Cosplay Tutorial: Adding a Non-Slip Sole to Spandex Boot / Shoe Covers

Spandex boot covers are a great way to customize less-than-perfect footwear to work with your costume. You can sometimes buy ready made covers, but personally, I prefer to make my own (I have full instructions available in my spandex cosplay sewing manual – Sewing for Superheroes). It just gives me so much more flexibility on the footwear I can use, and the final effect.

For some costumes – such as this “Peek-A-Blue” one – I’ll build my boot covers right into the tights, for an all-in-one look. The shoes are inserted into the tights, and the whole thing is put on like you would roll up pantihose. It can really complete a look!

The thing is, spandex boot covers can be a weak point in your costume, in terms of wear and tear. Spandex isn’t really meant to be footwear, after all – and all that walking can tatter it quickly. No worries, though – adding a sole to your boot covers is easy, relatively inexpensive, and wildly extends the life of your costume. It protected the seam itself, as well as the fabric under the shoe. Additionally, this creates a nonslip surface – makes your costume safer to wear!

I use a rubberized soling material called “ToughTek” that I purchase on Etsy, here. It comes in several colours, I like to keep a supply of white, black, and beige on hand, so I can best coordinate with whatever I’m adding a sole to.

Here is how I do it.

You will need:

Paper for patterning – either printer paper or craft/tissue paper
Soling material
Craft paper, parchment paper, or etc to protect your work surface.
Shoe Goo
Disposable plastic knife, or similar
Clamps, vice grips, masking tape, etc (optional)
Clear Silicone Caulking
2 rolls of masking or packing tape
Small bowl for water
ScotchGard spray (optional, but recommended)


1. Put your shoe/boot inside the cover, being sure to line up the seams where they should go. In this case, that means the long seam goes straight up the middle of the sole, with the vertical seam extending from that seam, up the middle of the instep. Smooth out any wrinkles:

2. Place your shoe/boot over your pattern paper, and carefully trace out the sole shape:

3. If the shoe curls up at the front, be sure to roll forward on the sole when tracing, to get the full shape:

4. Your tracing will likely be rough, like this:

5. Cut out your tracing, cleaning up the edges as you go:

6. Place your tracing up against the bottom of your shoe, to see how well it fits:

7. Trim off any excess, if applicable. In this case, I needed to trim a little from around the ball of the foot:

8. Lay out your soling material, rough side down. (Rough side is up in picture):

9. Trace out your adjusted pattern piece onto the back (non-rubber, fabric) side of the soling material, once:

10. Hold your cut out soling piece against the bottom of your shoe. Make sure it fits well – you want it to cover everywhere that hits the ground, without extending beyond that surface area. Trim any excess, if necessary:

11. Place your adjusted cut piece down on your soling material – fabric side down, facing the fabric side of the main piece. Trace and cut a second, mirror-image piece:

12. Lay out some paper to protect your work surface. This can get messy:

13. Squeeze a fair amount of Shoe Goo out onto the underside of your shoes, being careful to keep it to the area that will be covered by the sole. For reference, this one piece took one entire mini tube as pictured in the last step:

14. Repeat with the fabric side of your cut out sole pieces:

15. Use the flat side of your plastic knife to smooth out the Shoe Goo on all pieces:

16. Allow the pieces to dry a little, 5-10 minutes. Once the time is up, CAREFULLY line up one sole to the appropriate shoe bottom, and apply. Aim to get it right on the first try, as it’s messy and difficult to try to reposition it once placed. Firmly press into place, then repeat with second sole/shoe.

17. Allow to cure for at least 24 hours, preferably 48 to be thorough. I’ll usually just set them up as pictured, so the weight of the shoe holds the sole in place. You MAY need clamps or tape to help, depending on the shoe/boot / shape of the sole:

18. Once the curing time is up, carefully pipe a line of clear silicone caulking around the edge of the soling. Aim to get it on the outside/top edge of the soling, right where it touches the spandex. The idea is to seal the edge of the soling. This may (read: will!) get a bit messy, don’t worry too much though:

19. Set your shoes/boots sole side up in the rolls of tape, as pictured. This will allow everything to dry freely, without getting stuck to work surfaces, etc. Fill a small bowl with water:

20. Dip your finger in the water, and use it to smooth out your line of caulking. Be sure to work it into the area between the spandex and the soling material. Try to get this as snmooth as possible – it likely won’t be perfect – mine usually isn’t – but once it dries, imperfections aren’t very noticeable. There’s a reason we’re using clear caulking, after all!

21. Place your shoes back into the rolls of tape, as shown, and allow to fully dry, 12-24 hours, until silicone is completely clear:

22. Once silicone caulking is completely dry, follow instructions on ScotchGard to treat the boots, if you like – I usually do, as it keeps them looking fresh and new. Be sure to test on a scrap piece of material to make sure nothing weird happens with the Scotchgarding:

When wearing, pull on as usual, and just be sure to adjust the cover so that the sole lays where it is supposed to, in case it shifted while putting it on.

Cosplay Tutorial – Handmaid’s Tale Bonnet / Cap

So, as I’ve mentioned on my Facebook Page, I’m in a Handmaid’s Tale cosplay group for Convergence 2017. With Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s classic – Canadian, btw! – novel being SO great, we just have to! I was originally going to do it with just my husband (who wants to be “Janine”/”Ofwarren”), then with a friend or two, and then we ended up joining up with a group of strangers. Adventure!

I offered to pattern up some of the elements, and here we are. Because many of our group are novice seamstresses, I’ve done this tutorial so that even beginners can make them. Yes, there are cleaner, fussier, more accurate ways of doing it… but this looks legit, and is easy to make. So, here we are!

You’re going to want about 1/2 yard of a natural, white fabric. I used a linen-look fabric from JoAnn (Here), for budget reasons. Actual linen or cotton would work, also.

Additionally: White thread, a bit of elastic (I like 3/8″ braided elastic), a sewing machine, a serger (if you have it), a cord threader or safety pin, and a hand sewing needle. For pattern making, some tissue, craft, or medical examination table paper, a ruler, and a pen.

Let’s get to it!

Part 1: Patterning

Measure from the middle, top of your head, down the side of your head, to the bottom of your ear. For most adults, this should be about 10″ – we’ll be using 10″ as the measurement for this tutorial.

On your patterning paper, draw 2 lines that are perpendicular to the edge of the paper, and this measurement (10″) apart. Have at least 15″ of paper extending out to the left.

On one of the lines, mark a spot that is 2.5″ from the edge of the paper. (left side, as pictured). On the other line, mark a spot 3.5″ from the edge of the picture. Using a ruler, join these two spots.

