Step by step guide to how Card Cosplay is made!
(I apologize for misspellings, I am not a editor in the slightest)
- Hot Glue – TONS of it! Packets at Wal-Mart/craft store come in 50 sticks a pack, around $5 a pack.
- Playing Cards – If you ask around a lot of time people have cards they do not want any more but do not feel like just giving away. Or check EBAY/Amazon/Thrift stores. You can find many types of playing cards for cheap if you do some digging. (I found 1,500 MTG Cards for $25 on Amazon) (Different cards have different value, for example MTG cards you can get more or less while Pokemon cards are more expensive to find online. But easier I find to find when asking around on social media)
- Scissors – They will get dull. Lots of things to cut!
- Old clothes – EX: bra’s, belts, skirts, shoes, hats, etc. (Needed for the skeleton of the cosplay)
- Extras – Might be gloves/stockings (accessories?), poles (prop beginnings) , headbands (horn base?) , etc.
- Liquid Resin – For the final step. Can be expensive and possibly hard to get your hands on, but very important. (If you can find a great alternative, more power to you!)
- Idea of what the outfit will look like. How many pieces are going to make out the cosplay. Finding foot wear that can either be covered or idea for how to make shoe cover plates. Idea for how pieces will attach around the body. Belts? Velcro? String?
- I used Velcro (I would use belts now but at the time Velcro was cheaper and a roll lasted much longer, worked great!) Belts make things I bit more secure and finished though.
3. Skeleton of Costume
- Before you start creating you need your base/skeleton. It is best to have ether the mid section of stomach armor free, broken up into parts, or ad lest not covering your mid waist spine area. You have to keep your joints in mind. If you don’t you will ether not be able to move or upon bending you could hurt your skin on the edges of the armor.
- Skeleton piece ideas: Bra, cardboard, skirt, old shoes, boots, gloves, old hat, headbands, etc.
- It is best if you glue your cards right onto the skeleton pieces, otherwise you must find ways of belting/Velcroing them on and off.
- Keep your joints open! You need to be able to move!
- Most important joints: ankles, knees, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrist, and neck!
- Do test to see which material the glue best sticks too. Might stick better to fabric then plastic shoes for example.
4. Creating the Costume
- The great part about card armor: It is always “technically” original so no worries on sticking to a super specific look! Make it how you like and and what fits/you like best!!
- Plus with using hot glue: cheap, can be ripped apart, not super dangerous!
- Cover all surfaces and extension with cards! If you want a bend, bend the cards as you glue. It will seal the bend better. Build outward. If you do a card outfit body tight only, you will look flat. Add 3D objects and 3D elements to costume. EX: horns, shoulder armor that has hooks, spikes, ridges.
- This will take time! And you will get better as you do it more!
- If it doesn’t look good try putting a new layer of cards on top. Make the first layer more of a “base”. Spend more time on this new top layer.
- Watch out for sharp/intense edges near joints, could hurt after a hour of wearing!
5. Sealing the Costume
- I personally like to use liquid resin. (I have friend that uses it to seal boats, that was how I discovered it) There are other methods. I do not yet know them.
- This step is very important though! If you do not seal your outfit with something that makes it have a protective hard coat it will: Upon heat/sweat/water FALL APART, sweat will disintegrate it, details my pop off. Having a hot glue ready on site while at a con can be tough, so best to not have to worry.
- If anything still doesn’t stay down or likes to pop of STILL, I like to add a bit of clear tape over the problem. Not always the prettiest, but you usually can’t see it anyways if you use is sparingly.
6. Wearing Card Cosplay
- You will get asked 100 times “how long did it take to make?”
- Have some clear tape on hand for quick fixes, you’ll probably need it!
- It’s a unique idea! Some people are going to find it weird of silly, who cares!
- Sometimes particular parts can make your joints soar. (usually for me, my neck)
- You are now large and boxy! Watch out for your shoulders and people around you!
- It can be hard to give hugs!
- Stairs are HARD!!! Sometimes, depending on the legs, it can be impossible to go up or down stairs. Keep this in mind!!!
7. Extras I’ve Learned Along the Way
- There are always haters. Someone is not going to like that you took there favorite thing and applied glue and scissors to it. Don’t listen to them, this is your cosplay, you should be proud, and there YOUR cards and you can do what you want with YOUR cards.
- Get pictures of your costume! People like unique ideas and they might even get spread around the interwebs!
- Extra effects to your outfit can add possibly just the right finishing touch! EX: blood, paint, jewels, gloves, wig, etc.
- Your card cosplay is EPIC!! And I want to see! Share it with me! Contact me: http://www.fb.com/vedettamarie or firstname.lastname@example.org!