The Final Product:
Images I’m basing my costume on:
Lightning Action Figure
Supplies I bought: Approx cost so far ($130 – mostly due to spray paint, modge podge, glue, feathers, wig, etc)
- Craft foam (2mm, 3mm, 5mm) – Hobby Lobby
- Foam board (5-6 pieces) – Dollar Tree
- Spray Paint (dark green [small can], silver, chrome, gold, sealer [gloss]) – Hobby Lobby
- Modge Podge (primer for foam) – Hobby Lobby
- Gorilla Glue – Hobby Lobby
- Vinyl (brown, 1/2 yard) – Hobby Lobby
- Hot Glue – Hobby Lobby
- Elastic sewing band – Jo-Anne’s/Hobby Lobby
- Exact-o Knife – Jo-Anne’s/ Hobby Lobby
- large poster paper (to draw shield and sword design on) – Dollar Tree
- Feathers – Moon Light Feathers
- Wig – EBay
- Wig Cap – Amazon
Feathers for the wing from Moon Light Feathers (Approx. $20 altogether)
- 1 yard – white Goose (Nagoire and Satinettes Feather Trim) //I used along the outline since they were the nicest
- 1 pack – white Goose (Coquille Loose Feathers – 0.35 oz.) //little ones near the top and fillers
NOTE: if you can find less do it, i have so many leftover. I only used a handful of small feathers
- 1 pack – white Goose (Nagoire Loose Feather – 0.25 oz.) //used in the middle and bottom to fill out the wing
The wig from EBay. ($18 w/ shipping) //I bought from supplier in California so shipping would be faster.
- Pink Long Final Fantasy 13 Lightning Serah Wavy Cosplay Women Heat Full Hair Wig
I bought it from the Supplier: Buddha-Fate and it was delivered 2 days earlier than expected in new condition with tags still on!
Items I already had:
bought from amazon – ($12 with prime)
Qupid Women’s PROUD-09 Flat Knee High Fold Down Slouchy Boots
I attacked the belt first, because i figured if I couldn’t do that, I wouldn’t make the costume. It’s much easier than I thought.
- Turn on netflix, and start a show that you are not too worried about missing parts to while you work.. this is gonna take a while.
- Using the 2mm craft foam I cut out the below designs for the front and back of my belt. They go to aboud the width of my hip bones, it’s good to keep kind of long, since they will need to be attached to the side panels.
- Using my stove I turned it on medium heat, and held the pieces over to warm up. This is how you mold the foam. It worked surprisingly well. I researched this a lot because it sounded crazy but you can actually do this. Some people use an iron, just be very careful. The foam should not be so hot that you can no longer hold it. Just warm enough that you feel a give and it starts to slouch. Then you can mold it to how you want. I kinda folded the middle and the sides in a vertical fashion so it would stick away from my body a little. Then let them sit for a while. I moved onto the sides of my belt.
- These I used the 3mm craft foam because i figured they would be holding the wing and were going to be more of the support. I just had to eyeball it based on how other people did it, but I cut out two rectangles with round edges and then a smaller piece that would be the handle part near the top. After cutting them out I labeled my left side and my right side, since I would form them to each side individually. Then used the same technique over the stove, making sure to be careful. After heating them up I placed it on my hip to get a slight bend with my side and bent the bottom of it up. (you can kinda see in the pictures). Repeat for the other side.
- I then heated up the small pieces I cut out and pretty much folded them in half. Using gorilla glue, I attached them near the top of the larger piece (once they were cooled down).
- Using stick on pearl studs, as another blogger brilliantly thought of… I added the studs to the front, back, and sides. (You can see them in step 10).
- Next I cut out the “leather” looking flaps from the brown vinyl I bought. Because I bought 1/2 a hard, I used the 1 1/2 ft as my height and went across to cut out the strips. I made one, decided if i liked the width by holding in front of me, and then layered it on top to trace the next, cutting with my X-acto knife. I ended up cutting them much shorter so they only hung to about mid thigh, but it was okay to have them longer to begin with. Cut 6 pieces (3 for front, 3 for back). Realizing now, thicker will help cover more of your butt, so whatever look you are going for.
- Draw the tips for leather on paper. Cut out the paper and using a sharpie draw on 2 or 3mm foam the tips.
- Then cut them out. (first cut 1 out, and make sure it lines up with your leather strip correctly.
- Next, time to seal the foam. Spray paint will dissolve foam, that is why we are doing this. I have seen people make a glue, water remedy to do this. I just bought ‘hardening Modge Podge for outside furniture, etc’ at the craft store. Using a paint brush i covered the front and back of each piece of foam 2-3 times, letting them sit about 20 minutes in between.
