Polymer Clay Tip: Restore Dried / Hard Clay

Polymer Clay Tip: Restore Dried / Hard Clay

HELLO EVERYONE! Today I have another quick tip/tutorial for polymer clay enthusiasts–how to restore or soften dried or hard clay. If you’ve ever bought an unlucky bar of clay that was just ROCK HARD then you’ll know what I’m talking about. Sometimes you just get unlucky and buy a pack that’s rock hard and FLAKY. The clay doesn’t like to stick to each other and instead just crumbles like a bad piece of pastry.

There’s an easy solution to this problem though!

 photo restore_clay_1_zps833b28d8.jpgYou’ll just need some oil, and a resealable plastic packet. Other sorts of oil can be used I hear, but the most common and the one I use is ordinary baby oil.

 photo restore_clay_2_zps91abc18a.jpgThe clay I’m restoring for this example is FIMO Classic Raspberry. This really isn’t “old” but FIMO Classic in itself is a particularly hard clay. I cut it up a bit so you see what I mean by “flaky”–the clay tends to crumble off when cut, which isn’t what you want.

 photo restore_clay_3_zps7e312405.jpgI just pop it into a resealable pouch and then pour a few drops of oil in it. I let it sit overnight or for however long I want the oil to sink in. Sometimes I leave it there until I need to use the clay! It’s guaranteed to restore the softness in the clay.

I recommend doing this for cut bars–don’t condition the clay you mean to soak beforehand, or else it could end up too soft. Soft enough to qualify as clay icing for cakes! Unless that’s what you mean to achieve. If you want icing-soft clay, just condition clay and let it soak in oil for a good amount of time. Trust me, you won’t need to stir it long like the liquid-clay technique just to get it to icing consistency!

But what would happen if it gets too soft for your tastes? What you can do is take the clay out of the pack and then just let it rest between sheets of paper, tissue, or whatever absorbent material. The paper will absorb the oils in the clay. You can let it sit for as long as you like, when the oils are absorbed to your liking.

Hope this tip helps!

Polymer Clay Tip: Paper Cut Outs

Polymer Clay Tip: Paper Cut Outs

TODAY I’M JUST gonna share a polymer clay tip I often showcase in some of my tutorials. If you’ve been following me, you’ve probably observed that I often use paper cut-outs for my projects. I think this is a cheap and easy way to get consistent shapes, and more accurate and symmetrical patterns in my clay works.

 photo spikey1_zps57cb3dad.jpgYou can map out your pattern in a computer program like Photoshop, or even use the default shapes in programs like Word or Publisher if you’re just making a basic shape. I do this personally or ask my brother to do it for more complex shapes. You can also draw on notepaper.

 photo spikey2_zps3526a845.jpgAnd then cut it out.

 photo spikey3_zpsd8009f72.jpgI put it on top of my clay sheet, and then just cut using it as guideline. I used this template for a star shape because I suck at drawing stars and shaping stars lol.

 photo spikey4_zps86f10ec9.jpgI mean to make Spikey Mikeys, a dessert that my special friend adores. He showed it to me sometime ago and they were cute so I decided to make them. So I just rounded off the edges of the stars by hand.

 photo spikey5_zpsb3e51619.jpgAnd then I added chocolate liquid clay and micro-sprinkles. I made a pair to use as earrings!

That’s about it for paper cut-outs. This is a simple and very straightforward tip/tutorial, but I admit there are beginners out there who could use this advice. You could avoid making wobbly and uneven shapes using this technique, and if you plan to make more than one of an item, it helps keep your sizes uniform. I have cut-out templates for all the items I repeatedly make over and over.

Hope this tip helps! See you guys on next week’s update!

Five Simple Steps to Improve your Cosplay Make-up

Five Simple Steps to Improve your Cosplay Make-up

LET’S FACE IT, guys, make-up plays a big part in completing a cosplay. Costume, wig, and make-up are what I consider the “physical” parts of cosplay, and if they look well put-together, it can give you the push to really dig into the “roleplay” part of cosplay better. I’ve decided to write today about five cosplay make-up steps that help “up” cosplay make-up into something more. These are simple things that really make a noticeable difference.

