How It’s Made: Cosplay Edition

What do I get?

Participating in How It’s Made will grant you a Panelist badge for Otafest 2023, with How It’s Made counting as one panel.

Per Otafest policy, panelists receive a discounted weekend pass ($20 admission) when they run one panel, or free weekend admission when they run two or more panels.

How do I become a presenter?

  1. Decide what your topic will be. 
  2. Submit the form below before Friday, March 24th
  3. You’ll receive a confirmation email by March 31st to let you know you’re selected! Start preparing for your table and be ready for Sunday, May 21st.

If you’re unsure about your topic, need ideas, or have any questions, you can email Autumn at

How It's Made Topics from the Past


  1. How to Start Cosplaying and Costuming
  2. Buying Cosplay
  3. Running and Gunning: Introductory Convention Photography
  4. Makeup For Cosplay
  5. Beginners in Body Paint
  6. Cosplay in Film


  1. Pattern Drafting: Finally a Practical Use for Geometry!
  2. Leatherworking: Beginners Guide
  3. Fabric Painting and Dyeing
  4. Choosing and Working with Fabrics
  5. Ruffles, Frills and Fabulous Folds!
  6. Hand stitches for Function and Design
  7. Sewing Machine: Specialty Feet & Accessories


  1. Wigs: Spiking and Fake Hairlines
  2. Wigs: Adding Wefts and Ponytails
  3. Buying, Styling and Wearing Lace Front Wigs

Armor, Props and Accessories:

  1. EVA Foam Armor Basics
  2. 3D Printing Basics
  3. Resin Casting & Mold Making
  4. Armor Making with Worbla
  5. Painting Armor
  6. Cosplay Shoes
  7. Wings and Feathers
  8. Cosplay Jewelry

Tips for a Successful Station

  • Make it attractive. The tables provided are brown and plain. I highly recommend bringing a table cloth or fabric to cover the table. Also, things that stand up and add height to your display will draw people in! You may also opt out of using a table, and use only items that stand up on the ground!

  • This is an interactive event: the audience should have something to touch when they come by your station, such as completed pieces, works-in-progress, or even the tools you used. We recommend transporting these things to Otafest in a suitcase with wheels!

  • Practice your presentation technique: Explain your topic to a few (or many) people before Otafest. The more you practice, the smoother your presentation will be! Practice your presentation techniques and use a variety of language/terminology that can appeal to a wide audience.
    • For example: if your topic is using bias tape, be prepared to explain what bias tape is, what it does/ doesn’t do, different types of bias tape, how to use it, etc. Your audience can range from experienced cosplayers to newbies to people who have never cosplayed.

  • Visitors won’t retain all the information you gave them. A page or brochure with links to some tutorials can go a long way to helping your audience follow up on your topic of choice.

  • Get creative! These tips are meant to help get those creative juices flowing, not dictate what you do. Let’s see what you can come up with!

  • Otafest is committed to providing a family-friendly environment for its volunteers and attendees. If you experience issues with unsolicited harassment, contact an Otafest staff member immediately to resolve the situation.


  1. We take commitment seriously. Participants who arrive more than 15 minutes late or drop out after May 1st without an acceptable reason will be banned from participating in similar events in the future.

  2. Participants are required to arrive at least 15 minutes before the beginning of the event for set up, and remain in the How It’s Made area for the entire 2 hours of the event.

  3. Otafest will provide one 6’x2.5’ brown wooden table at the participant’s request. Other equipment must be provided by the participant. Participants are encouraged to cover the table with fabric or a tablecloth. Participants may use electricity to enhance their presentation.

  4. Be prepared to explain or discuss your topic with visitors with a variety of knowledge levels. (i.e. new cosplayers, experienced cosplayers, people who do not cosplay, etc.)

  5. No harassment will be tolerated. If you feel that a visitor’s behavior is inappropriate in any way, inform staff members and the situation will be resolved.

  6. This is a family-friendly event. Please do not use foul language or display inappropriate images.

  7. You may not sell work or actively promote your social media at How It’s Made tables. It is acceptable to have business cards or cosplay cards at your table, but you may only give them out or talk about your pages or business if the visitor brings it up first.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Autumn at