Posts tagged how to

Latex Costuming

In the mainstream media today we are seeing more and more alternative clothing popping up and I think that is awesome because for designers and cosplay enthusiasts we are getting more credibility to our interest in costumes.  It was shown recently that spandex, PVC, latex, and other materials are showing up more and more.  For me especially I was excited because I have always been interested in latex clothing.  It wasn’t until I got to actually wear my first outfit for a costume party that I realized that I may be able to make some more simple stuff myself.  This was when the idea struck me!  Since I will be attending SDCC this year and I am not swimming in money, then maybe I could attempt to try and make my own costume out of latex.

This whole endeavor took about 2 weeks to get together.  Plenty of research about what to get and where to get it.  It was very exhausting.  Then came the waiting for my packages of latex sheeting, rubber cement glue, thinner and clothing patterns to arrive in the mail.  It literally took me about an hour to make my first piece as a trial to see how this whole process will be in the future.

For the crafty people out there I would like to break it down for you.  This is not as easy as it looks and I did loads of planning to get me on the right track but it is not impossible to get these materials and make some cool stuff yourself.

This is what it took for me..

  • Latex sheeting was ordered from a place called MJTrends
  • Best Time Rubber Cement/Bestine Thinner from Pearl Paint – used to glue the seams and thin the glue for thinner latex and for cleaning
  • Mineral Spirits from Home Depot – used for cleaning seams
  • Rotary Knife/Cutting board/Scissors/Rulers from Walmart – used to make clean cuts
  • Patterns from Jo-Ann’s Fabric Store

You simply pick out a pattern. Trace it onto your sheet of latex and then cut it out.  Figure out where the seams will be glued and clean them with either the thinner or mineral spirit.  Take a paint brush or q-tip and spread a thin layer on your seam on both sides that will be coming together.  Wait 5 min and then attach them together.  Make sure to apply pressure to the seam or even use a small seam roller to make sure the glue bonds to itself.  It works best if you let the seam sit overnight and then Presto!

In my case the glove was then shined with some lube, which also allows for it to stretch without breaking, and I fit it over my hand to give you the picture you see below.

So for my first attempt was making a fingerless glove, called a gaunlet.

I did get a chance with some of the extra pieces to make a little bow on the bottom to give it a little bit of flare.

I feel really confident to give this a serious try.  My goal is to have a costume made for Comic-Con and hopefully with great success.

For my next trick I am going to try and make a slightly more complicated piece and I will be sure, now that I know more of what I am doing, to put up pictures step by step of what I did and why.
Until next time.. This is Jess D.



Hush, it’s still Saturday.

Ever wonder how to make a realistic-looking fleshwound with stage make-up? With Halloween coming up and Cons all over the place, I’m here to help you out. Let’s make a bullet hole! Click on any of these images to see them bigger. Here’s what you’ll need:

baby powder, dark pink/red powder make-up, blue cream make-up, fake blood, liquid latex, cotton swabs, make-up that matches your skin tone, tissues, aspirin pills, and applicators.

Step One –
With the liquid latex, spread a thin layer over the area of skin you will build the actual “hole” on. Then, using either pulled-apart cotton swabs/balls or tissue, dip small shreds into the liquid latex, and press into a the shape of a circle around the specified area:

Step Two –
With a blush brush, dust the area with baby powder to set and dry the latex. Next, sponge on foundation make-up to match the color of the latex with your skin tone.

Step Three –
Using the blue cream paint, sponge and blend a tiny bit of blue around the sides of the edges of the ring:

the reason for this being that when your skin breaks, so do the blood vessels around that break, causing bruising. same with the next step

Step Four –
Repeat the same thing with the dark pink/red powder:

Step Five –
Next, we’re going to coat this entire area in fake blood. Now, the fake blood is VERY important. A lot of brands stay sticky and wet, and also have either an orange or pink tint. This is BAD. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in years of organizing zombie events, it’s where to find the best fake blood. Bloody Mary’s “Vampire Blood” not only stays in the deep red range, it coagulates and dries like real blood (I’m totally realizing how creepy this truly is right now). For this, grab a cotton swab, drown it in fake blood, and spread it within the circular area:

Step Six –
Here’s the fun part. Remember that hammer we used in the banana making post? Let’s bust that out again. Those random aspirin pills in our list of ingredients.. we’re going to put those in a ziploc bag, and crush those up with the hammer. These will be used to push into the inside walls of the fake wound to look like bone fragments. This will stick right to the blood and latex:

LAST Step –
With the fake blood, water it down just a bit to make it nice and drippy, bust out the cotton swabs one more time, and dab the sodden cotton swab inside the wound until it drips down. Let this drip as much or little as you’d like:

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT. A realistic-looking fake wound to freak out whomever you’d like.

Have any suggestions or requests for DIY Saturdays? Leave them in the comments, and we’ll put them on the list! And here’s a link to that little video blurb for this post. Go scare your co-workers!

♥ Jackie


So–Freddie Fantastic (AKA the husband) and I began Geocaching a few weeks ago, and I’ve got to say………Meh.

(If you don’t know what Geocaching is, here’s the official website.)

Before detailing why our start into the Geocaching community has been slow/rough–here’s a suggested list of equipment you should pack in your Geocaching Kit: (From our experience….)

