ACEN 2018 Photo Dump

I let my husband take over phototaking at Anime Central this year, his camera is much better than mine, so enjoy the awesome cosplays we found! (My absolutely favorite were the ones who brought in an ACTUAL CORGI NAMED EIN WITH THEIR COWBOY BEBOP COSPLAYS AHHHHHH SO CUTE!!)

Hover over the images with your mouse to see what the cosplay is from! Or click on any image to open up slideshow view!


International Games WEEK!

So, everybody knows that Halloween is drawing nigh, but what you might not know is that International Games Week is nearly here also!

International games week

In past years you might have participated in International Games Day. Well, a day of games was so much fun that we’ll be playing games all week this year! It starts on Sunday, October 29 and ends on Saturday, November 4. There will be video games, Yu-gi-oh!, an Escape Room, Uno, board games and even an after-hours session of Dungeons & Dragons on Friday, November 3 featuring gaming, snacks, and a live performance by Dan the Bard! Parental permission slips are required for the after-hours program so make sure to register soon and get your paperwork in.

You may notice that there is nothing planned for Tuesday.  That’s because Tuesday is Halloween and we wanted to give y’all a day off to enjoy the holiday. However, if you don’t have Halloween plans and trick-or-treating isn’t your scene, you are more than welcome to hang out in the Vortex to play a board game, create a game-related craft-on-the-go, or check out one of the games in our card game Maker Kit! We have three Yu-gi-oh! Decks, three Magic: the Gathering decks, standard playing cards, and Uno. Just present a library card or school I.D. at the Vortex desk to check out any of our new Maker Kits.

Game on!



Cosplay Tutorial: Styling a Wig for Fairy Tail’s Levy

Today you’re going to join me on a journey of how to style a wig to look like Levy from Fairy Tail!

It was a blue wig I had ordered from eBay several years ago. I’d share the listing with you guys but unfortunately my purchase history doesn’t go back far enough. 😦 (Hilariously, it was intended to be used for a Happy cosplay but the color ended up being perfect for Levy instead!)

If you don’t have a wig already, I recommend Arda’s Jareth wig in either Indigo or Cobalt Blue. It will just have to be trimmed to an ideal length for your face.

*Note: there is no cutting in this tutorial because I had a friend do all that messy goodness for me a long time ago. These are the steps after you have the hair at a length you desire for Levy.  


Below are just a few photos of Levy to give you an example. When styling a wig, you want as many directions of their hair as you can: front, back, side, etc. The more the better!

fairy tail levy mcgarden 2560x1600 wallpaper_www.wallpaperhi.com_17

Let’s get started!


Don’t have one? They’re pretty cheap at any craft store such as Michael’s! It’s definitely worth the investment and will be a place where you can store the wig once it’s done so it stays styled nicely and not ruin your hard work!


You will need:

  • Hairclips
  • Hairspray
  • Thread and needle
  • Sewing pins
  • A small piece of ribbon
  • Thick 2 inch orange ribbon (pick a style that floats your boat that’d suit the Levy look you desire!)

Step 4: PIN BACK SOME HURR (hair)


First comb everything out nicely to give you a base to work with. Remember with wigs to comb from the ends upward, this is to help not damage the wig fiber as you untangle any knots.

Now we’re going to GENTLY pull back Levy’s bangs before clipping them down.

I personally used two banana clips because that’s what I had on hand. Feel free to use whatever you’re comfortable with.



Once the hair is pulled and clipped back in a way you’re content with (it may take several tries of pulling back and clipping till you get it pulled back in a way you’re happy with), you’re gonna take your hair spray (I like to use GOT2B Freezing Spray) and SPRAY THE CARP OUT OF the pulled back area. Then wait at least 30 minutes for it to thoroughly dry.


Okay, your hairspray is dry. Time to be brave and remove those banana clips. I promise the hairspray will hold.

For extra security, I like to add a thin ribbon (the color doesn’t matter since we’ll be covering it up.) underneath where the main ribbon will be to help hold the wig fibers in place. Cut just an inch or so longer than the length of hair that is pulled back and lay it across to make sure it’s the right length you need.

Then grab some sewing pins, and put one in each end of the ribbon.

Then carefully and with teeeeeeny tiny stitches, sew across the ribbon from one side to the other. The smaller the stitches you can do, the better. It’ll hold more fiber down that way. I like to choose a color thread different from the ribbon and the wig so it’s easier to see what I’m doing. Again, colors don’t matter because we’ll be covering it up soon.


Okay, Levy’s hair is hair sprayed and sewed satisfactorily, now we can add the final ribbon! Just lay it over where the smaller ribbon is, and then tie it around underneath the neck area. It’s sometimes helpful to have another person hold it in place at the top as you tie it.



ACEN 2017 Photo Dump

I didn’t get a huge amount of photos at Anime Central this year, but I’d still like to share with you what I did take!

Hover over the images with your mouse to see what the cosplay is from! Or click on any image to open up slideshow view!



Cosplay How-To: Moogle Wings

Kupo! Today I’m going to walk you through how to make moogle wings! Moogles are creatures from the Final Fantasy franchise and come in a variety of styles and sizes depending on the Final Fantasy (or Kingdom Hearts) game they’re in.


