View Full Version : Methods of Fabric Painting (Midna tips)

05-29-2010, 07:21 AM
I am looking to make another imp Midna costume. I've already done one, and it turned out to be one of my favorite costumes to ever wear, so I really want to wear it again, except this time, I'd like to make it even better.

The majority of the costume is black and white, and my problem lies therein. On my original Midna costume, I had my friend paint (fabric paint) the black onto a white unitard while I wore it. This not only required three large bottles of fabric paint, hours of work, and very awkward situations (the phrase "I never want to paint your butt again," comes to mind...), but also left us with a frequently cracking end product. Due to the stretchyness of the unitard, the paint cracks and comes apart each time I move my arms. For whatever reason, I haven't noticed any cracks on the legs, or stomach. Also, it was terribly difficult to paint on me properly, because I am so oddly shaped, lols, so we ended up with several mistakes that we just couldn't fix. In short, I need a new method, that hopefully won't leave me with any of my previously made faults.

Character in question:


My old costume:

http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2226750/ ((if you look at the top left shoulder (((actually my right shoulder))) you can see a tiny sliver of white that was made when I moved my arm a bit much and the shoulder seam pulled apart, causing the paint to split and so on so on.))

It should be noted that my cosplay budget will be very low for this costume, because I'll be buying a new unitard at upwards of $60. So anything too expensive I just won't be able to do, even if the results are magnificent. Okay, I lied, if the results are that awesome, I'll probably sell my back teeth to do it.......

Please and thank you for your advice!

05-30-2010, 11:30 PM
What type of fabric paint were you using? opaque or transparent? It kind of sounds like you used opaque which is stiffer and thicker. Use transparent liquid fabric paint instead. It will sink into the fabric more, so when the fabric stretches there is significantly less cracking. It is almost as good as dyeing it.

Check out Dye-na-flow by Jacquard or Setasilk by Pebeo

Ignore the fact that it says "silk paint" this is just very liquidy fabric paint.

I would suggest using that type of paint in combination with airbrushing so your friend doesn't have to get close to certain areas again, but that would break your $60 budget unless you already have access to one. Using a regular brush is also fine though. Your friend will have to suck it up and help you paint again :P

**NOTE** fabric paint must always be set by heat (ironing for FIVE minutes not five seconds). If you did not set your initial fabric paint job properly with your first Midna, this might be why it's cracking. The fabric your bodysuit is made of can also be a factor. Find a bodysuit with a higher cotton content, as fabric paint bonds better to natural over synthetic fibre.

05-30-2010, 11:45 PM
Thank you very much VickyBunnyAngel. I've never heard of a difference between Opaque and Transparent fabric paint, and have just been using a brand from Wal-Mart. ^^ We tried very hard to iron as much of the suit as possible without fusing it with my ironing board or the back of itself, but the arms resisted the amount of stretching necessary to do this. I hadn't thought of that until you brought it up, but maybe that is the reason for the arms, specifically, giving out.

Thanks for the links as well! The pictures provided on the site are beautiful. If the paint really acts like that, I think it will make a wonderful Midna suit. Thanks again!! <3


05-31-2010, 12:59 AM
If it helps, I know for a fact other Midna cosplayers use that type of liquid transparent paint ;)

Good luck!

10-10-2010, 02:07 PM
I never made a Midna costume, but I used Jacquard Textile paint for a Captain Falcon costume. It was recommended to me by a girl who cosplays as Cats characters and it works very well on spandex. I would also recommend that you purchase the heat fixative, that sets the paint without you having to use an iron to set it. Also, you will have to wear the costume and have someone paint the designs on you (or you could make a duct tape dummy and make it wear the costume). Also as a warning, for something like Midna, you are going to want a lot of paint. I went through two jars just to do the emblem on Captain Falcon's back. ^^;

10-10-2010, 02:54 PM
Thanks Seifer Sama. Actually, I have already made one Midna costume, so yeah, I totally know how much paint it took. A LOT. Holy crap, took my friend hours to paint all of me. Since I'll not be bothering my poor friend to do it again when I re-do my Midna, I'll be making the duct tape dummy . ^^

10-10-2010, 05:05 PM
A duct tape dummy would be a good idea. That way you don't have to worry about getting that paint all over you. It doesn't come off easily either. ^^;

10-11-2010, 04:45 AM
Doesn't it feel the weirdest when you have to peel wet spandex and paint off of yourself? Icky icky feeling. o^O

10-11-2010, 12:50 PM
Oh my yes... And not only that, but we were using reds and blues and the paint that soaked through looked like bruises. Ha ha ha.

10-11-2010, 04:31 PM
Hahaha! That happened to me while removing make-up. My mother thought I'd gotten into some incredible fight.