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April 28, 2015 AT 9:04 am

Fierce Xena Cosplay

Xena costume for C2-E2

Cosplayers fall into the hobby in different ways and for different reasons. For Stephanie Ruehl, it happened about five years ago. She was at her first ever C2E2 and loved seeing the creativity of cosplayers so much that she wanted to join in. She enjoyed learning about how cosplayers made their costumes, the process they used, etc. She started out by dressing as a casual Kitty Pryde from the X-Men, then a casual Rogue (also from the X-Men), and finally went as Catwoman in a full catsuit. She talks about how the experience was surprisingly comfortable for her at The Addison Recorder.

She also talks about the costume she wore at this year’s C2E2: Xena! The Warrior Princess has a very distinct look and Stephanie knew she’d need learn to make armor for the costume but was up for the challenge. She got resourceful and used cardboard:

I’ve also seen excellent armor made from layers of thick paper, and at my job at the comic shop, all our books come packed with thin cardboard liners. This gave me an idea. I started taking these cardboard liners home and playing with them, seeing what I could create. The first thing I made was my chakram for the Xena outfit. With the exception of a ring of foam core in the middle, it’s made entirely of cardboard.

After that it was a matter of playing around with it while it was wet, cutting it and folding it, and seeing what happens when I cover it in masking tape and wood glue. I went through four 12-oz bottles of wood glue, dulled three Exacto knife blades, and a bunch of sandpaper, and I created two breastplates, greaves, two sets of bracers, a back plate, pauldrons, arm bands, a belt, and a sword. Everything was made by me, and about 90% of it is cardboard.

Xena costume for C2-E2 2

Images via the Addison Recorder


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