It’s Day Two of New York Comic Con. You’ve spent the past eighteen-months on a Bohemian budget using any extra funds to buy the most authentic fabric, the newest pattern, or perhaps a commission from your favorite cosplayer to make your dream costume come to life. Exhausted from living on 99-cent packs of ramen, you’re finally thrilled with the final product only to overlook the potential of disaster. Thirty seconds can ruin eighteen months of planning, sweat, frustration, tears, and the inability to sense pain after growing immune to stabbing yourself with a sewing needle so many times that you’re grateful for your last tetanus shot.
…you are up to date on that tetanus shot, right?
Check out the following tips and tricks to make sure a 30 second disaster doesn’t ruin your photoshoot or 15-seconds onstage for the Hall Cosplay Contest.
You need to have something with you at all times. Well, okay, technically you don’t, but if you want to be prepared for cosplay disasters on the go, it’s probably a good idea to have some form of transporting items outside of asking your non-cosplaying significant other to carry all your stuff.
Side note: Most likely your non-cosplaying significant other will still be holding your stuff so you might want to consult them for preference of carrying equipment.
Small Sewing Kit
These little kits come in handy. For a basic needle and thread kit (with no extras), you can pay as little as 97-cents. However, for those looking to invest a bit more, for around $10 you can get a kit that not only includes needle and thread but also buttons, measuring tape, scissors, seam rippers, thimbles, threaders, and much more. These packs are small and about the weight of a thick wallet and can totally fit in your backpack.
Club Soda, Sea Salt, and Paper Towels
You’re not going to be making mojitos with these useful accessories at the convention (or maybe you will in your hotel room afterward), but you sure as hell can get out stains. The club soda and salt trick has been successfully used to remove stains from different textiles, gaining popularity for its ability to lift red wine from light-colored carpets. I learned about the trick after witnessing a horrifically scary cosplay event where a friend’s Serenity cosplay had red wine spilled on the white bridal satin, the type that sells for $30+/yard. Not a single stain was left. Not one. I was amazed.
Step 1: Use your paper towel to blot (not rub or wipe) as much of the stain as you can. You’ll need several sheets of paper towels for this.
Step 2: Cover the area with your new best friend, salt. Really. Use a ton of it, don’t be shy. SALT IT UP!
Step 3: Pour club soda over the salt. If possible, leave for a couple of hours.
Step 4: Blot once more and repeat as necessary.
Pro tip: Stain removal pens are your BFFs.
Stain Removal Pen
Maybe you have a smaller stain, or you’re literally about to go onstage for your Cosplay Masquerade. Although salt and club soda have become dear friends, they’re the type of friends who might be late to the party. Stain Removal Pens, such as the kind Tide makes, are small, have a strong cap to prevent spillage, and are designed so that you’re forced to blot (DEAR LORD, DO NOT WIPE!) stains. These nifty tools lift the stain from the fabric so you’re able to use your paper towels and blot up the rest. A tiny water mark (before it fully dries) will be negligible for judges.
Most of these spills and accidents happen out of fatigue and lack of good nutrition. Many people live on packs of Pocky at conventions all weekend and share a soda (please reserve your club soda for an emergency!) Because of dehydration, people become clumsy very easily which leads to spills, tears, and other things that we might normally avoid. One can take a potassium supplement pill in the morning before their day to help retain water. Bananas, Gatorade, and water are also really important to have at conventions (really, water is critical). Although it’s tempting to live off of a supersized, free refill fountain soda, that’s going to dehydrate you more and, depending on the beverage, could lead to a nasty spill as well.
Hopefully these few tricks will get you through some of your cosplay disasters. What tips have you found helpful? Tell us on Twitter @quirkbooks!