- After the foam has been properly sealed, it’s time to spray paint it silver! I bought Krylon silver, and metallic… turns out they are very similar colors. People mentioned getting two different shades to add contrast… but I think it looks fine with just one. Up to you!
- Spray all pieces of the belt with the silver. Except for the tips for the vinyl straps which you can spray gold.
- Once dried you can attach the front, back and sides together. I used an elastic sewing band which just happened to be the perfect size for my waste to add more support for the pieces and hot glued them to that. I started with the back piece. and hot glued it to the center of the elastic band that way i could cut the band as needed at the end.
- I then hot glued the front onto the band… note: i was glueing this while holding up next to me… very hot! you could get burned! don’t let it get you directly on the skin.
- After the front and back was secure, I cut the vinyl to be the correct length you want and hot glue 3 pieces to the front and 3 pieces to the back of the belt.
- I then attached my wing on my left side by hot gluing to the elastic band. I made it so it overlapped the back vinyl piece a little.
- After the wing was attached, I hot glued the sides on and overlapped them on top of my front and back (you can see in a picture when its’ complete).
Future Modification: I glued everything together and realized, my hips are too big to slip into it, instead I have to pull it down over my head to get on. I will be adding some sort of clasp, maybe Velcro… so i can easily put on and take off, which i will need for bathroom purposes while wearing this.
- Time to glue on the tips of the vinyl. Using gorilla glue, line up the tips to the end of the vinyl, lift up and place a small streak of glue on each side and the tip, then press back down. A little glue goes a long ways.
- This is how it looks so far!
- I followed the link above, but instead of using what they said as the base, I used 3mm craft foam since I had so much, it worked perfect.
- I cut out a piece of the foam that was going to sit on my left side. The other blog had a good example, (i forgot to take a picture).
- Then using the yard of nicer feathers and hot glue I stuck on the boarder of feathers. Alternating between how they layed but all generally in teh same direction. (be aware you will probably burn yourself multiple times with the hot glue, since the feathers are thin to work with, just rub off your fingers as soon as you do).
- After setting the edge, I used some of the yard feathers, and most of the bag of feathers that were 4-6 inches and layered my wing form the bottom up.
- When I got near the top I used the little feathers (1″-2″) to fill in the rest, and put them wherever needed filling in. It turned out amazing!
I got my wig in the mail last night. This is how it looks out of the box. It came with a small black netted wig cap, but I still ordered nude colored ones, because the black was easy to see. I am in the process of figuring out how to cut the wig, there are a lot of youtube videos so I’ll post something once I figure it out.
The order of how I stack the layers on top of each other:
Base: cardboard for arm straps.
Foam board: stability of shield and gives it thickness
Vinyl: gives it texture
Different layers of craft foam. (Top)
- On a piece of large poster paper draw out the large circle the size i want my shield.. i decided long enough to cover the length of my right elbow to fist.
- Draw the inner design as well on this paper.
- Cut out the circle and place on top of card board and cuz out the cardboard circle. Repeat with the foam board. Now you have your base.
- Because my craft foam was not large enough to make a full circle for the outer boarder, I cut them in different sections. I trimmed it up after I took the picture below, so it’s more even.
- I cut out the inner design that I drew on my paper and transferred it onto the 3mm foam.
- I thought it would look cool to make it 3D by adding different layers to the design with foam. Below you will see all the pieces sitting on top of each other on the foam board.
- Use gorilla glue to clue the different layers of craft foam together.
- Spray paint the vinyl green.
- Time to Modge Podge! Before gluing any of the layers together (besides the craft foam emblem) paint the modge podge on all the foam, I did 3 layers, similar to my belt. I also did the edges of the foam board, since I will be spraying that to match my shield.
- Spray the emblem and the edges gold and silver.
- First I gorilla glued on the green vinyl to the foam board.
- Next I gorilla glued the gold emblem to the green vinyl.
- I gorilla glued the silver edges on. Oh also I added the studs to the silver and resprayed them.
- Flip it over and hot glue the cardboard to the foam board.
- Using left over vinyl I made two straps on the back. One for my hand to grip the other for my arm to slide through.
- I painted the cardboard black as to not draw attention to the back of my shield.
- Draw out the handle of the sword.
- Trace the handle onto the foam board.
- Cut out the foam board. Do this to make it several layers wide.
- Glue the layers of the sword together. Stand up to make sure the sword is the length you want with your arm extended. You will then have to modge-podge all the outside pieces of the sword, for when you spray paint it. (spray paint will destroy the foam).
- Outline the thin layer of foam with the sword. So you know how wide you can make the designs for the sword.
- After drawing the designs on the sword. Cut out the designs.
- Modge Podge the design foam with about 3 layers. Let dry then spray paint the foam silver.
- After you have assembled all the pieces of the sword. Spray it with a sealer paint to keep the spray paint from rubbing off.
- The Finished Project.