Making cosplay props
A Beginner’s Guide On How To Make Cosplay Props From Scratch 5

Cosplay props can be made from scratch or with items found around the house. You could make a shield, a sword, and even a robe to transform into your favorite hero. Here are some helpful steps on how to make your own costume prop for any occasion!

Getting Started

The first thing you will need to do in order to make your cosplay prop is gathering all the necessary supplies. For this article, we are going to make a shield. You can pretty much use any items in your household for this project; even an old cereal box would do the trick in making a shield. Here are the supplies you will need to make your prop:

  • An old cereal box (or similar lightweight item)
  • Wax paper (you can also use parchment paper or aluminum foil)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Glue gun and glue sticks (a hot glue gun works best but try not to use it if your shield is too small)
  • Ruler (you can also use a ballpoint pen or wooden dowel)
  • Scissors and/or an Exacto knife (for precise cutting of the aluminum foil)
  • Duct tape if you are using cardboard for your shield instead of a cereal box

Keep in mind that you will want to make your shield as big or as little as you please. A good length for a cosplay sword is about the same height as what you are cosplaying (if it’s a short character, go for something small.)

How to Make Cosplay Props

make props for cosplay
A Beginner’s Guide On How To Make Cosplay Props From Scratch 6

There are a few simple steps that you can take to make your own cosplay props.

Step One: Choose the Prop that You Want to Make

The first step in how to make cosplay props is to choose what kind of prop you want to make. There are a few ways that you can choose this: one is simply by looking at the props that are being used in the series that you’re cosplaying. If there are a lot of guns, then create one! Or perhaps, if you see someone else wearing something really cool, ask them where they got it from.

Another good way to choose what prop you want to make is by looking at the props that you want to use at the next convention. There are a lot of prop makers out there who make some pretty awesome stuff, and they usually have pictures of their cosplay props on sale or for trade.

Step Two: Sketch Out a Design for the Prop

The second step in making your own cosplay prop is to sketch out a design for what you want your prop to look like. The more detail that you include in this sketch, the better. It also helps to write down all of the measurements and such so that when it comes time to buy materials, you won’t get confused.

Step Three: Collect the Materials that You Will Need to Make the Prop

Once you have a sketch for your cosplay prop, then it’s time to collect materials that you will need to build it. This is probably one of the hardest steps in how to make cosplay props because a lot of cosplay props use very specific materials.

But don’t worry! If you absolutely cannot find the material that you want, then there are usually alternatives to what you need. For example, if you don’t know how to make swords, then simply paint a piece of wood black and spray it with silver paint and call it a day.

Another example is if you want to make a prop that requires foam insulation board (such as for helmets), but you cannot find any, try using cardboard instead. It’s much cheaper, and it has the same shape and size as what an insulation board would be like once cut down to size.

Step Four: Follow the Instructions in Your Sketch to Create the Prop

The fourth step in how to make a cosplay prop is to follow the instructions that you laid out in your sketch. This isn’t very complicated, but it does require a lot of patience and focus, especially when using materials that can be flammable or even hazardous if not handled properly.

Step Five: Congratulate yourself on Making Your Very Own Cosplay Prop

The final step is to grab a camera and take pictures of your finished cosplay prop! After that, you can share it with friends or post it online for other people to enjoy. Maybe even consider selling your cosplay props if they look good enough.

How to Make Cosplay Props Without Sewing

making props for cosplay
A Beginner’s Guide On How To Make Cosplay Props From Scratch 7

There are a few ways to make cosplay props without sewing.

Using Cardboard and Hot Glue

One way is to use hot glue and cardboard. Cut the cardboard into the desired shape and then use hot glue to attach it to the clothing. You can also use craft foam for this. It’s a good idea to use spray paint to make the props look more realistic.

Using Resin Casting Kit

Another way to make cosplay props without sewing is to use a resin casting kit. This is a good option if you want to make props that are more complex or have a lot of details. First, create a mold of the prop you want to make out of silicone or latex. Then, mix the resin and pour it into the mold. Let it dry, and then remove the mold. This method is good for making things like swords, staves, or armor pieces.

Using Wood

For cosplay props that are made out of wood, there’s a few different options. If the prop isn’t going to have a lot of detail, you can just use a saw and sandpaper to cut and shape the wood. For more detailed props, you can use a scroll saw or Dremel woodworking tool. You can also use Dremel to sand the wood once it’s cut.

Using Worbla

A lot of cosplay props are made out of Worbla. This flexible thermoplastic sheeting is great for making armor pieces and other complex cosplay props. You can get it in a few different thicknesses, and the thicker the Worbla is, the stronger it will be.

This method of cosplay prop making may take a while since you have to heat up and shape the Worbla every time before you can use it. You can cut down on this time by cutting out your designs with an Exacto knife or cutting tool beforehand.

Before you start gluing or putting together your cosplay prop, paint all of the Worbla pieces with a few coats of primer to smooth out any imperfections. This is an important step because it will prevent the hot glue from seeping into the cracks and crevices in your prop. A few thin layers of primer will work better than a few thick ones.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know how to make your prop and can share it with other fans! Have fun and good luck.

SnowDragon: Dragon Cosplay
SnowDragon: Dragon Cosplay

Side Note: In case you’re looking for cosplayers to partner with for cosplay events or shootings, you can get in touch with SnowDragon via Instagram.