Household items can solve all sorts of cosplay problems. That’s why I try not to feel too guilty about keeping extra things like shower rings on hand. It’s good to have back ups in case a shower ring breaks, and it’s not like they take up a ton of room. Plus, they’re typically inexpensive. You can get packs of plastic shower rings at the dollar store and you might find yourself stocking up on them just for cosplay purposes. Here are five suggestions on ways you can use shower rings in cosplay:
Belt – Need a belt made of rings? Shower rings come in different sizes, thicknesses, and materials. Plastic would be the most lightweight option. You leave the color as is (brighter shower ring shades might work for anime costumes though) or paint them with acrylic or spray paints. You can go with metallic paints or rubs if you need that look. The shower rings can be strung together using clear fishing line or thin beading wire. Remember you can also use the rings as a base and use air dry clay to make the rings fancier – you could sculpt an entire buckle.
Stencils – If any part of your costume features a pattern with circles, you can use shower rings as templates. An example would be Hera Syndulla’s lekku (head tails) on Star Wars Rebels. As you can see in the above picture, they’re green with light green markings. You could tape the shower rings down and paint around them or trace them onto card stock and make an inverse template. Shower rings would also work if you ever need to add circles to the back of your hair with spray-on temporary hair color. That would look fantastic with a Tron-inspired costume.
Jewelry – Whether you need a long chain (like a Maester’s chain from Game of Thrones) or a big pendant, you can get there with shower rings. If you use the ring as an amulet/pendant, you can use air dry clay to add a backing and glue a large gemstone in. You can use a large marble found in the floral supply area of the craft store for the gem or cast your own from resin. A shower ring could also be the center piece of a tiara.
Ring mail armor – Use metal or thin plastic shower rings to build a suit of armor. The rings will be bigger than normal and I imagine it will be slow going, but you can make it work. You can disguise the rings to look like actual armor or you can make a parody costume out of it. Wear shower ring mail armor, carry a shield painted with a rubber ducky, wear a shower cap instead of a helm – you get the idea. You can read an overview on making mail armor at Wonder How To.
Cyborg attachments – Cosplaying as a member of the Borg collective or as some other robot? You can use shower rings to add more parts and gadgets. Spray paint them to match your costume and add them on rubber hosing, lay them flat and sew or glue them to your body suit or cyborg parts, or weave them into your hair.
Want to keep going with shower supplies? Read my suggestions on how to use a shower curtain for cosplay.