Costuming Safely

Here are some tips to staying safe when working on your costumes. Remember, these skills have been paid for with the blood of your garrison mates… don't make the same mistakes others have!!

Don't get blood on your armor!

What? Did you think we were kidding with that “blood of your garrison mates” line? Getting cut while working on a costume is probably the most common injury.

  • If you are holding something in your hand and using a utility knife to cut or trim it, never work towards your hand or body. Always hold the item away and cut in an outward motion.
  • If you are using a motorized saw, make sure all safeguards are in place. If the saw came with a protective guard from the factory there is a reason, do not remove it.
  • If you are using a rotary tool, do not force the cutting disk or grinding stone into the item. These tools are designed to do the work, all you need to do is gently guide them along. Using excessive force with these tools can cause them to overheat. You can also injure yourself if the cutting disk or grinding stone were to break off while the motor is still running.

Personal Protection Equipment

There are lots of different ways you can protect yourself while working on a costume.

  • If you have long hair, ALWAYS tie it back when working with power tools! If you catch your hair in a rotary tool it will be bouncing off your scalp before you even have time to react!
  • ALWAYS wear safety glasses or a full face shield when cutting, painting, or using chemicals. Your eyes are MUCH more important than that new Fett helmet!
  • When working with chemicals, always wear nitrite gloves that are rated for the chemicals you are using. The wrong gloves will do you no good – some chemicals will eat right through latex. Latex gloves also inhibit the curing of some silicone, so it's best to stay away from them entirely.
  • Wear a respirator using a quality filter rated for paint/chemical fumes, not a paper dust mask. They are around $30 and well worth it to prevent brain damage!

Choosing a Workspace

Not everyone has access to a comfy, indoor workshop to be able to work on costumes year round. For those of us who do this stuff anywhere they can, keep these things in mind.

  • Always work in a well ventilated area. If you are in a basement, try to open a bulkhead and use a fan to circulate the air.
  • Stay away from open flames. Do not paint your armor in the basement right next to your furnace in the winter.
  • Make sure there is plenty of light. Working in a dim area without proper lighting is dangerous. You could get hurt by not being able to see where you are cutting to simply tripping on an extension cord.
  • Do not overload an electric outlet. Sure it is a pain to keep unplugging and plugging in your tools but that is a lot better than starting an electrical fire because you overloaded the circuit.
  • Try and avoid working when home alone. If you have an accident and are unable to address the issue on your own the results could be catastrophic.
costuming/safety.txt · Last modified: 2014/04/30 11:50 by Jedi_Outcast77