Your going on a trip aren’t you? This is going to teach you how to pack what you think cannot fit in that little carry-on into your little carry-on!
For those of you that have to travel with cosplays you may have already realized what a pain in the butt it is and for those of you that haven’t, be lucky you haven’t. But don’t be caught off guard if you never have flown before!! I have found packing light to cons makes my life so much easier and nicer at con because there is so much less to worry about (and lose).
As we all know cosplay is veeery expensive! And we all want to be able to save a little money, right? If you are flying on a flight that does not allow free checked luggage you want to think about fitting everything into a carry on. And even for those who can have a free bag you still may want to try taking your stuff with you so it is not searched through and damaged. I have heard of many instances of this happening with various cosplayer friends of mine, and you definitely do not want it to happen to you!
The first rule of carry-ons is LIQUIDS! I cannot stress this rule enough. You have to follow the liquid/gel rules (no more than 3 oz in a 3 oz container that says it, everything fits in a quart size baggy) or you may have precious cosmetics/gels or other things taken from you by the one cranky TSA officer that day. You have to have travel size containers that say its a 3 oz or less container because they are the rules. I have heard of very expensive lotions being taken from someone because they were in a 4oz container and half used. Does this happen every time you fly? NO. But it can really piss you off if you think your fine and dandy and in fact the TSA takes half your stuff and throws it out. I put my mascara, face lotion, liquid cosmetics, travel sizes of “special colored liquid”….whatever is liquid like or gel like into my baggy. I skip shampoo and conditioner and use the hotels. You may be asking, what do I do about my hair gel and hair spray?? Come now, you are going to a convention. Do you really think none of your friends will have either of those things? I always make sure my friends are bringing the kind of hair gel I like, but I guess I’m just an over achiever 😀 You can always shove some gel in a travel size container and try getting some hair spray that works with fine mist travel-size spray bottles, but that’s your choice!
I have also heard of issues bringing those fake gel inserts on planes (you know ladies!) and I have a pretty simple solution for you. Wear them. Don’t waist the precious space in your bag!! Just put them on! If you are concerned about going through those stupid giant “x-ray” machines just tell the person pushing through you would like to “opt out”, yeah you’ll get frisked but its always with another lady if your a lady and man if your a man. And believe me they want to be there as much as you do.
Next most important point, make a list of the things you will be bringing. I have made a list of things that I commonly forget to bring to conventions so you can see what I typically pack:
Con badge (if they allow to prepay and get it in the mail)
Makeup (make sure to put liquid makeup in liquids bag)
Bobby pins, Eye lash glue, fake eye lashes, safety pins, Sewing kit with needle and thread, Thread color from your costumes, snacks, deodorant
You can also make checklists for the certain costumes you are bringing to make sure you have everything! I usually just keep all of my cosplays hung up in my closet with a bag around the hanger that has everything in there relating to the costume! This makes it easier to find everything. I only keep wigs and shoes separate because they wouldn’t fit well in a bag! I have recently made sure to have lists for all of my cosplays because I forgot many components for the costumes I was bringing. While on my way to Dragon Con I decided it would be smart to just bring 5 costumes with me (I usually pack two) I almost forgot the body suit of my Dark Phoenix because I had left it in my laundry room! Good save there right?? Then I got to the con and realized I had forgotten the extra gold fabric to make a sash…yes I was finishing it at con -.- So I went to a fabric store in Atlanta at 9:00 am to find some gold spandex! Then I realized I had left the big poofy petticoat, wire and bloomers that go with my Kuranosuke dress from Jellyfish Princess to use at the aquarium to take pictures! I was on a roll. I ended up borrowing a petticoat from someone who had it at the convention (THANK YOU KACEY!!). It didn’t look nearly as poofy or circular but it was way better than having nothing!
Now. Do you want this to happen to you?? HECK NO!! Pack your cosplays and pack them right!! Have lists! You can even put lists on there for the make-up you want to bring to minimize space. Your goal is to be as efficient as possible with your cosplay choices and minimize the extra fluff. Plan on bringing one big cosplay with to a con? Pack another smaller and more comfortable costume with it! I only pack two cosplays with per con, usually because I’m only there two full days and get the most wear out of them that way!
