FAQ Monday: Photos in a Cemetery

Every so often a thread will pop up somewhere asking people’s opinions on this: should it be done, is it rude and disrespectful, can it even be done? And there are a lot of different opinions on if it’s okay. Personally I don’t think there is anything wrong with it, as long as you are respectful, and so my tips here will reflect that.

Outside the cosplay community there are photographers who do various shoots at graveyards, there are famous graveyards or memorials that are tourist destinations, and there are many movies that involve a scene at a graveyard. The latter two situations, involving tourists and film crews, are likely to be more disturbing than a small cosplay group and a photographer. Additionally some cemeteries are in very public places and are used to photographers and people walking through.

That said it’s still important to be respectful of the place you are in – remember this is the resting place of people’s friends and family members, and for some people this is a place that holds a lot of meaning.

Before Shooting:
» Think about your location: Does it have to be a graveyard? If you are just looking for an interesting backdrop, or a place with benches, try shooting at a public park. If you want a shot with a tombstone, would a Halloween prop work in it’s place?

» Research before choosing. You may be looking to pose with some awesome angel statues, but those aren’t in every graveyard. Some cemeteries have websites and published photos of the ground and monuments that you can view.

» Contact the graveyard owner if possible, particularly if it’s a privately owned one . There may be a fee for shooting in the location, and rules that must be followed (ex. no shooting in certain areas). Some are on private property and so just showing up and taking pictures can cause problems – including getting kicked out or being asked to delete the images!

During Shooting
» Avoid grieving families and funerals in progress, don’t include them in your shots and it’s best to give them room to do their thing.

» Pay attention to signs and if someone says something (asks you to leave an area) listen.

» Avoid involving nameplates in photos or edit them out in post processing. Including them can be an invasion of privacy.

» Avoid draping yourself over stones, sitting on the stones, or trampling on flowers or other things left for the departed. If you must interact with the stones, do so in a respectful manner and don’t disturb anything that was left by loved ones. To photographers: Tripods may not be allowed in some areas since it can disturb the ground.

»  Don’t horseplay. I know it’s fun when you get all costumed up, but don’t go running around and jumping over stones!

After Shooting:
» Clean up! Pick up your garbage and tidy up the areas you have used. LEave everything the way you found it, or leave it better.

Add comment September 10, 2012 A Purple Duckie

Product Review: Arda Wig

Seller: Arda Wigs  (http://arda-wigs.com)    
$35.00 USD + Shipping   
: Ferrari – Black (064)

Country it was shipped to:
Canada (Ontario)

Length of Shipping Time:
I paid for a faster shipping since I wanted to make sure that it arrived on time, this was my first time buying from Arda and I was not sure how fast their ground shipping would be to Canada. I shipped with USPS Priority Mail Int’l and it arrived in 10 days. (Shipped 8/3/2012 and arrived 8/13/2012).

This is one of the thickest wigs I have bought, which works well for the character. I found the wig’s cap to be larger than those I have bought from ebay, I could hide all my (chin length) hair under it easily. There were adjustment straps at the back, I have a smallish head and so I adjusted it to fit. The wig tangles somewhat easily (as most longer wigs do) but a quick run through with a comb or wide toothed brush fixed the issue. You can see some of the tangling in this image:

Customer Service:
Didn’t need to contact them about anything. I received an automatic e-mail to let me know when my wig had been shipped, with the date it shipped and a tracking number.

I am happy with my wig and will likely buy from them again.

Add comment August 30, 2012 A Purple Duckie

Notice: Facebook closing cosplay accounts

Today many cosplayers found that their cosplay specific facebook accounts had been closed. Most of these include the word “cosplay” in the account name, for example “purpleduck cosplay”. Legitimate accounts and cosplay pages are fine.

The closing of these accounts is likely due to the fact that they breach facebook’s terms of service by not using a real name / being a secondary account.

Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:

  1. You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
  2. You will not create more than one personal account.

One of Facebook’s main priorities is the comfort and safety of our members. Your account was disabled for violating the Facebook Terms.

  • You account must list your real, full name.
  • Impersonating anyone or anything is not allowed.
  • Facebook profiles (timelines) must represent individual people only. It’s a violation of these guidelines to use a profile (timeline) to represent anything other than yourself (ex: celebrities, pets, ideas, objects).
  • Accounts created for the purpose of spamming or harassing others are strictly prohibited.

