January 23, 2012

What to Pack in a Cosplay Repair Kit

by Elizabeth O'Malley, Writer

You've spent weeks, maybe months, working on your new costume for a convention. The last thing you want is a small problem like a fallen hem, broken zipper, or broken prop to get in the way of you wearing it.

Every cosplayer should pack a "Cosplay Repair Kit" when going to a con. Don't depend on your hotel roommates or friends to have what you may need. You can also be a hero to your not-as-prepared friends by having these things on hand. If you're flying, be sure this is in your checked baggage, not your carry on. Some of these things might not be okay to bring in a carry on bag.

  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
    This is the best thing to bring in your repair kit, as it can fix a lot of things and it can do it fast. You might make a lot of new friends if they find out you have one of these with you at the con.
  • Scissors
    A definite must need, in case you find unclipped threads or need to do a last minute wig trim. You definitely don't want to be without a pair.
  • Safety pins
    These can be used in a pinch to keep costume pieces in place that otherwise won't. Keep some in your bag or pinned inside your sleeve for problems that develop on the con floor.
  • Fabric glue
    There are different types of fabric glue, so pay attention to what you pack. For quick fixes, use a quick drying glue, but the hold may not be as strong as a glue that can take several hours to dry.
  • Fabric tape
    An alternative to fabric glue. Good in quick and simple fixes, but don't rely on it to be super strong.
  • Fashion tape
    This is different than fabric tape, and is a must need if you are wearing a revealing costume. Use this to keep your costume in place on your body.
  • Velcro
    If you need something removable, use Velcro instead of glue or tape. Be sure to give it time to adhere to the fabric before using it. You can buy it in strips and small circles and squares.
  • Needle and thread
    If you have the time to make a more secure fix than fabric glue and fabric tape, use the needle and thread to make repairs. Pack colors that are in your costumes, as well as basic black and white.
  • Hooks and eyes, sew on snaps
    Similarly to needle and thread, if you have time to make a more secure fix, use these notions instead of Velcro.
  • Wrinkle releaser
    Ironing is best, but if you need to get a wrinkle out quickly, use this. Just follow the directions on the bottle.
  • Stain remover
    Stains unfortunately happen. These likely won't get the whole stain out, but they might help enough to make it wearable. Follow the directions on the bottle.
  • Hairspray
    Keep a travel sized bottle of aerosol hairspray in case your wig needs some last minute styling. It can also help with static cling.
  • Extra wig cap and hair pins
    In addition to the ones you pack with your wig or wig supplies, keep extras in your repair kit in case you or a friend forget them.