Mine is based on a mixture between Mog from Final Fantasy XIII-2 and the Kingdom Hearts moogles, kupo!

First things first.


  • 4 pieces of purple felt sheets (I got mine at Michaels and they’re just approximately larger than a sheet of computer paper, probably 9”x12” roughly)
  • Fabric Scissors
  • A sewing needle
  • 3 yds of wire (I used 18 gauge, I actually recommend a thicker gauge than I used because it was a little TOO easy to work with so that means it was easily bendable if something presses against it)
  • Purple thread to match your purple felt
  • A sheet of paper to draw your pattern on
  • Pins
  • Black Sharpie
  • Wire cutters
  • Needle Nosed Pliers


You need to make a pattern! I based mine off a pair of wings I saw on Etsy

il_570xN.727244452_ppwlAs you can see, the wire shows through really well because they chose a thinner fabric (looks like some form of suede to me) and thicker wire than I used.

Again, basing it off the design from Etsy, I drew out my wings on a sheet of paper, sketching and erasing until I came up with proportions that I was happy with.



Arrange your wire around the pattern on the paper and mold and shape it to match. The first wing will be your hardest because you’re getting a feel for your wire. Use your hands or your pliers (or a mixture of both) depending on how thick your wire is. To help mold it to your pattern, feel free to tape down the wire as you go. It’ll definitely help one end keep its shape while you work on the other end!


Then cut two pieces from your spool of wire and lay them across where the two “bones” will be. Cut longer than you think you’ll need because you’ll be wrapping the ends to the base to secure it.

IMG_20170506_131653940To connect your wire pieces to each other, gently (and carefully because the ends can be sharp depending on how you cut it!) wrap the wire around until it’s secure.


Now you have your first moogle wing frame, kupo!


Now, detach your frame carefully from your pattern if you had taped it down. Then take two of your felt sheets and put the “right sides” together. The right side is the part that DID not have the barcode sticker on it (make sure you take that sticker off though before proceeding!).

Then place your frame over the felt until your frame fits snugly inside the dimensions of the felt with at least half an inch to spare on each end, like in the image below.


It looks like there isn’t room to spare in the image, but that’s just an optical illusion from the camera angle.


Take your sharpie and trace around your wings carefully BUT BUT BUT let me finish my sentence here before you use that marker! Trace around it widely so what your tracing is actually half an inch bigger (or a little bit more is ok) than your actual wire frame. You need your felt to be bigger than your frame so it can fit inside!



Grab your pins and pin the two pieces together carefully.



Cut. Cut. Cut. Carefully!


Do NOT take your pins out. Leave them in for this next step, because now we’re going to be sewing! Thread your needle and then fold the amount of thread you cut in half, and tie the two ends together.

I want you to start sewing a basic straight stitch (it kinda looks like a long dashed line, like so: — — — — ) from the right end, all the way around the top to the left pointy end, then STOP and tie off your end. You will be leaving the bottom open.


This is what it will look like after you sew it then turn it right-side out.


Insert your wing frame into your newly sewn felt wing.



Now this is the tricky part, sewing your wing frame inside the felt. You will have to fold the ends up carefully so you don’t see any rough edges from cutting out your pattern. We want nice and neat edges! What I did was wrap the bottom edge around the wire, to give myself a guide for the top end to meet it. Pin it as you fold.


Your edges should look something like this. See how they’re folded under? Once that’s sewn, it’ll look nice and neat!


Pick whichever end you prefer, and start hand sewing carefully from one end to the other, then tie it off. Remove the pins as you go.

One wing is now complete!


Repeat steps 2-10 for the second wing.


If you would like more bone definition (if you chose a thin wire like I did and cannot see the wire through the felt), feel free to sew straight stitches along the top edge and along the middle “bones” for some decoration.

Otherwise, your wings are done!



Attaching, how did I attach mine? I actually sewed mine into the back of a white dress I obtained from Goodwill and also used some fishing line from the top points to the dress to make sure they stay up.

If you’re not sure of doing that, feel free to try a bunch of safety pins to see if that works until you’re ready to commit!

Or, like in the Etsy wings, you can create a harness with your remaining wire and some elastic to wear them. (I hate wearing harnesses which is why I opted for the sewing option).

Any questions? Feel free to comment on this post or email me at
fountaindaleteen at fountaindale dot org.

Enjoy your wings, kupo!

After Hours Cosplay Ball Recap

We had a wonderful time dressing up for our Cosplay Ball on Friday, October 28th! ! D.J. Mu Meux played anime theme songs and other Japanese music as we ate food, had plenty of water and Capri Sun! After having a plentiful amount of noms, there were board games and the button maker was out to make buttons with images from One Punch Man or Miraculous Ladybug! 

See the photos below for some of the highlights!

Cosplay Ball-Last Chance to Sign Up!

It’s almost your last chance to sign up for our Cosplay Ball on Friday, October 28 at 5:30 p.m. (parental permission slip are required for this event).

It’s your chance to show off all that you learned at our previous cosplay programs this month. Wigs, and costumes, and props, oh my!

We’ll have dancing and food with a LIVE D.J.!!! What more could you ever want? Ask your parents and sign up today while there’s still time!

Come to the Vortex or call 630.685.4199 for any questions or further info!