If you’re a costume maker who takes commissions (or would like to), using Wonderflex can greatly improve the quality of your product.
As I wrote in my first experiences with Wonderflex, the price of Wonderflex prevents me from using it in my own costumes. As cool as the stuff is, it just isn’t in my budget for myself. I’m usually crafting on a budget that hovers somewhere around zero dollars for my own cosplays (ok, maybe zero dollars is a slight exaggeration, but you get the picture). Wonderflex doesn’t exactly come with the same price tag as craft foam or cardboard.
Now while cardboard and craft foam may be fine for my own costumes because I know how to be careful with them, I don’t like using such “breakable” materials for costume commissions. This summer I discovered that’s when using Wonderflex seriously comes in handy.
Wonderflex Can be Used as an Alternative to Craft Foam and Cardboard
I often sell different costumes and props throughout the year to other people, but certain pieces I’ve never sold. This is because I’m not comfortable having someone pay for a product that may not hold up if it’s made of craft foam or cardboard. This year, however, I seemed to get quite a few orders for those pieces, specifically certain armor pieces, that I would normally choose not to sell. I knew I needed to find a sturdier alternative, since the pieces were in demand, and that was when I remembered my little test with Wonderflex.
So I ordered a big sheet of Wonderflex from Wonderflexworld.com and began using the Wonderflex for commissions. Due to its strength, I found that it has greatly expanded the number pieces I can sell. Pieces that would have been much too delicate to sell if they’d been constructed from craft foam or cardboard are nice and sturdy when made with Wonderflex.
Wonderflex Makes Sturdier Costumes
I don’t have a lot of experience with thermoplastics outside of Wonderflex, but I do know that it is a bit less expensive than worbla. Wonderflex is also a little stronger because of the mesh in it. The mesh does limit the shapability of it a bit (so if you’re trying to do full or half spheres it may not work as well as something like worbla). However, since I’m used to working with rigid cardboard or craft foam that only bends one direction anyway, I haven’t found it to be an inconvenience.
When using Wonderflex in a business, it can be difficult to keep the costs down if you use solid Wonderflex (An $80 pair of bracers just might not sell that well…) So a great way to keep the costs down is to utilize a combo of craft foam or cardboard with Wonderflex. You do this by cutting a piece of Wonderfelx slightly larger than your craft foam or cardboard. Then just wrap the edges of the Wonderflex around the cardboard or craft foam. It will give it extra strength, and any traces of cardboard or craft foam will be hidden on the underside. Using this technique, you can get quite a few projects out of a sheet of Wonderflex.
Using Wonderflex Can Be Time Saving
The work involved with using Wonderflex is basically the same as craft foam and cardboard. You can cut it with the same scissors or utility knife, heat it the same way, and prep it for paint with the same glue you’d use on craft foam or cardboard. But as an added bonus, using Wonderflex for costume commissions is a huge time saver as it contains its own adhesive. Wonderflex sticks to itself, so there’s no need for additional hot-gluing. That makes it just perfect for that last minute rush order that always seems to show up in October… Plus you don’t have to worry about any of your glued seams coming undone, as the hold Wonderflex provides on itself is much stronger than what standard glues can give you.
While the Wonderflex itself is an extra cost that you’ll have to pass onto your customers, you’ll be giving them a much more sturdy product that will last through many conventions. Give it a try.
“Using Wonderflex in a Business” Copyright © Amber Reifsteck ~ The Woodland Elf
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