LEDs, Final Foam Details, and Strapping Kat’s Lunar Outfit

By this stage, all of the main structural elements of our Kat cosplay had come together. With our armor pieces assembled and painted and all of our foam ready to be attached to the rest of the cosplay, putting all of the pieces together was one of the only things left to do. That is, besides our big showstopper: the LED lights. LEDs have been used more and more over the past few years by creators who want to go bigger and more intense with their cosplay. We knew that LEDs would make Kat’s armor look more accurate to her glowing pieces in the game, and with CosBond’s Wire Manager on hand, we knew that adding the blue LED strings we got would be simple and straightforward. Once that was done, we’d only have a few more final details left to add as well. Here’s how all of the LEDs and final details of Kat’s Lunar Form outfit came together.

Products & Materials

COSBOND PRODUCTS USED: CosBond Attach & Build,  Wire Manager,  and Reinforcer

MATERIALS USED: Suede boots, blue fairy lights with battery pack, woven nylon, Velcro, tights

TOOLS USED: Permanent marker, scissors, chalk pencil, iron

STEP 1: Attaching Foam Details to Fabric

Once all of the paint on our foam tubing was dry, we were ready to attach them to the black jumpsuit we altered to make Kat’s romper. We also needed to add some of the tubes to the black suede boots we bought for this cosplay. It was going to be a lot easier to add to existing boots rather than completely make our own, and we’re really happy with how the final boots turned out. During this stage, CosBond Attach & Build made adding the foam tubing extremely easy. Here’s how we did it:

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  1. First, we traced the dry foam tubes onto sheets of Attach & Build to figure out what size of strips we needed to cut.
  2. Once we had all the strips of Attach & Build traced and cut out, we peeled one side of the release paper and stuck them down to the foam tubes.{% gallery “crm_gallery2″ label=”Step1Gallery2” %}
  3. To get an idea of where to put the tubes, Elyse put on the jumpsuit and drew on some secret marks to guide her. Then she took off the jumpsuit, peeled the other side of the release paper from the foam tubes and the foam clay sun, and stuck them down where she made her marks. You could also stick the tubes to the jumpsuit while you’re wearing it if that’s easier for you.
  4. Then we flipped the jumpsuit inside out and went over the inside with an iron. This helps the adhesive really sink into the fabric and stick even better.
  5. Then we used Attach & Build to stick the final tubes to the black suede boots using the same method. Then it was time for the LEDs

STEP 2: Adding Our LEDs

With CosBond EL & LED Wire Manager, placing your LED strings into your cosplay is a breeze. Here’s how it works: Wire Manager comes in self-adhesive strips with backing paper on the sides and a clear, non-adhesive pocket in the middle. The adhesive will hold the Wire Manager in place, which tacks down your LED string, and the light shows right through the clear pocket in the middle. To make the most of Wire Manager, you can cut the strips down into smaller pieces. The adhesive on Wire Manager is the same strong, nontoxic, instant adhesive that’s used on our Attach & Build and Reinforcer. It’s easy to use and you won’t have any mess on your hands, not to mention you won’t need to rig up some kind of system of hooks or loops in your cosplay to hold your wires in place. Wire manager is translucent and can be used both on the inside or outside of your cosplay, depending on where you need your lights to be. So, here’s how we used Wire Manager to add LEDs to Kat’s armor.

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  1. For our lighting, we chose blue LED fairy lights because they come with a battery pack already installed. All we needed to worry about was sticking down the string of lights where we wanted them on Kat’s armor. We laid the strings over Kat’s armor and positioned the lights where we wanted them on the armor. We needed the light to be visible but the LED bulbs to be somewhat hidden and tucked inside the armor pieces.
  2. To start, we cut our strips of Wire Manager into short horizontal pieces with the adhesive on either side.
  3. Then we peeled the release paper on each piece of Wire Manager and placed the strips down over the wiring to hold it in place, with the LED in the clear pocket in the middle. We repeated this process down the length of the light string until the whole string was held down.
  4. The cool thing about Wire Manager is that because there’s no adhesive in the clear pocket, the LEDs can be slipped in and out when you want to change colors or reconfigure the positions of the lights. If there were any places where we weren’t happy with the placement of the lights, we slipped them out of Wire Manager and stuck them down in a better spot.

STEP 3: Strapping Kat’s Armor and Getting Dressed

Finally, to make everything we’d built wearable, we needed to add the necessary straps to Kat’s armor. The thing about straps is that depending on the shape of the piece and where it goes on the body, different strapping methods and materials might be needed to make the straps comfortable. Thankfully for Kat, because her armor is worn around the arms and legs, we could use one method for all of out pieces. For our straps, we used woven nylon and Velcro, and we used CosBond adhesives to make sure the straps were strong and secure enough to last through the con. Here’s how we finished off Kat’s armor:

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  1. For each piece of armor, we measured enough woven nylon to go around the arm or leg but also leaving an extra few inches to attach our Velcro to. For us, that ended up being about five inches for each strap, but you should measure to fit your own body.
  2. We traced about three inches of the nylon strap onto Attach & Build, cut it out, and peeled and stuck the piece onto the end of the nylon. Then we peeled the other side of the release paper and stuck the strap down onto the armor.{% gallery “crm_gallery5″ label=”Step3Gallery2” %}
  3. To ensure that end of the strap would be secure, we cut out a square of CosBond Reinforcer big enough to cover the nylon plus another half inch all the way around. We stuck that Reinforcer patch over the nylon on the inside of the armor to hold the strap in place.
  4. Then, on the other end of the nylon strap, we used Attach & Build to stick our piece of Velcro onto the end to make a tab that would attach to the other side. We used Attach & Build to stick the other side of the velcro directly to the armor on the other side where the tab can attach. You’ll be most comfortable if you put the soft side of the Velcro toward the skin or fabric.
  5. We then repeated this process on all of our armor pieces.

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Our final piece of assembly actually happened at the convention. We had saved a few of our foam tubes to attach to the tights that Elyse wore under Kat’s romper. It was going to be easiest to get dressed if we waited until we put the costume on to add these final pieces of tube. Thankfully, Attach & Build is easy to use from anywhere, including a hotel room. We had Attach & Build strips already prepped and stuck down to the backs of the tubes when we packed them for the con. All we had to do once we got there was peel and stick them down. While Attach & Build is not generally recommended for stretchy fabric like tights, it worked well enough when we only needed to wear these tubes for one day. Because Attach & Build is nontoxic, it was no problem to use it in the hotel.

And with that, Kat’s Lunar Form outfit from Gravity Rush II was complete! We hope you found our tutorials helpful and that you enjoyed following along in our process!