Tip for Taako cosplayers (or any other costume with a prop umbrella)!!!! You can spray paint an umbrella!!! It took me days of trying out different synthetic dyes before I realized that spray paint is the way to go! I used about three (light) coats of Rustoleum satin black on the inside and outside. Start light and thin, and build your layers, letting them dry between so you don’t get drips.

So far I haven’t had any cracking or peeling of the paint, and it’s made it through weeks of opening and closing and a couple photo shoots. It’s a little bulkier when closed (I had to replace the built in strap because it didn’t fit around the closed umbrella anymore) but I find it gives a more pleasing shape to the umbrella anyway. Of course DO NOT use it in the rain but otherwise it holds up to the elements well!

Acrylic paint works for small details (like stars/galaxy designs and stuff) but covering large areas with it will eventually crack and peel and fade. Spray paint is a smoother and thinner coat that bonds to the synthetic material much better! Plus the satin finish looks really classy!

I learned a lot from this costume so I’m planning on doing like a “tutorial” series on it’s various elements. Let me know if there’s any aspects you want details on! Also expect more pics from my photo shoot soon 🌂😊


Not all gold spray paint is created equal. 

For a light gold non-brassy shimmer, Rust-oleum Champagne Mist is a good choice.

If you’re looking for a true metallic gold, nothing beats Rust-oleum Specialty Metallic in Gold.

And if you really just want a ton of glitter, give Rust-oleum Gold Glitter a shot. Seriously, nothing but glitter. It’s pretty amazing. 

Okay so this is the Rust-Oleum stuff I mentioned in my last post. Like I said, I know that people in the doll customizing community hate Krylon because it’s not actually matte and it gets sticky. But this stuff…. this stuff is good. Keep in mind that I’ve never tried Mr. Super Clear, but I think if you’re a beginner like me and you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on this hobby right away this stuff is cheap (~4$ where I live) and works pretty well. I will also say that I don’t use this stuff alone. You probably could, but I personally like to use it in combination with Liquitex Matte Varnish. 

-Dries super fast
-UV resistant and Non-yellowing
-Doesn’t get sticky (when sprayed correctly)
-Gives good texture for pencils
-Bonds to plastic, aka not going to chip/flake off
-Doesn’t grab dust very easily

-Smells pretty bad, like any other spray
-Probably as toxic as MSC
-Nozzle sometimes gets clogged and so the spray comes out spotty, but acetone on a q-tip will clear it up

My method when using this product is to first put down a layer of Liquitex, then about three light coats of this stuff, then the doll is ready for the first layer of pastels/pencils/paints/etc. Once I’m done with each layer, I seal with one good spray of the rustoleum, then continue on. At the end, I spray one or two light coats of the spray, and then one final coat of the Liquitex, to make it look really soft and smooth. 

I will admit that if you use this stuff alone the texture it gives can be a bit overwhelming. Sometimes it can feel rough to the touch, which makes it hard for pencils to lay down smoothly. That’s why I use it in conjunction with the Liquitex. I tried using the Liquitex alone when I first got into doll customs, but it never got the texture I needed to properly lay down pencils. It always felt like I was just drawing on rubber. Also because I was using the latex sponge method of applying it, it was really easy for little fibers and particles to get on the sponge and thus onto the faceup. It was very annoying to have to thoroughly check the doll’s whole face after every layer of sealant to make sure that there were no little particles. So I went to Walmart to see if I could find something, anything to give the dolls face a little more tooth, as I was getting really frustrated. I shopped around for a long time, really deliberating on the type of spray I got because I didn’t want to waste my money on something that I was definitely not going to be using on anything else. I looked at all sorts of sprays: art sprays, car sprays, pastel sprays, and I even thought about buying Krylon just to see what the hubbub was all about. But I bought this stuff and was super satisfied. I hope maybe if you’re a beginner like me that you’ll find this helpful. I know 4$ is a lot cheaper than 20$ that’s for sure. Anyway, thanks for reading!

Let’s talk decks and balconies for a minute. They’re such a great home feature, perfect for entertaining or relaxing on the weekend, but in older houses, the wood can get nicked, the stain can wear off and the whole thing can look depressing. As long as the deck is structurally sound, you can revamp it with something better than paint: Rustoleum Restore 4x It’s four times thicker than paint and will fill in chips and cracks, making a dilapidated deck fresh enough for bare feet again. There are a bunch of colors and it really brings new life to an older space. 