1. Match eyebrows to your wig color.

I think it looks like a real mismatch when your wig color is leagues different from your eyebrow color. Matching your eyebrow color to your wig color really makes you look more put-together, instead of just a version of yourself who just put on a wig. This is especially true for anime characters where their art specifically shows that their eyebrows are the same color as their wig.

 photo Snapshot_20131208_17_zps0f2c03b3.jpg

 Red hair = dark red-brown eyebrows

But I think it’s best to do it with a “realistic” touch instead of going the exact same-shade as your wig. In real life, eyebrow color tends to be darker than your hair color–so do that and color your eyebrows darker than your wig. Blondes tend to have brown eyebrows instead of yellow/blonde, and you can add a dash of browns or khaki to green, pink, or whatever your wig color is to make it look natural.

Coloring eyebrows can be done in many ways--if your brows are sparse, pigmented eyeshadow or colored eyeliners will do the trick. If you mean to conceal them, you can conceal them with a gluestick or spirit gum, and then some concealer. After it’s done, top it with some eyebrow sealer to seal the color in place.

 photo Picture0018_zps2152487b.jpgSometimes I draw on my eyebrows higher, because for the love of all things holy and true, I don’t know how to raise an eyebrow. ^^;;

Of course there are exceptions–characters with light hair but still drawn with dark eyebrows, like Jack Frost!

2. Use Spirit of Gum.

I previously mentioned Spirit of Gum, and I think it’s an investment if you mean to up your cosplay make-up. It’s pricey–usually a tiny bottle costs P299 each at Cinema Secrets–but its usefulness and the effect it has on your cosplay more than makes up for it. You can use it to conceal eyebrows are previously stated, or put on prosthetics like elven ears. However my best use for them is for keeping your wig, especially the “sideburns” in place.

If the strands of my wig are flying all over the face and not sticking close to my skin like real hair or perfect hair in the movies/games/anime does, it sort of looks like something I just plopped onto myself.

 photo shibe_jack_zps5c590bcb.jpg

My brother, Joey, as Jack Frost. Spirit of Gum was used to stick the “sideburns” of the wig to his face. Normally, without Spirit of Gum, that part will be awkwardly raised, not sticking to his skin.

If the wig is clinging to my face–especially the sideburns–it looks more “natural” and helps give the illusion that the wig IS your hair.

Simply brush some spirit gum onto your skin, let it dry for a bit, and then pat it to activate the tackiness. Press the wig strands onto it and it’ll stay in place.

3. Put on false eyelashes.

Of course this depends on the character, you’d probably not want to do it for male bishounens, but if you’re going for the “moe” types–or even sultry, sexy vixens–I suggest you look into getting false eyelashes.

 photo kit4_zps10a0fbaf.jpg

There are many kinds, and they have different effects. There are some that are more natural, perfect for characters that have a more natural and simple vibe. Doll-type ones are perfect for (you guessed) doll-like characters or even for lolita coords. I like the thick, voluminous sideswept ones for “sultrier” characters.

A good way to put on falsies is by curling your lashes first, then curling your falsies, putting it on, then curling them again together, and then finally sealing them with mascara. This helps ensure the falsies look “natural”.

Eyelid tape, falsies, and contact lenses do wonders for small asian eyes!

4. Seal your make-up.

I also suggest investing on a make-up sealer. There are a lot to chose from in the market, from cheaper ones to pricier ones. Since most conventions in the Philippines are done in malls where there aren’t any real dressing rooms, I prefer to put on the basic make-up at home, and then seal it, and then just retouch it when I get to the event. It helps save time! It also prevents your make-up from “melting”, and some sealers have mattifying properties to keep the shine away from your face. There are sealers for the eyebrows, for lipcolor, and for the face in general.

 photo kit3_zps195851de.jpg


Makeup Fixer from Holika Holika, the one I’m currently using. Price is P375.

