These past few months it seems like my family bounced from one large project to the next. Don’t get me wrong. I love everything that we have done. It’s just that it takes a lot of our free time, and many other things have taken a backseat (ie – this blog, the pile on the kitchen table). Though the look on our geeklings’ faces when our projects are complete is worth every minute.
I never imagined four years ago that we would be a cosplay family. At the time, we limited our costume fun to Halloween and playtime dress-up. Then my daughter wanted to dress-up to meet Stan Lee, and that started it all. Five years of Halloweens and comic conventions later, we have evolved to costumes that take five months of work.
This year my husband wanted to create a costume that was unique. There were lots of dinner table and car conversations about what we could do. So many ideas were tossed around. Seriously, the list is a mile long. In the end, it was decided that Spider-Gwen Samurai was the one.
To say that this was a daunting project to undertake is an understatement. My husband is the primary builder around here, and he had never made armor. We knew at the beginning that this project would take time to do right, so we began in April after finishing the Star Wars Tie Bomber Submarine science fair project. It all started with finding the right material to create the armor from.
After many You Tube videos and on-line research, my husband decided PVC foam board and craft foam were the best to start with. Luckily there was a place not too far from our home where he could get large sheets of PVC foam board. First hurdle – cleared. From there it became months of cutting, drilling, sanding, gluing, painting, and lacing. Can’t tell you how happy I am to have the drill press out of my living room along with all the little dots of plastic off my floor. It is now back where it belongs in the workroom.
Throughout the build, there were numerous hurdles we had to clear. This project was truly a learning experience; especially in regards to working with certain materials and pre-teen kids that hit growth spurts in the middle of a build. Even though there were times my husband was ready to scrap it all in frustration, he pressed on. Seeing it completed made me so proud of him and our daughter was thrilled. Best of all it was completed in time to show it off at Wizard World Chicago.
Though we didn’t just create Spider-Gwen Samurai. We had to do something (or two things) for the youngest geekling as well. He asked if we could make him a fidget spinner costume, and we couldn’t just make any fidget spinner costume. We made a Batman Fidget Spinner costume for him.
It was actually perfect because we pretty much had all the pieces we needed to do it at home in the form of leftovers from over projects. From start to finish, it was done in less than a week. The biggest issue was positioning the Bat symbol just right so that it would spin freely. Once that was figured out and the strap placement decided, it came together quickly. Our youngest loved that he could spin his costume.
When he walked through the convention, most just thought he was a kid Batman until he spun his Batman symbol. Then people got excited and started asking him about his costume. He loves talking about his costumes, so it was fun to watch him and the other attendees interact.
The final costume was completely last minute and yet another challenge, but this time it was my challenge as my husband was finishing the samurai armor. As I’m usually the purchasing agent of the cosplay operation around here, crafting a costume myself was new to me. Only thing I could do was jump right in and attempt to create a steampunk version of Dobby the elf from Harry Potter.
Why Steampunk Dobby? Well, the youngest geekling wanted to be a part of a Steampunk Harry Potter group with us and it seemed like the costume I could put together the fastest. In the end, he looked adorable. People continually commented how cute he looked, and of course, he ate up all the comments.
Now all costume projects are complete and the convention is done. Five months of 2017 gone in a flash while we were crafting. So was it all worth it?
Years from now five months will be a blip in time, but the memories made while making the costumes and wearing them will be with our geeklings forever, and that makes it worth it in the end.