Contact Us

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Suggestions? Submissions? Shout-outs?

Whatever you want to tell us here at Mikey Does Cosplay, we're always happy to hear your thoughts and feedback!


123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789


You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.



Here's where the magic happens. I'll be posting about all of my experiences and experiments (both failed and successful ones), introducing you to my costumes, sharing fun stories, linking tutorials and useful products, and who knows what else!


Filtering by Tag: mod podge

Materials Monday: Finishing Products

Michael MacWolff

This time around, I wanted to do a review of finishing products, since it's be super short and probably not very interesting if I did individual posts for each product.


Up first is probably the most important thing when it comes to props and cosplay: paint. I mean, it's generally how you get your stuff to be the color you need it to be!

When it comes to paint, simple acryllics are my go-to for just about everything. They're inexpensive, come in a wide variety of colors, and are available at any craft store in large quantities/varieties.

While there are lots of different brands to choose from, my favorites are Americana and Folk Art. I feel like they are generally very consistent in their colors and quality, though that's not to say that other brands fall short, it's just my personal preference. I also like those brands because they have a little sticker on top that has the color on it so they're easy to compare.


When it comes to metallic colors, if I'm brushing them on, I tend to use Dazzling Metallics by DecoArt. They work well and come in a variety of shades so you can usually find what you need.


Since we're talking about paint, I feel like now is the perfect time to remind everyone to BASE COAT YOUR SHIT. Metallic colors will end up way more even if you use a base coat of a similar color. The same thing goes for warm hues (pink, red, orange, yellow), the pigment tends to not be as strong, so it doesn't cover as well. If you use a darker base coat it'll come out looking a lot better, and you shouldn't have to paint 8000 coats to get it looking nice. For the warm hues, I generally use a darker, brownish color as a base coat. For yellows, you still want to use a brown tone, but you'll want to use a lighter color so your yellow doesn't come out super wonky.

And of course, when it comes to metallics or painting in general, spraying your items works well in most circumstances. The upside of spray paint is that it goes on a lot quicker and more evenly than brush painting. The obvious downsides are that you can only really spray on one color, you'll have to paint the other colors by hand. Also, there's the issue of overspray. If you're spray painting something that has parts you don't want to get paint on, you'll want to make sure those parts are covered. I usually use a plastic grocery bag and some masking tape.

When it comes to spray paint brands, I'm a little less picky, because the colors are generally more limited than what you can find in the 2 oz. bottles of acryllic, so I usually just try to find the best color for my project.


Sealants are super important for prop making because it accomplishes several things all at once:
-It helps bind all of the different pieces together
-It helps protect the base materials
-It smooths out the surface of your prop
-It can help you achieve the sheen/finish you want
-It keeps your paint from chipping as easily

When I make props I usually use sealant coats in two steps: before and after I paint the item. Using sealant coats before painting helps reinforce the adhesive holding all of the pieces together and smooths out the surface of your props. It also provides a good paintable surface for things that may not hold paint as well, such as smooth plastic and foam.
**An important note when using styrofoam and other open-celled foams: Most spray paint and certain adhesives can melt your foam; using a sealant layer (usually multiple just to be safe) is the best way to keep this from happening.

After I finish painting my props, I generally add another sealant layer. This helps protect the paint, as well as giving the prop the sheen I want. You can even use different sealants in different places if you want the sheen to be different.


Yes, you all know I go through a ton of mod podge. It's what I use most often for both my base sealant coat and my top coat because I like the satiny finish the matte mod podge has. For things that I want to be shinier, there's also a gloss mod podge that works quite well. As a warning, I've noticed the gloss mod podge does have a fairly strong odor, so you should be aware and want to make sure you have some ventilation when you're working with it.


My other go-to when it comes to sealant coats is shellac. It's similar to polyurethane but it dries a lot quicker and it comes in spray form as well as brush-on form. There are pretty much two instances I use shellac over mod podge. First if i have paper portions that need to be sealed, shellac is a much better choice. Since you can spray the shellac on, it goes on in a much more even, and thinner coat than you can easily achieve with a brish and some mod podge. This helps keep the paper or card stock from wrinkling or curling when you want it to remain flat. Also, since it can be sprayed, I'll use it when I'm more pressed for time.
I should also note that shellac has a very glossy finish, so your stuff will end up being pretty shiny if you use this as a top coat.

Mod Podge holds my life together

Michael MacWolff

I mean this in about as literal a sense as possible, Mod Podge is probably the most important component to a lot of my props because it holds everything together. And this WIP Wednesday you'll get to see how that all comes together.

