Monday, September 4, 2017

Librarian Post: Cosplay Meetup - What Kind of Meetup Are You Hosting and What Will You Need?

The first thing you need to do to host your Cosplay meetup is decide what type of program you want this to be?

Do you want this to be a special one-time program or a recurring event?

If the answer is one-time, then you had best find yourself an experience local Cosplayer to come in and speak or even demo some of their techniques.

If you want to do a recurring event, then you can either set it us as a mini maker space (this is what I do) and have equipment and tools available to people who want to work on their cosplay or you can do something like a monthly series where you will either teach a skill (wig styling, for example) or create a specific project (a mask, goggles or a cape perhaps).

I chose to make my program a recurring mini-maker space because I feel this is the most inclusive type of program for Cosplay. Say you offer a specific project - how to make some Steampunk Goggles for example - the only people who are likely to show up are the ones interested in a costume that uses that specific item or technique. I encourage people who come to my program to bring in projects they are working on so that they can share techniques with others, and so far that has worked out really well. I was also fortunate enough to be able to get some basic start-up supplies for people to use communally, and hope to add to the stash next time we have budget availability.

Basic Supplies You Might Need:
* Hot glue guns (and plenty of glue sticks).
* A couple of self-healing mats.
* Rotary cutters.
* Scissors: at least one good cloth-cutting pair, some basic paper scissors and if possible fancy scrapbook scissors with shaped blades.
* Nail polish. Cheap $1 ones are just fine. They can be used for painting ALL KINDS of things, including jewelry or small areas that require precise application.
* Paint brushes of various sizes and types including foam brushes.
* Acrylic paints.
* E6000 craft glue (it glues almost anything to almost anything else)

Additional Supplies to Consider:
* Various leather or cloth remnant pieces. (You can buy large packs of leather remnants from most hobby shops for very cheap).
* Ribbons, especially single-colored sateen and grosgrain. I avoid the wired kind. They're less versatile.
* Assorted Beads and buttons.
* Feathers.
* Cardboard of assorted sizes and shapes.
* Duct Tape in various colors.
* Spray adhesive.
* Mod Podge
* Craft foam.
* Spray paints, ESPECIALLY metallics.
* X-acto knives or box cutters.
* Interfacing in various weights, iron-on is especially useful.

For the REALLY advanced or REALLY adventurous: (use and supply with extreme caution)
* Modeling clay.
* Clay tools (can be bought in sets from most hobby shops).
* Air Dry clay.
* Plaster of Paris
* Liquid Latex
* InstaMorph moldable plastic (requires heat, so provide at your risk).
* Sculpey
* A sewing machine.
* Iron and ironing board.

Also remember to think about the space you are going to be using and the safety hazards they might pose. I lead my program, for example, in our basement auditorium, so ventilation is NOT good. Therefore I do not allow the use of spray paints or spray adhesives in the space. And use caution when setting out things like rotary cutters or box cutters, and find out beforehand if your library would require you to have some kind of release signed in order to allow patrons to use the items that might lead to cuts or stabbings.

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