If you have a cosplay only account you should check to see if it is still online, and if it involves cosplay in the name you may want to change the name of the account. You may also want to save photos or anything else that you don’t want to lose in case your account is closed randomly.

Add comment August 22, 2012 A Purple Duckie

Cosplay Tutorial Update

The Cosplay Tutorial gigantic link list has been updated! Check it out at:

What’s New:
+ Updated the armor section. Removed “Character Specific Armor” and grouped all armors by the material used.
> Added a section for “Sintra”
> Added a section for “Model Magic Clay”
> Divided the “Foam” section into “Craft foam” “Expanding Foam” and “Pink Insulation Foam”

+ Updated the Boots / Shoes section to have a mini navigation, allowing you to jump directly to “Boot Covers”

+ Updated the “Hats” section of Masks / Hats and Headgear to be divided into different types of hats.

+ added a .pdf icon, so you know when you are opening a .pdf file:

+ “Building onto a Wig” section added to Wigs / Hair. This section covers making abnormal shapes and spikes using a foam or wire base

+ Added all tutorials that were posted on tumblr / facebook / twitter / pinterest since April.

Fun Fact: The Cosplay Tutorial list includes links to approximately 1262 tutorials!

Add comment July 9, 2012 A Purple Duckie

Cosplay for Beginners

Cosplay is popular all over the world with video game fanatics and comic book readers alike. Cosplay comes in a range of styles and genres; some of the favorite cosplay characters come from anime, comic books, video games and films.

If you’ve heard about cosplay and you’ve always been curious to find out more – since most of your friends do it – then below is a beginner’s guide to cosplay to help you out. If you are used to spending your Saturday’s at home, playing FoxyBingo whilst chatting to your friends on Skype then this is certainly a change from what you’re used to – you will have to socialise face to face rather than interactively and act as your chosen character. Cosplay is even more enjoyable if you’re a confident person who enjoys acting, dressing up and having fun.

Tip 1 – It is important that you choose a character who you like and can relate to. You will have to mimic their personality (around the con, or for photos) so make sure you study your character’s mannerisms so you know how they carry themselves.

Tip 2 – Make sure you have a couple of signature or distinct poses which define your character. Try and find poses which you feel expresses the character best. It is important to try and bring your character to life by combining their mannerisms, their posture and their accent.

Tip 3 – In the word of cosplay, it is more about taking part and having fun rather than winning. You don’t have to enter cosplay purely to try and win competitions.

Tip 4 – Cosplayers are all equal so never treat others inferior to you. Plus, there will probably be someone else with the same outfit as you – see this as a good thing and bounce constructive criticism off each other.

Tip 5 – Try not to carry a sign around with you saying who your character is. This looks tacky and gives the impression you haven’t put as much effort into your outfit as you could have.

1 comment June 26, 2012 A Purple Duckie

FAQ Monday – What can I use to style a wig?

There are a variety of tools that can be used to help create the crazy styles that appear in anime, videogames, comic books and other forms of media. It helps to be creative, especially with more complex styles! This guide will go over the basic tools that are commonly used for wig styling.

Any pair of sharp scissors with a pinted tip can work for cutting a wig. To ensure that they are sharp it is best to have a pair just for wig / hair cutting, just as you should keep your sewing scissors separate from craft scissors. You can also look into professional shears, this is a guide for how to choose a pair of hairdressing sheers.

There are other specialty scissors available for hair cutting that also work with wigs: Thinning Shears (aka. Texturizing Shears or Chunking Shears) thins out the hair which works great for anime styles that tend to have a lot of volume at the top, but are very thin near the ends. Here is a quick how-to-use for thinning shears.

Styling and Spikes:
Most styles can be held in place with some hairspray. There are sprays made specifically for wigs but just some cheap hairspray works wonders. You can also use “freeze spray” which is quicker drying hairspray that tends to have a lot of hold, I see got2b Glued Freeze Spray suggested often and I also recommend it!

For more dramatic vertical styles, and for tipping spikes, white school glue (PVA glue) works really well and dries transparent, although it does have more drying time than hairspray. There are also products called “Hair Glue” which is very similar to school glue but is made for styling hair, it washes out a bit easier and is a bit thicker but also costs more.

