Whether it’s for Comic-Con, a party or just another day at the office, if you are just really serious about your alter-ego, you need to have a go bag with all of your superhero stuff so that you can be ready at a moment’s notice– after all, super heroes do not only work when it is convenient. If you are committed to the fight for truth, justice and the American way, then here are some suggestions for putting together your own DIY superhero kit.
It doesn’t matter who you are or what kind of superhero, a cape is non-negotiable. You simply can’t be a hero without one. In generally you want a single colored cape rather than a print. You should also pick a material that is durable but still has some “give” so that if you snag yourself on something while chasing bad guys, you will feel the tug of your cape before it chokes you completely. Polyester satin is a popular choice. For that same reason, when you construct your cape, you should probably make sure the collar releases easily so that you can get out of it quickly if you are in danger.
Technically speaking, you don’t have to have a mask. But if you don’t, how will you protect your secret identity? There are several ways you can go with a mask. For example, a full-face mask might look cool, but it is creepy and can be difficult to see, talk and breathe. A half-face mask, which shows only the chin and mouth, can allow you to speak and even breathe easier. A mask that is little more than a head band with eye holes can protect your identity with the added bonus of leaving enough space for facial expressions.
One of the easiest ways to get footwear to match your costume and that does what you need it to is to create shoe covers out of 4-way fabric. Cut the fabric to fit your leg and shoe, sew it up and voila! If you would like more detailed instructions, check here.
Your suit should fit you like a second skin. Spandex is a good material as spandex moves and stretches easily and is comfortable. If it matches your color scheme, you can use an underfit shirt (I use them underneath all spandex anyway, since it helps me keep cool). A spandex body suit gives you a blank canvas onto which you can add more elements like an insignia. You should be able to find a decent body suit in a sporting goods store or on Amazon.
An insignia is another absolute essential. Think about it: Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Green Lantern. When you see their insignia, you know who you are dealing with. If you are covering a traditional hero, you can find their insignia pretty much anywhere– although, Amazon is a good place. If you are going out on your own for a totally original hero, you will need to design one. If you don’t know how, you can find graphic designers pretty inexpensively at places like Fiverr.com.
Tools and Tool Belt
Most superheroes have tools. Wonder Woman had her lasso, Hawk-eye has a bow and arrows, and let’s not even get started with Batman. The tools you carry are up to you. A light source, a magnifying glass, a Swiss army knife, maybe a special ring and lasso. but you should have a really cool belt to carry them around in. A belt allows you to carry around a variety of tools. A regular tool belt or a regular old utility belt should do the trick.
Once you have your DIY superhero kit packed, you can be ready on a moment’s notice when ever duty calls. Using these suggestions will help you to ensure you have everything you need for fighting crime, or just putting in an appearance at important events.
If you enjoyed this article, or are interested in cosplay generally, check out our interview with Mad Mel Madigan!