Before last month, I’d never made a cosplay weapon in my life. Cosplay for me has always been a looming project that I just felt I could never do because of how much effort went into it and, to be honest, I wasn’t motivated at all. I knew if I started the project, the chances I would even finish it would be low. So building a weapon? Forget it!

And then I found simple instructions online for a cosplay I was desperate to make. For those of you familiar with the webcomic Homestuck, I decided to cosplay John Egbert as a female. I’d already bought my god tier hood, I already wear rectangular glasses, I have blue eyes and black hair (not to mention my overbite) so what more could I possibly need?

Ladies, gentlemen and others! How dare you forget the most important component to this ensemble? The legendary war hammer, the Zillyhoo!

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Now even if you haven’t read Homestuck, I’m sure you can tell by the name alone that this weapon is ridiculous. I’d found simple instructions online for how to build one and I thought, “Well… Seems pretty straight forward! Why not?” But I knew I wouldn’t enjoy doing this project on my own. So I invited the one person I knew could make crafts look like toast making; my grandmother.

I asked my grandmother if she wanted to help me make my Zillyhoo and she instantly said yes. How can you not with a name like that? We started right away!

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Now let me tell you why you should make cosplay weapons with your grandmother if you have no idea what you’re doing (like me). The obvious first is that she probably understands the project better than you already, even if she doesn’t know what the weapon is.

She might even have better and more effective ways to build your weapon. Again, I had no idea going in what I would need to do, but she made some adjustments to the instructions that made the hammer better and even cheaper.

For example, it called for a massive amount of floral styrofoam, but we used regular foam instead. This makes the hammer a little softer and it’s actually less moolah! And when we couldn’t find the plaster we needed, she advised paper mache with bandaging instead. This actually worked out really well in the long run, even if it was quite the mess!

And if, let’s say, a tragedy involving a large, hungry dog ripping your hammer to shreds happens, have no fear! She’ll encourage you to get right back on the horse. Believe me, the amount of distress I felt in the morning when I saw this was like no other. Hell hath no fury like an Ashley when someone has messed with her Zillyhoo…

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But I think the best reason you should work on a cosplay weapon with your grandma is because it’s an awesome time. Okay, well I guess that depends on the grandma (mine is pretty hard to compete with), but if she agreed to build a weapon with you, I would think that puts her on the top of the awesome sauce list!

I had a lot of fun spending time with her while we built the hammer. It took us about a week and I don’t think I’ve gotten a project of this size done in such an amount of time. Like the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun!

Even if you’re a deity in the cosplay department and can make your own weapons out of mud, sticks and the bones of a small animal, if you have a grandma who’s up to it, try this out; even if it’s with another relative.

If they like making stuff, I’m sure something like this will be a really cool challenge for them. But really spending time with each other and seeing what you’re both interested in is the better experience. I had a lot of fun and I’m sure we’ll make another cosplay together in the future. I hope you guys have just as good of an experience as I did!13427941_10153618193660205_3731730125394744171_n.jpg

Have any fun experiences you want to share? How do you build your cosplay weapons (please don’t use the bones of a small animal)? Tell me in the comment section below!

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