On the edge of the paper, mark a spot that is 2.5″ away from the line marked at 3.5″ – in this case, the line on the right. Use a ruler to join this new spot, to the 3.5″ mark

Mark a seam allowance out from the line you just drew. I like to use a 1/4″ seam allowance. So, I marked 1/4″ out at both ends, and joined those two spots to form a line 1/4″ out from the original line, parallel to it.

Fold the paper at the 2.5″ line, lining up long edges. Cut out pattern piece.

This is what your pattern piece should look like.

On another piece of paper, use a ruler to draw a line perpendicular to the edge of the paper. Mark it at the measurement you came up with earlier (10″, in this case).

Along the edge of the paper, you need to mark a spot that will become the length of the “bag” of the cap. For a larger bag (lots of hair), I like to use 14″. For a smaller bag (not much hair to hide), you can go 11-12″.

For this tutorial, I used 12″. I marked 12″ away from the original line.

Fold the edge of the paper to meet the line you drew, and press to form a sharp crease. This will show you the halfway point.

Unfold pattern. Mark a spot along the fold, that is the difference between your two measurements. As I was using 10″ and 12″, this means I marked a spot 11″ from the edge of the paper, measured along the fold.

Draw a curved line that smoothly and evenly connects your 3 measurement points.

Draw a second curved line 1″ outside of that line. This will be your seam allowance.

Cut out your pattern pieces. I like to add arrows pointing to the original paper edge on both pattern pieces, as pictured – this is where the fold of the fabric will be.

Part 2: Cutting

Fold your fabric, place arrow-marked edges of the pattern pieces on the folds, cut through both layers of fabric.

These are the two pieces that will make up your cap.

Part 3: Sewing

With right sides together (if applicable) – folded lengthwise – sew or serge the pointed ends together, as shows.

Clip the very tip off each point, without cutting the seam.

Carefully turn the points right-side out. Use a chopstick or other pointy instrument (closed tip of scissors works, just be careful!) on the inside, to push the very point out as much as possible.

While I didn’t bother, using a hot iron to press sharp creases into the fold/ pointed ends can make things easier for you.

(not pictured) Serge or zig-zag the rounded edge of the “bag” piece.

Your pieces.

With the right side (if applicable) facing down, fold up and sew a 1″ seam around the curved edge of the bag. Sew close to the serged/zig zagged edge, leaving a nice big tunnel, clear.

As you sew, gently gather in the excess fabric that needs to be worked into the seam. Don’t worry, this doesn’t need to be pretty.

The bag, with the tunnel sewn.

Measure the back of your head, from behind one ear, straight across to the other. Add 2″ to this measurement, for the length of elastic to cut. 8″ is what we get, so I cut a 10″ long piece of elastic.

Thread the elastic into your cord threader, or attach a safety pin to one end.

Thread your elastic through the tunnel you made, being sure not to lose the end of the elastic.

Leave 1″ of elastic hanging out the side you started threading through.

Sew across the opening of the tunnel, securing the elastic. This seam should be done very close to the opening.

Pull the cord threader or safety pin out the other side of the tunnel. Allow 2″ of elastic to stick out, hold it securely!.

Sew the second tunnel opening closed, as you did the first.

Trim excess elastic from both ends (It was just for ease in working with it). This will leave you with a length of gathered elastic that is 1″ shorter than your measurement – this is what we want. (it will be too big, otherwise.)

With the right side of your “bag” facing up (ie, the edge seam/tunnel underneath)Line up the raw edge of your brim piece with / on top of the raw edge of your bag piece, as pictured.

Sew or serge the brim piece to the bag. make sure to keep the brim piece folded and lined up with itself the whole time – you can pin it, if needed.

If you find that you didn’t do so well with cutting, or with maintaining the seam allowance measurements, you may find one piece slightly bigger than the other, as you approach the end. Feel free to just fold and tuck extra fabric to match the seam ends up, within the last 2-3″, if needed. This will be hidden by the folded point.

What it should look like at this point.

While not necessary, I like to tack the joining seam backwards against the elastic, just for an inch or so at each edge, as pictured. It just makes it look cleaner when wearing it – You can do this by hand or machine.

The end tack, from the right side.

Fold one point backwards to meet the joining seam, as pictured. Press with a hot iron, if desired.

Thread a hand sewing needle with white thread, and knot the end. Bring the needle up from the under/inside of the cap, right under where the point will touch the seam. Make a few stitches to secure it to the seam, bring needle back down to the wrong side of the cap, and finish off with another knot. Trim excess thread, and repeat with the second point.

The secured point.

And that’s it! If you’d like a video walk through of how to make them, I’ve now got one uploaded to youtube, here.

If you’d like to make the “Wings” – the large bonnet that the Handmaids wear outdoors, Click here to go to my Etsy listing for the pattern and tutorial!

Interacting with Autistic Children – A Guide for Charity Appearances

If you follow me on social media, you may know that I recently joined The Royal Sisterhood, a member of Costumers for a Cause.

CFAC is a local nonprofit which brings costumers together to volunteer their talents for local charities, to aid and enrich their fundraisers and other events. Dressed as princesses, superheroes, and more, we do appearances at events such as charity walks, Children’s hospital TV programming, and more.

Prior to joining The Royal Sisterhood, I was involved with another division of Costumers for a Cause, doing appearances as Superheroes/ villains, along with my husband. (I went as Beast, he would usually go as Magneto or Loki, all from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.)

At a TRS meeting yesterday, my friend Sara did a great presentation on gender inclusiveness while doing charity appearances. With an Autism Walk coming up, I asked if the group had ever discussed interacting with Autistic children. I have seen some pretty bizarre things with regards to Neurotypicals interacting with Autistics, after all.

After sharing a few thoughts on the matter, I was asked to write up a bit of a guide. I went home, brainstormed with my husband, and here we are! While this was written specifically for a group of Princesses, we thought that it was good advice for those doing charity appearances in general, so decided to post it here.

All dressed up as “The Fairy Godmother”,
prior to a charity appearance.

Interacting with an Autistic Child

1. Don’t force eye contact.

Eye contact can feel very threatening/intimidating to some, and far too intimate to others. If it’s obvious they don’t want to make eye contact, talk to their shoulder or their chin. Just because they’re not looking at you, doesn’t mean they’re not looking at you… if that makes sense. Don’t take it personally if they don’t want to look you in the face.

2. Do not touch – even a fist bump or high five – without asking first.

Don’t take it personally if they don’t want to touch you, or shy away from you physically.

3. Talk to the autistic child first, not their parent.

For example, ask the child if they want a hug, not the adult if it’s OK. If it turns out that the child needs the adult to communicate for them, the adult will step in. Asking the adult first is a sore point in the community.

