When I took my daughter on her first trip to the comic book store, she was blown away. As soon as she walked into Samurai Comics, her eyes grew as wide as saucers, as she scanned the walls and corridors filled with comic books! Those first steps brought her face to face with with a world of wonders, imagination, excitement, and adventure!
After spending quite a bit of time looking through various comics, she finally settled on her first books. Clutching her Megaman and Teen Titans to her chest, she walked up to the register with a huge grin of delight. Then, the employee handed her a flyer and told her to make sure to come back for Free Comic Book Day.
FREE COMIC DAY?!
She read through the flyer with excitement, occasionally shouting out what we could expect to see there. Ghostbusters! Superheroes! Free comic books! More free comic books with a library card, cans of food, or if you dress up in your own costume! There would even be a costume contest where the first prize was something from Lego!!! This girl was beyond excited and it was awesome!
For the next few days, she alternated between wanting to dress up as Robin, The Flash, or Batman. Finally, she ran into the living room with an excited, “I’ve GOT IT! Mom, I’m going to dress up as Wonder Woman!!!”
She drew a diagram of the outfit she wanted to make, and labeled it with the materials she would need. Once she calculated the expense of her project and matched it to the budget I gave her ($25 or less), we were off!
Then… she made something completely amazing.
She made this incredible Wonder Woman costume all by herself!!! While she was working on it, I took notes on her steps and have turned them into a tutorial you can follow below:
KATIE’S SUPER AWESOME DIY WONDER WOMAN COSTUME!
White poster board
Fabric measuring tape (preferred, regular measuring tape will work too)
2 rolls of gold, glittery duct tape
1 roll of white duct tape
Red floral spray paint (we used Design Master in Holiday Red, that we purchased at Michaels)
Metallic gold acrylic craft paint
Red and white felt sheets
Brads (we used star brads and painted them with nail polish)
Hot glue gun
Small Phillips screwdriver
Note: This post contains affiliate links to products.
Thrift Store Items:
Red Tank Top
Braided rope belt
Making the crown
1. Use the tape measurer to measure the circumference of your head. Use your ruler to mark out these measurements on your posterboard. Make sure you also measure your desired height of your crown! Katie used a separate piece of paper to test this out and then we were able to cut it down until she was satisfied.
2. Divide your circumference into 3. Make three light marks on your crown outline on the posterboard. The second third will be where the peak of your crown will be.
3. Cut out your two crown pieces and wrap them in gold duct tape!
4. Glue the peak to the back of the crown. Now it’s time to work on your star emblem!
5. Draw out your desired star on your posterboard. Make sure it’s large enough to be seen in the center of your crown! Cut out your star. You’ll be using this as a template for future costume pieces.
6. Trace a star onto a piece of red felt. Cut it out and use hot glue to secure it to the center of your crown’s peak.
(Optional: We used red glittery nail polish to paint our star brads to secure Wonder Woman’s armor. Do that now, and let them dry while you’re doing the next step!)
7. Using your Phillips screwdriver, make a small hole near the ends of your crown. You’ll want the holes to be about a 1″ away from the edges. Poke your brads through and secure them. Then add hot glue to make sure they’ll stay in place.
8. Secure a rubber band around one of your brads. Now when you put your crown on, you can fasten it to your head with the rubber bands! To fasten, simply loop the rubber band around the other brad.
Making the gauntlets
9. Measure the length of your forearm, from approximately 2″ below your elbow to your wrist. Mark out this length vertically on your posterboard.
10. Measure the circumference of your wrist, marking the length at the bottom of the mark on your posterboard. Then measure the circumference of your upper forearm. Mark this measurement at the top of your posterboard markings. Connect the measurements, making a sort of trapezoid on your posterboard. When you cut this out and bend it over your arm, it should fit just about perfectly!
11. Cover your arm bands with gold duct tape. Bend them over your arm again until they retain a bent shape.
(Optional: We used red glittery nail polish to paint our star brads to secure Wonder Womans’s armor. Do that now, and let them dry while you’re doing the next step!)
12. Take your small phillips screwdriver and poke two holes 1″ away from the edges of your gauntlets. One hole should be near the top, the other should be near the bottom. Then do the other side of your arm band. Repeat the process for your other arm band!
13. Poke the brads through the holes, and use the same process you did for the crown to secure them in place.
14. Trace two stars on your red felt. Cut them out and secure one to the center of each armband, using hot glue to keep in in place. Now you’re done!
Making the chest plate and skirt!
15. Take your red tank top, and measure from armpit to armpit. This will be the base of your chest plate. Then measure the width of the neckline, which will be the top of your chest plate.
16. A simple google search for “Wonder Woman Chestplate Template” will yeild plenty of designs for this piece of armor. Katie decided that she wanted to make her own, so she drew out a design on her posterboard. She made sure that the length and height corresponded with her measurements, and that the dip in the “W” and the eagle were in the true center.
17. After finishing your Wonder Woman design, cut it out! Cover your chest plate in gold duct tape, and use plenty of hot glue (we used a stick and a half!) to secure it to the tank top.
18. Now it’s time for the skirt! Using your star piece from earlier, trace out several stars on your piece of white felt. Use hot glue to secure these in a flag pattern on your skirt. That’s it!
Making the belt and the Lasso of Truth!
19. Lay out your belt, and think about how big you want your diamond armor piece to be. Measure the width and height and mark it out on your posterboard.