Here is a 3D printed Microfusion Cell my buddy sent to me a while back and I just finished it up. At least I think I’m finished with it? I can’t decide if I should weather it or not. Well, I have one more so maybe I will keep this one clean. For the paint I used Krylon OSHA safety yellow, Krylon OSHA black and Rustoleum Dark Steel. I didn’t have any water slide decal paper so I had to use Velum instead. Once I cut out the prints I had, I superglued them in place and then I applied two coats of Krylon Triple Thick clear glaze. Hope y'all like it.
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Making of: Lexus the custom 1/6 Robot

I did some digging through old photos, and found a few work-in-progress pictures I had shared with Jade as I worked on Lexus. Maybe you will find them interesting! :D

She is 1/6 scale, about 29cm tall. Her body is from an Original Effect Heyar Adas doll, her head a 27cm Obitsu.

This photo was taken before any custom work had begun - you can see my chaotic work space / desk. I was lining up my 1/6 dolls for size comparison. She is between a 1/6 Threea robot boy and a 25cm obitsu custom girl.

I sculpted her ‘helmet’ with milliput and used beads and toy bits for some of her details. I originally used rustoleum flexi-dip to coat her body in a white rubbery overcoat - but the friction of the neck joint was too much and caused tearing. So that idea was scrapped in favor of a dye job.

Her body, despite being a soft rubbery vinyl, still resisted the dye. I had to soak it in a dye / acetone mix for a few hours. This trick really works, but is super smelly / dangerous. Make sure you have an outdoor or well ventilated place if you’re going to do mad science like me! I had stupidly sanded a few spots thinking it would help the body take the dye. it was unnecessary, so she ended up with some rough spots. Oh well!

Her cute lil’ face.

Her dye job came out splotchy. Mostly due to my sanding. I washed over her with more acetone and gave her a good rinse - thankfully that really evened out the dye!

She got all of her detail painting and voila! Lexus was borned. - Nico


My trident is made out of wood!  The two heads are each a single piece cut from 3/4” MDF (medium density fiberboard) and then sanded until the tines were smother, rounder and more finished looking.  I then cut out mounting holes at the bases of the heads to secure the handle (which is a wooden rod of some kind (maybe pine) that we had laying around from a previous project).  It’s important, when making joins like that, to give plenty of surface area for any glue to hold as well as distributing the weight at more than the joint, so I also mounted in some cut down threaded rod about 2-3 inches deep into both the rod and the heads.  The joins were kind of a little messy at the end, which left me either with the option of using a body filler like bondo to smooth it out or cover it up — the jewels are some decorative buttons from a local craftstore, with the button parts cut off and glued over the head/handle joins.

I thiiiink I did a base layer of brown rustoleum covered by a couple varieties of metallic, but there’s so much spraypaint around I can’t confirm which colors exactly were used.  

PROS: sturdy (it’s wood!), fairly lightweight, sturdy, sized to how I wanted instead of buying a premade trident, STURDY

CONS: all one piece with no real way to disassemble without adding an unattractive joint in the middle, so it’s kind of a local-con-only prop.


Weekend DIY: Spray paint marble-effect coasters

A weekend DIY that will have your guests sipping pretty. Using our Spring Fling palette as inspiration, we settled on using green, navy and white Rust-oleum 2x glossy spray paint to transform these white tiles into coasters. 

24 hours ahead of time, we prepped the tiles with Rust-oleum 2x Primer. Using a pail sized to the project, we added about six inches of water, then the spray paint. First blue, then green, then white. Using the handle end of the paint brush, we gave the colors a few gentle swirls, then dipped the coasters just under the surface of the water (wearing gloves!). You’ll need to respray the water after each coaster. We let them dry, then sprayed with a clear coat of Rust-oleum to help seal everything in. Lovely and practical, an easy DIY. 


Painted outdoor furniture, string lights and colorful accessories set the stage for a summer get together. 

If you paint outdoor chairs or tables, be sure to pick the right type of paint. Rustoleum 2X spray paint is a great choice, as is Behr Premium Plus Ultra exterior (be sure not to use interior paint). A semi-gloss sheen makes painted furniture easier to clean.

All three of my “poor man’s” Nuka Cola bottles from Fallout 4. From left to right, Nuka Cola, Nuka Cherry and Nuka Cola Quantum. Made using Perrrier plastic bottles, foam core poster board, Owens Corning foamular insulation foam, bottle caps and labels printed on regular paper that was coated in Elmers Glue-All then the whole bottle was clear coated with rustoleum clear gloss engine enamel.