06 December 2014

Big Sister Helmet Tutorial

Here's how I made my helmet for my Big Sister from BioShock 2 cosplay:

This took a long time to complete with about 18 hours total of work put into it.


  • Big rubber ball
  • newspaper
  • Paper Mache mix
  • cooking oil (PAM)
  • craft foam
  • EVA foam (floor mats)
  • small can of cat (or dog) food
  • hot glue gun
  • small sheet of plexi-glass
  • Rustoleum spray paint in chrome and hammered dark brown
  • cheap acrylic paint in gold, silver, black, and teal
  • 6yd polyester filler cord
  • compass
  • pencil/pen
  • scissors
  • school glue
  • Mod Podge
  • exacto knife

and most importantly, a reference! Like this one:

The newspaper was ripped into strips, the Paper Mache was mixed, and the rubber ball was sprayed with cooking oil (this would allow for the ball to be popped and removed easily, without damaging the Paper Mache form):

The newspaper was dipped into the Paper Mache to cover the ball in layers (letting it dry between each layer). There are six layers total, and each layer took about a day to dry, so it was a pretty lengthy process:

The neck and port holes were then drawn and cut, out using an exacto knife.

Using EVA foam and a compass, the rims of the portholes were made, and cut out using an exacto knife.

'Metal' panels were made using craft foam, and each piece was lined with polyester filler cord to create a 'welded' look. A cat-food can was also hot-glued on a piece of EVA to make the lamp:

After sealing the foam details with several layers of a Mod Podge/water solution, everything was spray-painted chrome.

Everything was then spray-painted with a hammered dark brown, and the 'welded' details were painted silver. The port-hole rims were also painted gold. Plexi-glass was cut to fit three of the port-holes, the smallest one was left empty to act as a breathing hole. The plexi-glass was covered in red cellophane.

Finally, an exacto knife was used to make it look 'battle-damaged', with scratches around the entire helmet. Black paint was then painted on and wiped off to make it look grimy. The fish on the back were painted with cheap teal acrylic paint.

That's it! It's not yet one hundred percent completed, as it's still missing a few details (wire hose and hexnuts around the front port, glass hasn't been glued in place, LED's need to be installed etc) but other than those few, small details, it is complete! I'm really excited about how this came out, and can't wait to start working on the other pieces of this costume!

17 November 2014

Nonon Jakuzure - The Hat

Nonon has a pretty simple costume. Her outfit is basically a shoka hat paired with a dress that consists of a bib, a bodice, puffy sleeves, and an inverted box pleat skirt:

For now, I'm going to focus on the hat. The hat seems like it would be the most difficult thing to make, but where I had no sewing experience prior to this project, it was actually the easiest part of the costume for me.

I searched around the internet and found this excellent hat tutorial on deviantART, which I used as a base to expand off of when making my hat. I loved their idea of using a baseball hat and several sheets of plastic canvas sewn together as the base, so that's just what I did to start it off. I also removed a section and used the extra plastic to create a 'shelf' for the monkey skull to sit in:

Next, for an extra layer in between the canvas and the blue fabric, I hand sewed a layer of a fabric called 'warm and natural'. I don't know much about this fabric, just that we had it laying around the house and my mother let me use it.

Here's a sort of 'test-run' for proportional purposes:

The details were drafted on paper and cut out of craft foam, then sealed with several layers of Mod Podge.

The monkey skull was made of a base of aluminum foil, covered in white model magic, with added molded details for the eye and nose sockets, and the teeth. The skull was later painted with pink and black acrylic paint for the extra details.

Light blue broadcloth was then hand-sewn on, and the hat was lined with bias tape. The canvas was then sewn to the baseball hat along the brim.

I cut a small Styrofoam ball in half, covered each half in Model Magic, and painted it pink using acrylic paint to make the bumps on the side of the hat. The foam details were then glued in place, along with the monkey skull, and feathers were added on top to create a plume.

Voila! The hat is *almost* complete! I later added the strap (the handle from a plastic beach pail) and buttons (made using fabric and a button maker!), which are visible in the final product photos I will post another time.

Next I will post about the process of making the dress!