Tools and Materials Safety
Making props and costumes is amazingly fun and satisfying, but remember; safety always comes first.
- When you buy a new tool or material, read the safety information.
- When spraying paint, heating materials, or using chemicals, work in a well ventilated area.
- With hot things, wear work gloves. If using chemicals, wear rubber gloves.
- Don’t work if you’re sleep deprived. You’ll starting making more mistakes than progress.
- Keep your shop clean and organized, with power cords out of the way.
- Like the great Jimmy DiResta says, “always be present” with your work.
- Keep a well-stocked First Aid kit in the shop…and a fire extinguisher.
- When cutting with a knife or chisel, don’t put your hand beyond the direction that you’re cutting toward.
List of Safety Tools
- Dust Mask
- Work Glasses or Goggles
- Face Shield
- Work Gloves
- Rubber Gloves
- First Aid Kit
- Fire Extinguisher
When you’ve got your sweet costume and you’re off to a convention, you have a responsibility to be a safe presence. Make sure you have fun and don’t stop others from having fun, too!
- Go to your convention’s website and read their cosplay rules.
- When you’re at the convention, keep hydrated and take breaks! Also, break in your shoes before the con.
- At the convention, look for a “weapons check” station (most cons have them) to prove your weapon is safe.
- Don’t bring real weapons to a convention (airsoft guns, metal blades).
- Make a removable orange cap for your prop gun.
- Keep your costume and prop from hitting other convention attendees.
- When posing with a person, ask permission before pointing your weapon near them. (Never point weapons directly at people at conventions, even for photos.)
- Remember, just because you’re cosplaying it doesn’t mean attendees can harass you in any way. Cosplay is not consent. Check out my video on Convention Safety & Security for my opinion. If you are being harassed, find a convention worker and report the offense immediately.
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Bill made a super handy custom paint booth to help him paint more safely in the shop AND ventilate the laser cutter at the same time! Follow along to see how Bill makes this one-of-a-kind piece.
While visiting LA for Designer Con, Bill stopped by Frank Ippolito’s shop to get a crash course on some milling machine basics.
Convention Safety & Security
Us prop makers sometimes make and use tools that can be extremely dangerous. Always use good equipment the way it was designed to function with proper safety gear and practices.