in order to lower the cost of making the suit. The second way is to win the lottery. Lottoland details that America’s two biggest lotteries have a minimum jackpot of $40 million. That would be enough to buy any cosplay, including this highly detailed and expensive Batman costume created by special effects designer Julian Checkley. Lastly, you can work hard until you’ve saved $30,000 to buy the high-end materials for the costume.

The thing is that while these cosplays are extremely well made and beautiful, the cost of cosplays isn’t important. It is the dedication and love of the fans that make cosplaying so special.

To find more costume inspirations, check out the  Geek Mamas’ Cosplay Tab!

*Article contributed by Brayden Scott*

Officially Ready for Summer! Opening the Beaches Parade

Sunday was my second time walking with the Beaches Library in the 72nd Opening of the Beaches parade. While our Florida beaches are open year-round, this event marks the start of warm sunny days and is a fun way to kick off beach season!

Opening the Beaches Jax Beach

I was really excited about making a new beach inspired costume and worked my idea around a pair of blue wings that made me think of water swirling around me when moved. I tore apart a sparkly dress to make a long skirt and top, and added shells and little sea creatures. I bought a pack of 52 off Amazon and they really came in handy! My son got to play with all the extra ones I didn’t use.mermaid inspired top by candy keane

I woke up Sunday excited and prepared! Or so I thought! As I was getting ready I realized I didn’t have any shoes that went with the outfit. So I pulled a few scraps of fabric out the trash, gathered the remaining decorations and quickly hot glued everything to an old pair of house shoes. Viola!

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We had a great group of cosplayers walking with us highlighting various fandoms from Hello Kitty to Star Wars. I always forget to get good group pics when I’m dressed up, so I had to swipe this one off Facebook-

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It’s not a really long parade and the ocean breeze helps keep you cool, but it was definitely hot and sunny! I got quite an arm workout from whirling those wings around too. I was feeling it afterwards, but at least my feet were really comfy in my custom slippers. Great time, great crowd, looking forward to next year when maybe my mom can join me with her silver wings!

 

Wigging Out, My Top Five Wigs Styles

As a cosplayer, I’ve tried many different wig styles over the years. Some attach as easily as just clipping it in, and others involve glue, braids, bun anchors and more. I love how wigs can really change your look. I even have wigs that look like my regular hair, on a good day, because it will stand up to the Florida heat and still look good hours later. My real hair usually just falls flat as soon as I step out the door.

Let’s start with normal looking me with my real hair, after fixing it to look nice:

Candy Keane

Now let’s have some fun and show how different wigs can really change your look!

Full Wigs with combs – These cover your entire head and have little combs around the hairline to help them stay secure. The nicer ones have elastic at the bottom, with little hooks so you can make the cap smaller or larger. The wig shown here is the Tina 950 by New Look Wigs.

Mario Brothers princess peach
Princess Peach

Half Wig – I often use a full wig like this as well, but this hair piece can be anything from a full cap to a little circle of hair. It goes half-way back on your head, so your real hair shows in front. It makes it look like you suddenly have tons of hair and is very realistic looking!

The best way to secure these in is to make a small braid across the top of your head, similar to the cornrow style you use to attached crochet twists. But instead if crocheting or sewing in the hair, you use the braid as an anchor for the small combs. If you can’t do a braid, you can also spray it with a little hairspray and backcomb to give the combs something to hold onto. If your wig doesn’t have little combs you can sew those in just under the edge of the wig. You can also use a million bobby pins. I often use a combo of both!

Candy Keane Maleficent
Maleficent

Clip-on Ponytail – The easiest of all! You can attach these to any hair length as long as you can make a little ponytail or bun for it to attach to and you just clamp it right into your hair. Here’s a link to the one I’m wearing here: Claw Clip Ponytail Extension

Candy Keane General Antiope cosplay
General Antiope

Dread Falls – I love the look of these and have them in several different colors. Most of mine were custom made by Queen Goths Coiffs. These are attached to two little buns on the top of your head. Usually a headband or goggles covers where it is anchored on your head, so it looks like a smooth transition.

Steampunk Time Bandit
Steampunk Time Bandit

Lace Front Wig – one of my new favorite wig styles is a lace front. It comes with a fine lace or mesh attched to the front. You trim that short, then use a special wig glue to glue it to the skin close to your hairline. These give the most realistic look because it creates a new hairline. They also stay attached really well and are really comfortable because you don’t have any pins poking you or a tight ponytail. The style I’m wearing here is the Riglamour Wavy Short Blond Wig

platinum lace front wig
Preparing for a pin-up event

I have drawers of wigs in all different colors and styles. If you take good care of them they can last years and still look good. And they aren’t just for costumes! But they certainly make any look a little more dressed up.

* Post contains Amazon Affiliate links*