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Introduction

So you want to learn how to make costume props and armor...

And why, pray, would you want to do such a thing?

Well, if you came to this site, it's probably because you're a cosplayer. Now I could bore you with a long history about what "cosplay" is and how it got its name. (But I won't. I'll link to this Wikipedia article instead.) What it is basically, is a way for fans to express their appreciation for a work of fiction by dressing up as characters from that work. The practice has been around in some way, shape or form since the first Science Fiction conventions began in the US, (although the term "cosplay" itself was reportedly coined by the Japanese back around 1984.)

As someone who has spent a lot of time in the United States anime cosplay community, I know firsthand how expensive and troublesome costume construction can be, especially for young, cash-strapped anime fans. As such, I have tried to keep the armoring methods and materials which I feature low-tech and affordable, while still looking as decently realistic as possible.

NOTE: My methods are NOT for people who want to create "combat-ready" props and armor, the kind of props and armor used in organizations where they recreate medieval-style fights (e.g., the Society for Creative Anachronism.) Most of the armor and props I create are for costume display or non-combat theatrical purposes only.

It is my hope that my compendium will be useful to cosplayers of all skill levels. I also hope it will be of use to ANYONE who needs to create impressive-looking props and costume armor for ANY reason, and who wish to do so without the aid of expensive tools, dangerous chemicals, or a Hollywood movie-sized budget (which I'm guessing, most of my readers will not have. I don't have them either, which is why I had to develop these methods...)

Here's wishing you luck with all of your future projects. You can begin reading my Armormaking 101 tutorial by clicking the navigation links to your left. The first topic will be Materials and Tools.

---Teresa Dietzinger
(Amethyst Angel)