So as you probably remember from last week, I've been working on a number of projects and guess what: not much has changed on that front. I've actually finished another of the props I've been working on and made some slow progress on others, just in time to pick up a few new orders, all while trying not to forget that I have a convention I'm attending myself in a little over 2 weeks that I have done tragically little to get my new Tsume cosplay ready besides making some simple little earrings and styling his wig. Though to be fair, the wig did turn out awesome, most of you have probably seen the wig test photo on facebook.

Ok, I guess I have his sunglasses ready too.

Ok, I guess I have his sunglasses ready too.

So yeah,  things are as crazy as ever, but that's just the way it goes. So while I will get to my new projects at some point in this post, I wanted to start with that pair of swords I've been working on, because I've finally finished one of them!

The second one is still in progress, but I've gotten to the point where I can start painting it. This one, however, was a bit simpler of a build because there's wasn't as much in the way of intricate designs and thick raised parts where I had to create a bunch of extra layers in foamcore to get it built.

Here's the beginnings of the sword, bevelled the same way I did with those kunai from about a month ago. To bring Mod-podge into it, as the title suggests, I usually use mod podge as the glue that holds the layers of foamcore together, cause I can take a thick paintbrush and paint a layer on before slapping the layers together. As you can see from the above picture, sometimes the edges don't fuse perfectly so you have to take another, smaller paintbrush and squish some more mod podge between the layers, then clamp them together like I have done in several places here.

 The guard, which you can't see in this photo, is also made from a couple of layers of foamcore with a rectangle cut out of the middle so it can slide down the blade to the base of the hilt. It should be noted that after filling in the raw foam edges with spackle and sanding them smooth, I always coat everything with a few coats of Mod Podge (to bring that back around), to essentially solidify everything into a single thing. It also helps smooth things out further, which a lot of people use gesso for, and I also use a few layers of gesso to that same end, but ultimately I kinda like mod podge better in general for smoothing things out cause I feel like it takes fewer coats but maybe that's just the delusion in my mind because I've been using it for longer.

Sorry for the shitty photo quality here, I thought it was clearer than that.

Sorry for the shitty photo quality here, I thought it was clearer than that.

Here comes my exciting foray into new territory: Worbla! As most of you are aware, I've not used worbla for anything before but since it seemed a very versatile and common material to be used in cosplay, I decided to give it a try.

I was not disappointed. Now i admit, if I were using it to construct an entire suit of armor (as I'll be doing at some point in the not-too-distant future) for my first project, I likely would have had a much longer list of frustrations, but as I was just using it for some details on this sword, I'm pumped about continuing to incorporate this lovely thermoplastic into my projects. You can see all of the sandy brown parts in the photo above were done in worbla. It's super easy to work with, all you need is a heat gun, some scissors, and a pattern. I drafted up all of the pieces with cardstock so I could cut the cardstock out symmetrically to get my pattern even, then you just trace it onto the worbla and cut! The worbla even adheres itself to the other materials once you heat it up and bends pretty effortlessly around any type of curves you're doing. You can even heat up small scraps and squish them into the other pieces to make a pretty seamless transtion.

I even managed to add a line directly into the worbla on the pieces above the guard by just heating it up and pressing a sewing needle into it around the blade part.

You can see it in this picture a little better. I did use black to highlight the divot in the worbla, but it's actually in there too.

Despite the worbla adhering to itself, as well as the foamcore, I still coated everything with a couple more coats of mod podge before I painted the sword just to once again solidify everything. As my first attempt using worbla I didn't want to take any chances. The mod podge also helped smooth out the texture of the worbla a bit which was good.

Then it was off to painting land! I used a grey spray primer for the base coat, then sprayed the gold onto the hilt. Remember, spraying your metallics will say you hours worth of time! The rest was brushed on and I went back over things with a mostly dry brush and some black paint to highlight all of the contours in the designs.

Once the painting was all done, it's time for: you guessed it, more Mod Podge! I always put a top coat of Mod Podge on my props to help protect the paint. Flat paint can easily get scratched and wear quickly if you don't have some sort of protective layer over it. This also gives it a uniform finish so there's not that awkward point at which you shift the sword in the light and it goes from the super-shiny metallic gold straight to the entirely flat black areas. That would look really wierd.

And that's that! Now I get to play with this new guy for the next week or so while I finish its counterpart :-D

Now, a quick jaunt through my other projects...

The blunderbuss is finally moving forward again after a brief hiatus now that the darker iron metallic paint I ordered finally came in. Once this guy is dry I can start painting the rest!

The second sword I'm working on is in the painting stages too!

This looks like a bit of a hot mess right now, but it's the start to Morrigan's staff. I still need the majority of the staff body since the branch I initially intended to use was way too skinny and didn't look right, but I found a better one so I'll have more photos of the progress on this project up soon!

This is my newest commission, the silver disc that Static Shock rides around on. It should be a pretty simple one, but should be fun to continue working on nonetheless.