I started this project as a just-for-fun because one of my cosplay idols, UndeadDu had posted a photo of her version and I was absolutely in love. After asking her how she made it and receiving such an enthusiastic reply, I just knew I had to tackle this project.
Red Sonja was the first comic I ever owned. I got it as a birthday gift from a very special friend. She's always been a kind of badass idol and I've never had the body confidence to pull off this outfit. So I'm fighting fears and diving in head first.
This was the cheapest cosplay I've ever made, using mostly things I had left over at home. You can see a full cosplanner breakdown at the end of the post.
The very first thing I did was cut coin sized circles out of craft foam. I taped them all to cardboard and then I did two layers of mod podge sealer, two layers of grey spray paint, and then a clear coat for shine.
The next thing I had to do was cut up some cute, yet cheaply made lingerie donated to me by Kristen. I added some stretchy cross straps to the back and turned it into a front closure bra. I added some felt chunks for a little extra detail and the base was made.
I started hot gluing the little circles in an overlapping scale pattern and finished the bra in good time.
For the skirt - is it a skirt? I cut two triangles of felt and glued it to a belt so it could still be functional with some subtle details. I did the same glue pattern on the skirt.
I also made leg bracers for a little extra detail. I cut strips of felt and glued on them circles. I just glued some stretchy material as straps that I can tie in the back.
As you can see, I recently chopped off my already short hair as well. =P
I found a flannel sheet in a dark red color at Value Village for $6 and I cut it into a more cape-like shape. I cut the bottom to resemble fray and deterioration and then I tried dry brushing it with black paint to make it seem dirty. From far away it looks pretty decent, but close up, it's definitely too dark.
I used some faux fur I have (still) left over from my Mad Rabbit and Nidalee cosplays. I used a combination of black, gold and bronze sharpies to darken the fur and still look natural. I sewed - yes, I actually sewed something on this cosplay - it to the red cape and when it's wrapped around my shoulders bunched up it looks so great! I then used what was left from my belt to make the closure for the cloak/cape.
I decided to splurge a bit and buy actual chrome paint - for about $9 - instead of settling for the grey. I'm so glad I did. Look how shiny and amazing these pieces are!
I also had a serious fan-girl moment here, because I posted a progress photo on Instagram and tagged UndeadDu in the photo. She commented on it, followed me, AND shared my photo on her twitter. Nothing says confidence booster like that.
That puts the whole costume together, but now I'm missing the weapon. What is a She Devil with a Sword, without a sword? So I tried a new thing. Dad found me some insulation board and I cut out a sword shape. I've read tutorials online and I've talked to people about different techniques, but I improvised the whole thing.
I used a dremel to carve down the shape and got covered in pink dust. Thank god I was wearing a bandana over my face. That would not have been nice to breathe in.
The next step was to prime and prep for paint. I did at least five layers of wood glue to smooth out the rough bumps. After this I decided to sand down and reshape the pommel/hilt of the sword. After using a palm sander on the insulation board, I was so amazed with how smooth of a finish it made. I should have done that to begin with over the whole sword.
Rather than re-doing the whole sword, I justified the texture as ancient hammered steel. I used my brain at this point and used spackling to fill in those rough spots that I was trying to fill in with liquid glue. That also makes my life so much easier.
I used Model Magic Clay to make two little gems for the sword. I hot glued them in place and then I did my final layers of wood glue and now it's time to paint!
Painting was quick and easy. I sprayed one layer of grey primer, and one layer of chrome paint on the blade. Then I used black acrylic paint and brushed on two layers all over the hilt/pommel. For the gem, I did a base layer of white acrylic paint, and then I used red fabric paint - because it's what I have on hand - in a few layers to get the bright red I want. Then I use the white acrylic paint again to add the cartoony shine texture.
The only reason I opted for a painted gem, was because I didn't have the time or resources to spend on trying to resin cast for the first time, or find a gem of the size I need. And honestly, this sword isn't my best work, so why put in the effort on this particular sword? I know, great advice for aspiring cosplayers. "Oh, do your best!" "Put in maximum effort!" Nah, just have fun. =)
This was my second prop weapon I've made, and with that in mind, it's not terrible. But knowing what I learned on this project, I definitely would re-do the sword if I were going to wear the cosplay more often.
And that concludes my cheapest cosplay ever! It also should have been the quickest, but I really dragged my feet with the sword. Here's the breakdown on cosplanner!
I am selling prints of this cosplay on my Etsy Store!