A few months ago, I completed my original-design Wonder Woman cosplay, made almost entirely out of EVA foam. So in this article, I’m finally going to go over how I made the entire thing. I posted a ton of progress pics on my Instagram, but here I’ll go more in-depth into how I actually designed and made it all.
I first had to actually design the cosplay. I worked on the design process for several months, going back and forth between SO MANY ideas, sketches, and concepts, until I finally found a design I liked. It actually ended up being pretty similar to the original Wonder Woman armor from the first movie, though with a lot of differences when you looked closer. And I’m really happy with how the design turned out – even though I ended up changing some parts as I went.
After I had finalized the design, I could start creating the cosplay. And since there were so many armor components to this cosplay, I started by making those. For the breastplate, I wrapped myself in duct tape (with some help from a family member!), drew on base pattern lines and cut it off of myself, tracing it onto paper to make smoother pieces. Then I created the base breastplate, the pattern for which you can find here. Once that was done, I covered the foam build itself in duct tape, and drew on all the detail pieces, which I then traced and cut out of 2mm EVA foam, layering them on top of the base using mainly contact cement. I then added a long zipper to the back to get it on and off easily.
These steps seem simple as I’m writing them down, but it actually took so long. Especially adding all those detail layers, since they all had to be patterned, cut out, glued on, and (for some of them), detailed. It was a lot of work, but I’m really happy with how it turned out!
For the bracers, I wanted something that looked like Wonder Woman’s classic silver and gold bracers, but with some more similarities to her mother Hippolyta’s bracers as well. I patterned these from scratch as well, created the base, cut in details, and layered more details on top. This cosplay involved a lot of detail layering, which I really liked, since I wanted to include a lot more detail for this one.
For all of the silver components of the cosplay, I used 3D puffy paint to add Greek lettering. All of the letters spell actual Greek words, like Diana, or Justice League (as close as Google Translate could get me, anyway). This was a level detail that I really wanted to include in this cosplay – hidden symbolism and easter eggs and all that.
The leg armor was patterned differently than the breastplate and bracers. I did wrap part of my leg in duct tape to make some of the patterns, but some others I simply sketched on paper, and adjusted from there. The leg armor includes similarities to Diana’s armor in the movies, and ideas from various fan-arts, though it was mostly my own design
A repeating aspect of this cosplay is the raised gold details over the red, as well as the silver parts with Greek lettering. I think an important part of design is repetition, so I was careful to include that.
To secure all the leg armor, I used a combination of elastic and velcro. It didn’t stay in place the best, but I could adjust it fairly easily, and get it on and off quickly. However, if I made it again, I would probably use a different method.
I wanted this cosplay to be primarily made of EVA foam, and I also didn’t want to spend a ton of money, so I decided to make the skirt out of EVA foam as well. I used ‘paper draping’ to get the shape I wanted (cutting and layering paper on my dress form until I got something I was happy with), then traced and cut the pieces out of 2mm foam. I glued them all together, then added a leather texture using aluminum foil. (See a full tutorial for that here.) Like the rest of the armor, I primed it using Flexbond, then painted it with acrylic paint, using painters tape to get straight gold lines along the edges.
The headpiece was a bit of a challenge, since it was difficult to get it to lie flat on my face without using Worbla, or some other thermoplastic. Still, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out! I patterned it, traced the pieces out of foam, added details, and glued them all together. I wanted it to look similar to Diana’s classic tiara, but, again, with some similarities to Hippolyta’s, and Diana’s aunt’s as well. I really like the result.
For all of the foam armor, I heat sealed them with a heat gun, primed them with Flexbond, and painted them with cheap acrylics. For the red armor especially I had to layer several different colors to get the correct shade, sheen, and shadows that I wanted. Painting the whole armor took some time, but I’m really happy with how it turned out.
Lasso of Truth
I really wanted this cosplay to have some kind of prop, and I had originally intended to design a custom sword and shield for it. I actually designed and printed out a pattern for a shield. But since I was running out of time before my deadline, I opted to make something simpler instead, and created a Lasso of Truth out of some synthetic rope. I ended up liking it so much that I went ahead and made more later, which I now sell in my cosplay shop.
Wig, Makeup, and Other
The wig was a simple hardfront from L-Email wigs, and though the color was great, I don’t know how much I like it, since it’s a bit small for me, and I don’t love how it frames my face. Still, it turned out alright.
The makeup was pretty simple as well – a basic face of makeup, with a bit of eyeshadow, and contour. I’m admittedly not the best with makeup, so it isn’t anything too dramatic, though I hope to get better at it some day.
The simple clothes and shoes I wore with this cosplay were all from thrift stores. The shoes took me so long to find – it’s always hard for me to find shoes that fit me properly, and I went to a ton of different thrift stores before I found a fitting pair of simple black heels.
I had originally intended to wear this cosplay to FanX Comic Con in Salt Lake City, in the fall of 2020, but that didn’t happen for obvious reasons, so I instead set my own deadline for finishing it.
There was a nearby college that had a horticulture garden with some great places for a photoshoot, but summer was almost over, and the college students would be coming back soon. I didn’t feel like trying to have to take pictures while not getting in anyone’s way (or them getting in my way), so I set a deadline a few days before they would start coming back.
With some struggle, I managed to finish by my deadline, and take some great pictures with my mom. I really enjoyed the whole photoshoot – especially the parts where some of the few of the people in the garden stared at me or commented on my cosplay. I like to think I make a person’s day when I’m wandering around taking pictures in a full suit of armor.
This cosplay took me around 3 months and $150 to complete. Every time I make a cosplay, I learn more, and it’s easier than the time before, even though each cosplay presents its own challenges. But without those challenges, it would be a bit boring, wouldn’t it? Anyway, I’m really happy with how this cosplay turned out, and I’m glad I was able to wear it for a couple photoshoots, even if I haven’t gotten to wear it to a convention yet. Hopefully, 2021 will be better for cons, haha.