After a successful introduction into Cosplay earlier this year (see post), my teens requested that we start a Cosplay Club. They wanted to get together and learn how to build cheap props for Halloween costumes and Comic Cons. This week we hosted our first event. The theme was building accessories and props out of everyday household items and duct tape. I didn’t know if I would have 5 or 25 teens so I did a shout out to all of the library staff to start saving up recycled materials that we could use.
I ended up with 5 teens at our first club which was a teeny tiny bit disappointing, but ultimately ended up working out for the best. We were able to spend a lot of one on one time helping them build some very cool props. We were also able to teach them some fun techniques for making fox tails using yarn and dog brushes. All in all it was a really fun night and was impressed with their ingenuity. I have a great bunch of kids!
Cosplay Club on a Budget-
The best part about this program is that you don’t have to have a huge budget to do this. When I advertised the program I asked that each teen bring a roll of duct tape and that I would provide the rest of the materials. After that I sent an email to staff asking them to save boxes, paper towel tubes, empty containers, fabric, ribbon, tape, and anything else they wanted to clean out of their closets. We ended up with a nice selection of recycled material for the teens to tear apart and use.
For the most part my only job was to handle the hot glue guns and provide inspiration on what they could make. I did make a few props before hand with just duct tape: Ninja Stars, Duct tape masks, a Sword, etc.. My volunteer M, made a fabulous Fox tail using yarn. My goal was to provide some ideas and then let them go wild with their own. I feel that at this stage they are old enough for this to be a self guided program. I did not want the program to become a tutorial where I sat down and did step by step instructions with them.
I ended up with 3 girls and 2 boys and wow.. they did a fab job!! One started a wizard staff that was extra reinforced in case of attacks. A girl made a quiver out of a mailing tube complete with arrows. Two others started on fox tails and one decided to just observed the process while her friends worked. We had a great time and they are excited to do this again.. “like, tomorrow because Halloween is coming up and stuff.”
What you can use:
One of the projects we worked on were fox tails:
They are very easy to make and turn out pretty cool. All you need is some cheap yarn, dog brushes, and patience… lots of patience. Here is a link to the instructions: Fox/Wolf Tail The two teens that worked on them begged me for yarn to take home so they could finish them later. One turned hers into a bunny tail. Adorbs!
For other ideas hit up Pinterest. I searched for cardboard helmets, weapons, masks, etc.. all made of duct tape. There are lots of ideas online and some even have patterns you can use. I also let the teens look up ideas on my laptop. It helps to have access to photos for inspiration.
What I would change:
I wish that more kids had been able to attend. However, it wasn’t really a bad thing. I was able to help the kids that were there and do more one on one work with them. We also had a good time chatting about fandoms, movies, and books. When I do this again I plan to have a flyer to pass out at the schools. I am also debating on putting up a white board of events in the teen department. I do put everything on our TV monitor, but I rarely see the teens reading it.
DO THIS PROGRAM!! If you have geeky teens that are creative and like to dress up this is a cheap and fun program to plan. All it takes is some duct tape, recycled materials, and a bit of imagination!