4. Be mindful of sensory issues.

Avoid or go very light on perfume, etc when attending an Autistic event. Be mindful of the fact that loud voices (loud to us, not to you!) can be very startling.

Of particular note for princess events: The high, very girly princess voice and accompanying laugh can be difficult/painful, especially in groups. If you are in a group of two or more princesses, try to keep laughter subdued.

5. Know your audience.

Autistics are very, VERY literal. There’s a fine line between staying in character, and offending the children. Many of us have no ability to suspend disbelief, and some of the things said to enhance “character” can come off as lying, or as mocking the Autistic child.

For example, if you say “I just came from Arendelle…”, an Autistic child is likely to process it something like: “Arendelle doesn’t exist. Is she making fun of me? Does she think I’m stupid? What am I supposed to say to that?”.

It can be very awkward and uncomfortable. If at all possible, avoid making definitive statements about the fictional world you’re portraying (I know, this is super counter-intuitive, for showing up in character). For this reason, various figures of speech can also be confusing and make things awkward.

6. Speak very clearly. Enunciate!

Many Autistics also have sensory processing disorders, which can be exacerbated by busy environments like the charity walk. When you hear EVERYTHING going on around you, it can be very hard to pick out a certain person talking, even if right in front of you.

Please don’t be offended if you’re asked to repeat something, or if you are misunderstood. Also know that many rely on reading lips, even if they don’t have a hearing problem. Try to face in their general direction when talking to them, even if eye contact is an issue.

7. Give plenty of time for a response.

Autistic children can take longer to reply than neurotypical children. If you’re sure they heard you, just have a bit of patience in waiting for a reply. They’re processing! Also, know that long pauses may feel really awkward to you, but aren’t necessarily to Autistics. Autistics can enjoy your quiet presence, and don’t necessarily need nonstop conversation. Social cues are not our strong point!

8. Ask about hobbies, BUT…

… be prepared to have your ear talked off. If you get an Autistic child talking about an area of special interest, they can go on and on. It can be hard for them to tell when the other party is not interested, or the conversation should move on. Be ready to be very, very patient!

On that point, know that when the conversation has ended, be clear that you are ending it. Don’t hint around that you have to move on, just be clear and honest that you need to meet others, etc. Again, social cues!

9. Do not take anything personally.

I’ve touched on this with a couple of other points, but it should be expanded on. For one thing, Autistics can be very frank with you. There’s not usually a lot of sugar coating, more just saying what’s on the mind. It can come off rude, but is usually not ever INTENDED to be rude. These can fall into observations or questions about physical appearance, etc. Try to roll with things, even if something hurts a bit.

10. Watch your wording.

Please avoid the use of “high functioning” or “low functioning” to describe an Autistic person. Don’t compare an Autistic to a non Autistic, or use phrases like “For an Autistic…” (“You’re so friendly/empathetic/well spoken for an Autistic”, for example). Though it likely won’t come up, it needs to be said: Don’t use “cure” language.

Additionally, know that – much like gender pronouns – How you refer to an Autistic is important. Many/most Autistic adults prefer identity-first language, ie: Autistic person, Autistic child, etc… while many non-Autistic people seem to think that person-first language is most appropriate: “Person with Autism”, “Person who has Autism”. Many of us see “with” or “who has” to be offensive, as it usually accompanies the idea of us being “inflicted” with something, that it’s something separate from us, and/or is a temporary/ “curable” thing. Autism is our Operating System, it’s who we are.

If an Autistic person tells you what their preference is – identity-first or person-first – please respect it. Also: Please don’t ever say “suffers from Autism”.

11. Tone matters.

You don’t necessarily need to mimic how the parent talks to the Autistic child. Some parents of Autistics are… less than ideal in how they treat their kids, and can talk to them like they’re babies and/or idiots. Aside from issues mentioned above (eye contact, enunciation, literal speech), you shouldn’t feel the need to talk any differently to an Autistic child, than you would a neurotypical child. As an example, nonverbal children are often looked at as stupid or lesser-than, and are frequently talked down to. The fact that they don’t speak *doesn’t* mean they don’t understand, or aren’t intelligent. Some of the most intelligent people I’ve ever known are non-verbal.

12. Know that every Autistic is different.

Some of these tips won’t apply to everyone. For some, every single one will. You will likely meet Autistic children who “pass” for neurotypical.


As a bit of an aside – this isn’t so much about dealing with Autistic children, as it is a bit of information about the Autism community, culture, etc…

April is coming up, and with it… “Autism Awareness Month”. Every Autistic adult I know dreads this month, as the promotion and observance of it tends to be hugely offensive to Autistic people. I’ve written about it Here, Here, and Here. I’d encourage anyone planning to do Autism charity appearances to read through those posts.

The TL;DR:

1. Autism Speaks is a horrible organization, on so many levels. Most Autistic adults and many parents of Autistics are horrified by their campaigns and treatment of Autistics. Please consider NOT supporting A$, and look to alternative organizations. I tend to recommend Autistic Self Advocacy Network, as it is “Nothing about us, without us”

2. As an extension of #1, the puzzle piece and “Light it up blue” are very much Autism Speaks symbols, and as such are pretty offensive to a many Autistics. For more information/perspective, I recommend Goggling such things as “Don’t light it up blue”, and “Autism Speaks doesn’t speak for me”.

3. The #ActuallyAutistic tag on social media – particularly Twitter – is a good read if you’d like to hear what Autistic people have to say.

A few members of The Royal Sisterhood

My Convention Survival Guide

Con season is upon us!

I was planning to write a blog entry on convention food recipes, but that idea has snowballed a bit. As it turns out my little “adventure” in LA gave me some unique planning experience when it comes to hotel rooms!

This is now more of a survival guide pack list kinda thing, coming from a logistics nerd: Everything beyond the “clothes, costumes, toiletries, booze” basics that you should consider packing for con.

So, let’s get started.


There are a few things that you can pack that will make your life easier, especially with multiple hotel roomies:

Collapsible Garbage Can Let’s be real, those tiny garbage cans hotels have really aren’t going to cut it. These are relatively cheap, twist down to take up very little room, and hold a LOT of garbage. Think something like THIS, and pack a few contractor garbage bags to go with it. Make life easier on the hotel cleaning staff, and leave just a full, tied off garbage bag or two.

Collapsible Laundry Bins. Rather than stuffing dirty laundry back into your suitcase, dump it in one of these. Makes life so much easier.. And cleaner. Do your part to prevent con funk! I like THIS ONE from IKEA.

