Nothing is worse than having your hard work fall apart on you, especially right in the middle of the convention! Choosing the right way to attach your creation together, right from the start, is crucial to make sure accidents don’t happen.
First off, decide whether or not you should be physically connecting the two pieces in question together. Consider if you should be sewing or otherwise using a physical binder (like nails, screws, staples, etc) to keep your pieces together, or if an adhesive is would be appropriate. If you are connecting two pieces of fabric, sewing is going to always be a better option as you have more stress you can put on the joining area, but two pieces of plastic should be connected using adhesives. Adhesives are also preferable, if you are connecting two things that aren’t made of the same material, like plastic onto fabric.
Secondly, make sure you select the correct adhesive for the job. A polyurethane glue may be amazing at connecting two hard, non porous materials, it won’t work so good with foams or fabrics. Make sure you read the labels of the adhesives, so you can make sure it’s the right stuff for the job at hand. There are many many different adhesives out there, so I’m sure you will find something that fits what you need it for perfectly.
Third, read the instructions!!! Some glues are toxic, some require additional time and conditions such as heat to fully bind together, and others may damage the materials you are working with and require a test usage first. You wouldn’t want a small avoidable mistake to ruin dozens of hours of work just because you didn’t read the instructions first. This is where the scraps and bits left over from crafting your costume and prop pieces, can come in handy. Grab a small piece of what you are adhering and try it out first before putting it on the final cosplay. Some adhesives work really well ONLY if you follow the instructions very carefully (such as contact cement), so as tempting as it is to jump right in, glue in hand, testers are really important.
Finally, if the worst does happen and your costume or prop does come apart at Otafest, make sure to come by the Cosplay Repair Station. We make sure that we have all sorts of adhesives and other materials on hand for you to use to help save your cosplay!