Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Being a 'ReachOut Hero' for a day at Comic-Con

I was recently given the opportunity to volunteer in the ReachOut ChillOut room at comic-con. I have never gone to one of these conventions before but I do know that a lot of people cosplay and dress up. I wasn't planning on dressing up until some other YA's in another state mentioned they wanted to when their comic-con was happening so I figured I would give it a shot. It was loads of fun and a bonus was that I fitted in with so many people wearing costumes (there were some AMAZING ONES) or other 'geeky' attire.

This costume is all DIY and I will list resources where possible. The most expensive thing to make was the mask but that was because I wanted something different and cute to wear. I ended up wearing jeans, flats and my ReachOut shirt as the base then completed it with the cape, mask and cuffs.
I have also included links to substitutions/alternatives that I bought for back ups just in case nothing turned out as pictured. I would recommend that if DIYing isn't your thing to check out the costume and party section in both Big W and Spotlight as they had a load of budget friendly costume accessories.

Cape (not the best photo sorry!) - I used 3 metres of Sequin-Mesh in royal blue, I was lucky enough that this was half price at
the time which cut down on costs. I choose the fabric as it doesn't fray, is softer than tule, not too heavy to wear and sparkly. All I did was fold it in half and stitched a straight line across (using a sewing machine) 5cm's down then grabbed some blue ribbon and with the help of a safety pin threaded it through so I could tie it round my neck. I then trimmed it to the length I wanted, I didn't want it to be dragging on the floor so I trimmed it to around my mid thigh. If you wanted to cut down on costs you could only do one layer and just fold over 5 cms and sew that down.

Mask - the fabirc paint I used made this expensive (though I was able to make a back up and still have some leftover) but it turned out cute wasn't too hot or heavy to wear either. I followed the instructions and template here due to the tip size on the tubes I couldn't get all the detail on the template so I did do some improvising where needed. Also as I used 2 colours it meant I could add some extra detail/fill in areas with the alternative colour which I really liked. I did one with the base colour blue and details silver on white tulle and the other base colour silver and details blue on blue tulle so I could have some options and a back up. I recommend using 2 layers of gladwrap as a base rather than one as it makes it easier to peel and adds extra stability. I used this silver paint and this blue paint both did their jobs and held up great (though when I do one next time both of these sets here and here look like great value for money). I left the masks to dry overnight then carefully peeled them off and cut them out the next day before sewing (you could totally glue it too but I hand stitched it) leftover ribbon from the cape so I could tie it around my head. I also went over some areas that needed it with more paint and added some jewels with glue. I got loads of compliments on it and its such a simple concept so I have a feeling I may be making more masks using this technique in the future.
If you think that it sounds like too much effort and/or money my backup plan was one of these masks - they come in loads of colours and are only $2 so its a cheaper option (though I would've coated mine in blue glitter to match with the sparkly cape).

Cuffs - these was super easy and I used a metre of  this trim in blue, I just wrapped it round my wrists and cut the lengths I needed (with a decent overhang) before hand sewing (again good quality superglue would be fine here just do a test run first) them together. I loved how thick it was was and how it could cover my watch, plus it was sparkly and elastic to easy to put on and take off.
My initial plan before I found the trim was to wear these in blue, which still would've worked but it just wasn't my style (and I found them hard to get on with all my bracelets and my stacking rings).

I also wore blue eyeliner, silver eye shadow (I got a silver long lasting eyeliner and coated my lids which meant it stayed on all day), blue mascara, tied some blue ribbon in my hair and wore some blue earrings to complete my look.

While this wasn't a super cheap DIY it was fun to make and I now have the pieces for any other ReachOut events that may require some dressing up or if I ever just want be a superhero for the day.

Other advice:
If you are doing the ChillOut room at Comic-Con here is some things I have learned from the
  • Wear comfy shoes - I wore my comfiest flats and my feet still got sore, so wear something you will be fine wearing all day and won't kill your feet.
  • Come early and look around - I had never been to a comic-con so I had no idea what to expect so I arrived early (my shift wasn't until the afternoon) and wandered around. I also let myself buy a few things (an art print and Dobby toy cause Treat Yo' Self!) and sat down doing some people watching (this is the perfect event to do it).
  • If you are handing out fliers walk the outsides - so many people were sitting down around the outsides so they were easy targets and also looked like they could use a comfy place to chill out and relax. Also target kids they will take anything from you and the parents are more likely to pay attention to what they have rather than you giving them something.
  • Its totally fine to use the ChillOut room beforehand - I had 30 minutes before my shift started and had no idea what to do so I decided to use the ChillOut room myself. A bonus is that you get to know what you are promoting and are able to tell people just how awesome it was.
  • Have fun - while you are there to work during your shift have fun while on it, laugh and dance, take selfies with awesome costumed people and don't be afraid to stand out.
I highly recommend volunteering at the ChillOut room if you get the chance, it will be an experience you won't forget anytime soon!

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