Hand Sanitizer. I like to have a large bottle in the room, as well as a small bottle in my pocket at all times. I’m no germaphobe, but I DO have a pretty good idea of what hotel surfaces would look like – on a microscopic level – after even a couple hours of a convention.

Water. I like to bring a few 1 Gallon jugs of water, as well as individual bottles.

Cleanup Stuff. If you are planning to host a party, or expect that your roomies may be messy… It’s good to bring rug cleaner spray. Some convention hotels are VERY liberal with charging damages, so try to head that off at the pass. Plastic table cloths from the dollar store work great as drop cloths on/near your food area.

Towels. On that note, if you’re planning any kind of cosplay, bring some hand towels to clean up your makeup. Doesn’t hurt to use your own towels even for regular makeup – I know one person who got charged a fee because she got normal, everyday foundation on a towel.

Old t-shirt for Pillow. This is mostly if you don’t tend to wash off makeup before bed, or have your hair dyed with something that tends to rub off. Cover your pillow with a shirt, prevent those damage fees!

A Fan. Many hotels are older, and their A/C can struggle to keep up during summer month events. A fan can make a huge difference for comfort.

Sleep Stuff. Do you tend to snore? Be a good roomie and pack some disposable earplugs to offer your roomies. Do you tend to party late? A sleep eye mask can help deal with a bright room.

At Least One Power Strip. Hotels are notoriously lax on the outlet front – if you have roomies, they’ll all want somewhere to plug their phones in! The “flat plug” style is handy for hard-to-reach areas, btw.

Paper Products. Not only does the toilet paper run out quickly, but it’s awful stuff. Same for the kleenex. Your butt and nose will thank you if you bring some good stuff. Paper towels, for spills.


In addition to packing hand sanitizer and using it fairly religiously, there are other things you can do to avoid “con crud” / “con plague” – the generic name for whatever bugs happen to be floating around at a packed convention, knocking people down in the following week or two.

Sleep: Get at least 6 hours sleep per night. Or morning, depending on how you party!


Food: Don’t rely on consuite, and don’t skip meals. Try not to eat junky food. Trust me, all this makes a difference…. more on that in a bit!

Beyond that, I tend to avoid high-risk foods and open/communal food presentation in consuite. That bowl of chips? Dip that’s been sitting out for who knows how long? Hell no. Stick to individually packaged foods, shelf-stable etc foods, whenever possible.

Wash your hands. OFTEN. Enough said. Also, shower at least once daily… for you, and everyone around you.


The better you eat, the better your con experience… and the better your POST-con experience. Since we started bringing our own food for our room, we’ve yet to get concrud again. Several years, many BIG conventions – food makes a huge difference. Try to hit the major needs with every meal: protein, fiber, carbs. Load yourself with nutrients!

Breakfasts: I like to do hotel room smoothies. It’s a few easy ingredients, and all you need to pack is a blender. This year, we will be doing it a bit different, as my husband is currently dairy free: No yogurt, substitute flax milk. It’s all good – the idea is very adaptable! See this post for full details: Hotel Room Smoothies

Main meals: I like to bring a crock pot or two, and have entree type meals on the go for most of the afternoon and evening, so there is good food available for you to grab quickly between panels, etc. Convention Chili is great, as is Convention Sloppy Joes. Both recipes were developed to be loaded with protein, fiber, and vitamins!

Bring crockpot liners to make clean-up SUPER easy! Also, trial/travel sized dish detergent.

Snacks: My go-to for hotel room snacks is my “Con Brownies”. I developed this brownie recipe to not only be delicious, but to be loaded with protein and FIBER. (Wow, I sound really old right now.) Tasty, easy to grab on the go, filling, and will.. Help you out. You know. Bonus? They can be done gluten-free!

Another great snack food to make ahead is my Gluten-free Lembas. Not only is it the most canonically sound recipe I’ve seen, it is tasty and lives up to what Lembas is supposed to do – it fills you up, and keeps you full. Also: protein and fiber!

Beverages: As mentioned, bring water. Additionally, Gatorade or other electrolyte drinks – or instant powder – is usually a good idea.


Pain relievers, Tums, Allergy meds, etc. Pretty self explanatory.

Supportive Insoles and Good Shoes. You’re getting old, even if you won’t remember that til the end of the convention. Trust me – take care of your feet. (RACHEL I AM LOOKING AT YOU). Don’t wear new shoes to con – break them in first. Also, consider bringing some Moleskin for good measure.


Cash. Many hotels and convention centers have ATMs, sure… but they do tend to run dry during large events. Plan ahead! If your convention has party rooms, be sure to bring a lot of small bills for tipping.

Repair Kit, etc. Even if you’re not a cosplayer, stuff happens. Also, you could be a hero to someone who is less logistically-minded! Mini sewing kit, safety pins, etc.

Favourite lanyard or Neck Wallet. While you can usually get some kind of basic lanyard on site for your badge, sometimes you just have better ones. My husband has a favourite one – the band is about 1″ wide, and more comfortable than the skinny rope kinds. I like the neck wallet type, so I can put other stuff in there – my room key, a few dollars, a pen, whatever.


So, that’s about it, for now. Anything you guys would add?


Dalek Cake for a Doctor!

So… I’m about 3 months late posting this, but better late than never, right?

Back at the end of May, I had the opportunity to not only make the electronics-enhanced Dalek cake I’d been wanting to do some day… but to make it for a Doctor! Console Room had invited Colin Baker to be a Guest of Honour. Of COURSE he needed a special cake! I came out of my “Never going to ever make another cake again, EVER!” retirement, just for the occasion!

As was the case in my (now-retired-from) cake days, and as is the case with our costuming, I designed it and had my husband do the electronics for it.

The cake itself is fairly basic: a stacked tower of cake layers, a food safe tube running up the middle to house the wires, and a head (and one layer in the middle) made from Rice Krispie Treat, to securely hold the electronics and accessory parts in place. The wiring up the center and into the head allowed for lights – the two on top of the head, as well as the.. forehead mini plunger thing. (So technical, I know!). It was about 2′ tall, decorated in marshmallow fondant, and accented with edible metallic-airbrushed chocolate domes.

The cake stand had electronics of its own – a speaker, a sound modulator, and the switches to control the lights and sound. When activated, the sound modulator played Dalek sound clips – it was a lot of fun! Click here for video of the sound modulator in action. I STILL lose it at “Would you care for some tea?”!

Now, I’ve served many, MANY cakes. I’ve assisted in many, MANY first cuts of a cake… but this one is definitely my favourite cake cutting experience of all time. Colin Baker was *amazing* – so much fun, and really got into it. Check it out:

So, yes. I got to teach a Doctor how to destroy a Dalek. I feel like I achieved a crazy bucket list item that I didn’t know I had!