Hair Wax also works, although too much will leave a residue. Hair wax is best used for minor styling (separating sections) rather than vertical spikes.

Extreme Styles:
The above methods work for spiked styles and normal styles, but sometimes you need a lot of volume or a very large spike. This section will cover some of the common ways to style those wigs.

Creating a Frame: Great for hair with a lot of volume (Felicia from Darkstalkers), a unique shape (Pheonix Wright or Jesse from Pokemon) or thick vertical spikes (Yugi from Yugioh)

Adding Wefts for Volume: Wefts are the strands of hair that are sewn onto a base to form a wig, by adding additional wefts you add more fibers to the wig and make it thicker. This will help hide your scalp / wig cap when wearing the wig, and help with many styles. This section has a ton of tutorials for adding / making wefts: http://cosplaytutorial.com/list.php#wigwefts

Other Stuff you Should Have Around:
– Fabric covered elastic bands / bauble elastics
– Butterfly Clips
– Alligator Clips
– Toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, or other rolls are great for holding curls
– Bobbypins
– Hair Pins (Hold wig on a wighead)
– Wide toothed comb or wig brush
– Wighead + stand or clamp
– Blowdryer

Add comment June 18, 2012 A Purple Duckie

Lillymon – Part 2

Not a lot of progress to show off, mostly because I am waiting to show you guys the complete pieces rather than my unhemmed half-painted stuff! So today I will explain how I made Lillymon’s long thornesque nails:

Unfortunately my phone camera is terrible at picking up color, but these are bright red!

So around Halloween I check the sales and scope out some useful cosplay supplies, usually higher quality makeup pallets or liquid latex, specialty stockings and other fun things. This year I picked up a set of “Mardi gras” nails which were these bright green and yellow nails that were the length of the individual containers in the image above. I grabbed them in case I needed some extra long nails or claws for something, it was only $1! So for Lillymon I trimmed them down to size with a small pair of scissors. This gave a rough edge and so I used some sandpaper to smooth it down and make it more rounded. I then colored it with a couple layers of acrylic paint (trying to keep costs down for myself, red nail polish would have been a better choice) and finished it with two thin layers of glossy mod podge. They are a nice red and have a bit of a shine to them. They came with a type of double sided tape adhesive so I will be using that to attach them.

Hey look I found a picture of the package!

Add comment May 12, 2012 A Purple Duckie

Making Lillymon

Hello all! I’m currently working on a Lillymon cosplay for Anime North which is in 16 days! Wish me luck, I’m going to need it! I’ll also be showing you my progress and giving tips, hopefully this will help out other Lillymon cosplayers!

This is one of my boot covers. For those that don’t know, bootcovers are a cheap way to get a custom looking boot without even needing to buy a boot! Bootcovers work by making a fabric cover for a pair of boots or shoes, that looks like a boot or shoe. You can check out ways to make bootcovers on the tutorial list! http://cosplaytutorial.com/list.php#boots

I made my mockup on some extra fabric I had lying around, and then used that to create the boot covers. They are lined, but they do not have interfacing since it manages to stand up without it. The bottom yellow is done with bias tape which is finishing the open hem. The front flower was painted on with acrylic paint, using a stencil. The side flowers were cut from yellow fleece and the pedals were painted orange with watered down acrylic paint, it helps make it a bit stiffer. They were sewn on with the machine.

I haven’t decided how they will be attached yet. I have an old pair of shoes I plan to convert into cosplay bootcover shoes by attacking velcro to the shoe, so these might be attached with a combination of velcro and thick elastic on the bottom .

These are my cute sleeves!

There are three major parts to this. One is the sleeve with a rolled hem which is the top rectangular shape. I made this by measuring the widest point of my arm, and the length I wanted it to be. I drew this out on the fabric and cut that out. I sewed up along the edge to create a tube and then I did a rolled hem on the top to finish it. I plan to make a tutorial on this later that goes into more detail, but I created the image below to help you out for now:

And for the dress, that is my plan for today! I’m making it a little different from how her dress actually looks, I want to add the pedals on the outside rather than have them be part of the actual dress. Hopefully it is a good addition!

Add comment May 9, 2012 A Purple Duckie

FAQ Monday – Can you cosplay outside of conventions?

