Did you miss the pattern sales?
Mcalls Patterns are 3 for $5 and
Vogue Patterns are $4.99!!!
Mcalls Patterns are 3 for $5 and
Vogue Patterns are $4.99!!!
So this isn’t going to be all about me. Sometimes I’m gonna be giving some advice. And today our subject is Hot glue. Though frowned on often as a means to hold your costume together, a good hot glue gun is an invaluable tool in your cosplay arsenal.
Hot Glue is what is known as a Thermal Adhesive which of course means it requires heat to be made useful. You probably knew that but we’re all on the same page now. You can find a Hot Glue gun at Walmart if needed and even the cheaper ones can last for years if taken care of.
This is one of the materials I make an effort to keep on hand at all times.
- It cools quickly to hold what it needs to in place
- Excellent for foam, cardboard, and porous materials.
- Can be shaped easily.
- Easy to find
- Easy to use
- Can be messy
- Will burn you if you’re not careful
- Not really good on paper or thinner materials
- Can make a cosplay look shoddy if overly exposed
- Might come apart if exposed to direct body heat or sunlight
- Often covers your project in those annoying glue strings
- When visible is the universal symbol for “I made this last night.”
The key to working with Hot Glue is to make it so no one is quite sure you used it at all. Large globs of Hot glue poking out of seams is a tell tale sign you didn’t have time to do anything else but never fear! You are not stuck with those remaining in sight and preventing such a mess is actually quite easy.
Wet your fingers
When working with Hot Glue, it’s not the heat of the glue itself that really gets you (Though it certainly doesn’t feel pleasant!). What gets you with hot glue is when it’s in a molten state and it sticks to your fingers. This is the case because while its on your skin it continues burning you and you wind up spreading it a bit to try to get it off of your hand. I’ve lost many a finger print to this problem.
If you’re working on a project that requires that you take control, make sure to wet your fingertips first. Keep a small cup or bowl of water on hand. In a bind, lick your fingertips. The slightest amount of dampness will make it difficult for the Hot Glue to hold on. Using this you can even smooth out uneven beads of glue and if you manage to wet the entire finger you can even just push it in place to get an all over smoother finish.
These are two surfaces I have a lot of trouble getting anything to stick to. Of the two I tend to prefer parchment paper but really it depends on what you have on hand. What I love about these is you can pretty much run lines of hot glue over them and easily peel it off. Because of that, they’re ideal for trying to smooth hot glue out entirely.
While the glue is still in a molten state, take a piece of parchment paper big enough to completely cover the glue and press it over the spot. Now you can wait a second and then smooth it out with your fingers (this stuff is still pretty hot!) or you can even go so far as to take something like a text book and smooth that over.
In the case of needing a very sharp corner you can even crease the paper and then put that corner over the glue in order to get the shape you want.
The Little Glue Strings
I wish I had a tip for you to banish the stubborn little guys from your life but unfortunately I don’t. What I can say is that your frustration is greatly reduced if you first, try not to create particularly large beginning points for it and to go in and remove them regularly when they do show up. It’s better to take them off as you work than to have the secondary problem of it looking like your costume is covered in spiderwebs. Even worse is if you have to spraypaint this because then -everything- will be crazy visible.
When bad Hot Glue things happen to good people (Or bad people. I’m not here to judge):
That sounded weird.
- Burns: First things first is to get the glue off of your fingers. Silly I know. Why wouldn’t you? But as I said before the longer the glue is stuck to you, the more it’s going to burn. Afterward treat it as you would any other burn.
- Messy edges, weird little rough edges, etc: Take an exacto knife and hold it over a flame for a couple seconds and then go in and cut off the rough or messy bits.
- Got glue where it doesn’t belong: If the surface can take it, hit it with a hair dryer for several seconds and then very very gently try to peel it off. This is not guaranteed but it might just save what you’re working on. Make sure to keep extra templates of anything made of Craft foam. It seldom survives.
- Weird gunky stuff collecting at the nose of the hot glue gun: Make sure to plug your Hot Glue gun in. You can then take a piece of scrap fabric (And a pot holder underneath) and very carefully wipe the glue off of the nozzle of the gun
And finally, always always make sure the hot glue stick matches your gun. Don’t try to use a smaller glue stick in a larger gun. Don’t try to bend it in to the right shape. Always be mindful of what temp it says on the package. A high temp hot glue gun will scorch low temp glue sticks and it smells awful. If you keep both a high temp and a low temp Hot glue Gun, just keep multi temperature glue sticks around.
So that’s my advice regarding Hot Glue. If you have any further questions regarding the stuff, please don’t hesitate to ask. I would be more than happy to either tell you what I know or look it up!
The immediate benefits of having one of these might not be so obvious, but once I made one a while back, I haven’t considered styling a wig on a head that ISN’T of this type! It allows you to do everything but measuring bang length on a head the same as yours. Want to spike a wig and make sure your hairline won’t show? You can do that. Need to alter a wig to have a weird hairline and you don’t want to keep trying the wig on and off again? You can do that. Want to pull a wig in a ponytail but not make it too small? Yep, you can do that! Want to do a really crazy wig for someone who isn’t nearby? Get them to make one of these and mail it to you, and you can style it just as well as if they were wearing it! It’s a nearly indispensable tool in my wig-styling arsenal.
This tutorial is starring tumblr user notyourwaifu as my wonderful model! (She’s currently notyourwaiphantom for Halloween.) Similarly, if someone reblogged this during October and the URL for the jump doesn’t work, I’m only reospookywagon for October; switch the URL to “silencedrowns” and you should be fine.
That said, let’s go!
Hello everyone! I’m Rebecca, a brand new mod here at Pleasehelpmecosplay!
I’m happy to be here and to help in any way I can.
I’ve been cosplaying for a little over a year, and I’m just starting on my 4th costume. I’ve known about cosplaying for a lot longer but had been too nervous to try it for a long time. Boy am I glad I did! I hope I can help all of you in your adventure! :)
I want to thank you all for following me.
I also want to apologize. I’m not holding up my end of the bargain. I don’t know how many messages are in the inbox that I’ve looked at and just not answered. I hardly ever think about or promote this blog anymore.
Truth is, I can’t cosplay anymore. My fiance and I both work full time while I’m full time in school too. We’re busy. When I get home at the end of the night, all I want to do is go to bed and I struggle to get up in the morning and do it all over again. We live below the poverty line and can’t get any assistance. I’m thousands of dollar is debt to my parents let alone my credit card, my car loan, and my fiance’s credit card. We’re a couple hundred dollars behind making ends meet each month, and that’s if we don’t buy any food. Before, we were doing okay, but the stress got to me and I screamed at a coworker and lost my job. My new job not play pays $3 less per hour, but I get less hours and no tips either. My fiance and I can’t afford the knee replacement he desperately needs, and we can’t afford to send me to the doctor to find the cause of almost 15 years of constant joint pain. Cosplay doesn’t even show up on any list anymore. It’s just boxed up in the closet next to all my crafts and the empty aquarium.
There is no money, there is no time. I’ve tried to find someone to help me run this blog, but haven’t found a single one that even wants to, let alone knows enough about cosplay to do so. And to be quite honest, it’s hard for me to find the desire to do anything on my days off except lay on the couch and stare at the ceiling all day.
So I’m sorry to you all, who asked for help from me and received nothing in return. I’m sorry that that’s unlikely to change any time soon. It as great, before this all happened, that you all were here and I loved answering your questions, but the truth is, that was then, and things have changed.