Click here to see more photos from that evening!

How I Made That: Triceracop Cosplay

If you haven’t seen Kung Fury yet, drop what you’re doing and go watch it. This blog post can wait. It’s 30 minutes long, and up on Youtube, HERE.

Isn’t it magnificent? We saw it a few weeks before Convergence, and decided that we needed – NEEDED! – to make a Triceracop costume as a last minute cosplay for the convention. Because, really.

Due to convention rules, this meant purchasing a very cheap looking $26 Police uniform off Amazon as a base. I felt kind of dirty doing do, but you’re not allowed to have a realistic law enforcement uniform. I figured that the overall thing would be fun and glorious enough to offset the potential ding to my costumer’s cred 🙂

To my CREDIT, though… the original seems to be completely CGI, and I was able to do it in real life, looking pretty accurate to the movie. So…

The main part of the costume – the triceratops mask – came together in just a couple of days, without much work at all. I think I had less than 10 hours into this, once you discount all of the drying time.

As with our Smaug costume from last year, I started with a motocrycle helmet as a base. It’s the most sturdy and comfortable option for wearing something like this, and distributes the weight well.

Additionally, my husband was able to drink without taking the helmet off – using a straw!

We had a lot of fun in this thing, and people *lost it* when they saw it. Not bad for a last minute thing. From my husband:

“Making it was fun, I like to help out, so it was good that I could do the epoxy stuff. It’s really cool to see the progress as it takes shape and all of the details get added.

Wearing it is SO much fun. Whether someone is familiar with the character or not, I get smiles from everyone. It’s really quick to put on, easy to wear. You just have to be a little careful through doorways or in crowds, but you quickly get used to that.”

…. So here is how I made it!

First, we re-watched the movie and got some screen captures for reference:

Next, we found an old motorcycle helmet that fit well. Fit is IMPORTANT. Too big will hurt your neck from the weight moving around, too small will be uncomfortable.

Because it won’t be used as an actual helmet, it doesn’t matter if it’s been in an accident or dropped (as long as it’s in decent shape!), so you should be able to find someone selling a dinged one much more cheaply than one that can actually be used for safety.

Before going any further, we sanded the outside of the helmet. Getting the glossy coating off helps the epoxy, etc adhere to the helmet.

Then I built the frame, using a strong wire and electrical tape. Once I was happy with the sizes, shapes, proportions, and placements, I had my husband epoxy it to the helmet in several places. This was just to reinforce the taping, I think it would be fine to skip the epoxy if your tape is holding well.

Then I used dollar store aluminum foil to cover the framework. Bunched up pieces of foil provided a bit of bulk/support in certain areas (chin, the curve from the helmet up to the frill, etc. Additionally, I used tightly crunched up foil to make the base shapes for the bases for the horns, beak, and … whatever you’d call those two pieces that stick out from behind the mouth.

Using plaster tape, I coated the whole thing in 3 layers. Be sure to overlap in different directions for strength.

Once fully wrapped, I let it dry for a a few hours.

Using more tightly crunched foil, I sculpted the horns and used more plaster to attach them firmly to the base. Then I let it dry for a day or two.

I used taxidermy Alligator eyes, coated in Vaseline for protection. I mixed up a big batch of Paperclay, and attached the eyes to the head with it. Used a small piece of Paperclay behind each eye (they’re domed), then sculpted up more Paperclay around each eye for eyelids – this helps hold them in place. Make sure to have both pupils lined up the same way!

I used more Paperclay to add all of the texture details – the mini horns on the frill, the “skin” built up around the base of each large horn and the beak, etc. Thinned down Paperclay spread on the horns and worked smooth allowed for very smooth horns that didn’t require much/any sanding, etc.

Another view. I let this dry for a couple days.

For the first time EVER, I finally obeyed the ventilation warnings on something! Figured I’d killed off enough braincells already, so I sprayed the Plasti-Dip coatings outside.

For my efforts at adulting, I was rewarded with RAIN OUT OF NOWHERE. Luckily, the sculpt was coated and upside down at the time, so it didn’t damage it.

Once all of the Plasti-Dip had fully dried, I carefully peeled it off from the eyes, and wiped off the remaining Vaseline.

For the paint, I mixed several colours of Acrylic paints together to get the right shade of red – kind of brownish and muddy. I mixed it with some Prosaide to create PAX paint (I like the finish it creates), and painted scales all over it. Rough shapes, varied sizes. It was pretty tedious.

Then I mixed some bone coloured PAX paint from a few shades of acrylics – mostly ivory and tan, with just a small amount of gold.I used that to paint the horns. Per the photos, I had it pretty solidly bone colour at the tips, streaking down to a base of more black.

Then I thinned down some black acrylic paint with water and more prosaide, and aggressively shaded it. The idea was to have the black be obvious, but a little transparent to allow the “skin” to show through a little.

Finally, I cut a little piece of dark brown stretch mesh (I didn’t have black on hand like I thought!), and carefully glued it to the inside of the mouth, right up against the mask, as a new visor. This allows vision for the wearer, while blocking their face from view.

The finished helmet/mask, and a photo with our friend Michael as “Kung Fury”:

… and finally, a side by side comparison with the screen shot:

So, that’s how I made it 🙂

How We Made That: “Hobbit Hole” Cat Shelter Tutorial

In every aspect of our life, my husband and I are very “If you give a mouse a cookie”. A small idea snowballs really quickly, basically… “If we’re going to do X, we should probably go ahead and do Y… and Z… and OMG wouldn’t it be cool if ….?”

That’s basically my explanation for this tutorial, and the project that spawned it. A little background…

Back in 2011, the tornado smashed out one of our garage windows. It’s right by the ground, and totally useless – there’s a weirdly placed fireplace behind it, so no human is getting in or out of it – so it’s been pretty low on our priority list of things to fix. We’d see a cat or two go in and out of it, not a huge deal.

Then last year, my husband heard some noises in the wall when he was in the garage… and discovered a litter of kittens! We socialized them and their mama, and found homes for each of them. Shortly after that, Mama (now “Artemis”, per her new family!)’s sister also had a litter of kittens in there. We were able to hold the kittens once, before she hid them away from us. They all became feral, and lived in and around our garage/yard.

Flash forward to now. We have about 10 ferals living in our yard. They’ve all been named – Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Fili, Kili, Galadriel, Arwen, Celeborn, Beorn – and have their own Facebook fan page: The Feral fellowship. We’ve trapped, neutered, and released MOST of them so far, and are currently raising a small litter of kittens from them (Celebrian, Elladan, and Elrohir) in my husband’s office, and will soon adopt them out.


