How Many Feathers Do I Need For My Project?

I recently had a project that involved utilizing goose feathers. Since buying feathers in large quantities can get costly I didn’t want to over order. I looked high and low trying to find a tutorial that could give me some math that i could use to estimate how many feathers I would need. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything useful. So, in the process of making my own project I created a little tutorial to help others get an estimate of how many feather to buy for their own projects.

How Large is the Average Goose Feather?

Goose feathers rage is size from about 8-10” with the quill extending another 2”. Here are a few feather of roughly the same size laid out on a 12”x12” grid.image

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timeladymars said: Hello! I have a question about body paint. I've been thinking about cosplaying as Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy, who has green skin. I'm going to use green sleeves on my arms, but I'm going to paint my face and neck. What recommendations do you have for skin paint (brands, application methods, makeup use on it)? Something that's easy to use, preferably cheap, and won't leave my face green when I take it off after a long day. Thanks!

Hi Timeladymars,

The awesome cosplayer Belle Chere just put out a full body make up tutorial just in time for Halloween. While you are just wanting to paint your face you will still find all th info you need in this LINK. She lists all the major makeup suppliers that most costumers use and also lists the cheap method for body paint as well as the more expensive methods.

Interview with Fev Studios at Anime Weekend Atlanta 2014. She explains how she makes a leg model and pattern for her leather work.

To see more of her work check out her Facebook:

And her website:

Thought I’d show off some of my WIP pictures for my latest costume, Tira from Soul Calibur. I love to give concise and well organized work in progress pictures to judges when I compete in costume contests. This is what I presented during AWA costume contest.

Photos by Lee A.M Photography.

Sally Jupiter/Silk Spectre from Watchmen Hair Tutorial

A lot of the pre-styled “Sally Jupiter” wigs are extremely expensive.  In this tutorial, I show how to achieve her classic vintage hairstyle using a $20.00 wig.

autumn-impala said: I'm doing a cryaotic cosplay and I only wanted to do half the mask, meaning a mask broken down the middle. How would I keep it onto my face without just hot gluing it down and what material would you suggest I make it out of? Thanks!

Hi autumn-impala! This is Kates. Classic question—how to make a mask stay without ribbon, string, or bands.

Obviously, you need the right adhesive, but almost just as important is making sure you have a mask that actually fits your face well, preferably flush. Most store bought masks are not going to work well, as those masks are generic and will pull away from the face in various sections, creating tension areas for any adhesives that might be applied which they likely will not be able to hold. 

If you (and you to the general public) are planning on using a store bought mask rather than making one, make sure that it at least sits flush with your nose. If it won’t sit on your nose, it won’t work on your face.


Oo, not the best picture. 

If you are interested in making your own (again, also to the general public), I highly suggest using the methods Threadbanger suggests in this video. I’ve used this method twice and I love it (tip: for a smooth surface, modge podge some paper over your mask when it’s dry). A roll of plaster tape like that costs about $8 if I recall correctly, and it makes about 3 half masks. The great thing about making your own is that it fits your face exactly, and so it will partially (note the italics) sit on your face on its own. It won’t stay there long if you’re moving around, but the shape will help it stay in place.

Now on to what you were really asking about: adhesives. The first thing you must consider is what your mask is made out of. If it’s made out of plastic or fabric, you probably won’t have problems with any of the glues/tapes I suggest. If it is made of plaster, you will have to consider a strong glue because of the weight of the mask. If it is made out of paper mache, depending on how well it is sealed, you may have to consider if the glue will damage the mask itself. 

Now, I have personally only ever used ties, but I’ve worked with body adhesives for other things. For lightweight masks, you can consider spirit gum or sock glue, both of which I consider to be standards in any cosplay kit. Technically, spirit gum is used for things like fake warts and elf ears, and sock glue is for, well, socks, but both are designed to work with your skin and remove either with rubbing or water. Of two, spirit gum would be a better choice. I have also seen eyelash glue, used for fake eyelashes, suggested. I haven’t yet ventured into that realm, so I don’t know how strong the stuff is, but it might be worth a shot. 

If your mask is heavier, you’ll need something stronger. In my experience, sock glue is pretty strong stuff, so a medium weight mask could probably use it. For something heavier, I would try scrapbook tape. Yeah, I know, weird, but bear with me. This stuff can be very strong, and can still come off. It may not come off of your mask well, but it will come off of your skin when you want it to. Trying using two pieces together, one on your face and one on your mask. 

If these methods aren’t working, just remember to choose a glue that will not be abrasive to your skin. Whatever you do, do not use Krazy Glue. Just don’t. You’ll be using flesh-eating acid to get it off. Or hot glue, for obvious other reasons. If you want to try a tape, try to stick with body tapes, as duct and electric and most any other will loose its power as soon as you start sweating. 

When applying your adhesive, apply it along the top and center of the forehead, the crown of the cheek, and the bridge of the nose. These are the areas that will carry the weight of the mask. 

If all else fails, for Cryaotic, you can position ties both at the bottom left side of the mask and at the top right side, having it tie around the head and under the ear. 

