RT CrafterNoon: Once Upon A Time Cosplay Props

Greetings, nerds, and welcome to this OUAT Props edition of Crafternoon! ICYMI our little nerd family decided to do a Once Upon a Time group cosplay this past July for Nerd HQ (you can check it out here). Just as important as the costumes themselves are the props.

OUAT Props

Props can really add that extra special something when trying to complete a cosplay. They can be made or purchased; both have their pros and cons. Purchased props can even be altered to look more authentic rather than mass produced. You’ll see examples of both options below.

The Storybook

The majority of my Emma cosplay I either had on hand already or bought pieces I needed. The one thing I really wanted to complete my cosplay was the iconic Once Upon a Time storybook. I debated whether I wanted to make one or buy one, as I was on a very tight budget. I found many beautiful versions of the book for sale but the ones I really liked were way out of my budget. So I decided I would try to make the book, and found this tutorial on YouTube from user ggaetz.

The first thing I had to do was find a book to use for a base. I really wanted to have that specific landscape shape versus portrait orientation, I didn’t want it to be tiny, and I also didn’t want it to have a spiral notebook edge but a regular book spine edge. Guess what most of the books I found looked like? They were all either A) Portrait oriented, B) Very tiny, C) Had a spiral notebook edge, or D) A combination of each of these.

I was just about to give up hope of finding the perfect book as I had gone to a few different places to find it and had no luck. There was one more store to try, a local Pharmacy/Gift Store and found a memory book that was just about perfect. It wasn’t rectangle shaped, rather square shaped. The size was appropriate and I figured being square was closer to what I needed than any of the other books I had found. So it was decided! The memory book was purchased with the intention of filling it with photos and other things from our Nerdy-ventures.

You can watch my process on these Periscope broadcasts I did below!

(Looking back I kind of wish I had printed on adhesive paper rather than regular paper and then I would not have had to deal with the glue and the purple streaks. However, I am still satisfied with my happy accident)

I am so happy with how the book turned out. If you have any questions about my process feel free to ask away in the comments!

The Hook

The floating male head decided to cosplay as Captain Hook, naturally. I’ll be honest; we bought every piece of his costume aside from the rings. We ordered this hook, Rasta Imposta Men’s Once Upon A Time Hook’s Hook, Black/Silver, One Size, because it looked authentic enough in the picture.

OUAT Props

When it arrived, it looked decent enough for a mass produced prop but I still felt like it needed something. The hook part was so obviously plastic and the handle was so… plastic. The details were fine but I felt like it needed a makeover.

I first filed down the seams that ran along the hook with a nail file. Then laid out newspaper and covered the handle of the hook as best as I could with packing tape. Taking the hook outside, I sprayed it with a few coats of chrome spray paint (always use spray paint in a well-ventilated area). It’s easy to go overboard and spray a little much.

The only thing I disliked about this paint was the fact that despite how glossy and metallic it looked when finished, I felt like it never really set up completely (which totally could have been a user error). But if the hook was handled there were fingerprints left behind so I had to buff them down and respray it. (In transport, I wrapped the hook in a plastic bag which left some imprints on the hook. These imprints weren’t horrible just took away much of the gloss, but added a distressed look.

Next, I had to address the handle. Of course, as hard as I tried to cover it some silver paint got on the handle…okay, a lot got on the handle. Originally I had thought about just leaving it but, too late now! I bought some matte black acrylic paint and covered the whole handle in it. Once dry, I took some silver acrylic paint and went back through to put the rivets back onto the hook. I did this by dipping the end of a paintbrush (not the side with the bristles) into the paint and dotting it on.

Finally, I was satisfied with the hook!

OUAT Props

Rumpelstiltskin’s Dagger

Although Nik wasn’t able to join our group due to her volunteering schedule, she had originally planned to cosplay as Belle, and I decided to make Rumple’s dagger as her finishing cosplay touch. This was an easy last minute prop.

I began by finding a reference image of the dagger, I then took some thin cardboard (paperboard, not corrugated cardboard) and drew the shape of the dagger about the size I wanted and cut it out. Then I traced the blade I had cut out onto another layer of cardboard, cut this layer out, and glued the two layers on top of each other. I filed the edges with a nail file so that it was smooth and the two layers were conjoined.

I painted the blade all black first, and once dry I painted two layers of silver paint. Afterward, it was time to freehand the design. Looking back I probably should have made the blade a tad bigger because I had to skimp on some details on the end of the blade, but this was a last minute prop. I used a ballpoint pen to draw on the small details and filled in the larger black portions with a black paint pen.

The handle was constructed out of the same type of cardboard, and a toilet paper tube. Standing the blade up on the cardboard to determine how big I wanted the hilt to be, I cut out two layers this size. I wanted the oval on the end of the handle to be smaller so I made a slightly smaller one, also two layers. I glued the layers together, and painted both ovals, along with a toilet paper tube (make sure you get every little bit of toilet paper off of it).

When dry, I hot glued all the pieces together, and then finally glued the blade to the handle. As a finishing touch, I used some black paint over the glue holding the handle and touched up any other areas that needed black paint. Voila!

OUAT Props

The Heart

I can’t take credit for this amazing prop! This was all Roni! Check out her process on her Periscope broadcasts. Also using a ggaetz tutorial, Roni customized her ingredient measurements to reach her goal. She purchased her ingredients: gelatin, glycerine and red food dye at her local grocers and amazon. You can find the links below.

Purchase Ingredients:
Knox Gelatin, Unflavored, 32 Count, Net Wt 8-Ounce
NOW Solutions Glycerine Vegetable, 16-Fluid Ounces
Chef-O-Van Food Coloring, Red, 4 Ounce

Her heart turned out amazing!

I hope that I wasn’t too long-winded for you, Crafty-Nerds, but I was so excited to share the prop making process and didn’t want to skimp on the details in the hopes that you might find this article a useful resource for your own OUAT cosplay needs. As always, feel free to ask me any questions you may have about the props or let me know if you are having any difficulty at any point in the process. I am always happy to help!

Stay Nerdy, my friends!


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