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Dark Magician Girl Staff

August 10th 2014
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This is a quick guide to getting started with a cosplay, it is written to help first time costume makers to get started on their first project. I often see people asking for help on this subject, so I wrote it for them.

The Staff's Head

Made With: Pink Insulation Foam (Home Depot)

1) Measure out the size of your staff, I usually do a bix of approximation and math based on the reference. The reason I approximate is because when you go by actual size it can end up being larger or smaller than it appears to be. This has to do with your scaling, and how the artist draws their proportions, as well as the reference you choose. For helping you scale your prop, check out this Cosplay Size Calculator.

2) Once you have your measurements use them to draw the shape of the staff's head on a piece of paper. This will be your stencil.

3) Use your stencil to draw two copies on your pink insulation foam. Then cut these out of the foam.

4) Once you have your pieces use a glue to attach the two pieces together. Apply some pressure and let sit to dry. I lightly sanded the area so there was some grip and then created the bond with white school glue. If you are looking for other bond options try thistothat.com.

5) When your pieces have dried and bonded together you can sketch out the swirl. Use an exactoknife or similar tool to make cuts into the foam. You can also cut a slot for the staff to fit into the head.

6) Use sandpaper to sand the edges of the foam and inside your cut swirls. You want it to be smoothe. If you go too deep in some areas or have some holes where the bond was formed you can fill these with airdry paperclay.

7)After you have finished sanding your piece use a primer (bondo, modge podge, gesso, wall spackle, wood filler) and sand it down again if needed. Once this is complete you can paint your piece. Please note that aerosol paints can eat through your foam! Make sure your piece is fully primed, or use a non-aresol acrylic paint which won't eat your piece!



The Stick

Made With: Pvp Pipe (Halloween Decoration Piece)
Alternative Materials: Pvc Pipe (Hardware Stores), Wooden Dowell (Hardware stores, craft stores)

1) Take your stick and cut it to size, as per your measurements. Remember to leave about a half inch extra on each size to fit into your staff head, and the bottom ball piece.

2) I used airdry paperclay to build up the lower shape of the staff.

3) Once the clay has dried, prime (if needed) and paint your piece.


The Bottom Ball

Made With: Styrofoam Ball (Craft Store)

1) Cut a slot for your staff to fit into.

2)
Prime your styrofoam ball, and sand so it is smooth.

3)
Paint your ball.



Attach the Staff

1) Use glue on the staff's head, ball or on the poll, if you are using hot glue for bonding then wait for it to cool a bit to avoid melting the foam. Please note, super glues that produce heat when bonding may be a poor choice for this, as it can melt the foam and damage your prop and prevent a proper bond!

2) Insert the staff into the head or ball and hold until the bond is secure. For certain glues you may need to clamp and wait for it to dry or cure.

3) Once both pieces are secured onto the pole you can touch up any areas with paint if needed.







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