Hope this helps!

digging-in2-ur-soul said: Have you gotten some stuff from the $10 mall? If so what is your review on the quality & the shipping. Thank you in advance

Not yet. However, it looks like I will be getting a few items next month for a theater production company. Once I do I’ll post a review.



What any cosplayer needs to survive a convention:


No matter how prepared I think I am for a convention I always seem to leave something important at home. To fix this I keep a small bag packed with items I know I can’t survive without in case I forget to pack them into my regular luggage.

Con season is in full swing. Don’t forget to pack your survival kits!

iamyourlordsdragonqueen-blog said: I'm trying to make a thranduil costume for my friend and I'm not exactly sure how to put together the coats. Can you help me out.

Hey iamyoutlordsdragonqueen! This is Kates. It all comes down to how authentic you want the coat to be. The coat is technically made of many strips of fabric cut to the appropriate shape, laid out, and sewn up in just the right way. With a template, ruler, and the right fabric it’s not too terribly difficult to do, but it is very time consuming. 

Here are a few links to cosplayers who have shared their process:

This guy does it (almost) exactly how I would do it:

Take note: the pattern he’s using is out of print, but I honestly think that Simplicity 5386 is a pattern EVERY costumer should have, so if you want to cut up the original, buy a second copy (you can probably find it on ebay, etsy, or small online sewing shops). If you’re like me and don’t want to cut the original, get some wrapping or butcher paper and trace your patter on to that, then cut up the new pattern.

If you want an easier version, you can simply make the Simplicity 5386 pattern up (with notifications to the front opening and collar, of course) and either leave it or stitch down piping along where the fancy seams would otherwise be. I have seen cosplayers do the coat without all the seams, and they look pretty good for not being 100% authentic. 

I hope this helps!


nycroft said: Hello, I will be cosplaying Thranduil from The Hobbit and but I don't really want to wear a wig. My hair is already the right length but it's sort of a golden blond color. Is there a way to temporarily dye my hair platinum blond but have it look good? (not like the spray on color from party stores.) Thanks!

Hey slay-at-home-dragon, this is Kates. I was just looking into this the other night, and discovered that Sally’s Beauty Supplies carries a number of products that do just that, and they have some great reviews. For those who are interested in less natural hair colors, try this instead. I haven’t tried any of these myself yet, but I might down the road. Also, check out some of their other product options for temporary color if you’re not interested in a mousse. 

Hope that helps!


midnightchangeling said: I thought I should mention that in the US it is against federal law for a contact lens seller to not require a prescription & verify that the prescription is valid. I did a search & found 4 sites that adhere to the law and are on the cheapish side: Extreme SFX - $25 - $30 per lens, AC Lens - $26 - $ 35 per lens, The Grimm Brothers $40 per lens, & Wicked Eyez $30 - $55 per lens. There's also 9mmsfx, which is expensive ($75 - $250 per lens), but custom made to the purchaser's eyes.

Good info to know.Thanks for sharing.

hollowsuzumi said: Hello, I'll be cosplaying as Cicero from Skyrim and I was wondering if you could provide any tips for me. The most difficult piece for him is his jester hat. I'm not very good at sewing yet, so I've been struggling with patterns and how I'd create it

Hey hallowsuzumi! This is Kates. I’ve found one pattern for Cicero’s hat from VirulentRequiem at Deviantart.

She doesn’t give a lot of explanation as to how to make it, so I would suggest printing your pattern and making a ‘mock’ version out of muslin or some other cheap fabric. This will give you an idea of how the pieces go together, as well as the fit of the hat. You’ll then know if you want to adjust anything to your particular tastes.

I’ve got three tips for you: if you’re new to sewing, take it slow and don’t cut corners. Remember your basics like pressing your seams, pinning, and snipping the insides of curves. Better to take your time learning to do it right than rushing it and being unhappy with the product.

Second, fabric choices. Try and stick to cottons, linens, and leathers/believable pleathers, or at least things that look and feel like they are natural. While true natural materials are usually more pricey than your polyesters, you can always take advantage of the 40% coupon trick (Michaels and Hobby Lobby ALWAYS have printable 40% coupons, and both of those stores as well as Joanns and Hancocks accept one competitor’s coupon a visit). Also, you can find some pretty decent cheap cottons or imitation cottons in Hancock’s clearance, as well as at Walmart if your Walmart carries fabric. If you shop around and take your time, you can find some really good stuff for pretty inexpensive. 

Third, distressing. One stark visual characteristic of Skyrim is the grunginess. I love it. If you want to stick out as a truly talented cosplayer, you’re gonna have to muck up that pretty outfit you just made. It hurts, I know. For soft fabrics, Lo uses coffee grounds (think grime and sweat), but you can also rub in used earl grey tea leaves. (Or for a truly authentic and much more entertaining wear-down, wear it to your local Renfair for a whole weekend. Trust me.) For hardier fabrics, like your pleather or leather, you’ll want to ding or scruff it a little, but be very careful with the pleather; as I’ve said in other posts, lesser pleathers tear easily. 

Hope this helps—have fun!