In the course of trapping, neutering, and releasing, we decided that we should clean up a part of the backyard, near the window they use, and put a small crate out there as a shelter. Maybe we’d plant some catnip. Actually, maybe that crate should be one of these homemade ones that are insulated? If we’re going to go to THAT trouble, why not build one from scratch? What if we make it look like a Hobbit hole? With cat grass growing on top!

… If we’re going to do THAT, maybe we should make a little “patio” of mulch around it – with a little border – so that we don’t have to use the lawnmower up against it. Actually, if we make that area a little bigger, we can surround the little apple tree so that we don’t have to mow around that. A little bigger yet, and we can do the same with the compost bins. Hell, at this point, that whole section of yard may as well be done in mulch, there’s no point bothering to mow the thin little strip that’ll be left… that’s a lot of mulch. Maybe we can sink some pots of catnip into the ground, to look like bushes in their little shire? And add some stepping stones! You know, we may as well add a little pond, so they have a constant source of drinking water…

… and here we are. Proud caretakers of a little feral “Shire”. Here is how we did it:


– 1 round egress Well with matching cover. Ours was about 36″ diameter, and 2′ deep.
– 6′ plank of solid composite decking, in brown. Don’t use the hollow kind!
– Large tube of construction adhesive. (We used Loctite PL 3X Premium Construction Adhesive)
– Outdoor latex paints, tinted yellow and green
– “Cedar” coloured silicone caulking
– Pipe hanging strap
– Screws, bolts, etc
– Soil
– Cat grass seed

How We Did it

Being careful to line up / center everything, I used a sharpie and a couple of plates to trace circles onto the egress cover for the openings

Then, I drew a rough guide for the “brickwork” around each. I wanted to get an idea of how many bricks I’d need, and what sizes. I ended up needing 24 1.5″ x 2″ bricks for the main door, and 40 1″ x 1.5″ smaller bricks for the two windows.

I had my husband cut the bricks from the plank of decking, using his table saw. He used his jigsaw to cut the holes out of the egress cover. He was careful to get the door out in one solid piece, as I’d be using it.

As he presented me his perfectly cut bricks, he informed me:

“You know what you need to put between each of the brick pieces? MORDOR. I mean MORTAR.”

… what a dork 🙂

Once the holes were all cut, I slathered the whole front facade with a thick layer of construction adhesive. I used a painting sponge to spread and texture it, kind of smacking and pulling it upwards to resemble stucco.

As I finished spreading and texturing around a window, I carefully placed the appropriate sized “bricks” into place around the edge, pushing in to secure in the adhesive.

Once the whole thing was coated, textured, and had all of the bricks placed, I let it dry (cure?) for a couple days.

In the meantime, I spread the door piece with more adhesive, using the sponge and an old paintbrush to streak it into more of a “wooden door” texture.

Once everything was dried/cured, I painted the “stucco” yellow, and the door green.

As I was being artsy in the comfort of our house, my husband slaved out in the yard to clean debris, strip the sod, and level the whole thing. Getting the ground level where the Hobbit Whole would go was important, so it would be stable and fit snuggly against the garage.

I piped the cedar toned silicone caulking around the edge of the windows/door, and in between each brick.

Once it was all piped, I used a wet finger to smooth it all down

Once everything was all cured and dried, it was time to assemble it all.

First, Porter fit the egress cover to the egress well, and marked spots on the egress cover to indicate where the holes on the well would line up. He then drilled these holes, so he could bolt the cover on.

Next, with the cover on to hold the well into the correct curve, he attached two 2×4 planks across what would become the bottom of the structure, to hold it all into place. (Not pictured)

Next, he attached the door. He took the facade off the well to do this. Due to the ridges going on in the back of the facade / door, he had to get creative. He ended up … ah, let me just quote him…

“I used pipe hanging strap (like this ), which is easily bendable and has holes for screwing into things. I used one piece near the center of the door and one strap near the top. It’s just bolted on, I drilled holes in the support strips to mount it.”

He then replaced the facade onto the well, and attached it with 3 or 4 small bolts.
Finally! Time to install the Hobbit Hole into our little feral shire!

We had already completely landscaped the “Shire” by this point – covered the entire area in landscape fabric, installed a small pond, dug holes and sunk 5 little pots for catnip “shrubs”, spread mulch, and laid stepping stones.

We had left a small spot of unmulched area on the fabric, right about where the Hobbit hole would be going. We placed it where we wanted it, then packed some more mulch down into it as a bit of a floor, and to hide the beams underneath.

Then, we mounded a bunch of dirt over it. You really want to pack it in well, and it’ll want to slide a bit. Take your time!

Then, plant a ton of cat grass seeds. I think we ended up using 8 packets, over a few weeks, just getting ridiculous with it. They tend to grow in small clumps, rather than an all-over sod like consistency.

Didn’t manage to get a close up of the soil covered structure, so here’s a view of the whole Feral Shire..

… and then we waited, keeping the soil moist while we let nature take its course. MADDENING!

Once the grass started sprouting, the ferals started to indicate their approval 🙂

Pippin got up there and caused a bit of sliding, which we later repaired:

I think Frodo may have been a little jealous…

… and then Sam wanted to know what was up…

.. and the Kili decided to come hang out with them all…

A patched dirt slide, a few more seeds and a couple weeks later, and voila … one proper feral shelter Hobbit Hole! It was a lot of work, but totally worth it!

It’s been nice to see them hang out in the back yard, fairly carefree. They get along well, have access to fresh water and food, and seem to know thay’re safe here, and free to be cats:

(Bonus: There’s video of Arwen enjoying that catnip.. SO cute! Click here to view it on their Facebook page!)

Be sure to follow The Feral Fellowship on Facebook for tons of cat photos and updates on their lives out back!

By the way, if you’re here because you’re a big fan of Middle Earth… I highly recommend checking out Tol-Con, a Middle Earth themed fan convention coming to Minneapolis in 2016. My husband and I are both involved with it, along with a great team – it’s a fan run convention, and featured themed BANQUETS as part of the ticket! Here is the Facebook page for it. Won’t you join us on our adventure?

How I Did That: Ronan The Accuser Makeup Tutorial

Ever since making my husband’s Ronan the Accuser costume, I’ve had a ton of questions about how I did the makeup… so, tutorial time!

When we first saw Guardians of the Galaxy, I KNEW I’d be making that costume for Porter. A day or two later, we did a quick makeup test – using my “Beast” blue makeup, and a tube of really cheap black Halloween makeup to look goopy. It looked good enough to convince me to go ahead with the costume, but was a far cry from what his final makeup would be.