*Pen & Paper

*Change of clothes–light or heavy, depending on the weather and terrain (Long sleeves/pants/hiking boots or sneakers for hiking through brush, “normal” clothing/comfy shoes for trail hiking–I wouldn’t wear flip flops or sandals unless you know that the cache terrain is an easy trail hike.)

*A couple bottles of water and snacks–in case you get lost


* Handheld GPS Navigator and extra batteries

*Map of the area you’ll be hiking in

*Compass–in case the GPS fails

*Charged Cellphone & extra batteries….pray it works!!

Here’s why we’re disappointed….

1] While the addition of GPS to the traditional “treasure hunt” style game is brilliant, you really DO need one of the more pricey GPS handhelds if you don’t want to waste your time wandering aimlessly (taking the risk of getting lost in the process). We first tried the Geocaching app for iPhone/Android with limited success, and then tried 3 different GPS handhelds with only consistent results from the Garmin GPS 60CSx Handheld GPS Navigator–which sells roughly for $250-$300. (All equipment was borrowed because we like to try before we buy.) I’ve read that some people LOVE the Apispher Geomate Jr.–which is the first navigator that we tried and can be purchased for about $70–but we felt this wasn’t any better than the Droid app we began with. We also tried the Garmin xTrek H, and one of the handhelds by Magellan (I’ve forgotten which one, but it retails for about $150)–both were better than the Droid app/Apispher, but weren’t very consistent…and I would hate to spend all that money on equipment that occasionally decided to work.

The success of the handhelds also might depend on the area you’re caching in. We live in the city–which tends to have a lot of “data pollution” in the air, and I’m sure this interferes somehow with GPS. We’ve also only geocached close to home….so far I would love to plan a Geocaching Weekend maybe in the Fall and away from home. This would really be a true test of our equipment.

2] The caches we’ve found in our area are junk. We decided to go for “easy” Experience (XP) Level caches first–because we’re Noobs. These caches are ranked 1 to 2 stars out of a 5 star system. The first one we found was called a “Park and Grab” and was a extra small cache–which meant (usually) it didn’t have any item for you to take/trade, but just a log to sign for the Cache Owner (CO) to read. It was FUN–very cleverly hidden, had a nice note from the CO for the Finder to read. The next few caches we found were the same XP Level–varying in cache sizes of x-small to large–but we have yet to find items that we would want to swap for in any of our Finds. I’m not sure if this is the fault of the Geocachers in our area who have traded nice Finds for crap–you’re suppose to trade up or trade even IF you take something–or if it’s the negligence of maintaining the cache by the CO. We’ve tried more difficult XP leveled caches with the thought that the harder the find, the bigger the prize, but with no luck. We enjoy hiking–have even taken our children with us on a few Finds for something to enjoy together as a family–and you can’t believe the disappointment that’s felt when the “prize” doesn’t equal all the work you just put into finding it. =^P

3] The XP Level that the CO ranks his/her cache is based on their fitness level. (HAHA!) There were a couple of caches that we successfully found that were ranked Very Easy–but should have been rank Medium to Medium-Hard because of the terrain. It was difficult to maneuver–having to wade through waist-high thicket/brush and thickly wooded areas. I was wearing jeans, and had a sweatshirt in the car that I put on in order to protect my arms, but poor Freddie and to stay behind having only worn shorts/sleeveless shirt because it was 90+ degrees out. (Side Note–having to wear an “autumn” wardrobe in sweltering Summer weather in order to find a Cache–not fun!! Should be included in the cache description….but I was able to leave a comment in the Cache Log section, so hopefully others will read it.) I think I lost 10 lbs. that day from the amount of sweat my body produced. I was absolutely SOAKED.

4] Some of the descriptions of the Caches that are given by their respective CO’s are lacking–most of them ARE very helpful–but I think this also depends on the area you’re geocaching in…unfortunately. As everyone in the Node Community is aware–not everyone in this world is nice, and this goes for CO’s as well. (I wish there was a way you could report on bad chaches/Co’s….maybe there is and I haven’t been able to figure it out yet.)

I would also recommend that you ALWAYS read the comments that other Geocachers have left in the Log section for the caches that you plan to find! Many useful tips/hints can be garnered (if the CO isn’t a douche and doesn’t remove it!) As I’ve mentioned–it would have been nice to know that long sleeves/pants are required or that you need to bring certain equipment along with you. There’s also a “hint” option that the CO can fill out–especially if the GPS is buggy in the cache area–that I’m very disappointed more CO’s don’t utilize. I can understand not filling it out on caches that are ranked Easy, but some of the more difficult caches that we’ve attempted should have had at least one hint.

Our overall experience thus far has proved frustrating, but we’re not giving up. We haven’t been able to locate any caches in our area that require solving a puzzle in order to find the cache–which I think would be very fun to try and hopefully will be more rewarding–but there is a cache ranked Hard close to us that can be found only on certain days of the week between certain times because it’s guarded. VERY INTRIGUING! I’ve read the log entries of the Geocachers who have found it, and there are stories anywhere from, “The terrain was very difficult. For advanced hikers only…” to “It was an easy find once I got away from the two dudes who jumped me because they thought I had found the treasure!”

Geocaching is what you make it–bottom line. Freddie and I are trying to keep a positive attitude by realizing that we get to spend time alone together without our children, we’re getting fresh air/exercise, and not all the caches we’ve found have been a waste of time….it’s been very frustrating, but also really fun!


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