The Beginning of The Ultimate Glue Guide

The Beginning of The Ultimate Glue Guide

Posted by Annye Driscoll on Mar 22nd 2024

The Ultimate Glue Guide started as a Facebook post. Well, okay, really it started with my second costume, made in 2016, which had a floating crown element: a piece of foam I glued to my forehead. I tried several different kinds of glue and tape, none of them worked and some of them hurt, and ultimately I left the piece off for my judging and photo shoots and tried to forget the failure.

Image Caption: My second costume ever, with no forehead crown in sight. Photo by Kirkules Photography.

And then the book grew a little closer with what I considered my first big build. In 2018 I made an entire suit of armor out of Worbla. It was attached to my body with off-brand hook and loop, super glue, and wishes. As pre-judging grew nearer, more and more pieces of my armor fell off or apart until I was standing in front of the judges with pieces of armor hitting the floor.

That build was a big wake up call for me. I wanted to be competitive and I wanted to be able to trust my costumes to survive a con, and neither was happening. I committed to becoming a better builder and to having more fun in costume, and both required me to become much more conscientious about my adhesive choices.

Image Caption: The disastrous big build. This is the only photo I have of that day where all the pieces are attached!

It worked! Not only did I not fall completely apart (literally) at cons, but my builds became more beautiful and technical. Of course, I still have wardrobe malfunctions at cons, but those are isolated (not the constant stressor of my beginning cosplay days) and I try to learn from them every time they happen.

Image Caption: I’ve learned how to keep a suit of armor attached to my body! Photo by Beyond Infinite Media.

I wrote a guide about what I’d learned and posted it to my baby social media accounts. I maxed out Instagram’s carousel post allowances - I had a ton to say about glues, but only so much space to say it.

People loved it. They needed it! Just like me, makers were struggling with their builds; their costumes were falling apart at cons and shoots, they were getting feedback from judges about their decisions, and they were wasting money on products that weren’t right for them.

And, finally, there was the beginning of The Ultimate Glue Guide. I knew folks wanted this information (just like me!) and I simply did not have room for it in my baby guides on social media. I wanted to dive deep on safety, cleanup, and alternative uses. I wanted to expand the guide for other nerdy hobbies and even home repair. I wanted to include more photos and step-by-step tutorials. I wanted a BOOK!

I am so proud to have researched, written, and photographed The Ultimate Glue Guide. Learning about and getting better at adhesive choice has genuinely made cosplay more successful and fun for me, and if my creation can do the same for other makers I’ll be proud and humbled just so so excited.

Thanks for checking it out, and happy making!


Annye Driscoll has won multiple best-in-show awards, is a repeat finalist for Riot Games’ State Farm x LCS cosplay contest, and has been published by Entertainment Weekly and Marvel Becoming. Annye lives in Ohio with their husband, cats, horse, and school of fancy guppies. Find them on Instagram at @makerfishmeal.