After a couple tweaks to my process since that point, I’ve finally hit on the products and procedures needed for Ronan makeup that stays PUT – not peeling up, etc. There are probably a million different ways to do this makeup – I am NOT a makeup artist, and this is just what works for us.

Big thanks to Josh from ChaManLeon Fx, who filled in a couple missing puzzle pieces for me. I’d originally planned to use crushed up rolled oats, but he told me that “Ash Powder” exists.

Apologies for the crappy cell phone photography – I didn’t want to get makeup all over the good camera while shooting for this tutorial!

First things first… here’s my husband in his Ronan The Accuser costume:

Getting something to eat after a long day in costume… with none of the latex peeling off!

If you’re interested in seeing how the costume came together, I have an album up on my costuming Facebook page, here. That album is the closest thing you’ll get to a tutorial, from me – that costume cost me some sanity 🙂

Now, on to the makeup tutorial!

What you need:

Purple Contacts
Glue stick
Scar wax
Blue nail polish
Makeup sponges
Disposable plates / bowls
Ash Powder
Liquid Latex
Castor Sealer
Paper Towels or cotton balls
2 shades of blue cream makeup (I used Paradise brand)
Super White face powder (optional)
Stipple sponge
Sealing powder
Red lip liner
black cream makeup
Makeup brushes
Black eyeliner, mascara (optional)
Black food colouring
Southern Comfort or other nicely flavoured spirit.

I like to lay everything out in the order I’ll use it – which is how I wrote them, above. All that experience writing recipes, right? 🙂

First things first: Have your Ronan wash his/her hands and face VERY well, making sure to get rid of any oils that may be present. Dry everything well.

1. Have them put in the contacts – you don’t want them fussing with that after getting the makeup on!

2. Apply a few coats of glue stick to the eyebrows. I like to gently use a back and forth motion the first time, to get the hair completely coated. Allow that to dry, then run another coat on top, going in the same direction as the eyebrow hair.

Once that is dry, block the eyebrows with eyebrow / scar wax. Make sure the hair is completely covered, with as thin a layer as possible. I like to smooth it over with a wet finger to ensure there are no loose edges that can pull up

3. Paint the nails blue. Aim for a blue that’s as close to the finished skin makeup colour as possible.

4. Using a cosmetic sponge, apply a thin layer of Prosaide to anywhere that the black makeup will be – including the line down the front of the neck. Also. carefully brush a thin coat of it over the (dried!) nailpolish. Allow to dry completely.

5. In a disposable plate, bowl, or cup (At conventions, I’ll usually use hotel room paper coffee cups!), mix together some Ash Powder with liquid latex. I usually just eyeball it – a Tablespoon or two of powder, and as much latex as it takes to makee it goopy – almost like oatmeal.

Using a makeup sponge, dab globs of the latex goop all over the area that will be black – across the eyebrows, under the eyes, the streaks down the cheeks, below the mouth, and the streak down the middle of the neck. Take care to not get it in the eyelashes! Allow to dry COMPLETELY.

6. While I’m waiting for that to dry, I like to get started on the blue makeup, because that takes forever. I’ll start with the ears, neck, sides of face… leaving a fair amount of space around the clumpy stuff. I use water based “Paradise” makeup, a lightish blue.

It’s actually not light ENOUGH, but it’s what I could find locally / what I use for my Beast makeup, so we make do and just use white powder later, to dull it down. Ideally, you want something very light, like a periwinkle blue.

7. Once the goop has dried, carefully sponge castor sealer all over the goopy parts, making sure to get it in the little crevices and everything. Use a paper towel or cotton balls to blot excess castor sealer.

8. Continue painting the entire face, ears, hands, and neck area with the lighter blue colour. Check under different lighting to make sure there are no blotchy/ lighter spots.

Optional: If the light blue is too dark/vibrant, use the Super White powder to powder over the whole thing now. (Image on right, below.)

9. Wet the stiple sponge, shake it off, and get just a small amount of the darker blue cream makeup on it, lightly sponge over the entire face and neck area. You’re going for a very subtle texturing effect here. If you get too much makeup on the sponge, or it’s runny… reapply the light blue and start over.

10. Once you’re happy with how it looks, use a big kabuki type brush to apply sealing powder all over everything.

11. Use the red lip liner to draw thin, jagged “veins” in a few places.

12. Carefully apply black makeup to all of the areas that it needs to go, carefully working it into any bumps and crevices in the “goop” application. I keep a printout of Lee Pace’s makeup on hand, and consult it fairly frequently to make sure I keep it looking right.

(At this point, I stopped taking progress photos of the black makeup, whoops!

13. Once you’re happy with the black makeup, apply eye liner and mascara, if desired.

14. For a shinier appearance on the black areas, gently brush on some more castor sealer. Don’t use too much!

15. For the black mouth, I mix together some cake decorator grade black food colouring, with Southern Comfort. (Wilton pictured, because I have it on hand… but Americolor is stronger!).

This kind of food colouring mixes into alcohol better than water (it’s why all my cakes that were hand painted or airbrushed were done so with vodka!). I chose Southern Comfort because it’s sweet and tastes good, and that combats the nasty taste of the food colouring.

Have your Ronan swish this mixture in the mouth for a minute or two, and spit. I like to have extra on hand in a water bottle, for refreshing the colour during the day.

… and that’s it! Now your Ronan is free to cleanse the universe of Zandarians…

… or fist-bump adorable little fans on Free Comic Book Day…

..or just go twerk on stage!

.. with makeup that stays on and looks great all day. Even when ending that long day with a bowl of pho!

How I Made That: Maleficent’s Horns / Headpiece

Back in October, I posted a Cosplay Tutorial: Maleficent’s Staff. As Maleficent has been one of the costumes that generates the most email questions for me, seemed like a good idea!

I have been meaning to post a tutorial on how to make the headpiece, but – as it turns out – I didn’t take any photos of the earlier steps. So, here we are with a “How I Made That”, instead!

So, let me first detail what all went on before I thought to start taking photos 🙂

1 – I had a cement casting of my Maleficent model’s head. I greased it up with vaseline, and laid down some wet plaster tape in a rough shape of the base head cap. I did about 3 layers, and let it harden fully before removing it and trimming it to the right shape.

2 – I made the horns. For things like this, I like to start with a base of crunched up aluminium foil – it’s lightweight, easy to form, and holds shape well. I took the time to make two symmetrical horns.

3 – Using thin strips of plaster tape, I wet, wrapped, and smoothed a couple layers of plaster from the tip down towards the base of each horn.

4 – With the cap part centered on the head casting, I used mroe strips of plaster tape to securely affix the horns to the cap base, taking care to keep them symmetrical. Then, I let that harden completely.