The last bit of wisdom I will leave with you is this: If you do not want to spend a ton of money on con food pack your own snacks. I skip lunch and snack on things until dinner. I pack three granola or energy bars for breakfasts, and from there get a myriad of things from chips to nuts to crackers and fruit snacks! The list is endless! Just don’t pack too much, only what you think you will eat and do not pack things with gel like substances! They may be thrown out.
1. Make sure you follow airline rules or you will be sorry!!!
2. Pack only what you need and make lists!
3. Don’t be a ding bat like me and forget things!
4. Eat food…food is good (also leaves space for dealers room hauls)
If you follow these simple instructions I’m am sure you will have a much more successful time flying with your costumes and if you already do these things…AWESOME YOU!! Good luck in your next cosplay packing adventure!
The con is over. No more singing the Pokemon theme song with random strangers. No more people asking to take pictures of that awesome costume you just finished the night before. No more waiting in line for an hour for that once in a lifetime glimpse of your favorite celebrity crush.
Its back to reality: your boring job or school work, and your regular ol’ days of procrastinating finishing costumes another day. But you have that nagging feeling in the back of your head… there’s that giant bag of unpacked costumes in the dark corner of your room and scraps of fabric thread and other unmentionables thrown about your craft room. So what do you do!?!?
Start with the easy stuff. The first thing is to clean up the mess. Putting away all of the wigs, clothes, makeup and stuff you brought with is the first priority. However be smart about it! Remember that you have to wash your wigs, hand wash any delicate clothes, and spot clean those corsets and bunny suits so make sure to set them aside for later. I usually get a laundry bin to set all of my hand washing things into so they can hang out there until I find some rainy day to spend the day washing!
After cleaning your space up (and I don’t just mean your suit cases, clean the whole place up!) go back through all of the things you wore. Are there improvements that could be made? Did something not fit exactly how you wanted it to? Did that last minute hot glue hold up? Writing a list of things you have to improve is best done the moment you are rested up from the convention, before you forget all of those things that bugged you about your costumes.
The other day I was about to start a costume that I had made a pattern for the year before. I remembered looking great in it and it fitting fine. My best friend reminded me that I may need to try it on and see if I need changes before I started cutting it out. I put it on and was immediately reminded of my past mistakes and glad I had tried it back on. Five different changes to the pattern later, and I had a more comfortable and better fitting garment!
Once you have a list of problem children, it’s time to knock them out! Make a plan over the next few weeks to work on the issues that you have written down and get them knocked out! In a few days (or a few weeks) you’ll have some less annoying costumes or accessories to wear.
The last and final thing to do after a con is to recharge. Make some time when you get back home to get some extra hours of sleep. Plan a few less things to do the next few weeks to rest up. Con plague is a real thing that I have caught many times and rest is the best way to get rid of your post con wows and any potential virus.
You may experience some dizzying changes while my website is finally being updated!
You should expect a website that actually works and has content! With some new pictures…ooo! You mean I won’t see a Cosplay page that says: “here is some text” anymore?? But I’ll miss it so much! I know that’s what you are thinking but be patient it will get better! I’ll be posting some tutorials, posts about upcoming cons and about my recent past conventions. Generally I’m kicking myself in the butt to get this site up and running (and did I mention awesome?).
Just because I’ll miss it OH SO MUCH ;_; I’m posting an ode to my last website….
The latest convention lineup for the rest of the year of 2014!!
The amazingly awesome conventions I’m getting to be present at this year are:
And then we are on to 2015 0.0 how did this year go by so quickly??!! I have a ton to pull off this summer and sadly had to miss a few loverly conventions, but I will definitely make it up next year and may throw a surprise con in there as well :3 See you all there!
I have been thinking about tutorials. I have a few ideas, but don’t have enough progress photos for some of them because I was in such a rush to finish them. I can start with a few things I do have pictures for and draw pictures or diagrams for the others if they could be explained. I think I will start with my Tidus sword because I don’t see many tutorials from girls about how to make props and I’ll see where that takes me.
Ah youma con you are over now….how horribly sad… (it doesn’t help that I could only get there Friday by 10:30 pm)
I had an amazing wonderful time and got to meet up with great friends I haven’t seen in a while and also met some delightful new ones!
It went by way too fast though. I did win a judges choice award for my Tidus cosplay (I will post some pictures after applying for some jobs lol) which was awesome because it didn’t come out the way I wanted it to. I wish I had a con planned soon in the future, but I do not. In the meantime I think I will try making up some tutorials of what I have made so far so keep an eye out for them!