My Astrid Cosplay ~ A Work in Progress

Friday, June 26, 2015

Everyone has dreams.  Lots of times our dreams don't go any farther than just being dreams but sometimes we can turn them into reality.  Ever since I saw HTTYD 2 I've been wanting to make a cosplay of Astrid. I'm making that dream come true because this summer I'm making an Astrid cosplay!  

Making costumes isn't new for me.  I have a closet full of costumes from colonial dresses to medieval gowns.  We used to participate in a history co-op where we dressed up from different time periods we were learning about.  My friends and I would have fun sewing costumes for each time period we learned about.  Making a cosplay of Astrid isn't going to be easy.  I'm used to using a pattern but I won't have a pattern for this project.  But hey, that's what makes it fun!  I will learn as I go.

Having a project to work on makes me so happy.  I haven't made a costume in a long time. I forgot how much I love creating things with my hands, especially costumes.  I spend most of my day in my sewing/craft room and put 'Owl City' on shuffle.  I'm as happy as can be! 
I'm not going to post a full blown tutorial but I will post pictures of what I'm working on and tell you what worked best for me.  I hope you find this helpful :)

So, first step was to buy what I needed.  I found the perfect fabric for her shirt and skirt at Hancocks. I got it on sale too!  I know that this is going to be an expensive project so I'm trying to be smart by using coupons and buying things when they are on sale.

There are lots of parts to Astrid's outfit. I didn't know where to start, so I decided that I would begin with making the bird skull thingies (I really don't know what they are, some sort of animal skull) and spikes she wears on her skirt.  Using oven bake clay I did my best to create them.  I made one big one, one small one, and one spike.  

My plan was to make molds of them so I wouldn't have to hand sculpt every one.  I've heard about silicone molding and since it was a very cheap way to make a mold I decided to try it.  I followed this tutorial to make my mold:

My molds turned out wonderful.  

I decided I needed to make around ten of the big bird skulls (I'm just gonna call them that 'cause I really don't know what to call them) and two small ones, and about 30 spikes (I ended up making a few extras as well).  I was looking into using resin for casting but it was very expensive.  We had some plaster in the garage so I decided to try my mold with plaster.  It worked nicely. The only problem was the weight. The plaster was very heavy and I really don't want the skulls to weigh down the skirt.  

My mom recommended I use something called Model Magic.  At first I was thinking that stuff was for kids and would not work, but after I looked into it I found that it was perfect for what I needed.  I bought a big pack at Walmart for $20.  This stuff is so light!  You can pick up a huge handful and it weighs like nothing.

For extra support when I attach the skulls to my skirt I decided to add a wire to the back (I actually just took apart paper clips). 

Then I stuffed the Model Magic into my mold, and inserted the wire clip.  The nice thing about silicone is that it is flexible.  I was able to pop the stuff right out the mold and place it on a tray to dry and then make the next one.    

The Modely Magic took three days to dry.  That's a long time when you're waiting.  I decided to try making the shoulder pads while  I waited for them to dry.  I tested my design with paper first before I cut anything out.  I pretty much copied what I saw others do.  Here are some of the tutorials I found that were very helpful:

Once I was happy with how my paper model looked I took it apart and I basically had my own pattern.  I cut the pieces out on craft foam.  You can get sheets like the one I used for about one dollar at the craft store.  I know orange isn't the desirable color, but they are going to be painted anyway.

The fun part was putting the cut-out pieces together.  It was also the hardest part.  I found that when working with foam hot glue works great.  I also found out that if you heat the foam and then bend it into the shape you want and hold it, it will keep that shape when it cools. Think of all the possibilities with craft foam!  This website gives some great advice when your working with foam: 

Before I painted the foam and  I gave it three coats of Modge Podge for a sealant.    

Then I painted it black.  I'm so happy because finally I got rid of the orange color.

Next, I painted it with metallic acrylic paint.  I used black paint on a sponge to add a tarnished look to make it look rustic.  I can't believe I made these our of ordinary craft foam. 

Painting the shoulder pads was fun.  Next I had to paint the skulls and spikes. I wasn't looking forward to it because there are so many!  I did the same thing I did with the shoulder pads.  I even applied one coat of Modge Podge because as the Model Magic dried it cracked a little.  The cracks actually looked cool but I applied the Modge Podge hoping it would keep the cracks from getting any worse.  

After I painted them all black, I used a sponge with the metallic paint and lot's of Q-tips to make them look like metal. And I still can't believe how light they are!

After a long day of painting my hands are a mess.

That's as far as I've gotten so far.  Next I plan on making Asrid's shirt.  I will take lots of pictures and post another tutorial on how I made it, but first... I have to make it ;)


  1. Thank you so much for this helpful tutorial. I´m working on a Astrid & Stormfly costumes for my girls which we´ll need for carnival in february. Just one question: how did you attach the shoulder pads to the top?

    1. How exciting! I used Velcro strips to attach the shoulder pads to the top.