Wow, I did not mean to neglect this blog! Sorry about that! Work and the holidays has kept me away from WordPress longer than I thought. On the upside, I have never seen a holiday season this busy already here for both my shops ever! It still baffles me that this time 2 years ago, I had to buckle down and put the store on Vacation for most of the year (and didn’t even know if I’d still even decide to reopen)! I want to take the time and thank everyone for their support – many of the purchases I’ve seen or been inquired about have been for gifts or supplies for other indie makers and fans like myself, and that just amazes me! I hope everyone’s projects and gifts turn out fantastic!
That said, just a reminder that our printer/sister shop platform, Spoonflower, released their holiday order deadlines – this also affects the Etsy, btw!
It might look a little confusing, but the breakdown is that as long as you place your order in by these dates (according to your location), it will arrive in time for Christmas! A good rule of thumb is that since the 6th is tomorrow as of this writing, if you need your supplies or gift on time, please consider upgrading your shipping to Guarantee/Rush (basically the equivalent of my Priority Mail pricing).
Please make sure to check your shipping information when you’re ordering, and if you’re not sure and want to confirm, you can always ask me! Note: For Etsy orders, I always place in your order through Spoonflower the same day of purchase (depending on when I receive it it may not be same business day though).
To make up for the old tutorials I cleared out, here is a new one that’s more of an intermediate level in the world of cardboard pepakura/papercraft for cosplay. If you’re new to make 3D objects for your cosplays using cardboard or a similar medium, please see the Elphelt belt buckles tutorial first, since it’s a little more beginner-friendly.
This project arrived for me from a very excited Nick and his new Jason costume for AAC this weekend – the 13th falls on a Friday this year in October. I’m skipping the con this year due to a busy November (and opting to return to the NY Ren Faire at last), so when he asked I felt it was my way of being there in spirit!
You will need…
Cardboard (I used corrugated here for the thickness)
Paper and pencil
Dimensional fabric/3D glue
Acrylic paint and 2 small paintbrushes (a good one and a beat-up one)
Paper towels and water for cleanup and texturing
The key to making anything from 2D/reference into 3D is to break down the item you want to make into simple shapes and layer them accordingly.
The first step is to start sketching what you’re making and its approximate measurements, based on the scale of the character and the scale of yourself/the person it’s going to. The tip of this spear might look complicated, but it really is just a bunch of triangles, cylinders, and curves combined together.
If your object is symmetrical, the easiest solution to keep things looking ‘right’ is to just draw out half of the template, and then cut out your pieces with the paper folded down its middle. Once you’re happy with your template, begin cutting out your pieces on cardboard to build the basics of your object.
For the fleur, I wanted to keep it simple with a tapered layer for the tip, the 2 sides for the petals at its sides, and then 2 lower shapes that will form part of its shaft (and will get glued onto the PVC pipe on Nick’s end). You’ll notice one is more curved than the other; in the reference, that piece is slightly conical and gradually becomes a little skinnier as the petals form. (Not shown is a second strip of cardboard, which I added later to hide the ‘seam’ from gluing these two bottom pieces. Also great for adding details! Lifehacks!)
The key to a seamless closure is to glue along one vertical end of the piece that you’re closing, and wedge that into the other side. It’s hard to do with cereal boxes, which is also why I went with corrugated this time.
Start gluing your pieces together sections at a time, and you should have the petals, tip, and shaft pieces ready to be attached. Keep in mind that the petals taper as well, so fold it in half to round it out before gluing/taping to each other. The center should be rounded so it can attach onto the shaft pieces.
You’ll notice the pieces aren’t completely closed yet, so now is the time to cut and glue on any filler cardboard to help close the fleur. If you have to do it in smaller pieces that’s fine too, since anything that still can’t be filled completely will just get covered with the 3D glue anyway! Be sure to also add cap pieces wherever possible, because this will help strengthen the project and prevent it from collapsing after all your hard work!
Don’t forget to glue along the toothpick when you do this, as well as when you stick it into the item. Those gap pieces help it grab onto something too.
(Sorry about the glitter glue, it’s the only 3D glue color I have left and I almost always end up painting over it for a project anyway.) Now your piece is ready to be filled completely before painting! I ended up going over a few areas twice, especially by those middle sections on the tip so it slopes nicely. Let it dry overnight before the final and fun step.
I never painted a rust texture before so it was really cool getting the opportunity to do it for Jason’s spear! I experimented with mixing some brown and orange acrylics with copper metallic for the base layer, but it didn’t show up well, even in person.
Once the base layer is set, start scuffing on orange gradually when the coat is DRY for a weathered effect (don’t oversaturate your paper towel or dry, beat-up brush). Nick didn’t want it too rusted, so I stopped after one or two layers of the rusting.
I tried to be as even as I could when I glued it together, but one side does seem a little slanted than the other. Not sure how this happened, but I could have put too much pressure when I was gluing and taping pieces together. I’ve designated the side above as its ‘cosmetic/camera-ready’ side though. Either way, Nick was a happy customer!
It was awesome to see the final prop all finished and ready for the convention! I was shown the spraypaint color of the bronze for the PVC pipe prior to painting the fleur, so it was amazing how close I came to replicating the paint color. The fleur is glued onto the shaft with Loctite, which is a brand of superglue/epoxy glue (anything similar will adhere well with the cardboard and PVC).
Hopefully, this tutorial has helped you understand more about how amazing cardboard is, and what you can do with it. Is it possible to make anything out of it? Probably. Try for yourself, and happy cosplaying!