Sealing can also just mean using finishing powders or even ordinary “baby powder” to set your make-up or body paint in place!

5. Consider a “gradient” lip color.

The “gradient” lip color is a trend now, made popular by the Koreans and Japanese, mostly using lip tints. Blanking the lips using concealer is popular in cosplay make-up since anime characters are draw with no lip color at all, but I’m among a minority that thinks this makes me look pale or lifeless. And I like to think of my cosplay as bringing the characters to real life, and not making myself look 2D!

So instead of blanking my lips or applying full color onto it, I may instead make a “gradient”. First, I put concealer/foundation over the lips, neutralizing the color. And then I put on a light color/stain over the lips–not all the way, I leave some nude with just the concealer. And then on the middle part of the lips, I put on a darker color/stain/lipliner and then I blend the colors for a natural look. Having a darker color in the middle makes you look like you just ate a cherry popsicle, which is cute! I prefer doing this for most characters now instead of a completely nude lipcolor. This tutorial from Rinnie Riot (click for link) can help get you started. :3

It doesn’t apply to all–male characters may be best with nude colors and sexy characters best with full-on lipcolor–so I’m just suggesting that there’s something in the middle too, as I barely see cosplayers use this technique.

That’s five simple steps I can think of to improve your cosplay make-up. Hope I helped and that some of you learned something new. Thanks for reading!

Elsa Snowflake Hairpins Tutorial (Custom Shapes in Resin)

Elsa Snowflake Hairpins Tutorial (Custom Shapes in Resin)

Hello everyone! Today my tutorial post with be about making Queen Elsa of Disney’s Frozen’s hairclips. This can also serve as a tutorial on how to cast custom shapes in resin, whether it’s snowflake or not!

Elsa’s snowflake earrings have a semi-transparent and sparkly quality to them that I thought was best-suited for a resin project. I chose to do the color in icy blue because that would really make it icy! You can also choose to do it in silver or any color/variety you want.

 photo frozen_elsa_zpsbf17c6c1.jpg


Quick and Easy (and Cheap!) Jiraiya Forehead Protector

Quick and Easy (and Cheap!) Jiraiya Forehead Protector

Welcome to this week’s post! It’s Quick, Easy (and Cheap!) Tutorial Time~! Today I am going to share how I made a commission from a while back, commissioned from me by Hainrihi. I’m actually pretty nervous because she’ll probably laugh if she found out what went into the making of the Jiraiya (from Naruto) Forehead Protector that she commissioned! xD

 photo 1239840_10201713148172365_1946745501_n_zps26a45ad5.jpgI’ll show you all how to quickly make your own forehead protector if you have any Jiraiya cosplans. You can probably modify this too if you want to make ordinary Naruto forehead protectors. Don’t I just look sparkleh and glamorous?


Tutorial Time: Thick Waistband Loli-able Skirt

Tutorial Time: Thick Waistband Loli-able Skirt

I will hereby call my Sewing posts as Instinctive Sewing because I have near-zero sewing background. I pretty much sew and draft patterns by instinct! Except for the patterns they taught in 5th grade TLE–basic shirt, skirt and shorts, all of which we never sewed anyway…just patternmaking, really boring tbh–I have no real formal lessons with sewing. It’s always been a long, hit-and-miss thing with me. I have been trying to sew since circa 2009. I’ve only recently gotten the hang of it. Almost five long years!

 photo skirtee_zpsab8c8b7b.jpgAnyway today I thought I’d share with you all how to make my recent loli-able skirt. It was a skirt I sewed mid-late-2013 and I’ve recently decided to ‘redux’ it. I haven’t taken enough proper photos as this wasn’t intended to be a how-to when I was  taking photos, just a chronicling, but I did try my best to illustrate the pattern and describe it all with my best! Read more for rough pattern and directions. ^^;;


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