My daughter took up Cosplay back in 2017, she offered to give me the exact date for this post, but that's not really important here. She started by watching Anime, then read a bunch of Manga, and before long she was hooked. At the beginning, she scoured Goodwill for clothes she could cut up and use different ways. We bought her a sewing machine for Christmas and she started sewing away. Eventually she roped us into buying the raw materials she needed for her costumes but that quickly became a bunch of orders for a variety of costumes from Amazon, all shipped from far away in China.
Through all of this, she never really asked for help. My wife spent some time teaching her how to use the sewing machine, but that's pretty much all we did to help her beyond buying all that stuff for her. Almost everything she learned in the shop she learned by herself or by watching videos online.
At one point, we redid the closets in all the bedrooms and we built her custom closet space for all of her costumes, wigs, props and so on. She has, I think, more costumes than regular clothes in her closet; most of her regular clothes she dumped on the floor of her bedroom, but that's another story. I'll try to post a picture of her closet here some day.
With all of that came the need to build props for her costumes. She bought all sorts of different types of foam, glue, paint, and more. Her bedroom quickly looked like a war zone with clothes, costumes, props, paint cans, and more on the floor, her bed, and hanging from everywhere. When we could get her to clean up her room, when we looked at the old carpet underneath all we saw were stains and pools of dried glue.
Something had to change, she ruined her bedroom carpet.
My father sold Real Estate, but fancied himself as a handyman. After returning from the Korean War, he used funds he received from the GI Bill to buy a bunch of tools and build out his workshop. When he passed away, I inherited all of his tools and when my family moved to Charlotte, I built a dedicated building to house my workshop and office. The workshop is downstairs, and my office is up top, here's a picture of my little girl before I moved all my tools into the shop. She's already thinking about what kind of mischief she can do there, I think.
With the mess in my daughter's bedroom, I knew I had to move her to my workshop. First I purchased a bunch of storage containers and opened up the space underneath my workbench so she could organize and store all of her materials, tools, and so on.
I had an assembly table in my shop, basically the same piece of plywood you see in the image on the top of the page laid across two saw horses. I’m in the process of rebuilding it, but that’s another story.
To get her off of my assembly table, I built a 32” by 32” work table for her using some Shop Stand components from Rockler. She quickly filled that up and now she’s back on my main assembly table.
Anyway, the whole point of all of this is that I share my workshop with my Cosplayer daughter. She doesn’t ask for help, but every so often when I walk through my shop and I see her working on something, I’m often able to come up with an idea or give her another tool she can use to complete her current task faster or, at least, more efficiently.
I built this site to document those occurrences, describe the tools and associated stuff that my shop has that helps here, assuming that not all Cosplayers have access to a fully operational shop.
I’ll write here about what I think will interest this audience although I’m not part of the audience. I’m just a father of a dedicated Cosplayer.