As cosplayers, we are always learning new skills to make our next costume bigger and better and add more wow factor. There's only so much free content available on the internet, but if you have a couple bucks to spare, you can score some sweet hard copy or digital books to advance your skills for your next build! Stick around until the end of the post as well. I'll be giving away some great stuff every cosplayer should have!
The cosplay community is full of talented creators, including those who go out of their way to create tutorials and detailed content to help others. There are some crafting leaders in the community that have capitalized their skills in compact books. They are highly detailed and worth every dollar. I'm going to share some of my favorite books I've bought that have really helped me and I find them extremely well done.
Worbla Armor Guide
If you've ever considered buying a cosplay guide book, you've probably gone straight to Kamui cosplay. Her line of books are well detailed with clear photos and descriptions available in multiple languages. If I had to suggest just one book to buy to get you started, it would be The Costume Making Guide. It gives basic details on multiple armor parts and basic crafting and painting techniques. This would be the place to start.
Foam Armor Guide
While Kamui cosplay focuses her art heavily on worbla, if you were looking for a cheaper option, foam is a perfectly acceptable and easy to use material for armor. The crafting process is quite different and allows for more details and little tricks. Bill Doran of Punished Props wrote a great book on EVA foam armor called Foamsmith: How to Create Foam Armor Costumes including materials to use, how to assemble, detail and paint. It's a great read with clear photos and a very organized layout.
Another foamsmith in the community known for her highly detailed and clean foam work is Cyehra Cosplay. You can find her book Making of Foamsmithing in multiple languages and it goes over the use of different foams and adhesives. It even includes some detailed tutorials for building tight fitting foam masks. It favors different techniques from Bill's book making both of them valuable to have in your roster.
Cosplay Sewing Guide
If armor isn't your thing right now and you'd be more comfortable sewing, I would suggest Sewing for Beginners by Naraku Brock. While there are many tutorials for sewing online, it can get confusing and overwhelming. This book is compact and detailed and comes in multiple languages. She makes understanding materials and techniques very easy and the book even includes a full costume walk through. This is the perfect place to start your sewing adventures.
LED Basics Guide
After you build your base costume with some sweet details, you can take it even farther with some unique details like LED lights! There's so many different ways to use LEDs, and it can be a very complex idea to grasp but Kamui Cosplay's book, The Book of Cosplay Lights makes it extremely clear to understand with bright photos and illustrated graphics. It's the perfect place to start illuminating your next costume!
As your costumes get more complex, or include multiple matching elements, you might consider casting them using resin. You can even sculpt your own custom elements and then make a unique mold to use multiple times. I'm not yet at that level, so I haven't bought the following books yet, but I've scouted them out and I will buy these as soon as I'm ready.
Cast Like Magic by Folkenstal looks like a great guide for casting trinkets and other objects by making DIY silicone molds. Lightning Cosplay also released a mold and casting book that looks like it targets larger scale production pieces such as horns. It's called Mold Making and Casting. Both of these books look like they have their equal benefits and I can't wait to get my hands on them!
I hope this list helps you choose your next guide book. There's so many available and I think these are the best available in the industry. All of these creators offer free tutorials and content as well, but it's a great way to support someone who gives so much back to the community. Happy reading! If you're here for the giveaway, keep scrolling!
Summer is here and I'd love to give some awesome resources away! After talking about all those books and new techniques, let me help you create your next amazing costume with some must have products. They're all listed in the photo below and the giveaway is open internationally.
The giveaway will run for 1 full month, with extra entries weekly through Instagram, twitter, and facebook. The extra chances to win only last one week each so make sure you're following me on all things social to be notified when the giveaway goes live on each platform!
To get your first entry in, simply sign up to be on my email list. You'll be informed 1-2 times monthly of important news and blog posts you may have missed. Use the simple form below to enter your name and email address and then you're in!