(Note: Katie made sure to mark out where the belt would run through the back of her armor piece. This way, she could make sure that both peaks would stick out as far as she wanted them.)
20. Cut out the armor piece and cover it with gold duct tape.
21. Use the star template to cut a star from your red felt and secure it to the center with hot glue.
22. Now it’s time for the belt and the Lasso of Truth! Using your metallic gold acrylic paint, paint one side of your braided rope belt/lasso and let sit to dry.
23. While waiting for the side of your rope to dry, take your belt and cover it with several strips of gold duct tape.
24. Paint the other side of your braided rope belt and let sit to dry.
25. Use the screwdriver to open the belt holes back up so you can fasten it later.
26. When the braided rope/lasso is completely dry, roll it into a lasso shape and secure it in place with hot glue.
27. Make Belt Loops! When Katie went to put her belt on, she found a rather unpleasant surprise. The duct tape made the belt too thick to go through the belt loops! So, you may need to make new belt loops with your posterboard. Paint them gold and secure them to your belt with hot glue. Make sure they are long enough to make a big enough space for your belt to fit through!
Making the boots
Once the belt and the Lasso of Truth were completed, it was time for the final piece of her costume.. the boots! Now, we had done some research on the best way to make these boots. Professional cosplayers recommended using a multi-purpose floral paint for fake leather (pleather) boots. So, we went to Michael’s and bought some multi-purpose floral paint, in Holiday Red.
28. This really needs to be done in a well-ventilated area. Take an old blanket or crafting table cloth, and bring it outside. Then, break down any boxes you have and lay them around outside of the blanket to catch any over spray. If you’re doing it near your house, lean cardboard against the sides of your house to catch for overspray too.
29. Shake the can of spray paint vigorously! Then using several applications, spray a light coat of paint evenly over your boots. It dries fast, so you’re able to do another coat within a minute or two.
Katie and I took turns spraying light coats of spray paint and within about a half an hour, her boots were finished!
We were really pleased with how they turned out! Not only was the color perfect, but the texture of the boots was amazing! It didn’t feel like we had spray painted them at all. It felt like we could have picked these up at a store and brought them home just like this! The boots were still relaxed and comfortable to handle and wear.
30. Let your boots dry for 24 hours before going on to the next step.
31. Now it’s time to add the white duct tape to finalize the armor pieces! For this, measure your desired length for the peak of the armor plating. Then measure out a triangle on you posterboard and cut out the template.
32. Tape 2 long pieces of duct tape together, putting the sticky sides against each other. Repeat this step so you have two long pieces of material to work with. Then take another piece of duct tape and connect those together, essentially making a large rectangle.
33. Trace the triangle out on the duct tape and cut it out. Repeat all of these steps to make the armor plating for the second boot.
34. Secure the armor in place on your boots! Katie used hot glue to secure the armor peaks to the top of the boot.
35. Measure the length of the boot from top to bottom, allowing a relaxed curve where the boot curves to the foot. Cut a matching length of white duct tape. Cut THAT in half, lengthwise. Now you’ll have both stripes for your boots!
NOW YOU’RE FINISHED!!!!
Katie was ecstatic when she finished her boots! Now her whole costume was finally completed!!! She ran into her room to put it on, and I handed her my favorite red lipstick as her special finishing touch. Then I walked outside so she could surprise me….
Her costume looked INCREDIBLE!!!
All of that time was so very well spent and this kiddo was super proud of her Wonder Woman costume. She did such an amazing job, and I am so proud of her! She spent a good half hour doing the coolest Wonder Woman poses on our driveway, and couldn’t wait to take it out and show it off to her friends!
The next day was the kickoff to Free Comic Book Day weekend, as we headed off to the library for their super hero extravaganza! Katie was the talk of the room as she talked comics with kids and comic book authors alike. She met with the amazing cosplayers of the Justice League Arizona and had a great time with the likes of The Flash, The Green Lantern, and The Joker!
The next day brought the moment we had both been waiting for… It was Free Comic Book Day at Samurai Comics!!! The dream that started it all! Free Comic Book Day, dressing up in costume, and entering the costume contest! She was bouncing with excitement and couldn’t wait to get there!
Katie was in comic book heaven as she perused the free comic books, scoring extra books for her amazing costume, and for showing her library card! We bought some extra comics for ourselves, and walked out of there with fifteen comics total! She had an AMAZING time. And of course, she entered the costume contest…
AND SHE WON!!!!!
She totally won the $25 Lego gift card, and now she can finally buy her own Lego set!!! She was SO thrilled, and so very proud of herself! This was something that started out as an idea in a comic book store, and she completely brought it to reality with her hard work, dedication, and perseverance through troubleshooting. I am SO proud of her and so impressed with her amazing costume making skills!
Now that she reached her goal of making it to the SamaruiComics costume contest, and to the library’s Free Comic Book Day Eve extravaganza… she’s got a new stage in her mission….
Tracking down the grown up Wonder Woman! She’s been trying to find her during her comic bok excursions, and we’ll continue to be on the lookout! When she does find her, she wants to talk shop about cosplay and ask her some questions about The Justice League…
So, we’ll be making our way to Phoenix Comicon! I’m sure we’ll find Wonder Woman there! We’ll see how it goes. In the mean time, GREAT JOB KATIE!!! You’re super awesome!!!