Aside from the legal limits of your country, there is nothing to stop you from cosplaying outside of a convention. So yes, you can cosplay when a convention is not going on but it isn’t always a good idea.

If you are particularly antsy and can’t wait for a convention try checking cosplay discussion boards in your area. Some people run cosplay or photoshoot events between cons and they are both a great chance to wear your costume and make friends with other cosplayers. The bigger ones I know of in Toronto (Canada) are the Cosplay Skate where everyone goes skating in or out of costume, there is also the Cosplay Picnic that is a photoshoot / picnic hangout that takes place in the summer. If you can’t find anything in your area you could also think about starting your own event!

Please keep in mind that people will be looking at you funny, asking odd questions, and you may get some negative comments. Seeing costumes is not a normal thing outside of events and stage shows and not everyone is very open to the idea. Certain places, such as stores and malls, may kick you out if they believe you are a disturbance so it is important to choose your cosplay location wisely and be aware of your behavior. Remember it makes everyone who dresses up look bad when you damage property, try to freak out “normals”, and otherwise act rude or loud. This also applies to situations where you unintentionally cosplay outside of a convention, such as going outside of the convention area to eat, using public transportation to and from a con, pick up a last minute thing from a store, etc.

2 comments January 23, 2012 A Purple Duckie

Sharpie Dye Tips and Guide

So I finally had a chance to try out wig dyeing! In an effort to save money I took my old Mintaka wig and colored it purple to be used as my Rarity wig for this upcoming May.

What Didn’t Work

Wanting to avoid unnecessary mess and spending I attempted two other methods before trying the Sharpie & Rubbing alcohol dye mix.

My first attempt was just coloring the wig with Sharpie markers. This was effective but a long process. This would be ideal for creating a streak that is a darker color on a lighter wig. This might also be a good option for a short multicolored wig.

My second attempt was the paint method where you heavily water down acrylic paint and use the pigment to dye the wig. I had the most perfect color of paint for the hair and it would have been cheaper than sharpies, and I used this method previously to dye spandex with success. Unfortunately the wig would not take the color. After drying I rinsed the wig and the color ran right out.

Sharpie Dye – Spray Bottle Method

The method that worked was using Sharpie ink and 70% rubbing alcohol. This is one of the commonly suggested methods for wig dyeing!


  • 70% Rubbing Alcohol (Approx. $2 at walmart in the medical section)
  • Sharpie Markers (Available individually at craft stores. For a good color I suggest 4-8 markers)
  • Spray Bottle


You start by opening the Sharpies. I did this with a pair of pliers and wiggled the colored tip out. Don’t cut the grey end of the marker since it will be hard to get out the ink and you might cut the ink cartridge.

Once the Sharpies are opened you can cut the cartridge along the side so it can mix much easier. This is optional but I found it reduced the waiting time!

Pop the ink cartridges into the spray bottle and then fill with the rubbing alcohol. For refrence, I used 3 sharpies with each 250ml (1 cup) of alcohol. I used almost 500ml (2 cups) for the entire wig. Make sure to shake it so it can be mixed well!

Let your mixture sit, and shake it a bit. I let it sit for about an hour before I sprayed it on the wig.

Spray your wig! This stuff stains and gets everywhere very easily, it also drips off the wig. I suggest doing it outdoors if possible. If you must do it indoors make sure to cover your area including any close by walls that might be splattered from the spray. Alcohol evaporates quickly but it still takes a fair bit of time. Go slow and work your way through the wig, you will want to take care to get it to the roots of the wig and to color both sides. I did several applications of color.

Once it looks how you want it to, run it under cold water to wash out excess color. You may need to do another coat or two  to touch up areas you might have missed so repeat as necessary.

– You can use different colored cartridges in the spray bottle to create different colors, you can also use different colors for each application to create highlights and lowlights. I colored blue streaks on the wig for lowlights before spraying. I also used blue in the second application to darken the purple a little bit.

– If the color moves away from the roots you can touch it up later with a sharpie marker.

– Use light applications to avoid lots of dripping and wasting your solution.

– Rather than using a spraybottle you can create a dye bath and let it sit in it, such as in this tutorial.

2 comments January 20, 2012 A Purple Duckie

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