Archive | Material Mondays RSS feed for this section

Material Monday: Gesso

26 Dec

And we’re back with a vengeance!!!


What it is: A liquid that is a mixture of white paint and a binder and has some carbon in it to increase absorbancy.

Important Note: Today’s Gesso in a craft store is caled Acrylic gesso because of its mixture of acrylic paint, binder and carbon. Traditional gesso is actually a mixture of glue (usually rabbit skin), chalk, binder, and white pigment. Both are used in priming canvas’. However, Traditional Gesso easily cracks and should only be used for hard surfaces, such as walls and boards.

What it comes in: Various sizes of jars, you can also buy it by the gallon at some local craft stores.

What it does: Provides a base layer upon which to paint a surface. Also, on wonderflex, it creates a surface that covers up the texture.

What Can Go Over It: Mainly paint, but virtually anything.

What It Goes Over: Canvas, paper, cardboard, wonderflex. It would probably be easier to say what it didn’t go over, which is fabric.

Places to Buy: The local craft store like Michaels, A.C. Moore, JoAnns and Hobby Lobby will have it the cheapest, but you can also get it online at Amazon

Pros: Good cover surface, great base layer for paint. Covers texture in multiple layers.

Cons: If you use Gesso to cover texture, be prepared to sand (various grits) and paint in several layers (10+) depending on the texture.

Helpful Hint:  You can check out several threads and forums online to ask questions and see what other people are doing with it:




Material Monday: Call for Materials!

7 Nov

So, I am running out of ideas for materials to cover for MM.

What would you guys like to see featured and talked about?

Previously featured materials:

+ Wonderflex

+ Styrene

+ Craft Foam

+ Fiberglass

+ Hot Glue

+ Plasti-Dip

+ Fosshape

+ Modge Podge

+ Das Modeling Clay

Material Monday: Fiberglass

3 Oct

Disclaimer: This is a severe over-simplification of Fiberglass, please, please do NOT use

this as your only reference when working with this material!


What it is: Typically, Fiber Reinforced Plastic which is a composite material. It is a cloth mat that is made up of glass fibers.

What it comes in: A woven ‘cloth’

What it does: Creates an extremely hard, durable prop

What Can Go Over It: Paint, Bondo

What It Goes Over: A mold, wonderflex, and insulation foam can all be used as bases

Places to Buy: You need to buy TWO PARTS the resin (recommding Polyester, because it’s easier to work with) and the cloth. The cloth is here: Amazon, Sears, Lowes, and Home Depot. The resin: Amazon, Boats Plus

Pros: Good, solid lightweight option for armor, props and other surfaces

Cons: Gooey and runny when first put on, then spikey and sharp when dried if not sanded. Toxic fumes.

Helpful Hint: Look at SEVERAL tutorials on fiberglass prop/armor making BEFORE buying a thing. Fiberglass is an advanced material and as such, should be researched properly before beginning.

Material Monday: Styrene

19 Sep

And we’re back!



What it is: A plastic. Considered toxic in it’s gaseous/liquid form.

What it comes in: Sheets, of various sizes. I have also seen them in tubes and foam blocks/sheets

What it does: Creates a hardened layer, like wonderflex, to make armor.

What Can Go Over It: Paint, gesso, hot glue….

What It Goes Over: It needs a base and usually is matched with craft foam.

Places to Buy: cosplaysupplies,com,,, even

Pros: Good, solid lightweight option for armor,

Cons: Won’t take hits very well like WF,

Helpful Hint: Check out The Prop Bible by Teresa Dietzinger. They are worth every penny in terms of information on making stuff, including working with Styrene.

Material Monday: Hot Glue

5 Sep

It’s the one tool all cosplayers probably use!

Hot Glue


What it is: A thermoplastic usually formed into cylindrical stick shape that is meant to be melted in a Hot Glue Gun

What it comes in: Sticks. In various degrees of sizes 12, 15, 45mm being the most common sizes

What it does: Glues stuff together. You can also create shapes out of hot glue!

What Can Go Over It: Erm…with gesso, paint.

What It Goes Over: It sticks to most things, but I found it didn’t like to adhere to pleather/vinyl and stay for long periods of time. It also did not like painted craft foam.

Places to Buy: ACMoore, Michaels, Hobby Lobby

Pros: Working Time, Melts, adheres rather quickly

Cons: If you don’t have the right gun, materials may not adhere.

Helpful Hint: There are three types of guns, High and Low Temperature and Dual. If you are going to be working with a lot of different materials, its best to use the Dual temp. Low temp is good for Lace, and light things, and the High Temp is good for rougher/thicker types. =]

Material Monday: Fosshape!

22 Aug



What it is: A unique non-woven, heat-activated fabric. The fabric can be formed and shaped into objects when exposed to steam, heat or dry heat (like a heat gun/hairdryer).  It remains full permeable and breathable following heat activation, making it a safe and easy-to-use.

What it comes in: Sheets. Usually a 45″ width, and slightly thinner than wonderflex.

What it does: Allows cosplayers the ability to make firm, but pliable objects. It sticks to itself as well as wonderflex and other objects with hot glue.

What it can go over: Wonderflex, molds…

Places to Buy: Dazian,

Pros: Can be worked with less expensive items like a hot glue gun, iron, heat gun, ect., lighter and more flexible then wonderflex, cut-able with a knife or scissors,

Cons: Expensive, felt-like in texture, has a higher heating temperature than Wonderflex


Base made from fosshape


Made with fosshape (I suspect its the horns, or the base for the head)