5 – Using some “Fast Mache” paperclay, I filled out and smoothed over the horns. Let that dry completely.

6 – I sprayed the horns with Super 77 spray adhesive, and wrapped them with twine. Let that dry completely.

7 – Once the whole thing had dried *completely*, I coated it all with a layer of black Plasti-Dip. This would protect the plaster from outside moisture. Once that was dry, I painted it with black PAX paint, for a nicer finish.

8 – I draped a small piece of textured black fabric (stretchy) over the headpiece, trimming it and cutting holes out for the horns. Once I was satified with how it looked, I sprayed the back of it with Super 77, and glued it down to the headpiece, smoothing out all the wrinkles, etc.

9 – I draped a piece of shiny metallic black lycra over it, trimming to form the “V” trim. Once I was satisifed with the shape and fit, I glued it into place with Super 77, folding edges to the underside of the cap.

10 – Using a larger piece of black metallic lycra, I draped one side of the … I don’t know what I’d call it. Skull cap? Cowl? Sort of? Anyway, draped that on one side, pinning in place.

11 – Used another large piece of black metallic lycra to drape the other side, overlapping the first. Once I was happy with it, I hand stitched the pieces together, sewing right up to the horns to secure everything in place.

aaaaand finished!

For more photos of this stunning costume, head on over to our Facebook page. We have an album for it HERE.

Be sure to “like” my costuming page on Facebook for more progress pics, tips, and other fun stuff: Marie Porter, Cosplay Costumer.

Note: If you’re looking for a quote on custom costuming, please contact me through my costuming page,

How I Made That: Dwarf Wig Part 3 – Reusable Beard

As I’d mentioned in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, I like to make my Tolkien cosplay dwarf wigs from scratch for several reasons. Beyond fit, style, etc.. I like to have matching loose hair available for making beards.

The first time I went out as Thorin, I did the beard right on my face with liquid latex, layer by layer. Looks good, but took TWO HOURS. After doing this twice, I knew I’d need to come up with a better way, something reusable.

Another issue is that I find the liquid latex application doesn’t last very long, and starts peeling off my face early in the evening. Want to eat or drink anything? It’ll peel that much faster.

So, I used a heavier liquid latex to make a more reusable Thorin beard, and it took about 2 minutes to put on. I was able to use Pros-aide adhesive, which holds MUCH better than liquid latex. I’ve since used this method to create the beard for my Beast costume, for the mustache and around the bald spot of Mini Bombur, and now my Dis costume. Here is how I did it:

First off, I prepared my work space with medical exam table paper – this will make a big mess, and it’s nice to be able to just bunch up the paper and toss it when I’m done.

I cut some strips of plaster casting tape into thinnish strips, and set a container of water out. I also set out a pair of gloves, because handling plaster really grosses me out. (Too close to chalk. click here if you’re curious to read about some Aspie issues :0 )

Then I pulled all my hair off my face, greased it up with Vaseline, and built up 3 layers of plaster casting into the beard mould you see here. About 15 minutes later, I made a few faces to loosen up the mould and pulled it off.

While it can be tempting to get started right away, I recommend letting the mould air dry for at least an hour.

As a design note: You don’t need to make the beard mould as big / full as this for the style of beard I’m doing here. I purposely made it very full because the mould is reusable – who knows what kind of beard needs I may have in the near future? 😉

Once the mould has dried, I dusted it with baby powder (because of the vaseline residue) and gave the whole inside a nice coat of a thick, casting latex. I use the #269 flexible casting compound sold at a local supplier. You don’t want to use the makeup style of liquid latex for this, but flexibility is KEY. You want it to move with your face.

Once the first coat of latex has started to get a bit gummy, I set a piece of beige stretch mesh in it, smoothing so there are no folds. This gives a bit of extra strength, while still being flexible. Let it cure with the mesh in it, then add one more coat of casting latex.

Once the latex seems to be dry, gently pull it from the mould. If it sticks or you can see wet latex underneath it, let it dry a bit longer. Set it on the outside of the mould and let the outside of your new beards prosthetic cure for a bit, before trimming rough edges and using sharp craft scissors to trim until the piece is symmmetrical (I just fold it in half and cut through both layers)

Then I held the piece in place and used a marker to draw some rough lines of where I wanted to trim the beard into shape. After trimming, I tried it on again and adjusted until I was happy with the shape and size. Note: This is just the base of the beard – hair will extend down below the actual edge.

When I was happy with it, I used a couple small clamps to hold it on place on the outside of the mould.

I coated what would be the underside of the chin with some Liquid latex (Ben Nye), and started laying the hair. While the makeup stuff isn’t good for the base, it’s perfect for the glue, especially as it sets up MUCH faster than casting latex does.

I start at the front corner/edge of the chin, gluing loose lines of hair down, with the loose, cut edge of the hair facing the front of the chin. I work my way backwards towards the neck, bit by bit.

Once I’m happy with the chin hair, I trim the front edge so it lines up with the chin/jawline of the mould.

Then I continue applying hair in loose, layered rows, working up to the top edge of the beard. I used hair cut to lengths MUCH longer than I figured I wanted, because it gives me more flexibility for trimming/styling. Much easier to remove hair, than to add it!

Take note of direction when you’re placing your rows – I started out aiming them straight down, but ended up adjusting so the pointed slightly towards the center. For my Beast costume, I had the hair aiming outward. It all depends on what look you’re going for.

Take a look at your beard and make sure everything is symmetrical enough. While the latex is setting, you have a little bit of time to gently nudge hair in a different direction.

Once I was satisfied with the sides of the beard, I attached layers of much longer hair to the center front, working my way up front the chin. This is the part that I had plans to braid. If you’re not doing a long center braid, you can just cover this part while you’re doing the sides.

I used double sided tape to try the beard on.. as planned, it was WAY too long. I trimmed it a bit before trying it on with the wig, for a better idea of what it would look like. Decided it was still too full, so trimmed a bit more.

Here is a photo of where it’s at right now. That bead is a placeholder, until my Fili bead arrives from Dwarvendom on Etsy.

So, it’s ALMOST done! Still need to trim it a bit more, but I want to wait until the gown is done so I can see the whole thing together before deciding how much more to take off.

To wear it, I stick it on with Pros-aide, let that dry a bit, and then tidy up the edge with makeup and/or gluing on a small amoutn of hair to hide the edge… depending on my mood 🙂 As pictured, this is just held on with a couple strips of double sided tape for an idea of what it will look like.

Be sure to “like” my costuming page on Facebook for more progress pics, tips, and other fun stuff: Marie Porter, Cosplay Costumer.

Note: If you’re looking for a quote on custom costuming, please contact me through my costuming page,