I planned to do a tutorial on a hardcover traveler’s notebook/bullet journal, but I realized that the references I used basically explained what I was about to post. So this will be a listdump instead, as well as a look at my current bujo and the one I am going to use next year. I really didn’t mean this to just be a post where I show off my notebooks, I swear! I’m a little sad I can’t do my tutorial now ^^; I had progress photos and everything all ready. Oh well.
I’ve tried other planners but they either couldn’t stand up to the test of time (apparently I’m a little rough with my notebooks) or got too fussy, since I like to customize my pages and sandwich things as folders, etc. Before all this, I only really used those freebie personal planners, or the academic ones back in school, so I’m used to a no-frills/this-is-strictly-business format. The point of a planner is to be organized and plan properly, no?
Left is standard hardcover (fiction novel) with custom B6 paper. Right is a smaller hardcover (non-fiction in Spanish) with original-sized paper of 4″x6″.
Which is why I love dot grid paper and the traveler’s notebook format. Dot grid gives me the flexibility to make any layout I need on the fly, regardless of where in the notebook, and the actual booklets can be swapped in or out as needed in the cover. It takes a little more time to set up, but it saves me a lot of time and headaches in the long run as well.
Bonus to book covers – the sleeves can be pockets for notes, and to attach paperclips and little notepads.
To keep organized and sort my thoughts, I try to use color and washi tape at a minimum. I like 1/8” grids since my writing isn’t really big, so it helps me measure things better and keep things more legible.
My favorite bujo pages are for the video games I’m playing (knowing that I eternally will have a backlog!) as well as books I’m reading; this is my second spread actually, and I’ll likely hit another set before the end of the year too. I mainly read non-fiction like crafting or cooking, but you’ll see some fiction titles in there too.
Of course, if there’s a format you dig for your own bujo, feel free to copy :). I’m no notebook police so go ahead! Do you have a page or list you like in your own bujo or planner?
When I woke up this morning, like other Spoonflower shop owners and customers, I saw this:
But fear not! To make way for its replacement stock (chiffon), I will allow purchases for the poly crepe through my Etsy until the end of July! After that point I can’t guarantee the printer will even have the fabric in stock, so to be safe I will be updating inventory for the chiffon at August. *This only applies to my Etsy!! If you purchase through Spoonflower you may only see the poly crepe option if you’re not a guest or new customer!
I also would like to note that the cotton twill has finally been stocked in my Etsy (which replaces the cotton canvas). Of course, if you really prefer the canvas, please convo me on Etsy or just hop over to Spoonflower where it still can be printed. (I just personally prefer the twill in terms of quality.)
As of new designs, I still am contemplating on making Pachimari after all, since not many still exist and I have a cute theme in mind. I’m also waiting on the turnout for Kinokuniya‘s design contest – I’ll be submitting a design once entries are allowed, so check my Instagram if you’re curious! If it’s not a chosen winner or runner-up, I will move it to Spoonflower as part of my original designs! So either way, something new will be up!
As a reminder, since more orders have been popping up over the past month, please feel free to share your projects made with the fabrics through social! I’ve done shoutouts for fellow geek/fandom shops too, so don’t be shy! You can tag me at Instagram or WordPress directly, or even on my personal Twitter. Or anywhere else by linking to my Etsy or Spoonflower. I love seeing how other creative minds go to work!
*Maybe someday I will carry this title but honestly I just needed something witty to name this post. Then again, it’s no different for the rest of this blog!
Oh hey wow it’s June! That sure went by quick. Sister’s wedding was amazing and I’m so happy everyone had a great time! Not a dry eye in the house either.
(I really want to upload one with Nick but he’s super camera shy for such a handsome fellow! In case you’re wondering why he’s always under some helmet or mask here.)
For shop news, the Etsy has been back up and running. Thank you for your patience and understanding! It will still be open while I’m at CtCon in July, so no worries. Speaking of other expos, I finally checked out BookCon with a few friends on Sunday in NYC! I’ve always wanted to go, but other plans kept popping up at that time of year. It was funny to see the Javits so quiet, but it was such a lovely con! I plan to come back next year for even more free loot! I think I will be going to it more often than NYCC at least.
Anyway, I meant to do a tutorial for my puppet, but then realized that I forgot to do progress photos, and also had no idea what I was doing half of the time so I was pretty sure I would mess up a lot. I also really did not have time to finish it properly – this year, CtCon wanted photos of submissions including events like the masquerade, and then announced a deadline at a ridiculously short notice. (Apologies on the rough build!)
I never had done any sort of puppetry before, but I have made plushies, and noticed that the steps are similar to a degree, just hollow, lighter, and mobile. Since I will be the only person operating him, I had to keep some parts and functions in mind.
Reapfield’s head tilts around, and he can also hop/jump and move slightly to indicate more emotions easily. Due to the view of the audience, I only had to focus on one arm to operate. Right now it’s a simple sewn glove over a dowel, but later on we plan to not only give it better range of motion (joints), but he will also get a second paw.
I couldn’t figure out how to rig better facial expressions at the time (I wanted his brows to move), but when he gets angry or upset his eyes light up like in the photos! This was probably the one step I knew what to do already, because I had rigged simple LEDs before for Ultra Sword Kirby’s hat. I was so happy I upgraded to a AAA battery pack this time for 50 cents extra, as the coin battery setup was a little loose for Kirby at that time. I buy my kits from Model Train Software, no soldering required! They’re amazing and I highly recommend them.
Best of all, I wanted to make storing him a breeze, also to make traveling with him easier. His body is made of cardboard, and is assembled in a way where it’s fast and easy to put together, and then folds back down neatly. His body is simply a fleece cover with the mask attached already to save time. There are also holes for his arm and LED eyes. Eventually I want to give him a proper and more permanent body with the green high-density foam.